51

I am the parent of a weird kid, and I know I'm not alone

Life with a weird kid is isolating. You spend a lot of time tamping down that parental anxiety when your kid is freaking out and it seems like all the other kids are sitting nicely and cooperating. You explain over and over that your kid just doesn't like circle time or story time or most organized activities. I've learned over time to respect my son and the way he functions, and there are a lot of activities we simply cannot do because he can't handle them. I've learned that the reason it seems like all the other kids can cope is that the parents with the weird kids are staying home. I've felt completely and utterly alone as seemingly everyone else went around with their perfectly normal, average kid.

12

The world's best playground might be London's Diana Memorial Playground

On a good day in London, on our local playground where race, class, school uniforms and linguistic boundaries may as well have been built out of concrete, I was a cynic. Visiting the Diana playground was a most welcome respite from all of that. And, though I am wary of entering the treacle zone, it is a testimony to the spirit of the Lady who inspired it. This playground exists in an unlikely place and it gives some pointers, some idea of what our society could be like. Maybe even our world.

12

The Incident: my son was bullied for having gay parents

A few months back, I wrote that my son had never been bullied at his Texas public school. Perhaps it was inevitable, given that Waylon is in third grade now, but a week or two later there was an incident. The story unfolded over dinner at our favorite neighborhood Texmex restaurant. Waylon was well into his second bean and cheese taco when he broached the subject. "Mom, B– said that being gay is bad."

1

Why I mix play dates and politics

Here I am: sitting at a play date. Let's say this play date is at a park, where the sun is shining and the kids are giggling. No flies on the snacks, no sand has been thrown. The moms are quiet but for all outward appearances, content. In this slice of domestic bliss, it suddenly occurs to me to bring up oil fracking. If you're in a playgroup, you've probably picked up the social cues dictating proper momversations.