Sometimes when great plans fall apart, something just as beautiful emerges.

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It’s an honor to publish again with Grown & Flown on the topic of teens and spring break~

Our senior daughter asked to fly out-of-state for a spring break trip to visit her best friend in Indianapolis where we used to live. “With college coming, I need to say my good-byes,” she said. She planned on attending college overseas and the significance of leaving friendships behind was real. We appreciated her intentional care for the good people in her life and this particular friendship was rare. After giving it some thought, we gave our permission for her to take this trip.

Yet, I smarted with this abrupt departure from family tradition. As a tight-knit family, we’d never vacationed separately and I tingled with a bittersweet mixture of emotions. It was her last spring break before college and she wanted to do something without us. Much as I understood her desire to see her dear friend, it was enlightening that she was willing to forego a family vacation and the host of memories and inside-jokes that would invariably be added to family lore. This was a signal among others that she was readying herself to leave. At her age, I knew her desire was a healthy one, this eagerness to chart her own course.”

Read in full here. Thank you for your comments!


Spring Break and The Gambler (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

What do spring break and The Gambler have to do with each other?

I recently finished reading The Gambler and spring break is around the corner. These two facts remind me of a spring break several years ago that included time in Baden-Baden, Germany, the historic casino town where Dostoyevsky wrote The Gambler. We wanted to share Germany with our kids, a country where we’d lived before-kids, two different times in fact. Actually, our daughter was born in Germany just 10 days before we moved back to the US the second time. I wrote the creative nonfiction essay (not yet under publishing contract) Building Family Muscle, One Tower at a Time to tell the story of that trip back with the kids. It’s a story of conquered towers and substantial family growth. Stay tuned as to where this essay is published. But in the meantime, read The Gambler on your spring break.