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After the Storm, the Calm

First, close the door as carefully as possible.  Now, let’s survey the aftermath. There is a dinosaur sticker clinging to the hardwood floor near the entry hallway, torn, folded in half, but sticking nonetheless.  A single, royal…
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Southbound Girls and Birthday Reflections

A landmark birthday roared past recently, one of those that bestows a zero digit on your age and thus cannot be ignored.  Even for those of us who aren’t given to ruminating about the terrors of aging, it’s hard not to contemplate the…
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Off to School: Ready, or Not?

In photos passed around at the office or posted proudly on Facebook, in conversations remote or at the coffee machine, whether about emerging kindergartners or newly liberated college freshers, the off-to-school transition has a universal…
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The View from the Next Booth

It’s a routine Sunday morning at my favorite neighborhood restaurant, the best place for breakfast in our part of town—that is, it’s best if you prefer to place your order while sitting at a table, to a seasoned grown-up who will bring…
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Things I Remembered on My Summer Vacation

It’s time to get back into harness after a perfectly delightful summer break, which included plenty of fun in the sun, some intriguing backroads exploration, and a restorative helping of lengthy naps.  There was lots of quality time with…
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Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer

The Scene:  Spring dance recital. The Location:  A clean, bright church in the heart of downtown. The Players:  Scores of dance students in assorted matching ensembles, ranging from restless, over-stimulated three-year-olds in tremulous…

Gift Wars: The Shopper Awakens

When seeking that perfect holiday gift for a child, the indulgent adult may step forward gamely with an open heart and wallet and the spirit of the season oozing from every pore. Yet even the most well-intended Giver may quickly be overwhelmed…
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Child-proofing: Another term for Don’t Kid Yourself

Quick! Twenty minutes on the clock. Go. Living room: Art pottery whisked off coffee table, stowed on top of fridge. DVR remote up onto mantle, same place each time, in fervent hope I can remember where to reclaim it. Embroidered throw…
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Zen and the Art of Negotiating with Toddlers

A brilliant, Harvard-trained Ph.D. who was teaching a business school class on negotiation that I attended not long ago added intriguing dimension to her lecture with an interesting personal anecdote. This insightful strategist, who consults…
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Going Home (Part 3 of 3)

The departures gate creaks open, admitting the mid-day sun and a puff of air into my stuffy front hallway and illuminating the piles of luggage and Absolute Necessities that travel everywhere.  The pile is crowned by the ragged and ubiquitous…
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The Visit (Part 2 of 3)

A good Girl  Scout or former camp counselor probably would have laid out a schedule, maybe even in writing, with proven estimates of time required for each activity, interspersed with breaks for healthy, pre-approved snacks.  Instead,…
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The Arrival (Part 1 of 3)

I don't know if you've ever been smack dab in the path of a tornado, as I once was, many years ago, but it's true what they say:  There's an unsettling, yellow-tinged calm all around, just before the maximum-force winds blast through.  That…
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