10/24/2012 11:13 am ET

Parenthesis: The Best Of The Mom And Dad Blogs This Week

This week in Parenthesis, Homemaker Man gets a pocketful of fairy dust, Mike Spohr ruminates on the importance of old friends in dark times and Heather Armstrong has a good old-fashioned fit over some homework.

Fairy tale
Some parents will go to considerable lengths to encourage their kids’ belief in characters from the world of make-believe -- not just Santa and the Tooth Fairy, but a healthy assortment of other magical creatures, too. In a charming post on DadCentric, Homemaker Man explains some of the measures he’s taken to safeguard his daughter’s faith in fairies -- not just for her own (and her family’s) fantastical edification, but also for her spiritual health:

We encourage this belief in part because she is so tiny, so mercurial, so ethereal in her way that not only is it appropriate, we hope it's good for a little confidence too. Maybe it'll give her a bulwark against always being the smallest.

On a recent walk in the woods, dad explains, he and his partners in crime (a.k.a. “the Aunties”) sprinkled glittery “fairy dust” along a forest trail “as proof there [were] fairies about.” The prop served its purpose, but when, the next day, some leftover sparkly stuff “explode[d]” out of dad’s pocket at a local gas station (in front of “all manner of gruff, craggy, crusty Mainer”), it also taught the valuable lesson that magic can happen everywhere -- and take anyone by surprise.

“In the worst of times we need as many people to hold us up as possible,” writes Mike Spohr at The Spohrs Are Multiplying. So “if you ever hear that someone you once cared about is going through something tough, don’t be afraid to reach out no matter how long it has been since you last saw them.” Mike knows, because he has been that “someone” -- and he writes about how moved he was to see Alexis, a teacher’s assistant from his days in film school, attend the memorial for his daughter Maddie. Though they had been out of touch for years, Alexis’s presence at such a crucial occasion clearly meant a lot to Mike (so much, indeed, that he still hasn’t forgotten about it). “Her attendance told me that -- in addition to all of my friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors -- there were people from my past, players in the narrative of my life who had come and gone, who still cared about me enough to be there for me.”

Homework helper
The school year is now in full swing -- and that means early wake-ups, frenzied morning preparation and homework woes for students and parents, to many a blogger’s dismay. Already on HuffPost, Ann Brenoff has expressed her frustration with "mommy homework" and Devon Corneal has lamented the difficulty of the assignments her 4-year-old preschooler regularly receives. Dooce blogger Heather Armstrong joined the club this week, asking “Is there a PSA for parents of elementary school kids, one that tells the truth?” If there was, her experience indicates, it might aptly be called “What to Expect The Seventh Year and Every Year Until They Graduate High School: A Shit Ton of Homework and Uncontrollable Sobbing.”



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