Dear Brave Ones – Oh how I’ve missed you! A spring of work, caregiving, and walking pneumonia kept me from writing and I’m just now finding my way back. I left The Nantucket Project at the end of our short-term agreement and will start freelancing again in the fall. In the meantime, I intend to catch up here on the blog – I’ve got stories to tell you and I hope you have stories to tell me! Tomorrow, Wednesday July 19 at 12 noon – 1 pm EST, I’ll be visiting the Heart Strides page on Facebook, answering questions about Some Nerve and facing fears. Heart Strides is a nonprofit organization that donates running shoes to moms of kids with disabilities, and their FB group provides a forum for much-needed encouragement and support. As a special needs mom who remembers when running errands and kids to doctors was the only running I did, I can see how Heart Strides shows caregivers that their physical and emotional well being matters, and how the can-do spirit that comes from running carries over into the hard work of parenting. I’m excited to get to know this group of brave moms and to answer questions about fears, goals, and (in my case) very...Learn More
Ah, the first bike ride! A joyful rite of passage, right? For parents, it just doesn’t get better than running alongside, steadying the small bike, giving a push and…Look at our kid go! Or…not.
If your child is anxious (heck, if you are anxious), learning how to ride a bike can be stressful. I share my 9 tips for getting reluctant riders to ride at Liv-cycling.com today in
How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike.Learn More
When we adopted G and R one of the most fun things to imagine was what innate talents they might have. Unbound by expectations based on DNA, we’ve had the fun of being surprised again and again: G’s love of martial arts and science, for example, or R’s mad parkour skills and her cool fashion sensibility. Kent and I aren’t naturally good at any of that – but look at them go! For every hit, of course there are lots of misses, hobbies tried and dropped soon after. So when we signed up spur of the moment for an open studio painting session with muralist Kim Ray at Mountain Painters and Artisans Gallery in Londonderry, VT we knew it could go any which way. Fifteen year old G hasn’t painted since she was a toddler, so No pressure, honey, just give it a try. She chose to paint our dog, Mochi. Two hours later, she’d created this: WHOA! AMAZING! THAT’S MOCHI! Friends cried. “Can she paint my tortoise Minnie?” bestselling novelist Caroline Leavitt asked via Facebook. “I’ll pay her.” G’s second pet portrait would be her first commissioned piece! G went to work. She asked Caroline all about Minnie. She researched Vietnamese Jagged Shell Tortoises. She tried to channel...Learn More
If there’s one thing I know, it’s what it feels like to be a reinventing mom. It takes a special kind of courage to set new goals after years of focused parenting and to achieve them while balancing the needs of others. I can’t wait to lead a Some Nerve workshop especially for moms: Friday, February 26 9 am – 12 noon Purpl 52 Main Street Hastings on Hudson, NY 10706 $68 Register Here Workshop description below – please share with the moms in your life – and if you’re a mom looking for more, I hope to see you there! NEXT ACTS: A Some Nerve Workshop for Reinventing Moms Once the kids are in school it’s mom’s turn to figure out “What’s next for me?” Career change? Get fit? Clear clutter? Write a book? Find my true self? Ack! If the thought of a new direction (or finally tackling long held goals) is a little…er, scary, then join us for a special workshop with Patty Chang Anker, author of SOME NERVE: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave (“Mom Must Read,” Parents Magazine), and discover how to de-escalate fear’s power and make your next act the greatest it can be. We’ll address self-doubt and fear of failure, challenge old habits and create new ways of thinking. We’ll identify...Learn More
14 year old G graduated from middle school last night and I held it together pretty well until the very end, when the principal said “Hello High School Class of 2019!” Of all the mountains she has climbed, of all the views over the edge toward what’s to come, this one feels the most significant so far. She is nervous about high school and adulthood beyond, probably because she has overcome enough obstacles to know how much work it’s going to be. She won her grade’s Science Award and made Honor Roll this year and earned an adult 3rd kyu brown belt in karate by sparring grown men despite exhaustion and nerves: 9 year old R, meanwhile, conquered stage fright in order to play Charlie “But he doesn’t know the territory!” Cowell in a kids production of “The Music Man.” And threw herself into every Field Day activity with an “I don’t care what anyone else thinks I’m going for it” confidence that I never had at her age: But it’s not too late to get it now: I ran my first 10K! Small strides compared to our kid’s major triumphs, but why not? We all need to go for it, work and play with all of our hearts,...Learn More
When G (now 14) was younger she had an intense fear of fire. A good instinct, yes, except when it extended to candles at restaurants or on birthday cakes, or worries about the house burning down. “All the burners are off, the smoke detectors are on, Mommy and Daddy are here, the fire department is very near, house fires are very rare,” I would say every night in answer to her long list of questions before she would fall asleep. The real (albeit small) flames we’d encounter in everyday life we blew out or kept a distance from. When our children are afraid it’s a natural instinct to comfort, to help put what feels like an automatic and overwhelming danger into context for them, to let them know we’ll protect them and help them feel safe. In matters where there is a measure of danger involved (if you get too close to the fire you do get burned, after all) it can be tricky to calm them down and show them how to proceed carefully and discern real danger from imaginary. It can be easier to brush off the fear (“There’s nothing to be afraid of!” which has the problem of often not being true), rush in to save...Learn More