Peanut Butter & Jelly & books & racism everywhere

“In case you are itching to foster….” read the text, beneath pictures of several puppies so tiny they collectively could be called a handful. “Do they need to be fostered together?” I texted back. “If not, I can take two.” Someone else on the group text emphasized my words with a HA HA HA. A couple of days later, without telling anyone, I drove to pick them up. I arrived home just after my youngest got home from school. IRead more

Toads and the Fourth and maybe a rat

There’s a toad living in a pair of sneakers I keep on the back patio. He switches from one shoe to the other, but he’s always in one of them during the day; at night, he emerges and hops around the yard. I guess he’s looking for bugs. Every day I peek to make sure he’s there. Do toads sleep? They must. Whenever I look, though, he’s just sitting there quietly, tucked into the dark cave of my shoe, hisRead more

Where I live and the terrible, no-good, very bad N-word.

Last month on Valentine’s Day, I was listening to a talk radio show about schools, guns, and the Parkland shooting. I don’t like guns. I don’t want guns in schools. But as I listened to the show, what occurred to me is this: there are invisible weapons just as dangerous as guns. I live in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Let me describe Ponte Vedra for you. It’s our ritzy little idyllic community. Our grass is literally greener than everyone else’s.Read more

Breast is best. FAKE NEWS, says Trump. GAH.

At the recent World Health Organization meeting, the country of Ecuador proposed passage of a resolution in support of breastfeeding and urging limitations on the misleading ads that formula companies run in poor countries. It was kind of a no-brainer. Health officials, scientists, and medical professionals know that breastfeeding provides the best nutrition for babies, thanks to hundreds of studies plus the fact that centuries of breastfeeding literally has led to the ongoing duration of humankind. Ecuador had a goodRead more

Fourth of July thoughts on country

Fourteen years and 86 days ago, Army Sgt. Keith Matthew Maupin went missing in Iraq when his fuel convoy was attacked by Iraqi soldiers. Soon after, Arab television stations aired footage of him kneeling in front of his captors, and subsequent video appeared to show them shooting him to death. Four years later, acting on a tip, the U.S. military found his remains, and his devastated parents were able to finally bring their boy home. To show respect for Sgt. Maupin,Read more

The border policy of ruining children.

It took us over a year to get my youngest daughter home from Guatemala because our attorney** was trying really hard to prevent the government from enacting adoption reforms. She claimed she opposed any changes because it would harm children. Everyone in our little adoption circle believed her. Except us. We suspected she feared her money pipeline would dry up. We feared her animosity toward the government would prevent officials from approving our paperwork, and we were right. **by attorney,Read more

A high school, Planned Parenthood, and anti-intellectualism: how students taught some grown-ups about censorship

A few years ago, some students at Ponte Vedra High School had an idea. Let’s host a beauty pageant for guys, they thought. Sort of a spoof, but just for fun. And we’ll charge people to come see it, and we’ll give the money to charity. The annual Mr. FINtastic contest was born (Go Sharks!), and it has been a smashing success. This year’s winner is PV High senior Matt Gibson, an affable guy with a mop of curly brown hair and anRead more

MLK Day, and keeping our eyes wide open

My teen girl, Scout, is reading A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah for school. At first, she moaned every time she had to read a new chapter. “I hate this book,” she said repeatedly. “It’s so, so bad.” So I held an intervention. A Long Way Gone is the memoir of a young boy in the Sierra Leone who was driven from his home and forcibly conscripted into a rebel army, where he witnessed –Read more

Feminist. Should you be one? It’s so hard to decide.

The decision about whether to be a feminist is a hard one. Young women today have it tough. Lots of them are happily dating men, and are understandably nervous about becoming a feminist because it automatically requires being a lesbian. I’m a problem-solver by nature, and I hate to think of these hot young things struggling with this decision. So I, a proud feminist who wears Birkenstocks, have written a guide to help women process their feelings. Here are someRead more

Trump, Putin, and the fake ADOPTION news

If I had never seen a photo of Don Trump, Jr. posing with a South African buffalo he had just shot, I might feel a tiny bit sorry for him. There he was, just going about his life as the father of five and a billionaire, when he was thrown into his father’s bombastic presidential campaign. And in an effort to make his dad proud, he agreed last July to meet with a Russian government lawyer and several other pro-RussianRead more