Find joy wherever the wind blows

Lil’ Shute

Actual birthday was very quiet because she had been running a fever and we kept her home from school. Party? Total opposite. Kind of a mad house with a dozen kids making masks, playing with toys, roasting marshmallows, and eating cake in a tent in the living room – but  everyone lived to tell about it and Maya ... [Read more]

Maya came down the stairs this morning and declared: "Mom, you have to measure me to see if I'm really 5." Photo by Siobhan Hanna Photography / All rights reserved Nearly-five has already been amazing us this fall with improved attitude and independence.   Still an avid drawer and artist with a significant attention span for ... [Read more]

To her playmate on the way to the swimming pool Thursday afternoon: "Want to pretend that you are 40? Cause that's really super old!" And on the way back home because I obviously had not understood the question the first time:  "No, no. How did "dad's name" and "mom's name" make "child's name" be born. ... [Read more]

Apparently, now that I've made yoga my job, I need a new hobby. Last week, Maya and I treked out to the suburbs in rush hour traffic (OMG, people do this daily?) and came back with these. Maya has been asking to play the violin for well over a year and we've been putting her ... [Read more]

If you're a DC resident with kids who hasn't made it over to a Prince George's County Sports & Learning Complex "gymnastics workshop," look up the schedule and and plan on it. At $6 per kid, adults free, it's a steal for an hour of free play on the equipment, trampolines, and foam pit. Play ... [Read more]

Excerpts from conversations with my 4-year-old after picking her up from school today: Maya: "Can I use my new pencil to do homework this afternoon?" Jen: "Sure." M: "Can you help me because I don't know what homework is?" J: "Do you want an example of how a knock-knock joke is supposed to work?" M: ... [Read more]

First strawberry, approx 8 mo.

Snap peas fresh from the market,
not quite 2.

Rainbow birthday cake, 4 yrs.

Evidenced by more than 600 comments so far, I've clearly struck a nerve with my Care2 post about allowing my hitherto vegetarian child to purchase school lunch, meaning meat. I've only read a sampling of those comments, but, as you can imagine, they range from cheering me on for empowering Maya's choices to condeming me for failing to provide moral guidance and being a pushover parent.

Help! My Vegetarian Child Wants to Eat MeatHelp! My Vegetarian Child Wants to Eat Meat


When I became a vegetarian at age 14, I was opting out of a food system I felt was cruel, corrupt, and environmentally harmful. Decades later I’m facing a dilemma that my 4-year-old wants to eat the lunches served in her school cafeteria, which means meat.

After 3 out of 5 of her packed lunches came back from school untouched last week, I was unable to get a straight answer out of my daughter on what she was eating. So, I checked in with her teacher after school. The teacher reported that Maya had been “forgetting” her lunch in her locker at lunchtime. Since the teacher could neither send someone to fetch the forgotten lunch nor allow one of her preschoolers to go hungry, she’d been procuring a cafeteria meal for my daughter. Apparently, Maya had happily consumed barbecue chicken, fish tacos, and possibly a cheese burger that week.

As we were talking, Maya took a moment out of playing with a classmate to declare “I don’t want to be a vegetarian. I want hot lunch.” to which the teacher remarked, “She’s an independent thinker, that one.” And that’s my dilemma.

Do I impose my preferences on my child or let her find her own way?

    Back in July, on a total whim, I purchased a Groupon for tea for 2 at the Mayflower Hotel in DC. The above photos were taken during and immediately following Maya's first fancy afternoon tea. My original intention for tea was as a birthday treat. But the end of October was so full ... [Read more]

1. Ann Marie Mulgrew & Dancers, 2. Human Landscape Dance, 3. Anne Marie Mulgrew and Dancers (2), 4. Funny Faces at the Folklife Festival, 5. Funny Faces at the Folklife Festival (2), 6. Slippery Dance Floor at the Folklife Festival, 7.Documenting the Haircut, 8. Yards Park Canal w/Daddy, 9. Yards Park Canal

Near-verbatum conversation from this evening: Maya - "Let's play sandwich. Let's play sandwich. You're the peanut butter and jelly and I'm the sandwich." Jen - "Ok. How do we play sandwich." M - "It's simple. You're the peanut butter and jelly and I'm the sandwich." After a demonstration. J - "Where did you learn this ... [Read more]


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