Category Archives: Smile

Stop bitching about how much better being a kid used to be

Being a kid in the 1970s, 80s or 90s was so much better than today, or so says countless essays, listicles and Facebook rants. We played in the street, stayed put until dark and used our imagination instead of iPads. Our parents were stern, but still gave us freedom to explore. We tell our own children of the good old days and wax poetic about how wonderful their lives would have been back then.

Raising children today can never be like it was. Society changes, values evolve, technology grows, new challenges emerge, etc., etc. Our grandparents grew up very differently from our parents, as did our parents from us. Our great grandparents may not have had much of a childhood because, back then, kids were expected to work at a young age.

Our ancestors are looking down on us and wondering what is wrong with us. Our kids are fortunate in so many ways. They are not suffering the burden of a Great Depression or the terror of a World War. And while, as a New Yorker, I do not discount the real fear of terrorism, the truth is, kids in the United States are safer than ever. Instead of bemoaning the fate of our children, let’s give them the childhood they deserve. Continue reading

Break the rules, not their spirits

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My mother often calls me, “Miss Law and Order,” not because I work in the legal field, but because, from a young age, I tended to always follow the rules. If my family played a game together, you can bet I observed everyone’s moves closely, lest they attempt to cheat. My mom, who is never one to just go with convention, would chide me for being no fun.

My innate desire for things to abide by a predetermined set of regulations regularly clashes with my desire to let my children engage in free play. I fight my urge to grab the instruction manual and shout, “No, this is how you do it!” Continue reading

Sitting back, waiting for my brows to be cool

I, like many of my fellow darker-haired gals of European descent, are “blessed” with being a little hairier then our fairer friends. Skipping a day between shaving is a no go, and you eagerly wait for the summer sun to naturally bleach your arm hair. 

Then, there’s the eyebrow dilemma. When you sport unibrow before the age of ten, you quickly become adept at the finer art of browshaping. Plucking was a daily ritual. I don’t know how many tweezers I have purchased over the years, but let’s just say the amount spent has helped keep many a drug store in business.

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Play in the rain

Rainy days were awesome at summer camp. We put on our least favorite clothing (hopefully for our parents’ sake),  find an open space in the middle of the field and plunge on to our bellies. Sliding through the mud we didn’t care how wet and filthy we became. We were kids having fun.

I’m guessing you have a similar story from your childhood. Remember how amazing stomping in puddles felt? The sound of the splashing water. The squishy sensation of your boats. The smell of rain. Continue reading

5 reasons why you need clear knee mom jeans

I’ve never been much of a trendsetter. And I’m certainly not keeping up with what’s on fleek now that I am a mom. Every once in awhile, though, something so awesome comes along to stop me right in my yoga pants.

Enter the “Clear Knee Mom Jeans” from Topshop.

Now, you may wonder why you should spend your hard-earned money on a pair of pants with holes covered by the same material your grandmother uses to protect her sofa, but, rest assured, this is $95 well spent.

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Photo Credit: Nordstrom.com

Here are five reasons you need these pants in your life.

1. Cleaning up after your kids. No longer do your knees have to suffer the sting of being jabbed by one of your tot’s Legos. These pants offer the kind of industrial protection you need for tidying up any playroom. Continue reading

5 Easy ways to add science to your preschooler’s day

My family spends much of our day outside, mostly to keep our two boys from climbing off the walls. On those days when the weather is too gross to be outdoors, I often turn to engaging experiments and projects to pass the time.

You don’t need much to spark the little scientist in your kid: just some objects you have around the house and some curiosity does the trick.

Here are five simple ways to get started:

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The conditions of our children’s love

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I love my children unconditionally. I imagine most parents and other caregivers would agree our children could do very little to lose our affection. They will test us, absolutely, but, we will remain steadfast in our devotion.

Our children earned our love the moment they entered our lives. They owe us nothing. They need not prove a single thing. We chose them. Whether by birth, adoption, or act of faith or circumstance. We asked for them, and they answered. We owe them our love.

And in return?

Nothing.

They owe us nothing. Continue reading