Ready for Joy

2013-02-02T13:40:55+00:00 July 11th, 2012|daily life, parenting|

Can I just say, I'm a little sick of hearing myself complain about my kids? Yes, it has been overwhelming, all-consuming, and much harder than I expected. Venting about the surprises, dramas, and relentlessness of it has been useful. As I'm learning from other parents, kids are often a big pain. But it's insane that I've achieved [...]

Ghosts in the Nursery

2017-05-18T14:48:52+00:00 July 8th, 2012|adoption, parenting|

I'm getting a lot of T Berry Brazelton's Touchpoints second-hand from Jay, who's loving these books. It's fair to say we've both been shocked by the depth and intensity of our own stuff that's coming up as we learn to parent these kids. The "Ghosts in the Nursery" are the remnants and afterimages of our [...]

Learning to Shut Up

2017-05-18T14:49:03+00:00 June 6th, 2012|daily life, parenting|

I think it's a great skill to be able to mirror, reflect back, and participate in the conversation. My verbal abilities have gotten me this far in life, and I think I'm good at listening to and talking with the kids. But sometimes I really need to shut up. This thought first came to me [...]

Finding Our Rhythm

2017-05-18T14:49:04+00:00 June 3rd, 2012|daily life, parenting|

My mother had a rule while travelling: if an attraction had a star in the AAA Tourbook, we had to stop. Why would we leave a town without seeing everything the editors thought was worth a star? We moved quick, and we saw everything. On a 3- or 4-day trip to the Bay Area in [...]


2012-05-22T12:32:14+00:00 May 20th, 2012|adoption, parenting|

I don't know what I thought the "pushing, testing" stage would look like, but I didn't think it would involve pushing the cat off the balcony. It did. Theory one: kids who've experienced rejection try to recreate it. Having lost a home they expect to lose this one too, and create situations that will help [...]

Is There Still Time to Turn French?

2017-05-18T14:49:35+00:00 March 14th, 2012|daily life, parenting|

After wading through a couple very earnest books on adoption and parent-child attachment, what fun to come across Pamela Druckerman's Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. I love this book! It makes the French seem utterly sensible in their approach to children, and shows how nutty American kid culture has [...]

Appreciating Distraction

2017-05-18T14:49:44+00:00 February 28th, 2012|parenting|

A knockout essay in the NY Times by Hanif Kureishi about the Value of Distraction got me thinking about how our obsession with diagnosing, regularizing, and "optimizing" kids. I'm sure treatments for ADHD have helped plenty of kids, and I'm not against medicine. But when the number of children on psych meds is so alarmingly high, I [...]

Our TV Friends Are Waiting Too

2012-02-24T17:53:21+00:00 February 16th, 2012|parenting, waiting and wanting kids|

OK, guilty. I was checking out Smash this week (will the sensitive brunette or the bombshell blonde be picked to play Marilyn?). There were Debra Messing and Brian d'Arcy James, struggling with the long, long wait they've been facing in their adoption. Should he go back to work, should they wait longer for the baby? Then on [...]

Giving Meaning to Our Wait

2017-05-18T14:49:47+00:00 February 8th, 2012|parenting, waiting and wanting kids|

On the recommendation of a friend I'm reading a fascinating new book, Timothy Wilson's Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change. I also recently saw Our Idiot Brother, and the two have me thinking. The brainy one first: Redirect talks about the power of the interpretations we give events. A simple example: someone who [...]

Being a C Student

2012-02-24T17:54:05+00:00 February 4th, 2012|daily life, parenting, waiting and wanting kids|

My twice-yearly dental cleanings are an interesting opportunity to feel like a completely mediocre achiever. I don't think I'm incredibly lazy, or unable to follow directions. OK, I probably don't brush for the full two minutes each time, but I floss twice a day (always!), and I try the different techniques that have been offered--circular! [...]

It Will Take A Village

2017-05-18T14:49:53+00:00 January 20th, 2012|parenting, takes a village|

I've been thinking about all the help we're going to need when these kids land, and how bad I am at asking for help. What an opportunity this will be! I don't usually complain about my childhood; I have very fond memories of growing up. There are just a few things I'd change: wish I [...]