The Kid Fire

Some years ago I attended a beach barbecue in Juneau, Alaska on a gray summer day. The adults drank beer in a ring around a fire where salmon collars sizzled and talked about the price of boats and politics. The kids ran in a mixed-age herd closer to the surf, clambering over driftwood and getting […]

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 […]

Book Review: The Informed Parent

Being a new parent is a lot like trying to land an airplane with an engine on fire: barely controlled chaos in which all kinds of people are yelling different ideas in your ears. None of it is all that helpful but no one is volunteering to take the controls either. How long should you breastfeed? How […]

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 […]

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 […]