Articles


Scandalous songs, then and now

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I was sitting at my desk, reasonably patiently, downloading songs from iTunes for my daughter. As she sampled the songs, I couldn’t help wondering what the heck she was listening to these days and why it was even allowed on the radio. Things have changed so much since I was a kid, it seems. After one particular song, I could hold my tongue no longer.

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Thoughts inspired by Valentine’s Day

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My editor reminded me that my February column was due, and anticipating my blank stare, said, “Maybe you could write about love or something.”

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A to-do list for a fresh decade

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I have not always loved beginnings. They used to fill me with fear and sadness, because they usually represented an end to a part of my life that, while not often very happy, was very comfortable. Yet even in my dark days I always seemed to know when I needed to change in order to grow, and was fortunate enough to surround myself with people who supported that need.

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Let’s enjoy a holiday tail—or two, or more

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a … ” Oops. Hold up. That’s not quite right this year. This year a mouse was actually stirring. And it changed my views a tad on the circle of life.

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Bullying is timeless—and unacceptable

By Maggie Lamond Simone

The holidays are upon us once again, the season of family, of gatherings, of traditions. The season, in most people’s lives, of hope.

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A wrong turn at the grocery store

Grocery shopping has always vexed me. No matter how well or how poorly I do it, I have to do it again next week. Week in, week out, I push my cart on the right, I check for traffic at intersecting aisles, I take a number for the deli, and I weigh the fruit. The routine, at least, is vaguely calming.

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Why not teach my son golf?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

If ever there was a sporting analogy for parenthood, golf is it. There are traps and hazards and obstacles and bad lies, misplaced shots and errors in judgment and bad bounces. Even the professionals have bad days and miss putts. It looks so darn easy on television, yet simply breaking even is a good thing.

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Noises do prey on one's mind, don't they?

By Maggie Lamond Simone


Ah yes, I can hear it now, the fading sound of summer vacation—a few precious weeks left of those lovely times spent at the beach, at the playground, on bike rides through the neighborhood, or on creative rainy-day activities. And I’m not saying I haven’t enjoyed all of these activities, because I truly have.

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When renovating, one thing leads to another

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Well, hon, looks like we need to find a roofer!” my husband said, phone book in hand. I couldn’t help feeling he was just a little too perky about it; in my mind, it’s just wrong to spend that much money on something I can neither wear nor drive. But he is a Project Man, and Project Men are simply not happy unless there is major construction happening in or around their home on a regular basis.

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So much about depression doesn’t make sense

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Why do they call depression “the blues”? Blue is such a beautiful color. My husband’s eyes are an ethereal light blue. The ocean, one of my favorite places to be near, comes in too many shades to be counted. And of course there’s the sky in summertime—a deep blue that promises a perfect day of unscheduled bliss. Blue is the very color of happy.

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Overcoming our discomfort with difference

By Maggie Lamond Simone

When I was a kid, there were no “special needs” kids. There were “handicapped” kids and “retarded” kids, and they were separated from the rest of us in every way possible. They went to different classes in a different part of the school. I felt sorry for them, and when other kids made fun of them on the bus, it broke my heart.

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Who’s too old for another baby?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Mom,” the girl asked recently, “why did you marry someone so much older than you?”

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Finding female friends gets harder all the time

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Women have always kind of scared me. Not like mice scare me, really, but in a more “I am completely inadequate and therefore unworthy of your friendship” way. I’ve been like this since I was a child, and whatever the reason (cough *BROTHERS* cough), it must be addressed. I recently read that by their 40s, women either meet or have already become friends with the friends they will have the rest of their lives. The pressure is on.

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A husband and wife realize they need to talk

By Maggie Lamond Simone

It was a weird kind of quiet.

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When is a step forward just a step too far?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I try to be a modern woman, to roll with the changes. If it’s new and improved and makes my life easier, I’m typically all over it. My generation has had more than its share of innovations and progress, and I’ve always been quite pleased to be a part—and a recipient—of that progress.

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Has the real Christmas gone missing?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I dreamed that I forgot Christmas.

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Outsmarting calories is easier than you imagine

By Maggie Lamond Simone

The holiday season is upon us once again—Halloween just past, Thanksgiving and the December holidays, and of course my birthday, looming—and already the queries have begun.

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Of sleep lost, minivans driven and sporting events attended

By Maggie Lamond Simone

It was a Saturday night after an exciting day of Pop Warner football and Chinese takeout. Neither child went to sleep easily or early, and after taking a few minutes to read, I fell asleep sometime after midnight. Shortly after drifting off, I was awakened by a child with a bad dream. Soon thereafter it was the cats engaged in a game of tag, followed by the dog joining in. Finally all was quiet . . . until I felt a hand on my shoulder.

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These are the times that try Mom’s mind

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I saw a young mother with a new baby in the frame store and stopped to admire both.

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The rewards of letting your kids defy expectations

By Maggie Lamond Simone 

I assume I know my children pretty well. I know their likes, dislikes, fears and dreams. I believe my son to be a relatively shy individual, and I know that my daughter, who enjoys her personal space, will never be an overly affectionate child. No real surprises there.

