Big Love

My mother’s love was big. Rita was the parent waving wildly from the audience with a toothy smile. In high school I messed up my solo in Oklahoma when I saw her arms fanning above her head. Other parents sat patiently, hands in their laps, and looked at the stage like normal people. Rita couldn’t
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Praying for Hearts

I spoke to a customer service representative recently who was working during a natural disaster. Flooding in her community had reached historic levels. She filled me in on the areas affected and shared a story about a friend not being able to reach her elderly father because the road was washed out. She said they
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My Family with our Dog Clarissa in 2013

The Finest Gift

Christmas is a pile of little stresses with disaster looming on list-filled days. It’s a sinister treasure hunt that often ends with unmet expectations and a room full of shredded paper. Every year, I cut into the gift euphoria by picking up the mess with a big, black trash bag. I can’t make breakfast without
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How To Choose A School

I have the privilege of being a substitute teacher at the school my daughter Emma attended in middle school and high school. The word privilege sounds like hyperbole when you’re talking about being a substitute teacher, but it’s not. When Emma was a student at the Atlanta Girls’ School, I was a vocal fan of
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Me and Emma, age 7, at the Beach

You Should Be A Doctor

My daughter Emma went to Rhodes College to study neuroscience and prepare for medical school. I love telling people she was “pre-med” and a neuroscience major. I usually start with neuroscience. If someone seems too impressed, I add an oh-shucks-comment like, “It’s not that big a deal. It’s just like majoring in biology.” If I
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