We Who Are About to Camp Salute You

06/30/2014 Comments (19)

Guess what my husband and I almost got into a fight about the other day? That's right: it was about whether it makes more sense to spend lots of money on air mattresses that get leaky and go flat in a few days, or if we should settle for the ones which are leaky and flat right out of the box.

If you look closely, you will see that there is a small strain a fatalism in our plans. This is because we are going camping. With all nine kids. In two cabins without electricity. For five days. Again.

We're doing this for two reasons: (a) we firmly, if unscientifically, believe it is good for us as a family in some way and (b) I dunno. We made our reservations back in January, when all kinds of...READ MORE

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SCOTUS: Pro-Lifers Are Citizens, Too

06/26/2014 Comments (16)

Score one for the Constitution! The Supreme Court just unanimously -- unanimously -- struck down a buffer zone law in Massachusetts. The law, instituted in 2007, barred protesters, counselors, quiet pray-ers, and even silent witnesses from coming within 35 feet of an abortion clinic. Only patients, clinic workers, and people passing through were allowed to be within the buffer zone.  The law didn't wait until you proved that you were there to make trouble: it simply shut you out, assuming the guilt of private citizens.

In effect, the law created a First and Fourteenth Amendment-Free Zone for a certain class of people. It made it a crime for some citizens to be on a public sidewalk, or to...READ MORE

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The Tabernacle Holds the Heart of the Church

06/24/2014 Comments (19)

When my mother would start teaching catechism to a new group of kids, she would find out what they knew by asking them a single question: "Why do we go to Mass?" 

So ask yourself that question. What's your answer? There are lots of answers, right? We go to hear the word of God, to receive grace and various spiritual gifts, to pray with other believers, and so on.  But above all, there is one answer, and everything else is secondary at best: we go to worship God. We go to Mass to worship Him in a way that is so rich and profound that every other human experience of the good, the true, and the beautiful is subsumed into the experience of bearing witness to and participating in the sacrifice...READ MORE

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Babies as Teachers

06/19/2014 Comments (12)

The director of my kids’ school recently thanked me for doing some carpooling. It’s easy for me, since I have a big van and spend my afternoons driving anyway. But she made a point of telling me she was grateful that her teenage daughter and her friends get to spend some time with my daughter, who is two years old.

And that’s one of the things that makes our local school so valuable: the concerted effort to get kids of different ages to mingle. The idea is that everyone has something to offer, and that everyone does better when we spend time around people who have different talents, different tastes, different joys, different troubles, different perspectives. The school has “all school...READ MORE

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Baby Got Backstory

06/17/2014 Comments (7)

Rehabbing the villain! It's all the rage, and the latest iteration is Maleficent, which Steve Graydanus fisks here. I think this trend signifies two things. First, it caters to people's desire to feel insightful and broadminded, especially when they end up looking more insightful and broadminded than people who are in authority. 

Second, it's super easy. I mean, the plot is already written. All you have to do is be clever enough to provide a little backstory and invent some cute, unexpected details -- something bored parents have been doing for centuries at storytime --  and it looks like you've made something cutting edge. 

John Herreid had a few ideas on Facebook this morning:


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What Makes a Good Dad?

06/12/2014 Comments (12)

Here are some of the things I admire in my husband's fathering:

1.  He is a loving and attentive husband. Yes, this is relevant to being a dad. By treating me well, he shows our sons how men treat women, and he shows our daughters what to expect from men. 
Beyond the example he sets, he knows that a strong marriage is at the center of a family, and if anything besides God becomes more important than the marriage – and this includes children! – then the marriage will suffer, and then so will the children.  If you want to be good to your children, work on making your marriage stronger and happier.

2. He lets them see him praying.  Religion is not some kind of squishy, girly thing at our...READ MORE

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When Your Child Has Problems

06/10/2014 Comments (27)

Jennifer Fitz has written a sane and compassionate post for Christian parents who think their children may be transgendered. She makes a distinction among three scenarios. 

First is the child who appears to have a mismatched identity, but is actually after something far simpler than sex reassignment surgery. For instance, a little boy who wants to wear a dress may actually just want to be dressed up, and will be happy to wear a snazzy vest and tie. A little girl who says she wishes she could be a boy scout may actually just be yearning for the action and excitement that's missing in her girl scout troop. These are, says Fitz, "not actually a sex thing."

The second category includes boys...READ MORE

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Worry, and Other Unappealing Temptations

06/05/2014 Comments (21)

Last night, and the night before, I spent many hours worrying instead of sleeping. I was utterly at the mercy of my worries, pinned to my fears like a beetle on a card. I won't bore you with the details, but my worries included everything you would expect: money, health, education, family life, things I will never be able to control, things I can control, but wasn't; big things, little things, ridiculous things, petty things, tragic things, and the shade of green I had finally chosen for the living room -- or had I?

Anything and everything was up for a good worrying. I finally got to sleep maybe 45 minutes before the alarm went off in the morning.  Getting up seemed so unfair.

As I drove...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.