Birthday parties: why do it this way?


At least once a month, I see an article about de-cluttering your home. Beleaguered moms give advice on how to reduce the number of toys you possess. We tout the value of simplicity and the wonders of minimalism. Marie Kondo is trying to teach all of us the “life changing magic of tidying up.”

So, given that we all seem to be fighting this battle against excess clutter and toys, here is my question. Why is gift giving still a necessary part of every childrens birthday party (at least in the middle and upper classes)? In my ten years of parenting in three different communities, I have only rarely received an invitation that said “no gifts, please.” And we all know that when this is not explicitly said, then a gift is expected. Continue reading “Birthday parties: why do it this way?”

Who is truly pro-life?

Recently, this cartoon showed up in my Facebook feed:

This is a popular axiom, this idea that the 44% of Americans who identify as pro-life care little about life after birth. So, let me ask: is it true that pro-life supporters are heartless prudes who are concerned only with fetuses but not with the lives of children in poverty, struggling single mothers, and other vulnerable members of society?

In my experience, this is far from true.

Let’s begin with the assumption — invariably held by those who post this type of cartoon — that government action is the only way to care for human life. Continue reading “Who is truly pro-life?”

Life with Twins: a story in pictures

From the early years with our twins, we noticed a funny pattern. Every six months or so, our daughters would go through a wrestling phase.

We would hear giggling from another room, and when we went to investigate, we would find them sprawled out, laughing and taking turns pinning each other. They would do this repeatedly over a couple days, and then forget about the activity for awhile. Until the next round, four or six months later.

It started like this:


Continue reading “Life with Twins: a story in pictures”

Exploits of the Imaginative Child (or Why I Need Therapy)

I think I need art therapy.

No, not the kind where I do art in order to explore my feelings. The kind where a professional helps me cope with all the “art” that is created in my home every day. I have plenty of feelings to explore about that.

Why might I need such therapy? For one, I found this art installation on the floor of my office the day after I cleaned it:


Continue reading “Exploits of the Imaginative Child (or Why I Need Therapy)”