Reading Ryan

Ryan (at age 4) and I at the library

We’re into week 3 of my son’s summer break.  Ryan opts not to attend any type of summer day-camp and instead we spend the days together.  We’ve already visited several museums (including the Petersen Automative Museum, the California Science Center to check out the Body Worlds: Pulse Exhibit, and the Discovery Cube because we were curious about their Dinosaurs Unearthed Exhibit).

While our museum trips have been fun (our favorite so far has been the exhausting five hours we spent at the California Science Center), some of my favorite times have been spent with Ryan at the library and our neighborhood bookstore.  We visit the library each week, and we read each day. 

It makes me enormously proud to say that Ryan doesn’t look at our trips to the library as a chore.  He enjoys them.  Ryan is growing up to be a person who values books and who looks to books for information, for explanation, and for entertainment.  And as a reader, and a writer, I couldn’t ask for more than that.

Learning From Horton

The other afternoon, my son and I spent some time sitting on our patio, reading books.  My nine-year-old has eclectic taste when it comes to music and books.  We read a biography about baseball legend Jackie Robinson, we read Curious George Discovers The Sun (a book that mixes the fictional world of Curious George with nonfiction facts and scientific concepts), and we ended with the Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hatches the Egg.

In Horton Hatches the Egg, Horton promised a bird named Mayzie that he’d look after her egg.  This elephant sits on her egg for a total of fifty-one weeks, enduring drastic weather changes, taunts and teases, and being kidnapped and taken to a circus as an oddity.  All because Horton made a promise to look after this egg, and as Horton says, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant … an elephant’s faithful one hundred per cent.”

In another Horton book, Horton Hears a Who!, Horton is determined to take care of a speck he found because “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”  Meaning we all deserve respect and compassion regardless of our size, or how we look, or what we eat, or what language we speak, or who we choose to love. 

And I’ve come to the conclusion that the world would be a much better place if everyone was more like Horton.  Not that we should all become elephants, but that we should all adopt Horton’s personality traits.

Summer Writing

Here I am writing on my back patio


I’ve got a confession to make — I didn’t write a blog post this week.  Which I guess isn’t entirely accurate since you’re reading this now.  But I didn’t write an original blog post this week.  Though I have been writing.  A lot.

If you haven’t checked out my “Published Work” link on the left, then you may not know that I am a regular contributor at

I have been doing a lot of writing for MomsLA lately.  So this week, I thought I’d share with my readers some of that writing.

Click here to read my list of the “Best Public Libraries In And Around Los Angeles To Visit With Kids”

Click here to read about the “Best Water Parks In And Around Los Angeles”

Click here to read my post “100 Days of Summer Fun In L.A. With Kids”

Why Parents Shouldn’t Request Their Child’s Teacher

A photo from the 2012-2013 school year. This was my fifth-grade classroom ready for the first day of school. I retired in 2013.

My son’s last day of school is Friday.  When the bell rings that afternoon, he will no longer be a third grader.  We’ll say good-bye to his teacher and his classmates.

In two months, he’ll go back to school as a fourth-grader. He won’t learn his teacher’s name until the first day of school.  But for some parents, they already know.  They are requesting specific teachers for their children.  As a parent and former teacher, I don’t agree with this practice. 

To find out why, click here to read my essay, “A Lesson in Giving Up Control: Why Parents Shouldn’t Request Their Child’s Teacher,” on