Dear Lonely Mom of Older Kids

Remember when it was easy to post photos of your adorable baby, or messy toddler on Facebook? Remember how you could publicly bemoan sleepless nights, and kids pooping in the bathtub? How your fridge was full of magnets and fingerpaintings that were impossible to tell what they depicted? You could talk to your friends during playgroups, and get support during those naughty tantrums? Remember how you could Instagram just about any part of the chaos and it was still cute?

It’s not that easy anymore.

It’s hard to snap a photo that your middle schooler will approve of you posting on Facebook. You don’t really want to share about your son’s behavior when you take away the Xbox. You can’t really talk about the grades – good or bad – because your kid will be mad that you overshared. Your sleepless nights are caused by worry, not teething. You wonder about the influence of peers, not playgroups. Toys are now cars and electronic games.

There isn’t a lot of cute in the chaos. Instead, there is acne and braces and attitudes.

It can be a lonely time.

Oh, yes. There is a lot of joy, of course. You wouldn’t trade your kids for anything. But you just want to know that everything is going to be alright. That they’ll turn out ok. That they’ll grow up and make good decisions and all your hopes and dreams for them will come true.

And where are the other moms?   (more…)

Paul Revere’s Ride in Context

By Adam Andrews


When our kids were little, Missy and I used to read them Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem about Paul Revere. It’s a great poem—a classic by any definition. We particularly like how the poem’s imagery takes us back in time, and we imagine ourselves in the Boston hinterland on the 18th of April, 1775, as Paul Revere rides out to warn his countrymen of the British threat. Even the rhythm of the piece recalls a galloping horse:

LISTen my CHILDren and YOU shall HEAR
Of the MIDnight RIDE of PAUL reVERE.

In all the years that I read it to my children, I had never thought to ask them what Longfellow’s poem was about. It went without saying, I suppose. It’s about the American Revolution, of course. It’s about the famed Minutemen of Massachusetts and their heroic battle with the British at Old North Bridge in Concord.

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year . . .
In the books you have read
How the British regulars fired and fled
How the farmers gave them ball for ball
From behind each fence and farmyard wall . . .

But in larger sense, the poem is also about the American spirit. It’s about how Americans won’t stand for slavery and how they fight against any and all threats to their liberties. Longfellow urges his readers to adopt the Minutemen’s attitude toward oppression and tyranny:      (more…)