Monday, August 31, 2015

And the trashiest parent award goes to...


Spoiler alert: my dad. Just kidding, sort of. Ultimately the reason I'm giving it to my dad is because I think he'll be proud of it. But I might be unwittingly providing fairly stiff competition...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A "Middle" Money




I'm visiting my mom - and her mom - in Patchogue, Long Island, New York, in the house my mother grew up in. My younger brother and one of my aunts are here, too. It's nearly 4am, and I can hear my brother playing some video game on his phone in the other room, because he's 21 and on vacation from work, obviously. How could he possibly go to bed any time before five?!!! And anyway, what kind of fun would it be for my slightly sadistic aunt, if she didn't have the opportunity to bug him while he's only been sleeping for an hour or something at 8am?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Virginity: creating an image of sex as a purchase



Growing up in a middle-class suburban neighborhood that was dominated by the Southern Baptist church at its center, I was hell-bent on fitting in. Yes, bad pun intended. Seriously, though, I desperately wanted to fit in, and my family didn't go to church, especially not the Southern Baptist kind. I was confirmed in a liberal United Methodist church in downtown Houston, far from my conservative suburban neighborhood. My Methodist confirmation classes had absolutely nothing to say about sex. Zero. It didn't occur to me that sex was in any way related to religion until I started going with one of my friends to the Southern Baptist church. That's where I learned that "True Love Waits."

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Guilt



When I first took the "New to UU" class at my church and began getting to know the minister, he asked if I had grown up Catholic. "No, but with my guilt, I'd sure make a good one, wouldn't I?" I laughed.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

NVC, Falconer Family Style



When James was two-and-a-half years old, I begged our minister to teach a class on non-violent communication (NVC) for parents. I hate the name of the communication style, even though I've discovered I admire its creator, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, immensely. But a class on "non-violent communication" makes it sound like I'm going to rehab for beating my husband.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Richard Scarry's Best Book of What?



I have to say a word of thanks to my dear friend Francine, the Jewish mother I never had, for giving James Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever. I now get to read a gazillion words a night, from bulldozer to apple tree and everything in-between. Francine is probably cackling maniacally to herself as I write this, aware that she has passed on a warm, fuzzy tradition, as she's been stuck in my shoes during her own time as a parent of small children. How many times can we read all of the words on the "Work Machines" page, and how many pages can we get through in a night?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Is this working?


I've often wondered, over the last four years, whether I'm doing the right thing for my family by staying home with the kids. I have friends who work full-time and I have friends who stay home, and each of my friends seems to be doing the right thing for his or her family unit. But am I doing the right thing for mine?