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Banning books

Why are books banned? “To foment anxiety and anger with the goal of suppressing free expression in public education,” concludes PEN America, a nonprofit that works to defend and celebrate free expression. “The freedom to read, learn and think continues to be undermined for students.” I read about “restricted reading” in the fall 2023 issue […]

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Be prepared

Before she was the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi was the mother of five. She had five children in the span of six years and one week. In her book Madam Speaker—Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power, Susan Page reports that Pelosi drilled into her children an unofficial family motto—“Proper preparation prevents poor […]

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A flood of kisses

Rebekah Taussig, writing in the May 24/May 31 issue of Time magazine, says that she has a tradition of giving her partner Micah and her son Otto a flood of kisses every morning when they leave the house. “I hope we are teaching Otto to be brave and also kind,” she writes, “to take good […]

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Be brave

Rebekah Taussig wonders how to teach her son to be true to himself. In the May 24/May 31 issue of Time magazine, she writes, “How do I teach him to be brave? To hold on to himself when the opinions of others are loud and everywhere.”

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Children in-person

Letters and cards are great. Phone calls are better. FaceTime and Zoom visits are wonderful. However, on Mother’s Day last year, I was miles from both of my children. This year, I spent Saturday, the day before Mother’s Day, with Jay and Rachel in Tulsa. Then, I got up early on Mother’s Day and drove […]

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A book for Mother’s Day

I just remembered a delightful children’s book called The Mother’s Day Mice. It’s a story by Eve Bunting about three mice children who decide to look for a present for their mother. One suggests a rock. Another suggests a daisy. “They’re nice, but not special enough for this special day,” says Little Mouse. Finally, Biggest […]

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Inherently good

“People at birth are inherently good,” says Chloe Zaho, the filmmaker. I am reminded of my friend who teaches courses in child development. Once, when we were talking about a politician who had done somethings we thought were reprehensible, she said, “I wonder about his childhood.” –Joy

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A little TV in your head

I remember when my daughter Mary Elizabeth read lots of Beverly Cleary books. I was sad when I heard that Cleary died recently, but I smiled when I read an obituary that mentioned a letter one girl wrote to the author. Reading, the girl wrote, is “like having a little television set in your head.” […]

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Rich in patience

If Shakespeare is right, I am rich—rich in patience, at least. “How poor are they who have not patience!” Shakespeare once said. I thought that I had learned patience—after decades of marriage and two children. But, this pandemic is making me much more patient. –Joy

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Learning patience

My son Jay and his wife Rachel, who got married last year, are in the process of buying a new house. They called this afternoon to tell us that they were getting impatient waiting for their realtor to call. “Do you know what will teach you patience?” I asked them. “Marriage?” my son answered. I […]

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