This week we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the inclusion of our families in this important law. We've worked hard as a community to make sure this protection extends to our lives and our families.
"Who's the real mother?" I have been asked that question many times -- too many times. But this time was different. I was at a doctor's office, and my son was standing next to me and knew exactly what the nurse was asking.
I always figured there were certain hateful statements that my sons would make, especially ones that say I am inadequate. One of the statements I feared was finally delivered, though it did not come as part of a calculated gotcha exchange. It came at the worst possible moment.
While matters of gender and biology may be relevant to making a child, it is parenting that makes a parent. The ability and the desire to love a child unconditionally has nothing to do with one's gender.
Each time a parenting challenge has levied what could have been a knock-out punch to my sanity, I have grabbed that phrase like an oxygen mask and strapped it over my face. And it has worked. It raises that all-important question, "What do I need to learn here?"
A little more than 24 hours after a young man in Newtown, Conn., gunned down 20 children, their caretakers and his own mother, hearing my kids equate death with "boy stuff" takes the breath out of my lungs.
In today's society, parents and educators are increasingly realizing the benefits of playing with all kinds of toys. That is, a preschool-aged boy who happily investigates a toy kitchen is less likely to be chastised by his teacher or parents than in decades past.
Until the day after the 2004 election, as it is for most kids, our daughter's definition of family could be distilled into one simple word: us. That day, she learned how easily a nasty election campaign could convince voters we were something to be feared: "them."