Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
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The Big Bang

  • By Megan Pillow Davis The bedroom door opens, and Nina looks up. It’s the new day nurse – Susan? She’s got a cheeseburger cut into bite-sized pieces and fries for Cam. “Thought you might like something other than applesauce today,” she says. “Don’t tell Jean.” She winks, hands the plate to Nina, leaves. Cam raises the one eyebrow that can still raise and wiggles a finger at Nina. Breaking the rule...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
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  • By Jessie Scanlon The Hot Wheels and Lego bricks strewn across our family room floor would usually have annoyed me. But that early spring evening the toys seemed to anchor me in the normal. I concentrated on my breathing and tried, mentally, to disconnect my facial muscles from my emotions. My daughter and son sat beside me on the sofa. Could my husband have been kneeling on the floor? Or standing...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
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Hair Daze

  • By Hedia Anvar They thought they were doing me a favor. I had just turned three, and they allowed the barber to shave my head completely bald. At least, I think I remember a barber, a barber’s chair, and afterward, seeing myself in the mirror with a big naked head. With no hair around to distract the viewer, my face was all eyes — two shiny saucers now bursting into the bitterest of tears. And the...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
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Disbelief, Suspended

  • By Kelly Garriott Waite Evenings, just prior to giving each of the three door handles (one front, two back) a final twist and firm tug, to reassure myself that the deadbolts were engaged, I would unplug the coffee pot. As I slipped into bed, my mind would flash with what ifs and are you sures, images of fires and robbers swirling around my head. In order to relieve my brain, I would repeat this pr...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
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My Son Wears A Dress

  • For my son, his desire for the dress is profoundly logical: He needs it to twirl. By Jocelyn Wiener “I want the yellow dress,” begs the weeping, shrieking two-year-old boy crumpled at my bare feet. Still in my pajamas, I dig through my son’s overstuffed dresser, scrambling to locate the pale cotton frock he has appropriated from his 4-year-old sister. “How about a striped one, instead?” I offer. “...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
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To Greet Goodbye

  • By Susan Kushner Resnick 1)    The summer before my daughter went to college, I lost a pair of prescription sunglasses, my wallet, three sets of iPod headphones (or one pair three times), a plastic bag containing all of my jewelry, the house keys over and over again, the car keys more often than that. During one six-minute bike ride to a bakery, I lost a twenty-dollar bill and my cell phone, both ...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

The Elephant Maker

  • By Amber Kelly-Anderson “You have such a sweet smile,” the elderly man told my toddler son. “You need this.” His hand extended a small carved wooden elephant with tiny wheels. We were sitting in a restaurant enjoying a late lunch with my mother when the man approached us. Having someone come over to talk to Alex is nothing new: he’s a sweet guy with a charming smile that he spreads around indiscri...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • By Maribeth Darwin I sit on the floor of our attic, in a pile of ghouls and goblins, a few fading Power Rangers. “How about a ninja?” I say, choosing a plastic sword from the assortment. “Ja! Ja! Jaaa!” I move the weapon through the air, making the slicing and dicing sounds of a Japanese fighter. “No,” replies my adversary, his voice, unwavering. “Ron Burgundy.” “DJ,” I implore my son. “Will the k...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

Welcome to India

  • By Jennifer Magnuson As my children sleep with their faces pressed against the car windows, spent from the thirteen-hour journey, our convoy of cars sputters past fruit stands piled high with pyramids of lychee fruit and pomegranates. Street vendors taking advantage of the nocturnal business generated by the airport crank heavy wrought iron handles, feeding stalks of sugarcane into a press that sp...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  •   No, it’s the wrong message By Kathy Gillen “It won’t hurt much,” I told my two-year-old, Paige, as she waited for her immunizations. “It will be all done real fast.” Part of my statement wasn’t a lie. Later, in the car, Paige examined her Pooh Bear bandage. Her tears were gone, and the trauma seemed to be fading. I was still shaken. But I knew just how to ease my pain: produce a little magic. “W...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

Don’t Speak

  • By Liam Callanan My youngest daughter, almost two, won’t speak. It’s a problem, but not much of one, the pediatrician tells us—or rather, that’s what her mouth tells us. Her eyes betray a little more—I’m not worried now, but will be the next time we meet. I don’t have to wait. I’m worried now. Maybe it’s perfectly normal for one’s child not to be a fluent communicator by eighteen months, but in ou...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • By Kristine Klassen It has happened countless times. I am at a gathering where I’m meeting people for the first time. We juggle glasses, napkins, and hor d’oeuvres to shake hands, and exchange pleasantries; invariably we arrive at the question of our work lives. Stranger: “So, what do you do for a living?” Me: “I am a high school teacher.” It’s pretty much a conversation stopper. Well conversation...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • No! By Stephanie Sprenger My family recently experienced an unusually relaxed, harmonious week. I’d like to attribute the shift to a stellar parenting course or to the fact that we’d all taken up meditation, but the reason was more sobering—my third grader had a significantly reduced homework load. Instead of the usual bundle of language exercises, reading log, and daily math worksheets, she was r...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

