How had I never before read The Blue Jay’s Dance?

Blue Jay's Dance

Louise Erdrich’s The Blue Jay’s Dance is one of those books that it seems like I’ve always known about. And yet I’d never read it. When I received Daisy Florin’s lyrical, moving review of the book (published today at Brain, Child!) I knew I had to read it. Florin’s summary and the ways in which […]


Jump! Bigger than the ropes


I can now say that thanks to a Lifetime reality show something I wrote is a little bit less true. The four-episode Jump! about a double dutch team in New Jersey showed me that jump-roping has more to do with teamwork than I previously thought. In Chapter 1 of Playing to Win I detail the […]


A Life That’s Good/You’re So Beautiful: Thoughts on Empire and Nashville


I’ve never been a big live music person; in fact, I can probably count on my hands the number of concerts I have attended. That said I *love* musicals, which helps explain why I enjoy watching ABC’s Nashville and Fox’s Empire (though I was late to the game on this one and recently binge-watched the […]


The Privilege of Passion

by Abigail Swartz for NYT

Last week the always reflective Motherlode ran a very thoughtful and insightful essay by Lisa Heffernan, “Our Push for ‘Passion,’ and Why It Harms Kids.” Heffernan actually makes the case that some forms of manufactured passion hurt not just the kids, but the whole family. Part of the reason why her essay is compelling (besides […]


Grief and Gratefulness: Social Media Connections


When you blog and are active on social media you virtually meet others, who then introduce you to others. Even though I’ve never met some of these people in real life (aka “IRL”) I follow their lives, their children’s lives, and often their friends. That’s how I “met” Lisa Bonchek Adams and Phyllis Sommer. They […]


Playing around with Books and TV Shows


I’ve been writing elsewhere lately about various different interests– my kids, playing, pageants, figure skating, books, TV shows, and child geniuses. You can check out these three different pieces by clicking on the titles: 1) Play, Outsourced– Written as part of the blog series, 28 Days of Play, about what impacts and at times impedes […]


Reading and Reviewing Parenting Books: The Long View


It’s no secret that I am a voracious reader. So when I read that people no longer want to read a book— or certain type of book— it makes me very sad. Especially given that one of my hats is as Book Review Editor at Brain, Child Magazine (obviously focusing on books related to parenting). […]


America’s new child genius

Economist cover, America's new aristocracy

I loved the cover story of the January 24th issue of The Economist so much I even took notes. “America’s new aristocracy: Education and the inheritance of privilege” is spot on in so many ways. As the leader says, “Today’s rich increasingly pass on to their children an asset that cannot be frittered away in […]


Be a Journalist #LikeaGirl

Michele Tafoya sideline

I know I’m in the minority here, but I didn’t really like the Always #LikeaGirl ad that aired during the Superbowl this week. Now I write this as a person who believes wholeheartedly that men and women/girls and boys can almost always do the same things. I attended an all-girls school for eight years, and […]


The Pageant Formula of Miss Universe 2015

Miss Colombia swayback in swimsuit

If you follow my writings on Miss Universe, you know that my absolute favorite part is the parade of national costumes. Trump and his minions got with the program this year and showed us the contestants modeling them– not just a picture of them flaunting their version of sexy national dress like last year. Even […]