How Much Should We Lie to Our Kids About Everything Being Okay?

Sometimes, when I shovel snow or pull weeds from the mulched paths in my garden, unearthing a collection of squiggling red earthworms, everything seems OK. “Normal,” even. As if this earth we inhabit is the same as it was more than three decades ago, when I was the age my twins are now, watching snow …

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Fighting For My Marriage Came at Too High A Cost

It’s Friday, two days since I told my husband our marriage is over. I wake to find that the dishwasher, the washing machine, and the basement humidifier have all broken. I am incredulous, and I rage around the house, unhinged and wild-haired. I report to my almost-ex-husband on the appliance misfortune. He calls it an …

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The Best Children’s Books in Our Long Year of Pandemic Reading

Has it really only been a year? This is what I found myself thinking as I revisited a piece I wrote on reading with my twin children in 2020. Did I really write that before the Capitol was stormed? Before the beautiful, relentless snows of February? Before any of us had signed up for vaccines? …

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Ross Gay Demands Our Attention (in a Pandemic or Otherwise)

Ross Gay is asking for our attention. Wielding luscious everyday words—Ashmead’s kernel, feverfew, rudbeckia—and filling the mouth with linguistic play—thank you what in us rackets glad / what gladrackets us—to the plumage of his own purple scarf, his salmon-colored button down shirt, he beckons us in, points, demands: Come with me. Look here. Feel this. …

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Virginia Sole-Smith Wants us to Drop the Guilt Over Family Dinner

At my house, these days, we eat ice cream every day. By we, I mean my nearly 5-year-old twins and me. You heard me right: ice cream. Every day. Sometimes even twice. My kids and I have also been eating dinner in front of the TV together a couple nights a week. I recently admitted …

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A Hundred Years and a Half a Block Apart

“She wanted a home, and that was how it began.” So opens an essay by Annie Eliza Pidgeon Searing, published 100 years ago in House Beautiful. In her 1921 essay, Searing recounted her journey—scrappy, drawn-out, and often carried by little more than a hope and a prayer—about the old stone cottage at 142 Pearl Street …

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Kingston: A City Remade by the Coronavirus

Kingston, a small city in upstate New York, became my home four and a half years ago. Seeking space, affordability, green, and quiet, my husband and I traded Brooklyn for this city of 23,000. Unwittingly, we joined a slow-drip migration north. Since the arrival of coronavirus, though, what had been a steadily paced increase in …

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