Why I Read Controversial Books With My Kid

My seven-year-old daughter and I just finished reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It took us all summer with stops and starts because of camping trips and visits with family. I was amazed at how engaged Bea was in the story since this was the first “capital L” piece of literature we tried. About halfway […]

Everybody’s Got a Mailbox

I actually have a photo of six-year-old me on February 14. My dark hair is pulled into two pigtails, each adorned with a lacy bow. I am wearing a white turtleneck with pink cupids dancing along the frills at the shoulder. I am beaming, because it is my favourite day. Valentine’s Day. Thirty years later, […]

Afraid of Muslims?

Are you afraid of your toddler? Are you afraid of your dog? Are you afraid of Muslims? I say “Muslims” instead of “terrorists” because, as media outlets and Franklin Graham apparently want us to believe, the two words are synonymous. Franklin Graham seems to believe we should be afraid of Muslims and that we are […]

TGIF: Feels Like Home To Me

I didn’t grow up around plants. I couldn’t tell you much about mulch, rootstock or pruning. When most kids were asked to “Water the plants” the Francis kids were asked to “Dust the plants.” Growing up in the Middle East where the weather was not conducive to gardening, silk plants were all the rage. They were consistent, […]

Reclaiming Feminist

The first time I said it out loud, it took courage. It felt weird, a bit risky and daring. I was trying the word on, like a little girl trying on her mother’s shoes, to see if it fit me: feminist. And it did fit; it grew to fit beautifully, and so I turned this […]