Like all of us, Courtney Martin wants the best for her family, and rightly so. But from education to strollers, the best is often only accessible to a certain group. She reimagines responsible parenting as embodied care for one's own, as well as for the families of strangers.
Growth comes from bearing witness to our own stories and to the experiences of others. A digest of reads that challenge us to strengthen our inner and outer lives.
The challenges we fret over as adults are often simple in the eyes of our children. Sarah Smarsh offers an antidote to the vitriol of our politics — through viral videos that illustrate the wisdom of children.
The final days of expectation can bring surprising clarity. Courtney Martin pauses in this suspended space, and marvels at the end of the wait for new life, in all its gritty wonder.
Reckoning with the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling by the police, Courtney Martin pens an impassioned missive to her white children: to understand their privilege, redistribute power, ask questions, and always to hold each other accountable.
Often the most valuable lessons are fathers' teach us are the ones we didn't realize we were learning. A son of Korean immigrants expresses gratitude for a lifetime of tough-love education from his wartime father.
Entering the home stretch of her pregnancy, Courtney Martin takes a closer look at the bizarre phenomenon from which we are all brought forth into the world.
Even with years of experience, the parenting journey is one of constant learning — about a budding life, and about oneself. Courtney Martin gives thanks for the grit and grace of new motherhood.
The daughter of refugees pens an open letter to her mother. She reflects on the inheritance of suffering, offering this ode to the resilience of the human spirit and gratitude for the opportunity to flourish.
We're confronted with choices of wanting to do what's best for our children and our communities. But sometimes they come into conflict with each other. What do we do then? Courtney Martin on the intersections of public and personal life as she makes school choices for her daughter.
To put the children first is a parent's most basic instinct. But when does self-sacrifice become self-destruction? Omid Safi offers a new understanding of the importance of self-care.
Paul Kalanithi's latest book spurs a pregnant mother to recognize the myth of meaning-making. Our columnist on reckoning with ambiguous endings, and the spectrum of imperfection on which we must all live and thrive.
The clock presses upon us and our families every day. A reminder that it's not the roses we should stop to smell, but the most tender gestures written in the morning's light.
Our names are rife with meaning, stories we claim and others we discard. Listen to this group of "audio selfies," including one with Parker Palmer, exploring how our identity is formed by the names we're given, the ones we take, and the ones we long for but never quite materialize.
What gets lost when we erect a fortress around our children? A mother glimpses the beauty of trusting strangers around her daughter, and discovers the risk of losing the village to our own fears.
There is no norm when it comes to the prototypical family unit. And, family as we all know is at once our breaking point and our healing refuge. With the holiday season behind us, Courtney Martin asks us to embrace the family we have and resist the idealized version that never existed.
A poem for the permeable quiet of a December evening, weaving together the lonesome sounds of a home.
A young mother of twins returns to the comfort of the kitchen and cooking rice as she remembers learning from her own mother as a child, and revels in the unique tension between her desire for order and the joyful chaos that her children bring.
With the gift of a poem, a father marvels at the infinities embodied by his young son in this lyrical moment of parental reverence.
Being a mother is an act of transformation and discovery. Courtney Martin examines the gifts of obliteration of motherhood, and the maternal love that rushes in as responsibility beckons.
What makes each child unique cannot be measured or scored. A nourishing story from a school principal on the "many ways of being smart" and testing children.
A physician takes refuge in the wavelike nature of the inbreath and outbreath, and the soft beauty of a newborn child.
A home can be a sacred space for children if adults give it the attention necessary. A mother's essay on modeling devoted action, fostering a healthy will, and creating structure through chores as a powerful, stabilizing force in the household.
How do we come to truly "know" ourselves? Through a host of childhood memories, and using a George Oppen poem as her guide, a health practitioner suggests a starting place: "Become intimate with discomfort. Pull it closer. Mend nothing first."
To trust our children requires allowing them the room to act differently that we might expect. A mother's argument for placing trust in our children's expansive imaginations and empathic potential.