Tag Archives: children

11. An icy rain

For an icy rain that clings sluggish to twigs, railings, fences, windshields, the undersides of cheap patio furniture. Chilled to dribbling stalactites, unwilling to commit to a freeze but unable to run away. Winter, who not so long ago was … Continue reading

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4. The crocus

For the crocus, baptized by mud, rising quiet through the dark earth and into the light, green shoots in the winter’s first waning, unnoticed for the shivering. Blooming now as the frost gives way in Lenten purple and Easter white. … Continue reading

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In defense of false expectations

Last spring — I’m late blogging this — the Guardian reported on a study finding that literature for very young children frequently reinforces a materialist, consumerist bias… but that other literature deters that bias. Books, in other words, and the … Continue reading

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Ordinary miracles

Saturday afternoon my daughter and I volunteered on a local farm tour, at a farm where the two main attractions are goats and pickles. I’ve got a cabinetful of pickles at home, but no goats, and I figured even if … Continue reading

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An unfortunate accident

Your wobbly letters on the little jars, The i’s like lollypops, the g’s like smiles, From your younger self alert the nose: This one cumin, that one coriander, Saffron, sumac, cardamom, paprika– No, that’s cayenne, dad! –Lighthearted warning To which … Continue reading

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Area man still not eating his veggies

A school system in New York has dropped out of the federal school lunch program because the fruits and vegetables they’re forced to serve kids are winding up in the trash. The USDA has known for decades what’s needed to build a successful nutrition education program — one that actually changes people’s eating habits. But the confident language obscures just how hard it really is. Continue reading

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Bluets, adverbs, and education

On a gorgeous April Wednesday I am filling in as substitute homeschool teacher. We do arithmetic; we do a language lesson about adverbs and Emily Dickinson. Then—did I mention the day is gorgeous? That the air through the window is crisp and fills the lungs with hope and delight? That the cardinals are courting round the bay tree and a wren is chirping from the buckthorn? That the sky is blue, the dandelions gold, the violets… er, violet? All this is so, and the substitute teacher, less inspired by whatever lies in the plan book before him than by the season swiftly unfolding outside the window, calls an audible…. Continue reading

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Beet greens

Originally published in The Northern Agrarian, May 2008. When I was young my parents tended a small garden: Peas, tomatoes, lettuce, parsley, zucchini, beets. All this in the small backyard of a small house in a medium-sized northern town, sheltered … Continue reading

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Let it snow. No, really

Saturday we had significant snowfall for the first time in four years: only an inch and a half, but enough that I no longer need fear that the Monkey will begin to think the stuff a fairy tale, like Santa … Continue reading

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