The window at my kitchen sink gives me a bird’s eye view of the happenings on my street. Recently, I witnessed a scene fit for a Norman Rockwell painting. Five year old Owen was side by side with the gardener, mowing the front lawn. Two guys pushing the mower. And it wasn’t just for a minute or two, as together they mowed the entire front grass field. My heart swelled. Not only did this guy have to be the world’s greatest gardener, but little Owen was one hard working and very happy boy. What … [Read more...] about Right in Your Own Yard– A Blog for Father’s Day
Sleep-Away Camp Separations
Way back in February you sent in the deposit. Sleep-away camp, here we come! It was going to be fantastic—swimming in the lake, roasting marshmallows by the campfire, pillow fights in the cabin. Just weeks before opening day, your son’s excitement fills the air. I get to go away for two whole weeks! No school! No chores! No sister getting on my nerves! No parents to bug me! Then, as you’re ironing on the last of name labels, he wanders in and quietly asks, “What if I’m homesick?” Reality … [Read more...] about Sleep-Away Camp Separations
Is It Time For Sleep-Away Camp?
On a cold, February day it’s hard to believe that it's time to start thinking about summer programs. It’s also the time when I receive a barrage of questions about sleep away camp. Most commonly, what is the right age for a child to go to sleep-away camp. The good news is that there are no rules about when and if a child should go to sleep-away camp. It is only common sense that reigns. In fact, often it is the parent who has more trouble allowing her child to go than the child not … [Read more...] about Is It Time For Sleep-Away Camp?
“Mother always liked you best” claimed Tommy Smothers of the old comedy duo of the 60’s and 70’s, The Smothers Brothers. They were comedians, but that gag struck a chord, as the audience laughed and cried at the same time. “Who do you love the most?” No matter how it comes out, every child who has a sibling wonders and worries about which child plays the starring role in his parent’s heart. Favorites are tricky business, and the topic has a lot of press recently. In both a study … [Read more...] about Playing Favorites
Life is Full of Separations
The emails were all the same: “I just can’t stop crying…my daughter hasn’t even been gone for 24 hours, and I miss her already.” wrote the mother whose ten year old was off to sleep away camp for the first time. “The house is so quiet. At first I loved it, but now I am so ready for him to be home,” confessed the mother of a nine year old boy off to two weeks at camp in the mountains. You wonder if your child is really ready for sleep away camp, when the question really should be, are you … [Read more...] about Life is Full of Separations
Leave the Babies Alone?
It’s hard not to love the movie Babies. That’s what I chose to do for my Mothers’ Day observance. It was kind of like eating chocolate… all good! There were none of the not-so-fun parts of babies, like colic and diarrhea and sleepless nights. Just one oooo and ahhhhh after another. But the cute is not what stuck with me. Several days later, I am thinking about the stark contrast in the way the Japanese and the American babies were parented compared to the African and Mongolian babies. The … [Read more...] about Leave the Babies Alone?