Look, Listen, and Love

When I was a young teen, I started a club with some of my high school girlfriends. We named the club The AGCs, which stood for The All-Girls Club–a simple name for a club comprised of ordinary teenagers with an extraordinary purpose: … Continue reading

My Reading Hat: The Power of Ritual in a Child’s Life

Children thrive on ritual. Just think back to your own childhood. Did you recite the same prayer every night before falling asleep? What about asking your mother to read the same book over and over again “just one more time”? … Continue reading

My “Once-in-a-Lifetime” Grandmother

“A house needs a grandma in it.”—Louisa May Alcott Nonna Anna stepped into my seven-year-old life with laughter, love, and lore. As the day of her arrival from Italy approached, my heart swelled with excitement and anticipation. It would be … Continue reading

Three Keys to Effective Discipline

My mother-in-law was a wise woman. Once, when my husband and his older brother were young children, they had a terrible argument. As a means of helping them resolve their differences, my mother-in-law made each of her two boys wash … Continue reading

A Legacy of Words

As a young child of nine years old, I listened intently, wide-eyed with delight, as my father read the lilting verse from the musty, second-hand volume of The Oxford Book of English Verse. How his voice danced with the rhythm … Continue reading