Giving Ourselves What Technology Can’t

My book, The Opt-Out Family will land on your stoops and library shelves in a few weeks, which means I’ve finally arrived at the universal publishing milestone in which an author wakes at 3am and realizes she’s forgotten to say something that needs saying. In all honesty, the book is 320 pages long and has already blown through all manner of word count limits (brevity has never been my strong suit), and so, I suppose I’ll rest easy in knowing that what lands in your hands is precisely what it needs to be. Truthfully, I can’t wait for you to read it.

But until then, the thought that awoke me today was this: my book boldly and precisely outlines how to give our families what technology can’t. But what about us? How can we also give our selves – our souls, our minds, our hearts – the gift of an existence untethered by the distractions and conveniences and disenchantments of a digital world?

And so, because I am the type that can’t leave well enough alone, consider this an afterword, or I suppose a foreword, or what I imagine my publisher would love for me to call a “bonus chapter,” but in truth, is simply a collection of musings that are keeping me from sleep this morning…

Read More


This weekend, Bee will don a polyester veil and trot down the sanctuary as Mary in our church’s pageant. Can you send me her measurements, or take a look at these size charts? our children’s director asks before sending me links to various costumes on Amazon. We sift through dozens of options, find ourselves giggling

Read More

The World We’ve Created

  Months ago, I am stuck in San Luis Obispo. The plane needs this one part, says the attendant. We had to order it. Might be here Thursday? It is Sunday. The airport is small, and a sudden swarm of indignation thickens the air. We have homes, we argue. Lives! Babies who need our care,

Read More


Tonight, I hit 70,000 words on my latest manuscript. It still has a ways to go – two chapters and a conclusion, then it’s off to the publisher for edits – but, for whatever reason, this feels like a milestone worth noting. Could be the windows flung open, four bunnies and a robin playing Oonch

Read More

Holding it Dear

Ah, December. My daughter’s Advent book says that this month’s name is derived from the Latin word decem, meaning ten, because it was originally the tenth month of the year in the calendar of Romulus. But I’ve got another theory. Could it also be because everything – everything! – in the month of December is

Read More

Lifing Up

A noiseless patient spider, I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated, Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding, It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them. And you O my soul where you stand, Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space, Ceaselessly musing,

Read More

We Are Not Monarchs

My daughter tells me over breakfast that certain butterflies die once they give birth. She points to a crayon drawing she’s made: a dead monarch falling down from the sky, little Xs where eyes could be. Sounds about right, I think as I grind the coffee beans. — The baby is 1 and a half

Read More