The Jig is Up

By: Lauren Spagnoletti

At five and a half, my son came to me.

“Santa’s not real, right? It’s just you guys leaving gifts while we’re asleep?”
“Did someone tell you that honey?”
“No,” he replied, “I just thought about it.”

I couldn’t keep up the ruse. I sat him down and explained about the magic of Christmas, and how he could help us create that magic for his little brother. He was on board, excited to be a part of the whole thing.

Five minutes later he came to me again.

“Mommy, does that mean there’s no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy either?”

Holiday Greetings

By: Lauren Spagnoletti

“Stand in front of the tree. Both of you. Get closer together. Stop touching your brother. Put your hand down. Not in front of your face! Stand still. Don’t touch the dog. Don’t look at the dog. Can you look at the camera please? BOTH OF YOU. Smile. Smile! Just STOP MOVING and SMILE! Wait, pull your shirt down—it’s up on the side. No, the other side. No come back here we’re not done yet. Stop. Stand still. Both of you look at me for one minute please. Smile! SMILE!”

 Happy Holidays from Our Family to Yours!

Mission Accomplished.

Climb Rhyme

By: Lauren Spagnoletti

I’ve just finished reading a book to my kids

And it involved some very good rhymes

And so I’ve decided to use what I’ve learned

To talk about how my son climbs

Whenever he gets so close as an inch

To a structure that goes into the air

He can’t help himself, he hitches his pants

And if he doesn’t climb, that would be rare

He uses his legs and his ten little fingers

To grip and to push and to pull

He gets to the top, there’s no trying to stop

When he charges right up like a bull


By: Lauren Spagnoletti

Moi, je suis tombée amoreuse de la langue quand j’avais dix ans. L’amour a commencé avec quelques poèmes et des chansons. J’ai appris les noms des choses dans la maison et des couleurs. Mais un jour, j’ai appris comment conjuger les verbes, et tout d’un coup, la langue s’est ouverte pour moi. Les phrases courraient de mes lèvres. La conversation est devenue possible.

Dans six mois, mon fils aîné va assister à un école où il ne parlera que le français pendant toute la journée. Et dans trois années, son petit frère fera la même chose. J’espère qu’ils tomberont amoureux aussi.

Aunt Life

By: Melissa Ratliff

It started with the figure 8 rocking. Keeping watch while your parents were out. As each aged, so did the fun. Building inside forts. Dance parties. Making up pirate names as we walked to the playground. Wearing costumes. Running around with light sabers. Treasure hunts. Doing hair and makeup. Roaring as loud as dinosaurs. Taking silly pictures. Jumping into pools. Hunting for frogs. Theatre shows. Treading carefully over bridges so as not to wake the trolls. Building sandcastles. Craft projects. Sleepovers. Cuddling up to watch Clone Wars. Hugs and kisses. An endless stream of giggles. Aunt life fits me perfectly.

Mother Hen

By: Lauren Spagnoletti

Mother Hen pecked. She pecked at her chicks when they chirped too loud. She pecked at the farmer’s boots when the feed wasn’t quite right. “Needs more barley and less corn.” She pecked at the other hens when they encroached on her space. She pecked into the air when it looked like rainyet again.

She pecked and pecked. One day, she realized that she didn’tknow why she was pecking. The sun was high and warm. The meal that day wasperfectly balanced. The other hens moved into another coop to her give space. Andher chicks were grown.


By: Alexis McGuinness

It’s ingenious: give a girl a plastic clamshell with peglike plastic people in puffy colors and tell her to go play.

You’ve done it! From the time she’s six, training wheels in hand, she will dream of the day she too gets her very first set of birth control pills.

When she holds that smooth case in her hand, tipping her little fingernail under the latch, parting the lips so that the miniature realm sighs out its contents –

Oh! What pleasure! What release!

Polly can come out and play.

Must Obey All Street Signs

By: Laura K.

DRIVE LIKE YOUR KIDS LIVE HERE, said the sign.  Well, why not?

…If my kids live here, presumably I do, too. OK, so I’ve got quite a lot of money!

My ‘09 Corolla becomes a late-model Audi. I turn down Halsey, switch to NPR. I glide smoothly down the road, feeling great.

Then I start to worry. Is the landscaper cheating us? Is Jack cheating on me? Can Harper actually get into Yale? And all this privilege, when so many suffer….

I speed up, agitated; blow through a stop sign.

That was bad advice, sign. I don’t even have kids.  


By: Adam Donshik

Nothing he does is ever intentionally evil. Sure, he’s got that shit-eating grin that washes over his face whenever he’s doing some maddening act of defiance. Somewhere in that brain of his he’s aware of the inevitable outcome. Action, reaction: Newton’s third law in full effect. And, yet, here we are again having the same fever-pitched argument which leads to tears and self-pitying declarations of never getting to do anything. Never, ever.

I just wanted him to put on his shoes, so we won’t be late. Now we’re late and I’m having an aneurysm while he’s hyperventilating under the couch.


By: Lauren Spagnoletti

“Mama, lunatics can make you sick, right?”

It only took me a moment to know exactly what my four-year-old was talking about.

“No, honey.” I held back a laugh. “Ticks can make you sick. Lunatics are very different.”
One of many moments when my own words boomerang right back to me via my child. This one was harmless.

But sometimes my anxiety screams from within – it beats at the backs of my eyes.

I need them safe. I need them calm.

The words that emerge then are what I fear will come back to hit me right between the eyes.

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