March On

The first time I ever saw a marching band I ran away and cried. The band wasn’t even really marching–it was cooped up inside a small music hall. Maybe that was the problem. The timpani and the tubas, trapped in a single room, were far too loud for a little kid’s ears. When I finally saw […]

Hug It Out

There are hugs, and then there are hugs. Am I right? Hugging is not one-size-fits-all. It’s a skill, partly innate, and not everyone has it. We all know people who are huggers, and people who just aren’t. There are also people who like to be hugged and people who curl away as a hugger approaches, even flinching a little […]

Motherhood: Indecision 2015

Three years ago, I wrote a post about having children. I was trying to decide whether I wanted one. I wish I could say that writing that post helped clear the fog of indecision, but that isn’t what happened. I continued to struggle and debate. And when that didn’t lead to a clear answer, I […]

Dreams of Monsters and Coconuts, Airports and Toilets

This is my last regular post for LWON. Thank you, readers, for indulging my ramblings about mushroom ice cream, eyeless crustaceans, and transit-chasing Frenchmen (not to mention my Canadian spelling habits). And thank you, fellow LaWONians, for letting me be part of your wonderful writing community. I’ll miss you guys. Lately, my dreams have been incredibly […]

Draw Me a Picture of Nature

The literary critic Raymond Williams once wrote that “Nature is perhaps the most complex word in the language.” It’s a head-scratcher right up there with love, or goodness: We depend on it for survival, but we’re often not quite sure where it is, what it is, or whether we’re a part of it. Jessica Mikels-Carrasco, […]

Snuggle Puppy’s Tell-Tale Heart

  In late March, my husband and I decided to adopt a puppy. We had our hearts set on a black lab mutt, and I had found the perfect one. All puppies make me go weak in the knees. But this one was a real looker — speckled paws, cockeyed ears, and seal-pup eyes.  As […]

Polio and a Father’s Certainty

A couple of weeks ago, I was researching the history of polio vaccination, and I stumbled across a photo that stopped me cold. There was Jonas Salk, the researcher who developed the polio vaccine we use in the US today, giving his son a shot. The caption reads: “Peter Salk receiving the inactivated poliovirus vaccine […]

Girl Swiping Finger on Screen

One of the annoying things about parenting is that experience is always ahead of science: Those of us raising kids today are dealing with circumstances, and dilemmas, that researchers will need years to understand. Maybe that’s why parents fortunate enough to afford iPads are fretting so much about how and how much our kids use […]