A challenging relationship

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She tells me what to do.

I cringe and then go against her advice. While I appreciate her counsel, I think I know better what to do.

Forgiving me, she adjusts. Then she offers another piece of advice.

Again, I disregard it. I feel bad, but she just doesn’t understand the situation as well as I do. Is it me or is it her? Am I too picky, too pig-headed? Or is she giving bad counsel?

Without a word, she lets it go. Then she bravely offers more guidance.

I doubt its wisdom. So, I ignore her once again, wondering when she’s going to cut me off. Can she truly forgive me 70 X 7 times? When will I have gone too far? Will we pass a point when the relationship cannot be salvaged?

Undaunted, she suggests another course. Surely I will see the sense of her instruction this time.

I just don’t think she’s right, so I go my own way. Before she can reject me, though, I decide to reject her.

Siri, this just isn’t working out. I’m going to turn you off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mean Mom: middle school edition

In a few short months, my oldest daughter will graduate from elementary school and become a middle schooler. (Hold me.) In addition to all the perennial challenges of the junior high years—hormones, mean girls, a larger school, kids who party—we must figure out how to navigate social media and smart phones.

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How I prefer she spend her time. Outside, playing badminton.

For the first time in my parenting, I cannot look to my parents’ model or that of my wise friends with older kids. Even five years ago, smart phones were far less ubiquitous than they are today. My cabinet cannot help me here because when their daughters were in middle school, flip phones were socially acceptable. Snapchat hadn’t been invented.  Today, 50% of kids have smart phones in 6th grade and 90% have them by 8th grade.

Continue reading “Mean Mom: middle school edition”

Why I’m for school choice, as a special needs parent

With the revelation a year ago that our twin daughters have dyslexia, we joined the millions across the country who are parenting children with learning disabilities. We now know that our kids have special needs, and we must navigate the education system accordingly.

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The first day of kindergarten

We were shocked to discover that our public school could not help us with dyslexia. They were not even aware of the signs. For almost two years, we asked “Why are the girls having so much trouble learning to read? Why is this going so slowly and so painfully?” Neither their kindergarten nor their first grade teacher had answers. They told us to just keep working at home while they worked at school, and it would eventually click. It never clicked. In first grade, the girls started seeing the school reading specialist several times a week. We asked her, too. All she could point to was their anxiety about reading.

Finally, I grew suspicious and googled symptoms of dyslexia. The girls were textbook cases. An outside evaluation later confirmed this. Why had the teachers at school not seen this? As I talked with them about it, I learned that they had not been trained to spot dyslexia. Not even the reading specialist. How could this be? Research indicates that up to 15% of the population may be dyslexic, and yet public school teachers have not been trained to spot the signs? Even if only 5% of schoolchildren are dyslexic, that still adds up to 2.5 million children this year. Continue reading “Why I’m for school choice, as a special needs parent”

Making sense of the news in the Trump era

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The view from where I sit

Ten days in, it is clear that one of the main tasks of responsible citizens during the Trump administration is to distinguish facts from fiction, hysteria from reasoned analysis. This, of course, is always the task of a responsible citizen, but it becomes paramount with an administration happy to baldy lie about the most trivial issues and a media driven to hysteria by every move the administration makes.

As much as I wish Donald Trump were not President and as much as I doubt his competence, I am unwilling to assume that every single action he takes is abhorrent and wrong-headed. I have neither the emotional stamina to live in outrage for four years nor the confidence that continual panic serves the common good. Instead, I must sort through the facts, do my best to discern the truth, and then pick my battles. Which actions and appointees are tolerable, and which ones threaten our democracy?

Continue reading “Making sense of the news in the Trump era”

My kids’ top three “projects” in 2016

My children were as busy as worker bees in 2016. Grand imagination and poor engineering abounded. I’ve examined the photographic evidence and selected their top three “projects” of 2016. Points were awarded for inventive use of materials, realism, and tape quantity. In no particular order, I give you:

Camp Goesch

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Do you notice anything about this sign?

Perhaps that the children misspelled their own last name? They had been on summer break for one day at this point. Summer slide is real, people. Continue reading “My kids’ top three “projects” in 2016″

How Hidden Figures haunts me

I took my oldest daughter to see Hidden Figures last weekend—a remarkable story that is very well told. It has something for everyone. Math geeks, feminists, space enthusiasts, romantics, justice advocates, history buffs—all will appreciate this movie. My daughter enjoyed it as much as I did.

One aspect of the story haunts me. (Besides the analytic geometry.)  I am nagged by the question, How could all those well-meaning white people not see the injustice they were perpetrating on those African American women? Continue reading “How Hidden Figures haunts me”