Children Like Sand

Sand blowing and grains hurdling over each other, landing and knocking the next, is called saltation. This is how dunes move, not sheering chaos, but each grain effecting the other, billiard balls knocking each other down the line. Kids found that if they stood on a dune crest, there was so much saltation, sand blowing […]

Guest Post: Begging Babies

Two birdfeeders hang from the deck of my house in the woods, a waystation for locals and migrants alike. They are a locus of activity — except when I forget to refill them. That happened again last month. I grew too distracted by the daily feeding and maintenance of two small humans, both of whom […]

Why Am I Not There?

I’m not at the totality today, and it’s been gnawing at me. Between 1 and 7 million people are estimated to witness this swath of darkness across the middle of North America from coast to coast. I live about an eight-hour drive away, and I’ve heard totality is a mystical experience, once in a lifetime. […]

Guest Post: The Baby Equinox and Charles Darwin

On this year’s summer solstice, the longest day, my daughter is about to reach her own personal equinox. She has lived outside of me for nine and a half months, almost as long as she spent swimming in my belly. The milestone means she now belongs to the world more than to me. In a […]

Redux: Tesser Well

When I first published this post, my daughter was six. Now, she’s eight-going-on-nine, and halfway through the Harry Potter series. But on dark and stormy nights, winter or summer, she still feels the pull of A Wrinkle in Time—and I do, too. ______ It was a dark and stormy night. In her attic bedroom Margaret Murry, […]

Motherhood week: The saga of Bubbles LeMone

The night before I wrote this, I couldn’t sleep. There was a halfmoon beaming into my face through the windows, thrown open to diffuse the 90-degree heat that had collected like smoke in the eaves of my bedroom. There was my restlessness from poring through notes for a feature that I was trying and failing […]

Motherhood Week: Making Friends With Mister P.

My eight-year-old daughter is a fourth-generation perfectionist. In my family, the trait is matrilineal, so I know from firsthand experience that it has a few advantages. My daughter is likely to pay her bills on time and use semicolons correctly. She will not be intimidated by details. She will have a certain baseline competence that will make her […]

Creating With Nature: Ice Ornaments

If it is still freezing hard during the night where you live, you can try this easy and fun art project. Find some paper plates, cups, tupperware containers, anything with an interesting shape that you can get ice out of in one piece pretty easily. I like the paper plates because you can kind of […]