Category Archives: parenting

Saying Goodbye

I can’t get used to saying goodbye to my daughters even though we’ve been doing it for the past 10 years. You’d think it gets easier, but it doesn’t. It still feels like the first time.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.*

At the airport, I watch families with their young children and try to remember what it was like when my girls were little. What I felt like. What I was doing at the time. What we weren’t doing. Was I even aware of the passage of time? 

When my kids were little I lived so much in the moment that there was no time to reflect on the fact that our time as a family was measured. Sooner than we were ready, we would have to let them go. Send them on their way. Wish them an abundance of everything, but especially of love, health and joy. 

They come through you, but not from you.* 


I nod and smile, a little teary-eyed nonetheless, because I know just how fast it all goes. How quickly time flies. How much I now miss the time when my daughters were little. They were always nearby. Did we take that time for granted? Sometimes, I wish I could go back in time. And, although I know that’s only possible in my memories, it is a bittersweet wish that has been gnawing at me lately more intensely than usual.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.*


If I could go back, what would I change? I would slow down more often. Talk more with my children. Worry less. Laugh even more because we did (and still do) an awful lot of laughing as a family. Slow down all the time. Spend less and enjoy it more.

This sounds like I have regrets, but I don’t. It just goes so fast. My oldest daughter is getting married this summer. It’s a big step for all of us; my baby is going to start a family of her own. I try to think back to when I got married and started my own family. It was beautiful, even with its ups and downs. Like most newlyweds and first-time parents, my husband and I really didn’t know what we were doing. It was trial and error most of the time with a big dose of instinct mixed in. It helped that we were in agreement about what doing the right thing meant. 

We raised two beautiful, courageous, amazing daughters and our son is following in their footsteps.

Still, and yet, my heart aches: can’t we keep them with us just a little bit longer? 

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, 
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.*


*Many thanks to Kahlil Gibran for his words of wisdom. I carry them with me wherever I go. Now that our family is growing, I reach out to his words for comfort. It is a wise reminder of what being a parent is really all about. 


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Filed under Kahlil Gibran, parenting, saying goodbye

Big Nate

I would have never predicted I’d be writing this post today.

But, I’m concerned.  
No.  I’m worried.

But, before I go any further, a little background information and a disclaimer.

My 7-year-old son, soon to turn 8, is very adept at the computer.  He uses it primarily for entertainment and can spend hours checking out YouTube videos of his favorite singers and actors, as well as creating his own videos using iMovie.  he is up on the latest movies and watches trailers of potential favorites.  He reads anywhere from 1 – 2 hours a day, on his own or with me.  He has read all of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, many times over, and is now on his second and third reads of the Big Nate books.

“So,” you are probably wondering, “what is the problem?”

Good question!

The problem is that my son has begun taking on the personna of the character Nate, in the big Nate books.  Nate, for those of you not familiar with this series, is a happy-go-lucky grade 6 kid who doesn’t do well in school mostly because he’s busy doing non-school things and blaming everybody else for his bad luck.

Now, I know Nate is a funny guy.  And, I know that Lincoln Peirce, the author of the Big Nate books, has written a tongue-in-cheek series.  Yet, it bothers me that my 8-year-old-son is talking about not liking math, for example, because Nate claims that ‘math is insanity’, ie. incomprehensible.  My son sees Nate as a funny guy who gets to go through his day in school as if he’s on a hit comedy show.  And, the series IS a hit with many kids as young as my son.

So, is this a problem with the books?  This particular author’s disregard for who his audience might be?  Or the ramblings of an overprotective parent?

Now, I’m not one to censor what my children read, unless, of course, the content is not age appropriate.  Until recently this wasn’t a problem.  And, when my son started reading the Big Nate books, I didn’t think it was a problem, either.  We devoured all of Mo Willem’s Elephant and Piggy books.  But now, my son’s reading tastes extend far beyond the typical grade 3 fare.

What do I do now that it’s too late to retire these books to the shelf until he’s older?

How do I counter some of the negative images he is internalizing from his favorite books?

Please know that I have tried reasoning with my son but that hasn’t always worked.  He’s curious and I’m not one to squelch his curiosity.  I worry that he’s being exposed to content beyond his ability to understand an author’s intention, including satire and sarcasm.  In an odd way, the book’s reality has become my son’s reality.

What do I do?  Am I worrying too much?  I would love to hear others’ thoughts on this.

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Filed under Big Nate books, choice, parenting