For most of us, pandemic parenting has tapped us and sapped us, drawing out our creativity and testing our strength and resilience. As we head into December and the winter ahead, here are a few articles that you might find helpful or, at the very least, hopeful.
Yesterday, my daughter left her favorite pair of shoes near the shoreline and didn’t realize it until after high tide had carried them away.
To help her work through her sadness, we began to imagine a new life for the shoes: as a shell for a hermit crab, as an unexpected catch for a lobsterman. We imagined one day, years from now, walking along the shore and finding her tie-dyed Crocs and laughing that they had finally come home.
Today, we found the shoes. Washed up, covered in seaweed. Her brother and I cheered. She shrugged. After a few minutes, she whispered.
“I’m kind of sad we found them. I liked the stories more than the shoes.”
On February 1, 1919, my grandmother Eliza Ellen turned four years old. Twenty days later, influenza stole away her mother.
My colleague, Katie Elrod, often reminds me that, “Practical wisdom is knowing what to do when you don’t know what to do.”
I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately as a parent. In light of the COVID-19 epidemic, how do we make wise choices? How can we be responsive instead of reactive? What do we do when we don’t know what to do?
This week, the world lost a mathematical pathbreaker. Katherine Johnson was one of NASA’s “Hidden Figures” – a brilliant mathematician who calculated the trajectory for the Apollo 11 flight. It was her precise calculations that got Neil Armstrong to the moon and back.
Ms. Johnson passed away on February 25 at age 101, and her extraordinary legacy as a female, African-American scientist will long outlive her.
Recently high school junior Neha Sunkara ‘21 spent weeks studying Katherine Johnson for a research paper. Neha is a student in Montrose School in Medfield, MA.
“She transformed the space race for America, but she wasn’t as well known until the movie Hidden Figures came out,” said Neha. “I want to be an astrophysicist, and sometimes I feel alone in my passion. Knowing someone else like Katherine Johnson is in the math world made such a big impact on me.”
In the bustle of the holiday season, here are a few good reads to help remind us of what matters most in raising kids and teens.
Middle school started on a rough note for me. I moved from the comfort of a neighborhood school to the city’s junior high which housed over 1000 students. I felt lost and scared most of the time.
Parenting can be equal parts amazing, lonely, and overwhelming. Here are three recent articles that offer some helpful nuggets as we try to raise good kids in a complicated world.
Many years ago, I heard an Oprah interview with the novelist Toni Morrison, who passed away in August. Morrison described how, when her children came into the room, she thought she was showing care by fussing over their appearance, “to see if they had buckled their trousers or if their hair was combed or if their socks were up.”
But that was not what they were looking for, she said. Instead, she offered a different measure for care, “Does your face light up when your kid walks in a room?” Does your expression say, I’m so glad you are here?