September 21, 2019

Family

"Her dad died three decades ago. She's three. Is preserving a Jewish bloodline worth creating a child who will never know her father?"

"Both hardcore anti-vaxxers and those who are reluctant or hesitant to vaccinate their children tend to occupy specific moral universes."

"Once, the father asked the daughter in a quiet, wistful voice whether it would be possible for him to move away from the facility and live somewhere else. She held her breath..."

"Our turn to formula, though, ended up being one of those unanticipated twists of parenthood that I look back on with the most gratitude."

"It’s true that high-octane, hardworking child-rearing has some pointless excesses, and it doesn’t spark joy for parents. But done right, it works for kids..."

"From the outside it may look like anything goes within the confines of polyamory. But actually, most non-monogamous relationships are based on a highly personalized set of agreements."

"What does it mean for a child today to be alone, to have an independent inner life? I’ve talked to scores of parents who use location-monitoring software to track their teenagers’ movements, who scrutinize their Instagram feeds and photo streams.."

"I’ll state the obvious and say that much if not all of the reason my life hasn’t changed is that I’m not a parent. Children are life’s great timekeepers, and when you don’t live with any, you’re at the mercy of your own internal clock..."

"My wish is to die in my own bed, cared for by people I love—clean, comfortable and relatively free from pain. I hope to have time to say my goodbyes and give my final blessings."

"Why are we spending money we don’t have on images of cute but armed cherubs and expensive dinners out? The answer is both complicated and surprisingly simple: We think true love will make our futures safe and secure."

"You have scheduled the events for the wrong day, because the correct day on which to celebrate Valentine's Day is, in fact, the day that comes before it."

"Wedding expos around the country bring together soon-to-be-married couples and the companies vying for their business. The companies range in size from large chains such as Bed Bath & Beyond to local wedding planners."

"For years, I have kept my sexuality a secret from Nonna, my father’s mother. Born and raised in the rolling hills of Calabria, Italy, she has lived a life of tradition, of fulfilling expectations. Queerness doesn’t exist in her world..."

"When you understand your branch of the family tree, you’ll know why you are the way you are – your personality, how you problem-solve, and how you relate to friends, coworkers, and loved ones."

"To be 40 now is certainly very different than being 40 at any other time in our history... But is it really the new 20, or 30? I'm going to have to say no. And I'm perfectly fine with that."

"I never really knew how alone I could feel while being constantly physically attached to one or two tiny humans. It is a strange paradox."

"In Rock Needs River, Vanessa McGrady tells of how she invited her daughter's biological parents into her own home, and everyone had to live with the consequences."

"It’s happened more times than I’d like to admit: I’ve just woken up from a vivid dream during which my partner has lied/cheated/otherwise been a complete a**hole. I look over at him, ready to fight."

"Professional mom Hillary Frank is here to give you permission to tell white lies and make everything a game." Follow the link to check out the podcast.

Jason Adam Katzenstein and illustrator Nick Thorburn take to the New Yorker to illustrate the subtle ways in which our behavior changes when left to our own devices.

"As bizarre as an anti-day-care bill may seem, the fear of more children coming into a community is a mainstay at new housing proposal hearings."

"Universal pre-K is bad policy. Public money for early childhood education would be much better spent on programs that support families."

"For Anna, there is no such thing as a bad party. No night can drag on too long; no guest can overstay her welcome. People, she believes, are born to be together. For her, if solitude is not quite a vice, it is at best an inexplicable lapse in taste"

"Fathers are so critical to the survival of our children and our species that evolution has not left their suitability for the role to chance. "

"Like most traditional birth amulets, my kimpetbrivl included the text of Psalm 121... On paper, the invocation of these biblical figures feels powerful, a call out to the ancestors to protect their children’s children."

"You know that feeling when you say something and then hear it in your own mother’s voice and half of you screams while the other half is so satisfied, so relieved, to be in this familiar territory?"

"Only children always want to get their way, can’t share and are generally selfish—or so the long-held prejudice goes. According to recent research, however, these claims are overstated."

"...the FDA's newfound sense of urgency regarding teen e-cigarette use is overdue. Beyond the nicotine in e-cigarettes, there are other less well-understood chemical threats like diacetyl..."

"Modern parents haven’t stopped playing favorites; they’ve just stopped doing it openly. Though few parents today will admit they have a favorite child, studies indicate that about two-thirds of parents do."

"While on vacation in New Zealand, a family with “approximately 12” but maybe as many as 15 members spent nearly a month terrorizing the nation before the government gave them an official deportation notice."

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JJ Editor's Picks

"Blackface. I’ve been writing about, and researching – and opposing – racism for more than thirty years. And make no mistake: blackface isn’t funny. It’s racist. Ask Megyn Kelly. A year ago, the former Fox News star was filming a segment about..."

"Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s “selfie line” may be a “political phenomenon,” according to CNN, but it’s also a misnomer, twice over: The photos that supporters end up with aren’t technically selfies—campaign aides snap them—and no one waits in a line..."

"In the archives of the Wildlife Conservation Society in New York, there is an old postcard from the city aquarium of a large sea turtle with four boys straddling its back. The turtle lies flattened upon a pathway in front of a fence. At the feet..."

"As we celebrated my granddaughter’s third birthday this summer, I made the following rough calculation: I’d trekked from my home in New Jersey to her Brooklyn apartment roughly 150 times to provide once-a-week day care, plus other times as needed."

"That seems to be the emerging bipartisan consensus. “On the evidence we have, the meritocratic ideal ends up being just as undemocratic as the old emphasis on inheritance and tradition,” writes New York Times columnist Ross Douthat. “Our..."

"It was the 2019 Pet Sematary that finally broke me. Was this really necessary? I seethed in a theater earlier this year, at a loss for why anyone would green light a self-serious update to a 30-year-old so-bad-it's-good movie. "Update," even, was.."

"Tuesday was election day in Israel. But no winner has yet been declared. As of this writing, it appears that the parties committed to supporting Benjamin Netanyahu for prime minister will not win a majority in Knesset. At the same time, the..."

"The last time Netflix asked me “Are you still watching?” I had to think really hard about it. Was I still watching? Or at least enough to make my $16-a-month payment worth it? The subscription economy can be a wonderful thing. We don’t have to..."