The People’s Shorts: Raising Cargo Awareness

The People’s Shorts: Raising Cargo Awareness

It’s time someone stood up for functional clothing. It’s time someone spoke out against intolerance towards pocket aficionados. It’s time someone showed support for those who love to carry freight against their thighs. It’s time for someone to champion the cargo short. Every hour a pair of cargo shorts are tossed into a garbage bag and sent to a thrift store. They sit in a pile,...
Ten Parenting Duties I’m NOT Doing On My Break

Ten Parenting Duties I’m NOT Doing On My Break

After a week of childcare, I need a break. Often, I’m too tired to leave the house so I stay home and do my own thing, but this presents a challenge. Avoiding small children around the house is like trying to escape a monster in a B-grade horror film. No matter where you turn they will find you. To help me navigate around the house without getting sucked into my kid’s tractor beam, I created...
5 Stages of Moving With Small Children

5 Stages of Moving With Small Children

I love moving with small children. It’s no problem as long as you enjoy exploring new levels of exhaustion. I learned during our recent move that August is an ideal time. In the brutal heat, you will consider leaving your whining children behind. You will discover who you really are when you slam your thumb in the truck door. Make sure your mother-in-law or someone else you wish to impress is...
Why Parents Need To Play

Letting Loose In The Bounce House: Why Parents Need To Play

On Wednesday mornings, a few minutes before ten o’clock, my two-year-old son and I arrive at the YMCA. I restrain him from escaping my lap while wrestling off his shoes. Once free, he darts across the shiny floor to the bounce house. Small bodies scramble through the netted door, while screams echo off the cinderblock walls. A pack of children jump and tumble causing their arms, legs, and torso...
A Prayer for Parents of Small Children (no. 1)

A Prayer for Parents of Small Children (no. 1)

God, make me an instrument of thy patience. Where there is sleep deprivation, provide long uninterrupted naps. Where there is destruction, allow acceptance of messiness. Where there is frustruation, let me take deep breaths. Where there is terror, remind me life is fragile and never was under my control. Where there is defeat, remind me tomorrow is a new day. Where there is isolation, remind me...
Teaching Children to Value Kindness

Teaching Children to Value Kindness

Note:  This is my response to The Today Parenting Team challenge. The current challenge invites writers to answer the following question:  How do you teach your children to value kindness? If my son does not get accepted into Harvard or win a Pulitzer, I will not be bothered, but if he fails to become a kind person, I will be dissatisfied. I consider it my responsibility as a parent to keep...
Toddlers and Spiritual Lessons

Unexpected Teachers: Toddlers and Spiritual Lessons

I triple check stove knobs before leaving the house, recount pages in stapled assignments, and proofread text messages long after hitting the send button. At my worst, in the middle of the night, I lie awake debating whether or not I closed the garage door. My desire for control pervades my daily life; it ranges from stove knobs to completing tax forms to remaining hydrated. I desire control so...
Gourds, Gourds, Gourds A Motely Patch

Gourds, Gourds, Gourds: A Motely Patch

OOOOOOOOOHHH!” Henry yells. He beats on a smooth, brown-stemmed pumpkin like a bongo drum. Following his drum solo, he shuffles his toddler self to the next pile; his eyes widen and fists shake. Pumpkins! Pumpkins pepper the front lawn of J.T. Moore Middle School. Adults and children meander in the patch, while traffic hums from the nearby intersection. One knee after another, Henry ascends a...
An Open Letter to the Nashville Zoo

An Open Letter to the Nashville Zoo

An Open Letter to the Nashville Zoo: I tried not to like you. The only reason I visited you was for my toddler son, Henry. He needs to learn about the animal kingdom, and you are the only place nearby offering this service. What’s my problem with you? Truth be told, you depress me. Large animals held captive in confined spaces sadden me. Call me a “bleeding heart,” if you like. Free the...
8 Things NOT to Say to a Stay-at-Home Dad

8 Things NOT to Say to a Stay-at-Home Dad

Stay-at-home dads receive peculiar comments. Why? In the minds of many people, we remain a new concept. Despite a significant increase in men choosing to provide full-time care for their children, we are at odds with mainstream gender role expectations.  The comments and questions we encounter range from innocent to insulting. It never fails at the playground, grocery store, or doctor’s office...