Monthly Archives: February 2013

You Don’t Have to be Fabulous

IMG_0685 I have four fabulous sons.  I have a mostly fabulous husband.  And at some points in my life I too might have been considered fabulous.

Recently I felt fabulous – momentarily – as one of my sons told me of a conversation with a friend of his.  “Your mom is intimidating. She is an impressive writer.” He quickly reassured her,  “Oh, she is not nearly so impressive unedited!”

According to Christmas letters and Facebook pages most all of my friends are fabulous. Continue reading

Talking to Boys about Girls

Talking boy helloFour times I heard the doctor say “It’s a boy!”  When Owen – the last – was born Andrew suggested that we trade him in for a girl.  He thought we already had enough boys.

I love having all boys, although at times I have wondered if they were at a disadvantage not having a sister. I worried that girls would be these puzzling and mysterious creatures.  Our choice of an all boys’ school for them added to my concern.

As with most things, I should not have worried.  Girls are puzzling and mysterious creatures, but that doesn’t seem to bother my boys in the least.  Thanks to church youth groups and two near-by girls’ schools, the boys have had plenty of interactions with girls.

In fact, it might be a good thing if girls were a bit more puzzling to my youngest.  After his first 7th grade social at a girls’ school, Owen came home saying “Mom, George and I were the bridge.”   He explained, “All the guys were afraid to talk to the girls.  George (another gregarious 4th child) and I would just go over to a group of girls Continue reading

War and Peas

strive mightilyA stunning new dining hall at my sons’ school features this quote from Shakespeare engraved in stone high on the front wall:  “Strive Mightily, but Eat and Drink as Friends.”  It is an appropriate quote for a school where the competition and camaraderie are strong threads knitting together a community that spans generations.

But sadly, all too often parents and children “strive mightily” at the family dinner table, instead of “eating and drinking as friends.”  Misguided efforts at control disrupt precious family fellowship.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

I am not one to just take the easy way out.  In fact, sometimes I think I approached parenting with the motto “There must be a harder way!“ as if the hardest way was always the best way.  No pain meds during labor, four sons in 5.5 years, cloth diapers, homeschooling – I did what I thought best for my children, even if it was hard.   Hard is not bad, just hard.

But in some areas, it seems that my husband and I took paths that were much easier than those chosen by many of our friends.  And we didn’t do it because it was easy, but because we thought it best.

Here is how we handled eating.  This worked well for us. Continue reading