Chasing Our Own Kind of Independence on the 4th of July

For me, the Fourth of July requires a series of pep talks, deep breathing exercises, and yoga poses that are supposed to open your chi or balance the yin and the yang or whatever. I’d feng shui the house if I thought it’d make a difference. From an outsider’s perspective, this holiday speaks all my love languages: grilling, swimming, setting things on fire. But because I’m not living in a Coca Cola ad, it’s what’s

How the Breezy Days of Summer Have Changed

Summer in the 80s. If I close my eyes I can smell the Hawaiian Tropic tanning oil and hear Henley’s “Boys of Summer” playing on a mixed tape by the pool. If I don’t look too closely at my thighs in my swimsuit, I can still picture the boy’s initials painted in neon zinc oxide to be washed away later, a tattoo in reverse. I still have my sunglasses with the plastic frames that changed

The Truly Accommodating Splash Park Every Special Needs Parent Should Know About

If Disney is the Magic Kingdom, this is the Magic Kingdom’s cooler sister. Morgan’s Island Water Park is the place where kids with special needs aren’t just included; they are ushered in with open arms and free admission. Yes, you read that right. All kids with disabilities get into this water-themed park for free, and that’s just the beginning of its charm. As the mom of a son with cerebral palsy, we know what “handicap

Kiddie Pool Digest #4: Camping for Geeks

When in comes to the great outdoors there are two types of people: those who rough it and those who glamp it. But what is summer without a good campout? Nature resets something in all of us that needs slowing. It’s a handy serving size of meditative contemplation and it reminds us what the world looks like on the other side of the window. Every kid needs to sleep in a tent, count the stars,

Thoughts on Hockey and Parenting: A Literary Review of Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Here’s a teaser from my latest book review on Literary Mama… “Fredrik Backman likes to make people cry. His writing does not punch the reader in the arm and run away, but instead pulls at the most delicate sensibilities, the ones that stay tender from childhood through old age. He covers the loss of a spouse in A Man Called Ove, the loss of a grandparent in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s

Letting Loose with God in the Summer (Sunday Thoughts Link Up #28)

MATTHEW 4:18-22 Jesus Calls His First Disciples 18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of

The Botox Boost: It’s Not Just for the Aging Anymore

I miss Dick Clark. I miss watching old re-runs of “American Bandstand” and ringing in each year with his New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. He was like a cordial but distant relation stopping by to wish me good cheer. He was always happy, or at least it seemed that way as the decades passed and that smile grew wider and brighter and tighter. Of course, that’s what plastic surgery and a steady regimen of Botox can

7 Ways You’re Getting Sunscreen All Wrong

When my brother was eleven he fell asleep in the sun. And the sun took him for all his money. When he woke, his arms were red sausages pulsing at the seams. A few days later, like a piece of fruit sweating in heat, he grew blisters from head to toe, including the bottoms of his feet. He dripped and oozed and peeled and winced his way through weeks of cold showers and no sheets.

Kiddie Pool Digest #3: Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Remember Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Eve” and all the crazy hijinks the sprites and fairies and humans got in to on that one crazy night? That’s the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. It’s a day to celebrate the rebirth of the sun and the end of our winter hibernation. So, on June 20th, the day before summer officially begins, get outside, loosen the reigns on bedtime, eat every meal al fresco, and

Things I’m Digging This Summer

I thought I’d take a minute to share what’s working for us this summer. All the kid stuff, the special needs stuff, and the me stuff (yippee, I count too!). I feel like summer is the season for randomness. At least it is in our house. Eat whatever. Do whatever. Sometimes we need a loosening of routines to know that there are other and maybe better ways for life to function (except bedtime, because you