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 […]

Guest Post: On Walden Pond, On Election Day

  After casting my ballot on Election Day, I took my two young daughters and my father, who was visiting from Wisconsin, to Walden Pond. It was a sunny fall day, unseasonably warm for November in Massachusetts. We splashed and played and collected stones, and as I watched my girls run free on the sand, […]

Redux: I’ll Miss You Summer

Damn you, carefree summer, for being such a fleeting thing! Trading you in for homework and sports practice and band performances…the season of school and tight schedules can be hard on bodies and souls. Parents may suffer the most, according to Niki Wilson in her lovely post from last September–now part of this special summer […]


When I was six I had my very own windmill. At least that’s what my dad told me. We were driving to camp through Altamont Pass, which held one of the first wind farms in the country. He squinted up at the golden hills and pointed. “There,” he said. “That’s the one.” Later, he explained […]

One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy

My five-year-old insists that Bilbo Baggins is a girl. The first time she made this claim, I protested. Part of the fun of reading to your kids, after all, is in sharing the stories you loved as a child. And in the story I knew, Bilbo was a boy. A boy hobbit. (Whatever that entails.) […]

Bridge to somewhere

I love the back-to-school photos I’ve seen in the last few weeks. Whether kids have combed hair or messy bed head, new backpacks or hastily-thrown-together lunches, first-day ties or old t-shirts, their back-to-school smiles fill up more than just my Facebook feed. I’ve caught the hopeful feeling that I usually miss, being out of school—that […]

Why did the boy throw the butter out the window?*

Right now, the butterfly might be coming out. Or it might not. On Thursday, my son’s preschool teacher said that Friday would be the day. On Friday, she said she hoped it would wait until Monday. She and the kids have been marking off the days since the monarch caterpillar stopped munching milkweed and spun […]

Teach Your _____ Well

When I was a teenager, my dad installed a timer on my bedroom light. After 45 minutes, the light would flash a few times. Then, darkness. My dad was tired of me falling asleep with my light on. It was such a waste of energy. This, he said, was the perfect solution. I started thinking […]