Rethinking Priorities

It is time to choose next year’s classes for my three middle- and high-schoolers. Going through this process this year made me realize how much the upheaval of the last year has actually benefited me as a parent–strengthened and sensitized me, reshaped and reordered my priorities. I was a straight-A student, and as such, parenthood…

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Carpool Karaoke, Elementary School Style

The scene: the after-school carpool, yesterday. The characters: A second grade girl and a third grade boy who are totally inseparable, except when they’re screaming at each other. Today they’re not screaming, so they’re inseparable. Oh yes, and me. All of us masked, because COVID. Girl: “Ooh, Mrs. Basi, you CAN play Story of My…

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Taking On The Emotional Baggage Of My Children

When I stopped blogging frequently a few years ago, it was for two reasons. The first was that it took a lot of time, and I couldn’t justify it any longer. The kids were getting older, having more activities, and more directly professional commitments needed to take priority in what time I had for writing.…

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Pandemics, Special Ed, and Rolling With the Punches

Generally, I would say I’m pretty good at rolling with the punches. Fifteen-plus years of parenthood has taught me to make good plans. It’s also taught me to be flexible, because plans usually get shredded. But simply having one allows me to know the parameters and priorities, which, when plans do get shredded, leaves me…

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The Irony of Introversion in a Time of Pandemic

Saturday night, after taking our kids to church and nearly exploding with rage at their sullen attitudes, my husband and I decided we needed to get away from the kids for a couple hours, so we went on a date to Menard’s. (Sidebar 1: this is a sign of the times: you need a date…

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Walking Beans, Pulling Crabgrass…Just the thing to make everyone want to click through

When I was in middle school, my parents started a new endeavor on the farm. We’d always raised corn and soybeans (and hogs, cattle and chickens), but now Dad started growing seed beans. In other words, he grew the seeds that farmers would plant next year. This meant the grain that was harvested had to…

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Adulting Is Kicking My Butt

Normally, I’d say I do pretty well at “adulting.” Let’s be honest, I was probably more adult at twelve than some people are at twenty. But adulting is really kicking my butt right now. Last week, midweek, I had a really black moment. My oldest was mad at me–mad in a way every parent is…

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Random Observations of a Writer On the Reality of Living Through the Coronavirus Shutdown

It’s been a week since the kids came home from school for the foreseeable future, and today is day 2 of an official “stay at home order” where I live–though we can still go hiking (and we intend to continue doing so as long as we’re permitted, weather permitting—which it hasn’t done much of lately).…

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Parenthood is all about “Pantsing”

Once, I was talking to a favorite uncle about life and all deep things. Because that’s what we do. (He’s a great uncle.) I said, “You know, when I was a kid, and something was bothering me, I’d think it through and make up my mind what to do about it, and that was it.…

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On the Need For Retreat

I am sitting in the dark this morning. Despite my hopes, I woke up a little before five, but instead of the usual mad scramble to figure out how to make use of the time, I laid in bed and allowed myself to drift in my sleepiness, listening to the sounds of the retreat center,…

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