Read it and Weep, or What Have We Wrought?

“The Overprotected Kid: A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer…”  (The Atlantic, April 2014) The gap between what people fear (abduction by a stranger) and what’s actually happening (family turmoil and custody battles) is revealing. What has changed since the 1970s is the nature of the AmericanContinue reading “Read it and Weep, or What Have We Wrought?”

Treading Water: or, The Deep End

This is it, then.  The lovely nutmeat of the summer.  The musty smell of tomatoes pulled from the vine; the scent of sun-baked dirt before the afternoon’s rain storm.  Sweat that teases the hair at the nape of Elder Girleen’s neck into tendrils; the beautiful, enveloping ache of refrigerated air when we finally get theContinue reading “Treading Water: or, The Deep End”

The End of the World as We Know It?

So… Elder Girleen’s elementary school is holding a Walk to School Day next month. Because… Well, you know.  Kids don’t.  Walk to school. We don’t.  Our excuse:  we live 2.14 miles from school, and there’s no bus (another story).  I tell myself that if we lived only a tenth of a mile  from school, we would,Continue reading “The End of the World as We Know It?”

In the Trenches

Mildly (it’s to be hoped) entertaining anecdotes about squirrels and cupcakes set in playgrounds aside, I’ve spent a heck of a lot of time in City of Atlanta parks this summer, and being in such places has made me think. About what? Oh,  among other things …  littering; our tax dollars; how children socialize andContinue reading “In the Trenches”

Food For Thought…

First grade.  Those first few weeks as the family transitions back into the school year schedule can be a killer.  Elder Girleen has bags under her eyes like she’s been cramming for a final, but honest, Ms. M the First Grade Teacher, she’s in bed by eight!   Last night, though, I know she wasContinue reading “Food For Thought…”

Cooperation/Corporation, Continued

Spring has sprung here in the ‘hood. Painting crews are blasting conjunto music while they scrape and prep houses in a repainting ritual that seems to take place every spring. The lenten roses, green belles of the early spring ball, are laden with demure blossoms. The Bradford pear trees are a confectionary of exploded cottonContinue reading “Cooperation/Corporation, Continued”


Part One Mornings when I take Elder Girleen to school, I usually hang around for fifteen minutes for Morning Meeting, a daily occurrence that involves 360 drowsy kids with sleep still in their eyes sitting criss-cross applesauce on the floor of the auditorium for a couple of announcements, a song or two and a factualContinue reading “Cooperation/Corporation”