Daily Living

The Long Wave Goodbye

Dear Reader: Each year, I repost this essay, written when my children were young. However, it remains true to me; the original wave is etched in my heart and mind forever.  school bus

Today, I waved to my daughter riding away on the bus. The silly kind of wave – two arms, as if jumping for dear-life and flagging down a passing ship.  We both continued waving until the bus was out of sight.  Walking back to my house, I had a lump in my throat. I am both happy and sad.

I’m sad for the time which is passing so quickly; sad, too, that I see that my parenting must be working well – my own daughter still longs for me.  (I did not have that with my own mother.) I waited a long time to become a mother (again). I will continue to try my hardest to fulfill her need until her hands stop reaching for mine, the arm waves stop, and I see her waving to her friends – not me. That time is coming. In fact, it’s just around the corner.

Writer Kelly Salasin blogged, “There are so many deaths in mothering, beginning at the beginning, and arriving every day after. But equally matched with these deaths are the blessings of a new life – new growth – new possibility.” These words resonate with me and touch my heart. [Read More…]

Breastfeeding Halves Your Chances of Post-Natal Depression

Milky MomentsCan breastfeeding make you happy?

It does me, albeit, after a shaky start.

Now there is proof that it can lower your risk of depression.

A UK report says, post natal depression is more than double in women who planned to breastfeed and then were unable to, whereas the women who planned to breastfeed and then did are 50% less likely to be affected. This is significant when you consider that 1 in 10 women develop depression after the birth of a child. [Read More…]

Awash in Rainbows

rainbow flagsRecently, I read an article in the Washington Post by a 26-year old gay man who was upset about the some 26 million Facebook users who enveloped their profile photos in rainbows. He felt that there was much insincerity on the part of many who were doing nothing more than boosting their own personal PR portraits.

Gay marriage, or marriage, as I hope it will be referred to from here on out, isn’t one man’s struggle. It took a tremendous amount of support from a great number of people to make this change happen. It didn’t happen in 26 years. Some people fought for it and didn’t live to see it. [Read More…]

Camp Forms

summer camp IIIYes, my wife and I look forward to the kids returning to school. I’ m sure she thinks along the lines that we’re getting the kids back on a regular schedule and we don’t have to think about trips, traveling, and keeping the kids entertained.

While I’m looking forward to the return of school, my self-professed joy comes from simple self-survival: No more camp forms to fill out, fill in, copy, fax, mail, take to the doctor’s office or retrieve from the doctor’s office.

When I was a kid, back at the dawn of time, my parents kicked the door open and told me to go outside. I did my camps: YMCA Camp Letts and a couple of basketball camps, but we didn’t do anything or have the number of camps that our kids now have to choose from, which meant that we had fewer forms that needed to be filled out and to be filled in. [Read More…]

By |August 21st, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living, Fatherhood|Tags: , , |3 Comments

Summertime and the Living …

Nancy Rodgers kids and pool…Was Easy

Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s with a ton of siblings and a block filled with kids all the same varied ages; summertime was heaven on earth.  On our street on Long Island, there could be, on any given summer day, twenty or so kids of various ages, still playing well into the dusk hours.

By sunset, we had already finished endless innings of stickball, had climbed numerous trees, played kick the can and ring-a-lario(a game that would probably be outlawed today) and were ready for the evening activity of catching fireflies and roasting marshmallows, on real sticks that you had to find.

These memories of summer are emblazoned in my memory, more and more these days as I struggle with the question of “what to do with my 10-year-old boy” on these long, warm, glorious days. [Read More…]

Our Summer Vacation

Jo-Ann Rogan's familyWe are a typical family, Mom, Dad, two boys. I work part-time so that I am around for my kids, I was vice president of the PTA in school last year, and I am on the board of directors of my kids swim team.

We live in a lovely little urban neighborhood where it is possible for my kids to play outside by themselves and they know many of the names of the dogs and owners who pass our house on their way to the park and we are not beyond a “deck night” with the neighbors. All just ordinary stuff, the only thing that makes us different is my husband and I are in a hardcore punk band together.

The band was active in the 90’s and we spend the better part of a decade on the road until I discovered I was pregnant at the ripe age of 38. After the band had fiery break up, I moved on with the guitarist to marriage, parenthood, and middle age. [Read More…]

How “Awe” Trumps Awful During Summer

Visiting the Grand Canyon may be one of the most “awe-full” places on earth. The sense of grandeur that radiates there during the day is nearly matched by the millions of stars that light up the otherwise black nights. It can provide a respite from truly awful news in the world.

But, amidst any stress you may be facing, are you looking for other, easier ways to center yourself and regain your equilibrium? Stuck home during the summer, but still need fun and relief?

Here are 5 easy things you can turn to when seeking serenity:

Nature. If you can’t squeeze in a quick trip to the Grand Canyon or another National Park, check out your local sunrise or sunset. These scenes can be spectacular this time of year and the quiet is settling. Leaves changing color provide a backdrop of scarlet beauty with a hint of the soundless carpet of snow coming soon. The rhythm of the ocean or starkness of the desert provides its own sense of wonder. [Read More…]

By |August 6th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Helping Your Kids Find Fitness

Celia HuddartMy husband and I own a gym. Our daughter, Celia, has been hanging out there for years. Sometimes she worked out, sometimes she didn’t. But she was around it, watching all sorts of people work hard, in all sorts of ways.

We never pushed it one way or another. If anything, I  tried to steer her away from taking fitness too seriously, what with the constant messaging to teenage girls that they should be slim and sexy and….  We just let her hang out there. When she felt like giving it a shot, we simply let her.

Last weekend, she won a Silver Medal at the USA Weightlifting Youth Nationals. I was the last person who expected that, and I sure as hell didn’t push for it. [Read More…]

How To Create A Summer (& Lifestyle) Of Grand Adventures Without Grand Expense

Sara and Ocean on a camel


“Oh NO!!!” screeched the single mom with a tribe of five (that’s me). “It’s summertime again, and my kids will be home bored and hungry for 2 ½ months. We will be driving one another crazy, and my workload is fuller than ever, and, and, and…”

Sound familiar? This is how my summer started, like many before. In my summer article last year, I was asking readers to help give me ideas or suggestions, so that I could make it through! This year, I decided to take the bull by the horns.

What do I mean by that?  I decided to be as pro-active as possible – a lifestyle choice of mine – but this time, I applied it to my tribe’s summer home, and reached out to find adventures and activities for all of them. [Read More…]

It Must Be Me (Living With Parental Self-Doubt)

Project Bond's confrontationDo you ever feel like it shouldn’t be this hard? Like it’s not normal to face the challenges, aggression, opposition, and tears every day?

Do you sometimes feel like it must be you?

There are reasons for this.

Our kids’ behavior is very personal.  Their actions don’t happen lightheartedly or in an attempt to achieve a particular, short-term outcome.  Intense emotions, often from past experiences, are driving their more challenging behaviors.  We sense this intensity, especially when it’s directed at us.  Sometimes, the anger, shame, or sadness is projected onto you – the parent, the closest person to them, the safety net. [Read More…]

By |July 29th, 2015|Categories: Commentary, Daily Living|Tags: , , , |0 Comments
Featured In