If you are a parent of a preschooler, you know that the number one thing on their to-do list every single day is to PLAY WITH YOU. As adults, we don’t have the freedom to play all day. Even the stay-at-home parent has to set aside a large portion of the day for taking careContinue reading “Ten 10-Minute Engagement Activities to do with Preschoolers”
The following story is 100% true. While I have truly enjoyed pushing my creative brain to write these flash fiction stories this month–and I have had great opportunity to use them to develop some background for my novel–this month has been a challenge to say the least. I needed the opportunity to get away for some “me-time” but in most cases, I forced that opportunity into my afternoon at the expense of spending quality time with my two little kids. A constant struggle for the stay-at-home mom!
I stare out the window of the car, watching the red trolley whoosh by, its horn blaring a dull warning.
“Is it winter?”
In front, my mom doesn’t answer. She’s pushing the buttons that make the sound come out of the speakers. I hear lots of noise, some fun music, and boring NPR. My parents always listen to NPR. They were so impressed when I learned how to tell Google to “Play NPR,” but now they just tell me, “Ok, that’s good, Ben, you don’t need to turn it on right now.”
Sam raised her face to the bathroom mirror and faced reality one more time. The red-rimming around her eyes had lessened but the puffiness was still there. Any remnant of her concealer had been rubbed off during her hasty attempt to dry her eyes on the walk over to the bar. The prominent dark circles under her eyes gave her the look of a loser in a boxing match. After shuffling around in her purse for a few seconds, she dug up a sticky tube of drug store concealer, along with a strawberry fruit strip wrapper and small green toy apatosaurus.
Children are so hard–so very hard–to take care of and in the last three years, I have realized I am way more selfish than I thought. When we had our first baby, I was so scared of the long nights, the tired days, and the screaming, crying baby.
Last September, I was driving down the freeway, listening to NPR’s Here and Now and they were interviewing a woman in her late 20s about why she is likely not going to have kids because of climate change. At the time, I was about 17 weeks pregnant with my second child and was caught a little off-guard. I consider myself an environmentalist but I had never questioned my decision to have kids. I felt a mixture of guilt, confusion, and, to be honest, a little bit of push-back against this fellow millennial’s opinion.
I grew up in the country. I used to pretend it wasn’t the country because I was worried people would think I was uncultured, a country mouse, or from “the sticks.” To my childhood friends, I would say, “we just live a little way out of town.” In my college years, I would just tell people I grew up in a small town in Minnesota, usually leaving out the part that it was not IN town.