The Summer of Rachel

  • By Barbara Solomon Josselsohn The Beginning It’s an ache that started a few years ago when your son left for college, and you realized that time was passing too, too fast. Your next child was approaching the very same milestone, and you decided you would no longer just sit back and watch. “Okay, that’s it!” you shouted to the universe. “I let David go, but I’m keeping Rachel! Do you hear me? I’m k...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • Omri Massarwe and Omri Hochfeld (last two boys on right) This is the first in our series of Teen Voices, where we interview teens about topics they care about.   By Ruth Ebenstein Stroll into the offices of Kids4Peace in the Sheikh Jarah neighborhood of East Jerusalem during a youth meeting and call out the name “Omri! and two heads will turn. “Yes?” Both brown-haired teens, one 6 feet tall and th...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
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A Letter to Me, at 14

  • By Natalie Kemp You’ll start to feel a shift in your feelings when you become a mother, and you can’t imagine hurting your own children the way she hurt you, and you will lose your ability to empathize with her.   I know you’re trying so hard, too hard, to make her see you, but she won’t, not now, when you’re blossoming into young adulthood, not later, when you’re graduating or getting married or ...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

The Promise of Maybes

  • By Audrey Hines McGill We walk into my two boys’ new school and check out their new classrooms. We meet their new teachers; I say hello, and then introduce the boys. I explain how we’ve recently moved cross country for my husband’s new job. But what I don’t tell these new teachers is that I’m secretly hoping for a new start, a reprieve from judging eyes and ignorant staring that made up much of my...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

Midstream

  • By Lynn Shattuck They move north and west. The low weight of eggs in their belly propels them. Their bodies move through the saltwater, past the glittering lures of fishermen. They turn and twist until finally, suddenly, they are home. *** In the morning, I wake up just as Violet begins to stir. I kiss the soft slope beneath her chin, smelling the faint scent of my own milk. She moves into a light...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • By Maria Kostaki I hated breastfeeding. Not because it hurt. Not because… I can’t think of another reason normal women don’t like breastfeeding, but not because it hurt. A few minutes after my son was born, my midwife placed him on my breast. It was the second most magical moment of my life; the first was watching him pee on the OR floor as the OBGYN shouted “Oh! He’s blond!” and handed him over t...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • Once upon a time, way back in The Olden Days, when Mark Wahlberg was Marky Mark, the Cold War was just ended, and Rodney King was wondering why we couldn’t all just get along, I wanted to have a baby. So have a baby I did, and less than two years later I had another, and while I wasn’t naïve enough to think that raising children would be easy, neither did I recognize the potential for gut-wrenchin...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • Letters to Our Younger Selves is a column where readers write letters to their younger selves with insight and perspective. By Lisa Catapano Dear Baby Girl, This is a year of unraveling. Know that there is purpose in your pain. The world desperately needs the wisdom, compassion and kindness borne of your suffering. I promise. Perfection is a myth. Let it go. There is no right or wrong; no good or ...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

Cancer Revisited

  • By Mary Ann C. Palmer I. I was little, just five years old, alone in my bed, lying on my back with the covers pulled up to my chin; eyes wide open. The sharp scent of night seeped in through my bedroom window. I wanted my mother. But that was impossible. She had died a few months earlier and I was living with my Aunt Florie and Uncle Joe. My room filled with shadows. I couldn’t swallow; it was as ...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

This is Ten

  • By Lindsey Mead This essay is excerpted from Brain, Child’s book, This is Childhood Book & Journal. I spent my teenage summers at a wonderful, rambling house on the Massachusetts shore with several families. There was always a tangle of children and we got in the habit of going for swims after dinner. One summer, there was phosphorescence. I have never forgotten those unexpected, bright swirls of ...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

My Only Sunshine

  • By Amanda Rose Adams Recently I brought my children, who are eleven and twelve, to the dermatologist too, in hope that she could educate them about proper sun care.   It began as a small white spot above my lip, beneath my nose, less noticeable than my adult acne. The acne far was more frustrating and what drove me to the dermatologist. During my visit I did ask her about the spot. She shrugged an...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • By Francie Arenson Dickman “Focus on how you want to feel when you’re finished.” My daughter texted me these words of advice—a tip I assume she acquired from her time spent dancing on stage—minutes before I took the stage for a show I was recently in called, ironically, Listen to Your Mother. I’d had no problem writing the essay I was about to read, but reading it aloud to hundreds of people terri...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • Holly Rizzuto Palker Interviews Jessica Strawser on her debut novel, Almost Missed  You. ALMOST MISSED YOU by Jessica Strawser, is an intriguing novel involving a husband and two-year-old son disappearing while on a family vacation. I’m not sure how Jessica created this deliciously suspenseful book with so much else on her plate (she is the Editorial Director of Writer’s Digest magazine, and she a...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post

The Other Way Around

  • By Elizabeth Richardson Rau I am the mother of the kid you are probably afraid of. The one that you heard other kids used to buy pot from. Yours bought from him, too, yet you refuse to admit that, and I understand why. Pretend hope is much easier than unpleasant reality. I have never been the “not my kid” mom who would rather not know because the repercussions had not yet come home to roost. For a...

Brain, Child Magazine
Brain, Child Magazine
Blog Post
  • By Marsha McGregor “Before I Forget – Notes to My Teen”  is a monthly column of wisdoms for our teens. When To Pretend You Are Fine and When Not To There is room for both in your life. If you have done some excruciating, embarrassing thing, by all means cringe invisibly. Breathe through your blushing. Act natural. If you are being bullied or mocked, give your predators no pleasure and hold your he...

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