16 Apr 2013
in childhood memories, growing-up, Parenting, self-reflection, survival skills, Teaching moments
Tags: 1996 Atlanta Olympics bombing, American Revolutionary War, Boston Marathon, casualties, marathon bombing, Marathon Monday, Patriots Day, soft target bombings, The Battle of Lexington and Concord
Today was Patriots’ Day in Boston, a day marked by its predictability and routineness. A day that begins April break for many Boston school children; the heralding of spring; a home game for the Red Sox, sometimes a win; and always the running of the Boston Marathon. In fact some people know today first as Marathon Monday, and second for the holiday commemorating the Battle of Concord and Lexington, fought in 1775, marking the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
Today things changed.
I’m thankful that I took my kids away for April Break. Away from usually safe, predictable, routine Patriots’ Day down to our Nation’s Capital, where just about anything can happen. Yet here I sit, feeling safe and unthreatened while I watch news reports of fellow Bostonians feeling shaken and upset.
Two bombs were detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon today and at least three people are confirmed dead so far. More
01 Oct 2012
in creativity, education, global, Parenting, self-reflection, travel
Tags: couples counseling, planning trips, realizing dreams, traveling with kids
DH and I once hoped to raise our kids abroad. A few years ago, when DH’s career focus shifted from overseas to California and Texas, that hope dimmed. Such is life, plans change and opportunities arise at mysterious intervals.
So, we have planted our roots in our cozy, New England suburb and begun to blossom. But by doing so, we realize that if we aren’t providing our kids with an international address, then raising them with international outlooks means finding other ways for them to see the world instead.
When life puts up road blocks, come up with alternative routes. More
15 Aug 2012
in Friendship, Parenting, self-reflection, survival skills, Teaching moments, Writing
Tags: agrarian school year, Cape Cod, Coxsackie virus, planning summer, summer schedules, summer vacation
Yesterday I let my three-year-old sit on the potty for 45-minutes, having an epic meltdown, waiting for someone to help him wipe. That someone was not going to be me. I’m out of the bottom wiping business.
Did I feel like a bad mother? yes. Did it fry my nerves to listen to his wails? yes. Will I repeat the situation all over again when it happens next? yes.
In just three week’s time he will head off to preschool where no one will be allowed to wipe his bottom. He’s got to do it on his own. But it wasn’t just this motivator that spurned me on, it’s that I’m in Week Eight of the American school system’s ten-week long, summer holiday. I’m toast. More
30 Jan 2012
in Parenting, self-reflection, Spirituality, survival skills
Tags: Catholic guilt, Chuck E. Cheese, insomnia, mommy guilt, planning kids birthday partys, rocket ships
I wasn’t raised by Catholic parents (although one of them has since converted…but that’s a topic for another post) and I’ve never been to a Catholic mass. What makes me feel Catholic is my sense of guilt, and I don’t think I’m over-generalizing here, since every Catholic I’ve ever met, practicing or not, wears guilt like a burka.
I feel guilty for the things I do, especially things I do for myself, like going to the gym, or spending a morning on the computer instead of tending house, running errands or planning my son’s birthday. I feel guilty for the things I don’t do, especially when they involve my children, like not signing them up for music lessons, not stopping by the playground more, not practicing greater patience or not planning my son’s birthday.
Catholic or not, guilt is just one of motherhood’s many veils.
Lately, I’ve been waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning. I can’t conclude whether it’s hormonal, seasonal, More
24 Jan 2012
in bi-racial, Chinese-American, education, Friendship, global, Multi-ethnic, Parenting, Writing
Tags: blogging, Jennifer Burden, Million Moms Challenge, Shot@Life, United Nations Foundation, World Moms Blog
I started blogging 15 months ago as a means to hone my writing skills, find my voice and to process life’s small moments…you know, pretty much for all the same reasons most people start blogging. We’re all a work in process.
Shortly after I started, a fellow blogger, by the name of Jennifer Burden, reached out to me about a new blog she had just begun, World Moms Blog.
In her own words, the blog is about this:
As busy mothers we often find ourselves without the time to jet-set around the planet. So, we invite you to come travel the world with us, through our global writers. We will read about how women across the planet are mothering, how their lives are similar or different from ours, what’s on their minds and expand our horizons into corners of daily life around the world.
Her mission immediately resonated with me. I started following the blog and soon became a contributor. Within weeks of signing on as a writer, I More
19 Jan 2012
in Parenting, Spirituality, survival skills, self-reflection, Friendship, finances
Tags: MIHN, Metrowest Interfaith, Hospitality Network, day shelters, families in transition, being homeless, being thankful
We are living in strange times. This “Great Recession” we’re in may not qualify yet as a depression but the impact its having on all of us, without question, is depressing.
On a daily basis, I wrestle with the knowledge that I have great abundance in my life yet still want more. In fact, just last week, before attending our friends’ annual Epiphany party, I threw my own private epiphany party, unleashing a woe-is-me tirade on poor DH about all of the things in life that we haven’t yet achieved.
I could only view our glass as half-empty. I failed to see how full it actually is.
I have a hard time living in the moment. I pulsate in a constant state of projecting forward. I don’t know why I can’t be appreciative for the many blessings I have rather than the things I don’t. Instead, I live under the false pretense that offspring should do as well as, if not better More
29 Dec 2011
in education, growing-up, Holidays, Parenting, self-reflection, Teaching moments
Tags: Happy Christmas (War is Over), holiday music, John Lennon, less is more
And if you’re reading this, I’m sure this isn’t news to you but its news to my kids, both of them, but particularly my three-year-old son. They are totally captivated by this information.
The topic came up quite innocently. And unfortunately, quite early in the holiday music season—which in my house begins the day after Thanksgiving. The song Happy Christmas, by John Lennon, came on and I mentioned how much I love the song. I also, off-handedly, mentioned that the song was even more moving because the singer was singing a song wishing for peace but tragically, was, himself, shot.
The conversation went something like this: Me: isn’t this a beautiful song, kids? It’s so sad that the singer is dead. Daughter: he’s dead? Why’s he dead? Me: he got shot. Son: why’d he got shot? Me: Hmm, I don’t More
20 Dec 2011
in finances, growing-up, Parenting, self-reflection, Traditions
Tags: Christmas preparations, Ebineezer Scrooge, holiday spirit, The Grinch
…Christmas. I feel a bit Ebineezer-ish saying so but something’s just off this year and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.
Since our kids are young —one just grasping the concept of Santa Clause, the other yet untainted by the truth—we’re still working out the details of Christmas in our house: how much is too much, what’s too little. We’re figuring out the finances of Christmas, establishing a dollar amount to spend on the kids and being creative with how Santa uses his portion (because filling a stocking gets expensive!) and what Mom and Dad do with the remainder.
Also because they’re young, or perhaps because we’ve sheltered them from commercialism, they don’t have many wants. Our daughter has asked Santa for just two things: a Sticky Mosaic More