Clap your hands if you believe in parents...

A professor in one of my developmental psych classes once commented that one of the things that separates us from other species is our ability to tell stories, to learn vicariously from each other without going through the exact experience ourselves. Huh. I'd never thought of it that way before.

But it makes sense. When I was a girl, I loved hovering near the grown-ups at gatherings at the cabin, soaking up their stories about life and, especially, families.

I've been thinking a lot about that lately.

I'm especially intrigued by parenting stories--in hearing the different ways we make it work in all of our vivid uniquenesses and uniting similarities. I love reading about how others approach their relationships with their kids & the lessons learned in raising them. I started asking other parents how they did it, collecting their answers and using them to recharge when my child-raising battery was low. In that spirit, I've hatched an idea.

Here it is:

A new site {inspired by both This I Believe and the poet Rilke's Letters to a Young Poet} centered around parenting beliefs, where parents can post a letter/essay about a lesson learned or belief or philosophy they've gained about parenting: just a brief sliver of perspective to share with others who are also traveling-trudging-skipping-strolling on the parenting path. These will be published online weekly or so, depending on when letters come in.

So {ta-da!} here's the link:

<<Letters to a Parent>>

The first letter is the one that got this whole idea cooking: actually, it's a transcript of a talk given by my great-grandmother Brockbank about parenting. I think you'll love it.


p.s. If you'd like to write a letter/essay for this project (please do!), e-mail me at It doesn't have to be anything long or grand, just a real and honest piece of your wisdom (can be inspiring, funny, irreverent, moving...whatever you feel) that you're interested in sharing. In addition, if you know anyone that you would like to nominate to write a letter about their approach to parenting that would be wonderful, too. Feedback, ideas, and suggestions highly welcome. And, pssst. Spread the word.