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parenting

The balance between control and letting go

The balance between control and letting go

June 17, 2015 |  Category:   life parenting

It’s a pretty great thing when you witness for the first time, sheer joy from your child when she gets something that she really really wanted. Not talking about toys or material things, but something that she worked for or achieved. It’s like the first peek into adulthood, really, and a next level of pride that you maybe haven’t experienced before as a parent. Why this, why now? Because it’s her achievement and victory, not yours, and she gets to share it with you and not the other way around.   There’s only 7 more days left in the school year and you know by now that when June rolls around, it always bittersweet around here. Another grade, another chapter… CONTINUE READING

Coney Island, independence, and more rambling

Coney Island, independence, and more rambling

July 30, 2014 |  Category:   life nyc parenting

I heard on the news that a 10 year old girl drowned at Coney Island a day after our visit last week, climbing around the rocks after life guard hours. She and her little sister were pulled by people nearby, but she did not survive. I was just staring at those same rocks the evening before.   I think I’ve become more sensitive about adolescent pressures and the growing independence of the kids since the summer – not that those 3 things necessarily relate to each other, but they’ve all been on my mind lately. I wrote about independence a few months ago, but I struggled this morning thinking about middle school next Fall and the possible logistics of getting… CONTINUE READING

Kids and independence

Kids and independence

May 23, 2014 |  Category:   life parenting

The issue of independence is coming up a lot in our household and among our friends with kids the same age. We talk with other neighborhood parents about the right time to allow our kids to walk to and from school by themselves. We were already doing it at their age when we were young. We had a lot more independence and autonomy at an earlier age than kids do now; it was socially more acceptable to leave us at home while our parents did errands, to allow us to walk to school, the store, our friend’s house. But is the world really so different that it gives us pause as we struggle with a decision that our parents already… CONTINUE READING

Approaching the middle in age and raising girls part 5

Approaching the middle in age and raising girls part 5

April 10, 2014 |  Category:   life me parenting

This is my favorite photo of me and Miss C, taken by Mia last year. It reminds me of summery good times.   I often make jokes about how old I am, not because I’m in any kind of denial, but chances are I’m gonna be older than most everyone I meet nowadays if you consider the industry and the social circles that I work in. Most people think I’m in my 30s because I think they just assume that I’m “their age”, so when I do tell people how old I really am, it’s usually either met with an “oh” or a “what, for reals?” Which makes me sometimes think, what the hell, why this reaction? This is a… CONTINUE READING

what’s wrong with being average?

what’s wrong with being average?

April 4, 2014 |  Category:   life parenting

How do you answer this question when it’s asked by your 10 year old? Especially when you were raised in a pretty typical Asian-American household where average wasn’t acceptable? (There’s a reason why those Asian parent memes are funny) Because truthfully? Despite how I was raised and despite whatever struggles I have with it myself, the answer is…nothing. There’s really nothing wrong with being average. So I did the only thing I could when I was caught off guard when asked that question point blank during a confrontation about homework – I didn’t answer, mostly because I didn’t know what to say at that moment.   Raising a kid who has an entirely different temperament and personality than your own… CONTINUE READING

raising girls part 4

raising girls part 4

December 17, 2013 |  Category:   life parenting

Had the best walk around the neighborhood this weekend. Every street corner smelled of Christmas trees. Houses decked with ribbons and wreaths. Twinkling lights wrapped around brownstone doorways and stoops. The freshly falling snow dusting everything like powdered sugar. It’s magic what the first few hours of snowfall can do. For that hour on my walk with one of the girls, life felt perfect.   But the truth? There are many days lately where I’ve wanted the day to end so that I can “start fresh”. Parenting is damn hard. Some days are filled with regrets. More than ever, parenting is like holding up a mirror to yourself and facing your demons head on. I try to draw on my… CONTINUE READING

it doesn’t take much to make memories

it doesn’t take much to make memories

July 10, 2013 |  Category:   family life outings parenting

I kept thinking over the weekend as I watched the girls enjoy the beach during our day trip to Montauk that we’re giving the kids a really good childhood. And it’s not because we have lots of money to spend on toys and gadgets and trips. On the contrary, we have pared down our lifestyle even further in the last 18 months, partly out of necessity and partly out of the desire to cut down on needless consumerism, but we also acknowledge that we are more fortunate than most. The one thing, for the most part, that we’ve had in abundance despite the intense juggling of business and work, is time spent with the kids. This is what I need… CONTINUE READING

little swimmers swim for life

little swimmers swim for life

June 20, 2013 |  Category:   life nyc parenting

Some kids take to water like fish and the girls are no exception. They can stay in the pool for hours. I never learned how to swim properly as a kid, so I’m not a strong swimmer (I can swim, but not really well). I really wanted the girls to take swim lessons early on because I do have a fear of drowning and swimming is such an important life skill to have (btw, have you read this article on what drowning really looks like? If you haven’t yet, you should). Mia took swimming lessons a few years ago and she did learn how to swim, but I think she needs at least another round of classes to properly learn… CONTINUE READING

some things get easier (before some things get harder)

some things get easier (before some things get harder)

June 10, 2013 |  Category:   life parenting

Summer is grand. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before but I love summer so much more now with kids. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love the hot humid weather that we often get here in the Northeast, but I do love all the things that we get to do on the weekends and when school gets out. All of this is so much easier now that the girls are older. No more bulky strollers and a bag full of diapers, wipes and 7 kinds of snacks to haul around. No more public tantrums because so and so happened to brush against the other one’s elbow by accident or some other equally ridiculous and random thing (ok, sometimes that nuttiness… CONTINUE READING

things that keep me up at night pt 2 + things I want to teach my kids

things that keep me up at night pt 2 + things I want to teach my kids

March 27, 2013 |  Category:   life parenting rambling

Retirement. I know…that word.   Doesn’t seem like this impossibly far away thing anymore and I woke up one day rather consumed by it as if a switch went off overnight, much like when I knew I wanted to have a baby.   I wasn’t taught as a kid about money and saving, though I wish I had been. I don’t blame my parents; it wasn’t in their culture or upbringing to know about things like retirement accounts or even savings accounts for that matter – not when you come from a poor, wartime childhood. I also think in traditional Asian cultures, children are expected to take care of the elderly so retirement planning isn’t quite what it’s like here,… CONTINUE READING

the kindness wall

the kindness wall

November 19, 2012 |  Category:   life parenting

We had parent teacher conferences last week and as I was waiting for my turn and looking around at all the artwork in the hallway, I noticed the “kindness wall” created by C’s class. It was filled with annotated drawings by the kids that demonstrated various acts of kindness as conceived and interpreted by 6 year olds. It made me think how interesting it is that we need to reinforce and teach kindness, selflessness and compassion to children. Aren’t these traits already inherent in human nature? Or is our natural instinct to protect our own best interest? I don’t really know the answer, but I do know that I sometimes need to gently nudge the girls towards the more selfless… CONTINUE READING

the girl knows what she wants

the girl knows what she wants

October 15, 2012 |  Category:   life outings parenting

I think Claudine takes after me in more ways than one, but the thing I’m noticing lately is just how particular she is about things and how she belabors over certain decisions. I always think that the most stressful part of Project Runway is when they have to shop at Mood Fabrics and I can never ever be on that show (well, other than the fact that I’m not a fashion designer) purely because of the fact that I can take FOREVER deciding on a purchase. The last time I was at Mood I spent about an hour and a half just choosing 3 yards of a single linen. I think that part of the competition alone would be the… CONTINUE READING

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