Optimism-Breeds-Optimism

Today Is Crap, But At Least Tomorrow Will Be Worse

Costa Rica beat Greece in the World Cup to reach the quarterfinals. I was rather pleased about this. The very fact that Costa Rica was in the match was itself remarkable, coming out on top of a group that had considered the country their whipping-boy going into the event. And who doesn’t love a Cinderella story, right on back to David…

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Parenting as Performance Art

“Goddammit Ethan, just get out of the car, will you?” she shouts, her voice shrill and brittle with shards of exasperation and impatience. It’s 8:58 in the morning, and the woman needs Ethan to get out of the goddamned car and stop dawdling so that they can get into the school by 9:00. I’m standing next to…

aaronswartz

Schooled by a Schoolgirl

A teenage girl just taught me something important. We seem so focused on what we should and can and must teach our children that I guess sometimes we forget that they often have lessons of their own to impart. Two of my seemingly innumerable nieces and nephews recently came to stay with us, on a…

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What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Kids are forever being asked this question, and the responses are often amusing, occasionally heart-breaking, and frequently implausible. (What percentage of the population, after all, is going to become a pop star, a professional athlete, or a famous actor?) So. Do you remember what you said when you were asked this question as a kid? Chances…

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Scavenger Hunts and Cupcakes

I’m a total sucker, perhaps. I get a lot of emails through the ‘contact us’ link on the blog, and they’re all more or less the same. “I came across your blog and really love the content. [Ah yes, the unnamed 'content.'] I’m an aspiring [writer/blogger/editor/cat fancier/pedophile] and was wondering if you would be interested…

eggs

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Egg?

You’re not going to believe this. We won that thing!  If you’ve read our last post, you know exactly what I’m talking about. We had a bit of an Easter egg decorating fiasco, in which my desire for my son to win a competition at his school ultimately lead to misery, ruination, and karmically-accursed eggs. Well,…

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The Best Laid Plans of Eggs and Men

It all started idyllically enough. I picked the boys up from school, I briefed them on the great fun we’d be having, we went for a stroll along a country lane bordered by vineyards and olive groves. Late afternoon sun slanted. Lizards scuttled across sunlit stone walls. We picked blossoms and interestingly-shaped leaves, laughed, chatted. What…