I used to know these things, anyway. Now, I’m not so sure.

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A spouse’s reunion can be an opportunity or a chore

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My husband’s college reunion is looming and I’m trying to be supportive, but I have to admit he’s really beginning to bug me. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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What’s so hard about selecting a Father’s Day gift?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My husband and I are pretty predictable when it comes to gifts. Anniversaries and birthdays will usually produce a watch, for instance, or a spa treatment. We’re always creative when it comes to the kids, but between ourselves, we tend toward the familiar. The expected, if you will. We’ve been together long enough to find comfort in this. This year, however, I decided to shake things up a little.

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A mother confronts the three-letter f-word

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My daughter came home from school recently and said, “Mom, we did an experiment at school today with a scale, and I weigh 58 pounds. Is that OK?”

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Think before giving unsolicited advice to expectant moms

By Maggie Lamond Simone
I attended a recent business function and sat down next to a young woman who was very pregnant. I suddenly recalled my son’s first sonogram, and how that one little heartbeat changed my life.

“First one?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied, hesitantly. It took me a second, but then I realized she expected me to bombard her—with stupid questions and stories of my own labors and deliveries and vomit and poopy diapers.

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This mother’s no pushover

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I’m not the competitive sort. I don’t need to win to enjoy a game. I never even played sports as a kid, although there was probably a little competition between my siblings and me in terms of who was smarter. All I know is more than one family Scrabble game came to a crashing halt when someone’s tiles became projectiles. For the record, I’m sure the culprit was my younger brother, and my family’s stubborn insistence that it was me simply demonstrates the lengths to which they will all go to win.

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A mother’s dictionary of parental idiom

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My daughter was nagging—er, persistently requesting something recently, and in a fit of exasperation I said, “We’ll see.” She walked away doing the little fist-pump “Yes!” thing. And I thought, Oh, isn’t that cute? She still thinks that means “you might have a shot,” rather than “I know if I say this you will leave me in peace.” How sweet!

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A mom says it's time to battle her bulges

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I have what you might call a tenuous relationship with exercise. Every 10 years or so, it occurs to me that I might need some, and so I do something dramatic. I buy new fitness equipment, I map out a running trail in the neighborhood, I pull out the Tae Bo tape. It’s like clockwork. I told my husband I wanted a gym membership for Christmas, and without lifting his eyes from his book he replied, “Oh, has a decade gone by already?”

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Parenthood brings one mom fresh perspective on her own childhood

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Well, when I was a kid…” I was in physical therapy one day, trapped on my cot with a hot pack on my back, when I heard those dreaded words from an older patient outside my door.

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By Maggie Lamond Simone

A wedding weekend with siblings kindles mom’s memories

My family and I recently traveled to the Midwest to attend the wedding of my youngest brother. The other brothers and I rented a big house in the woods so that all of the young cousins could be together and make noise and have some fun. There were no major meltdowns by either grownups or children and, aside from the occasional “Mom, he’s bugging me,” the weekend was lovely.

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Mom shares her secret recipe for guilt-free parenting

By Maggie Lamond Simone

The boy came into the family room and announced, “Hey, it’s dinnertime. Where are we going?”

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Fellow moms can handle the awful truth

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Mothers have a bond like no other. For some of us, it might have started with the act of childbirth, which is beautiful and magical but essentially redefines our sense of dignity and modesty for the rest of our lives. For others it may stem simply from the task of raising children, from the early days of projectile vomiting to the later days of living with teenagers who think we’re complete morons.

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A family’s unity is tested on vacation

By Maggie Lamond Simone

It’s good to get away.


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A hot-flash season of a mother‘s life

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My son was upset the other night because he realized he’d only practiced piano a couple times throughout the week and his lesson was the next day. He was very hard on himself, and I said, “I’m sorry, honey. You’re only 9; Mommy needs to remind you more often. That’s part of my job.”

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A mother gets in the swim with a new look

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Well, fans, it’s back-to-you-know-what time, and once again we’re hoping that everyone is returning refreshed, with a little more knowledge and maybe a little more confidence than last year! We’re pretty excited up here in the booth, as we get a bird’s-eye view of the season’s latest bathing suit styles.

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A mother aims to lower her standards

By Maggie Lamond Simone

We recently got new furniture and carpeting in the family room. I love everything about new stuff: the smell of it, how it almost glows with lack of human contact. It’s pristine, pure, perfectly clean. Then the inevitable first spill comes . . . and I breathe a silent sigh of relief.

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Which is harder, puppies or babies?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I got my first dog many years ago. I was young and single, living alone in the big city, constantly expecting my mother to be duly impressed. I would call and regale her with exciting stories of my life and puppy, and she would respond with a well-timed “Really!” or “You’re kidding!”

