Educating Girls

This post originally appeared on World Moms Blog February 8, 2015 as part of a three-part series supporting #aPathAppears and @SavetheChildren

malalaI have long been an advocate of girls education. It is something I want every girl, wherever she is in the world, to have access to. I deeply believe educating girls is a key piece to improving our world.

So when my daughter was born eight years ago, I committed myself to ensuring that she would always have access to and the support she needs attaining the best education my husband and I can give her.

But along with the paramount importance her education is to me, so too is her understanding of how valuable having an education is and how lucky she is to have safe schools and many choices available to her.

But how do you impart this on an eight-year-old? More

Advertisements

Enjoying the Journey

happy anniversaryBack in my early twenties, when the internet was still in its public nascency and using e-mail was pretty novel, I used a quote in the auto-signature of all my outgoing mail.

“Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.”

It was a quote I came across while preparing for a nine-month journey home from Japan, where I had been living for the past two years. As someone perpetually focused on the outcome, I am consistently guilty of “achieving the product but missing the process.”

I’m not a live-in-the-moment sorta gal. In fact, quite the opposite, I’m more of a busy-myself-in-the-moment-by-planning-for-all-future-moments kinda gal. So you can see how the concept of enjoying the journey as well as the destination would be a novel one for me.

I have since matured out of using this quote in my auto-signature but I continue trying to follow its mantra.

Today is my 10th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, DH and I took a journey.

More

Out of the Weeds

IMG_4155I have to move on from the somber subject of my last official blog entry here. There Are No Words was a cathartic piece to write but the experience of my friend’s loss rattled me more than I realized. As a result, I’ve spent much of the time between late November and now reflecting on the brevity and uncertainty of life.

It’s time to focus on the many positives that have occurred since last year’s tragedy. For one thing, my youngest child turned 5 (and the parents among us know that 5 is a huge milestone in the parenting world).

Once your youngest child turns 5, my husband and I refer to it as the point in parenthood when you finally get to “come out-of-the-weeds.” Five means we are just months away from full-day kindergarten, and isn’t sending your final child to kindergarten the chance to reclaim self again?

When DH and I brought our first-born home from the hospital in 2006, life as we knew it turned on its head. When your first baby comes home, everything in life has to adjust to a new baby. When your second baby (or third or fourth) comes home, the baby has to adjust to its new life as part of your family. More

Our Bags Are Packed And We’re Ready to Go

suitcasesIn fact, I’ve been halfway there since we booked our first, family overseas trip back in September. Because for me, one of the hardest things about settling down and starting a family has been, well, settling down…

Truth be told, I’d much rather be traveling the world, meeting new people and exploring different cultures, or at least still doing that WHILE having a family. Don’t get me wrong, the kid journey can be pretty amazing too but I’ve been eagerly waiting to have them participate in the bigger journey pretty much since I first conceived our daughter, 8 years ago.

Prior to that time, the world was an open road waiting to be explored. In our twenties, both DH and I did a fair amount of traveling in some pretty extreme locations, predominantly Asia but some in the Middle East too. We carried backpacks and our Angus MacGyver tool was the multipurpose sarong (which doubled as: a dress, a scarf, a sheet, a towel, a curtain). We thirsted for third-world travel, where we found life stripped away at its rawest and yet most complicated state.

Traveling became part of who we were and what drew us to one another, then also how we grew together. Now that we’re married, kids do the same thing for us. More

Couples Counseling

coupleLast year, I wrote about investing in your marriage in a post called Marriage Takes Work. It’s been a popular read and has generated a number of comments but that’s not why I wrote it.

I wrote it because I grew up surrounded by divorce and because my husband and I reside at almost opposite ends of the Myers-Briggs personality spectrum—I’m a sound ENFJ and he’s an ISTJ. If you’re curious about yourself, you can take a quick test here, (thanks Marisa Hopkins for the link).

DH and I entered into marriage knowing it would require our constant care. So last spring we enlisted the help of a clinical social worker and started Couples Counseling.

People have funny misconceptions about the term “counseling;” it often seems to connote that one is seeking counseling for something that is in trouble. In our case, we’re not in trouble, we just want to make sure we don’t lose our way. We’re not asking for help but rather seeking “guidance.”

Guidance to help us better manage the way we communicate with one another, guidance to bring up topics we didn’t know have the potential to evolve into challenges later, and guidance to prepare us for future hurdles that we may encounter along the way. More

Lois Lowry and Becoming a Writer

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

Seeing the World

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

In Memoriam

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’re probably familiar with my least favorite, family pet, Butterscotch.

What started off as enthusiasm for a cute and unique, (non-mouse) first-pet for our daughter, quickly evolved into a loathing disdain for a too-fast-too-hold, quick-nipping-nightmare of a rodent.

The divide widened when my daughter—whose only chance to bond with her pet was by sitting in a dry bathtub together while he darted around seeking an escape root—lost interest in the weekly cleaning of his cage and then abandoned feeding him daily rations all together. Guess who got saddled with hamster duty?

DH and I selected this pet for two reasons: 1. because our daughter desperately wanted two mice and this was as close as we could come to a mouse without the tail and infestation issues; and 2.  life expectancy for Robo dwarf hamsters is 1-3 years. More

Teaching Philanthropy

My oldest child turns six today. She’s a terrific kid. Perhaps one of her best attributes is that she’s not at all materialistic. I suspect this is because the only television she’s ever watched is commercial-free PBS so partly she doesn’t even know what’s out there to want.

Whatever the reason, out of all of the presents she’s received over the past five years—dolls, doll houses, Play Mobil figurines and sets, craft kits, puzzles, games—the toy she plays with most, in fact, almost every day, is a set of 10 colorful nesting blocks.

She does all sorts of things with them. They have deep social bonds and alternating pecking orders, depending on their size and number. And while it’s a marvel to observe her playing with them, it’s also discouraging to think of all the toys and things that don’t interest her.

Several weeks ago, I began thinking about and planning for her 6th birthday. People started asking me what she wanted and it occurred to me that I really didn’t know. In fact, it’s entirely possible that she really didn’t know what she wanted herself.

Then the idea dawned on me that maybe this year, instead of birthday gifts, people could help my daughter support a cause. But what cause? More

Being a World Mom

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

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: