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Do I hang onto Halloween when I’m the only one?

I’m in the garage looking for the bin labeled Halloween when I’m told, “It’s way too soon to bring out the skeletons and spider webs.” I try to defend my enthusiasm for the ghoulish tchotchkes that have been buried away for a year, but my youngest child walks out before I can respond. With sweat dripping down my back because the sun still suffocates this time of year, I wonder when everyone in my family turned into such autumnal killjoys.

Are we doomed to have only good vocabulary?

When I hear a fancy word I don’t know, I open my phone and type it into a page titled, “Words to learn and try out in casual conversation without sounding like an idiot.” Then I slip the phone back into my pocket before anyone notices what I’m doing. I’m not erudite or anything, but I simply love the idea of elevated vocabulary. Unfortunately, my overuse of words like, “awesome” and the ubiquitous “motherf%#er” betray my lofty ambitions.

The long road to constitutional equity

Women in our country have been lobbying, challenging, rallying, and fighting for civil rights since the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788. “We’ve come a long way, baby,” as the saying goes, yet a woman is nowhere close to having constitutional equality with men. The fight is painstakingly long, riddled with many setbacks, and it’s made more challenging when we fight a system designed to keep us marginalized.

Don’t tell my kids that birth order doesn’t matter.

Statistical studies debunked Alfred Adler’s theory about the supposed birth-order characteristics of children years ago. I don’t care. In my home, the kids will tell you Adler was legit. My oldest is convinced we’re the strictest with her, having to pave the way for others. The middle child, afraid to be overlooked, is loud and boisterous. The baby doesn’t say much at all because he doesn’t have to say much at all. He uses facial gestures instead.

3 Reasons we love a Snow Day

“Put a spoon under your pillow!” the youngest shouts with glee. The oldest adds, “Everyone knows you have to flush an ice cube down the toilet!” I mentally note my daughter now seems to also be an expert in witchcraft and will circle back to that one later. The middle child scoffs with a “Pfft!” and closes his eyes for the night, trusting his siblings will cast all the right spells. He wants a Snow Day, too, except he’s extraordinarily cool these days to entertain us with his care.

July’s rules and regulations

“Read, now!” said no one ever to my children during the hot, hazy months of summer break. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I promote having literate teenagers in early June with routines around the house. For the better part of July, we still value their education, but seemingly not as much as their curfew creeps to later hours and the chore chart slides off the refrigerator door, wedging between a cabinet and a potato chip, forever gone.

A pandemic Valentine’s Day

This bloated, overblown, consumer-driven holiday makes me abhor pink and red for the entire month of February. No matter my outward disdain, every year my family finds me sheepishly sitting at the kitchen table with a bottle of glue in one hand and glitter in the other making homemade cards anyway. Despite my heartfelt protestations, I’m easily sucked into the bedazzlement of this gimmicky holiday and shower everyone in my path with saccharin treats and silly sentiments. This season feels more
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