Winning Essays, Part 3

“Then I’ll use them on Carrie,” he said. I informed him that his sister would not relinquish her freedom to him either. I told him to think about the fact that no one would want to play his game; he said he still wanted them. (more…)

Winning Essays, Part 2

The funny thing is that I not only had one with some of my personalities, I had another one that got the personalities that were left over. It’s a great mixture of me, so I guess I got what my father had always hoped for me! Hey Dad! I wouldn’t trade it for the world! (more…)

Winning Essays, Part 1

My name is Brelena Williams, and I just recently moved to Pittsburgh, Penn., as well as my husband and our two daughters. I have been a teacher for 16 years now, and I could really relate to your article. This past July I got a teaching position at a residential treatment facility for at-risk youth. I have nine students, all boys. Raising two girls, I have never really been around boys for an extended period of time, and yes, it takes some creativity to teach boys because they have a different perspective about play, school, friends, life. (more…)

Fatherhood The First Few Weeks, Part 2

It turns out that breast-feeding, while unquestionably natural, is not quite as simple as I had thought. Part of our problem was that Helen’s milk took a while to come in completely. Immediately following birth, the mother produces just a trickle of sugary milk called colostrum, which satisfies the baby for two or three days. After that, the baby needs a larger quantity of more nutritious milk, which Helen’s body was initially unable to supply. (more…)

Fatherhood The First Few Weeks, Part 1

Henry turned 5 weeks old yesterday. Everyone told us the first six weeks would be tough, and they have been, but not necessarily in the ways I expected. I thought I’d have the usual new parent war stories to tell by now — tales of colicky infants keening the night away, immune to the comforts of milk, clean diapers or gentle rocking. Based on what I’d seen and heard from other new dads, I prepared myself for a zombie-like existence at work. I pictured myself slumped before the computer screen with dull, red eyes staring blankly at imaginary reruns of the 2 a.m. infomercials I’d watched the night before in a vain attempt to soothe the baby. (more…)

Looking Back At First Love

Sometimes, we are better to leave those first loves, tightly wrapped, inside those proverbial boxes of our minds. There are some things best immortalized as perfect.

Somewhere along the roads of life, we choose which paths we will travel down. Deep inside our minds, we carry small, fragile boxes of memories and experiences, each of which contributes to the people we are today. These packages, you understand, aren’t the types that are ripped open on a conscious level as we make decisions, cradle moments and navigate new, unforeseen roads. Rather, they are tied with a beautiful ribbon or sturdy string, and perhaps sometimes, if the moment is just right, we might carefully untie their bows and touch things again, careful to place things back just the way they were. (more…)