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A mother fails to join the digital age

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My kids laugh when I tell them we didn’t have computers when I was a kid. There were no iPods or Nintendo DSes or Wiis or Game Boys or electronic diaries or digital pets. In fact, the only two high-tech gadgets I can remember from my early youth were the hand-held hair dryer and the medical alert button that spawned the classic line “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

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This woman won't convert to the St. Valentine's Day religion

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Valentine’s Day is like a pair of hip-huggers, I’ve decided. Not because it makes my butt look huge, necessarily, but because it doesn’t fit me the way it’s supposed to. I’ve tried it on a few times over the years, but it just wasn’t comfortable. I am just not a traditionally romantic girl.

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A mother’s New Year’s ambitions diminish with time

By Maggie Lamond Simone

I am not one for resolutions. Oh, I used to be, of course. I have vivid recollections of writing out elaborate New Year's resolutions every year, complete with drawings and/or charts. I would use the season as an opportunity to take stock of where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. I would reassess my life goals, plans, successes and failures, and sincerely and deliberately plot out my intentions for the coming year.

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She sees you when you're sleeping and knows... everything

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Everyone thinks Santa has such a cool job. Well, you know what? I bet I could do it.

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When the bed is just for sleeping

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My youngest brother recently announced his engagement and asked if I had any advice for him, since my husband and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary.

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When the kids are away, the mom will... brood

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Autumn has always been about beginnings in my life. It's my season of rebirth. I remember the fall 12 years ago when I adopted the first love of my life, a golden retriever named Decker. I was single, had no children and had my dream career working from home as a writer.

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A mother's daughter yearns to grow up

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Our teen-age neighbor came over recently to visit our new puppy. We've known her for several years, and she's blossomed into a beautiful young lady–a "big girl," to my daughter. My daughter silently walked over to her, arms outstretched, and hugged her around the waist.

Our teen-age neighbor came over recently to visit our new puppy. We've known her for several years, and she's blossomed into a beautiful young lady–a "big girl," to my daughter. My daughter silently walked over to her, arms outstretched, and hugged her around the waist.

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A vacation is all in a mothers mind

By Maggie Lamond Simone


The purpose of a vacation, they say, is to make us feel better. It is an opportunity to escape from real life for a while, to pamper ourselves, to do things we ordinarily don't do. It is meant to restore our mental health so that the usual daily routine isn't so bad. That's why we look forward to it every year.

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A mother ventures intoa brand-new social scene

By Maggie Lamond Simone

The mall? Tonight? Sure, I'd love to! I just have to ask my parents."



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A mother says it’s always time to eat

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My son recently came home from his friend’s house, where he’d been playing outside all afternoon, and ran down to the basement to use his video game.

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A mother tries to understand her spirited daughter

By Maggie Lamond Simone

If you’ve ever taken a dog for training, one thing becomes immediately clear. The classes aren’t for training the dog, they’re for training you. You need to understand the way a dog thinks before you can begin to understand how to peacefully coexist with him. The goal isn’t to break the dog’s spirit so that he’ll do what you want; it’s to understand the dog’s spirit and use that knowledge to help him be safe and happy.

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A Mother’s Day thought worth holding onto

By Maggie Lamond Simone

Yes, my friends, it’s time for the annual Mother’s Day column. It changes every year, as I change as a mother, as my relationship with my own mother grows, as I watch my friends with their children.

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Things for the “you could have fooled me” list

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My husband went grocery shopping the other day and came home with my favorite cookies. You’re waiting for me to say, “April Fool,” aren’t you?

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A mother mourns the loss of a dog who was so much more

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My dog went to Heaven, he went there today
I’m not quite sure how, but he knew the way.
Each day it was harder to run and to climb
And I guess in his heart, he knew it was time.

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What if what you think is what you get?

By Maggie Lamond Simone

My husband and I have a running debate about an individual’s ability to control certain aspects of his or her life. Since he is an optimistic, glass-is-half-full kind of guy, he believes that we are able to make good things happen by setting the intention for them to happen. He believes, and I quote, that “what you think about expands.”

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A mom learns the secret to a strong stance

By Maggie Lamond Simone

It’s all in the posture. If I pretend to be something I’m not or pretend to feel something I don’t, then I’m faking. I’m not being truthful. I’m twisting and bending myself, Gumby-like, into a pose that better reflects the me I’d like to be instead of the me I really am. While I’ve perfected the pose through many years of hard work, my New Year’s resolution this year is to make life easier. And it’s easier to just be me.

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A mother tries to look back without regret

By Maggie Lamond Simone

A friend recently realized that the homecoming dance her teen-age daughter attended in the fall was her last, because Alex is a senior. It was one of many such events in Alex’s busy life, and so the finality of it went unnoticed until weeks later. My friend was sad not only for the realization but for not having recognized it at the time. 

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Mom hands her children the key to ending generations of shame


By Maggie Lamond Simone

I keep my cleaning supplies locked in a cabinet under the kitchen sink. I thought that keeping them hidden would protect my kids, that if I showed them where and what they were, they’d be more inclined to want to experiment with them and get hurt. If they didn’t know the stuff was there, then there wouldn’t be any danger.

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