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In Her Shoes

Preface September 1976 “C’mon Meg, you can try this pair on!” I was in 2nd grade and my family and I had just moved to Islamabad, Pakistan. For the first two weeks, we lived with another American family from Arizona until our own accommodations were ready. To my delight, they had two daughters, a girl […]

We Are All Different

Preface   September 1977 “I’ll do it. I’ll take Snowball home.” It was the first day of school, and my teacher, Mrs. Applebee at Yankee Ridge elementary in Urbana, IL had just surprised us with our class pet, a fluffy white bunny.  She informed us that each weekend throughout the school year a student would […]

To Thine Own Self Be True

In 2017 the Chinese Horoscope includes the Zodiac sign of the Goat. The Goat has the qualities of her defects, and the defects of her qualities; she’s very intelligent, insightful and visionary. Though the Goat may seem weak at first, she’s actually robust, especially when it comes to defending her own interests. Naturally charming and […]

A Chance To Be Heard

Preface   September 1970   “Let me see what I have.”  If I had been old enough to speak, never-mind understand what my father was saying, I might have found it intriguing that he was speaking to a group of homeless Iranian “beggars” as they were known. But I was only eighteen months old that […]

Thoughts Inspired by the Copacabana

Redeem: To free from what distresses or harms or atoning from a mistake. The act of making something better. —Merriam-Webster.   Preface April 2013 “What do you mean you won’t go to the pool with me, Larry? Weren’t you on the swim team in high school?” Despite the fact that the question was directed to […]

My Own Jeckyll and Hyde

Preface February 1976 “We’re gonna Zoom-Zoom-Zooma-Zoom…C’mon and Zooma-Zooma-Zooma-Zoom!” I stared at the kids jumping up and down singing with their arms swaying, wearing red and blue striped shirts. Although I was only seven, we had just returned from living in Israel, Afghanistan and Iran. Within a year I would learn of our forthcoming adventure in Islamabad, […]

We Got This

Preface   January 1978 “I don’t think you should try that.  You don’t have ten fingers!” I was nine, standing next to my older brother Peter at Orchard Downs.  Peter was older by fifteen months. Nearby, at the bottom of the hill stood our parents, with our younger brother Teddy between them.  They waved for […]

Best of the Flaunters 2016

We all start out so unabashedly unashamed.  Whatever makes us unique, different, special we regard without concern; we flaunt without a care. Then, we (or our child) change.  Someone.  Somehow. Sometime.  Something.  We find ourselves thrust into the world of judgment, or painfully watch as our children face the same.   Does it happen to us […]

Jumping To Judgment

Preface   October 1990 “Congrats, Jennifer! You won! You won!”  The outburst came as soon as the vote was counted by my fellow Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority sister who then turned to me with a sympathetic face. “Hey, no worries–congrats on the Public Relations chair Meg!”  I turned around and saw a room filled with […]

Taking a Stand to Sit

Preface    September 2013 “How was it at the nut-free table today, Savanna?”  Our youngest of three had just begun elementary school. Although we were all collectively excited by her new experience as a 1st grader, it was the first school that she had ever attended that allowed students to bring meals that included nuts. […]

Stay Gold

Preface September 2009 “Oh I’m so sorry….I didn’t know.” It was a brilliant day, at least as far as the weather was concerned. My husband John and I had decided to take our young children to their favorite playground called “Castle Park” in a nearby town. The park was crowded with other mothers and fathers […]

The Honesty Project

Preface   September 1980 “Er, sure I love to skate. I guess I just don’t feel like doing it now. I’m just gonna watch.  Maybe I’ll join in later.” I had just been dropped off at a roller rink in nearby Savoy, IL, only about 15 minutes from my home in Urbana.  My friend Maia […]

To Love Well

Preface September 4, 1965 Marvin Weinbaum was sure it was the same girl he had seen the prior day at the lake. In the instant he first noticed her at breakfast, Marvin thought to himself, “Now there’s a very attractive girl.” Although they both hailed from New York City, the setting near Lake George was […]

Beyond the Basics

Preface   January 1969 “But will she be able to write?” I was only a few hours old, and father was outside in the hallway with the physician who had just delivered me. My arrival was without question a shock to my parents. And, while the medical staff had certainly seen their share of “it […]