And Another Thing…

I’ve received a lot of emails about the TODAY Moms article I wrote about not punishing T, many of them asking for more resources. I wanted to turn you on to the two places from which I crib most of my parenting ideas.

Alfie Kohn is amazing. I particularly love his book Unconditional Parenting: Moving From Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason.

If you’re in Los Angeles, I also encourage you to check out The Echo Center (formerly the Center for Nonviolent Education and Parenting). Scott and I have learned so much there and continue to go for classes and support.

I also really appreciate those of you who disagree with me and are engaging in a respectful dialogue about it.

Also- I just wanted to demonstrate with this photograph that as a result of our nonviolent communication, our son has absolutely no sassy attitude at all. Um, right.

Festival of Books

I always love the raging party otherwise known as the LA Times Festival of Books– it’s a heartening experience for an author. This year I’m speaking on a memoir panel (that thankfully doesn’t conflict with Smith or Lethem or Egan or Eggers, etc. etc., phew), called “Finding the Hook.” My awesome fellow panelists include Heather Havrilesky, Lisa Napoli and Richard Polsky. It’ll be moderated by Susan Carpenter and it’s at 2pm on Sunday at Norris. The festival is on the USC campus this year. Come on by.

Fun fact: Heather Havrilesky and I were once in love with the same man at the same time. If you can guess who it is, you win a prize. It’ll probably be a restraining order because no one should know that much about us. Even though we are memoirists.

The Other Man in My Life

I’m lucky enough to be married to the love of my life, but if I’m to be completely honest I do harbor romantic feelings for another. Part of my heart will always belong to New York. I’ve lived on the west coast for fifteen years now and every time I fly into JFK, I keep expecting the feeling that I’m home will have faded but it never does. I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I lived in New York during such a hopeful time, when my life was little more than possibility. I never had to schlep my kid and three bags of groceries home through the snow and up five flights of stairs. I recognize this and nevertheless my chest tightens every time I see the skyline approaching. I always think- how could I live anywhere but here?

I spent a few days in NY last week and I had so much work to catch up on that I barely left my hotel room, but I did manage to make it out to the MOMA for the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit. The sheer scope of it blew my mind. I learned a great deal about a movement that I’ve always found deeply inspiring. I had one of those weep-shamelessly-in-an-art-museum moments of which I’m so fond.

Dazzling synchronicity- my friend Melissa Febos write this essay on crying in public in the Times.

As I was standing outside the MOMA waiting to do serious sushi damage with my friend Rachel, a group of kids walked by me. They looked like they had recently graduated high school. One of them gleefully threw his hands up in the air and said, “I have $164 in the bank and can’t pay my rent and WHATEVER!” Much of the art I had just seen was made by people who could have said the same thing. For some reason it brought to mind Patti Smith’s memoir detailing her floating, totally broke years as a young artist in New York. I hope that if Tariku is ever in that position, I’ll trust in his journey and not get all bourgie on him. I think what I romanticize about New York is the freedom I felt there. I need to somehow find it again, even in the midst of the groceries and the forever mess and the schlepping and the play dates.

Audiobook Giveaway!

One of the gizmos in my snazzy new web design is a newsletter. I’m going to give away a copy of the audiobook of Some Girls, read by Tavia Gilbert. All you have to do to enter is sign up for the newsletter in the right sidebar of my blog page, then leave a comment on this post telling me you did. I swear that I’ll only send an email out like every ten years or so and I’ll only sell your info to the penis enlargement sites that actually work. Do it before Monday 5/1 and I’ll pick a name at random.