Rethinking perfect

Parents with a difficult child should work toward “appropriate and successful behavior patterns 80 percent of the time … ,” writes Ronald Federici in Help for the Hopeless Child. “Sometimes families expect perfection, which is a totally unrealistic expectation.” I had just stumbled onto this blurb on Amazon, but it stopped me cold. I wondered, had I been putting unrealistic expectations on our son? I have always had … Continue reading Rethinking perfect

Where spring throws off her shirt

I’ve called the Pacific Northwest home for nearly a decade, and yet its version of springtime still shocks me. I come from Minnesota, where spring follows sepia-toned winters, gray skies and brown landscapes that give way to white skies and white landscapes. Now and then these scenes are punctuated by periods of pure yellow sunshine that emanate from heavens of brilliant blue, turning ice-encrusted trees and snowdrifts into piles of diamonds. Western Washington winters … Continue reading Where spring throws off her shirt

School off the grid

Abandoning the local primary school was not part of our plan. But after watching our son spend a school year buffeted between his home room and various pullouts intended to bolster his speech, fine motor, reading, math and social skills, we — and he — had had enough. To be clear, our public school team was well-meaning, but the more supports they arranged for our son, the more fragmented his days and his learning became. This for … Continue reading School off the grid

Lemon-aid

I love reading (if not using) health tips, and last week’s newsletter from  from Yoga Download brought me something I could implement with ease: a hot lemon water drink in the morning. The lovely ladies promoting this habit suggest it will make skin glow, keep colds at bay and bring an energy boost, among other things. What could be better? They write: “This has become a meditative morning ritual for us, and as we … Continue reading Lemon-aid

Adventure writing for the rest of us

When I spent a year or so as an Outside magazine subscriber, the most striking thing I learned was that I was not a member of its target demographic. For those who haven’t seen this mag, I’ll tell you that the cover generally features an uber-fit young guy doing something, well, active. (Outside’s tagline is “Live the Active Life,” after all.) One cover features a fully dressed guy under water, ostensibly … Continue reading Adventure writing for the rest of us