Banned Books Week Special: Some favorite kids’ lit titles


Banned Books Week (this year, Sept 30 – Oct 6): always a favorite among bibliophiles, and a particular favorite among we who keep finding books about us banned. Before it ends tomorrow, I wanted to call out a half dozen or so favorite kid’s book titles from our family’s library.  There aren’t nearly enough books for children with family or gender diversity in them, but the lists I consult (like this page of well-defined lists from the Welcoming Schools curriculum) can still be dizzying. And given how few images our kids get of ourselves and our families in the culture around them, dull, one-dimensional, pedantic, inadequate, or pat books are even more disappointing. It’s tough, but it’s true: when there’s a paucity of imagery, what is out there is subject to high scrutiny and higher expectations.

[Continue reading the rest of this post over at Lesbian Family.]



That’s what she said


Me Myself and I, 3rd grade school assignment, Berkeley, CA


Back-to-School night was a few weeks back. Now that both kids are at the same school, we were busy:  two classrooms to case, two teachers to whom to introduce ourselves/ our family make-up/ our family nomenclature/ etc., two clumps of curious parents to which to introduce ourselves.  Our divide-and-conquer strategy was hampered by the familiar Mama will need to extirpate herself from the theater and won’t be able to be there for the whole shebang thing, magnified my wobbly stumbling in the wake of my recent unanticipated job loss.  Outgoing Presidents and Presidents-elect have over two months in which to effectively transfer and assume power, and I am thinking Mrs Dad and I are going to need at least that much time to re-shape our family rhythms now that I’m back in them again.  Meanwhile, there’s the frequent backing into each other in the kitchen, and the simultaneously uttered “I thought you scored the babysitter for tonight!”

Read moreThat’s what she said

Weekend bonus shot (Monday edition), 10.01.12


Ascending the ladder to the trapeze platform, Oakland, CA.

Her schoolchum (with whom she shares a desk in 3rd grade) held her birthday party at Trapeze Arts in Oakland, and basically wow. Oh, no, I wasn’t freaking out in the least. I was perfectly calm.

This ladder led to a platform on which the kids were hooked to safety ropes, then handed a trapeze bar and swung out into the open air. Those who could then hooked their knees on the bar, some even did a flip off the bar down to the net.

That ladder has 21 rungs; there’s a net under the platform, but it doesn’t to extend under the ladder so you best keep a steady grip.

“Were you scared to climb up there?” I asked, after her first go.

She looked at me and her eyes widened the merest bit before she gave a quick, short nod.

“It’s like 14 Uncle Curtis’ stacked on top of each other.* But it’s worth it. Once you get up there, you get to fly.”


*Her Uncle Curtis is the gold standard in tall, at 6’8″.