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
28 Mar 2013
in creativity, growing-up, self-reflection, survival skills, Writing
Tags: Hallmark, Kevin Dooley, Life Coach, turning 40, Writing Coach
What do you want to be when you grow up?
No, really. What do you want to BE?
Because, let’s face it, whatever you’ve been doing in your twenties and thirties, probably isn’t what you still want to be doing in your forties and beyond. (If it is, congratulations, you can stop reading now because you are way ahead of the pack).
I know this is true because in the past few years I’ve been watching friends and acquaintances around me turn 40 and each time, within months of their birthdays, many of them have initiated one type of major life change or another. Some of them have changed careers; some have started families; some have ended marriages; and some have finally worked on turning their dreams into realities.
Forty is reality.
It’s time to take charge of life rather than allowing life to take charge of us. Out with what society expects of us; out with what we’ve been groomed to do or be our whole lives…what is it YOU want to be?
24 Oct 2012
in education, Friendship, growing-up, self-reflection, Writing
Tags: dystopian society, great writers, Heather Kelly, Lois Lowry, Son, symbiosis, The Giver
Kyla and Heather get Lois Lowry to sign a copy of The Giver
A little over a year ago, DH made a new friend. It wasn’t a friend for him,it was a friend for me. Her name was Heather Kelly.
DH met her on our daughters’ kindergarten playground. Luckily, in the way children either become fast friends or sworn enemies, our daughters were instant pals: my exuberant, over-the-top, Type A with Heather’s quiet, shy but equally headstrong Cowgirl. It took the moms a bit longer but resulted in a friendship with far greater symbiosis.
Heather has been the jumper cables for my childrens book writing aspirations and I’ve helped hone her athletic pursuits. It’s a very positive and supportive friendship, the type that enhances ones well-being rather than detracts from it in the way that friends you just share vices with do.
The pursuits we share (sports and children’s literature) make us better people. Neither of us depends on the other for inspiration nor survival—like the symbiosis between plant and animal found in lichen—rather, we are motivated toward our mutualistic pursuits just by spending time together and encouraging each other.
Which is why it strikes me as particularly ironic that one of the galvanizing pieces of our friendship is founded on a dystopia, conjured in the mind of Lois Lowry. 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
15 May 2012
in self-reflection, survival skills, Teaching moments, Writing
Tags: achieving goals, blogging, Edited to Within an Inch of My Life, Elizabeth Kostojohn, Heather Kelly, NaNo, National Novel Writing Month, PiBoIdMo, Picture Book Idea Month, practice, Slightly Wonky, World Moms Blog
In addition to my sporadic writing on this blog, I also write (and edit and work) on another blog. It’s a fascinating blog, which mainly focuses on travel and parenting issues around the world. Even though I’m on the site several times a week, editing other writer’s posts, I only get to publish my own articles about once every 6-8 weeks.
Since I have a post running on that blog next week, I sat down to write. I chose the topic: children and discipline. As I got into the article, writing about how important discipline and enforcing rules is in our house, it occurred to me that I’m not very good at practicing what I preach and I started to wonder why that was.
It’s times like these where I really wish I had taken more psychology classes in college or understood more about what makes people tick. More
29 Mar 2012
in divorce, Marriage, self-reflection, survival skills
Tags: being proactive, broken home, compatibility, Gary Chapman, marriage counseling, Myers-Briggs personality test, Obama Care
Eleven years ago, I met my husband.
It happened at a tawny Christmas party in downtown Boston, fondly referred to as the “Tweed and Pearl” party. There wasn’t a great deal of diversity at this gathering, save the variety of Kate Spade bags, so when a tall Asian guy walked into the room, he immediately caught my attention. The party host later introduced us and we discovered we had a lot in common, from taste in music to world travel and future ambitions, we hit it off…of course, the open bar helped a bit too.
Compared to my past long-term relationships, DH was a shining star. I continued to believe that we had more in common than in contrast for quite some time. In fact, I believed it all the way through our engagement and right up to the third-week in to our premarital course, when we took the Myers-Briggs personality test to determine compatibility.
DH and I came out almost completely opposite, I was an ENFJ to his ESTP (and his E was only on the cusp of extrovert and introvert; mine was a no-contest). I was shocked!
But this wasn’t our first red flag. More