Imagine this: a toddler melts down in the middle of a grocery aisle. The toddler’s mother is taking deep breaths, staying as calm as she can, wrestling her screaming child back into the cart while silently praying that no one will notice.
But of course someone does notice, and it’s a middle-aged woman with grown children of her own, and she chooses that exact moment to offer relevant, timely and helpful words of advice to the struggling mom before proceeding on her merry way.
“You’re going to miss all this someday, you know.”
The young mother isn’t me. I had…
Chelsea L., 8:45 PM
Hey guys, I could use some help. Leah (18 months) used to go in her crib at 7:30 every night, after her normal bedtime routine (read stories, brush teeth, diaper change, pajamas, and a lullaby) but for the past few nights she’s been kicking and screaming like a banshee and doesn’t want to go to bed no matter how late it is! I don’t think she’s sick — she just doesn’t want to stop playing and go to sleep. Any advice?
Bridget M., 8:46 PM Sounds like your routine may not be enough to let her…
October 15th, 1895
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Blythe,
We have received your letter of the 12th, threatening a lawsuit due to the recent physical assault of your son on our school grounds. We wish to offer our deepest apologies. The Avonlea School Board does not condone violence among any of our students, especially not of the type that threatens the possibility of a concussion. We offer our sincerest wishes that your son Gilbert will make a speedy recovery following the breaking of a writing implement onto his head. …
This afternoon I held my son, snuggling and squirming, tight on my lap. This afternoon, I streamed live NPR coverage on my phone and heard a verdict of guilty — guilty — guilty in Derek Chauvin’s murder trial for the death of George Floyd. This afternoon, I felt a trickle of tears as I squeezed my confused baby tighter, crying for the Black mothers who will never hold their own babies again, babies who grew up to be men like George Floyd, killed by men like Derek Chauvin.
That this jury declared Chauvin guilty on all three counts for which…
I considered titling this piece, “Ma Ingalls Would Have Fed My Homemade Butter to the Pigs,” in honor of the first installment of this loosely-defined series, but decided that was unnecessarily self-deprecating, as well as inaccurate on two counts. 1) The butter I made in my kitchen today is too edible for someone as thrifty as Caroline Ingalls to designate as pig slop, and 2) as far as I know, the Ingalls family never actually kept pigs in or around any of those little houses on the prairie.
Last year, as quarantine days were just beginning, I wrote a piece…
I’ve started a draft of this article a dozen different ways, and I still don’t know how to begin.
Maybe that’s because I still don’t want to acknowledge what I’ve witnessed.
We’ve crossed the threshold of another year clouded by the COVID-19 pandemic. A disease that has killed nearly three million people worldwide (at the time of this writing) is still very present among us.
And yet, if you go by the behavior, rhetoric, and social media postings of many American Christians, the coronavirus is nothing but a hoax. A scam. A conspiracy to silence and inconvenience them.
Those who review books professionally may attempt to make their study of the text “all things to all people,” and yet, as I read book reviews and absorb other people’s ideas about what they have enjoyed, I prefer the deeply personal and highly subjective. This exploration of the fifth book in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s classic Little House on the Prairie series, which I wrote a few years ago for my blog, is both deep and high in those categories aforementioned, and I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.
My husband and I bonded over shared meals. Even in our dating days when I cleaned offices and he was working part-time in warehouse logistics, part-time driving delivery, we scraped together restaurant money. We held hands, drank water, and sat for hours at a time at a table for two, nursing sandwiches, fries, and cheap pizza.
When he started working his own delivery route and staying out late every night, I began meeting him after work in a nearby parking lot, bringing a packed dinner. …
Beware, all ye who enter here: writing advice, life lessons, and a universally applicable moral directive will not be found roundabout these parts. This post is about me and what I wrote over the last 365 days.
See, if I call it self-indulgent, you can’t jump in the comments and make me feel bad by calling it that, because I already did. #Strategy
One year ago today, I wrote my very first Medium post.
In my naivete as a brand-new writer, of course, I had no idea that there were probably a hundred iterations of this general theme published that…
Fashions, poses, locations, and subjects vary widely in nineteenth-century photographs. Pioneering American photojournalist Matthew Brady shot his historic images on Civil War battlefields, while British portraitist Julia Margaret Cameron shot artfully posed studio scenes and dreamy close-ups. But one common thread runs through the vast majority of “old-timey” photographs: the subjects are almost always somber, staid, and unsmiling.
The most frequently quoted reason that I have heard for this phenomenon cites the long exposure time needed to produce early photographs. It is much easier to hold a solemn pose with relaxed facial muscles for a long period of time than…
Historical costumer, fifty-cent-word purveyor, aspiring humorist, and Oxford comma fan. History, books, & musings of a new mom. Twitter: @sewistwrites