29 articles Parenting

Transforming Potluck

The potluck is at S’s boss’s house. The house used to belong to a different colleague, a fact which reflects the two-tiered world of Cape Breton: the academic haves trade resources – projects, homes – while the local-born blue-collars cling to a shrinking raft. But the neighbourhood kids don’t distinguish; they have invaded the potluck,…

Transforming Therapy

I have never shied away from therapy. Psychology ought to be universally available and free from stigma. While therapy requires patience, I’ve always found it valuable in helping me to make decisions, and cultivate habits, that benefit me and mine. But it also bears remembering that, like all other branches of medicine, psychology comes with…

Transforming Homeschooling

In preparation for the final exam, let’s review: our nuclear family took flight to France for a sabbatical that was meant to last ten months – September to June, the same length as one year of public schooling.  The school calendar shaped a lot of our plans: French students get four two-week holidays, spread out…

Transforming Estaminets

As our time abroad comes to be measured in weeks instead of months, our planning becomes precious; we feel we must choose wisely if we are to snatch up a few final, essential experiences. For who knows when we will be back this way? Sometimes this involves seeking out enriching cultural events, like this week’s…

Transforming Quadrupel

Tonight, it’s Le Capsule, a 50-brilliant-beers-on-tap bar, the sort which I’ll never find back home. S gave me the evening off because I keep having miniature panic attacks, and I really ought to be soul-searching, trying to divine the root cause of my anxiety. Instead, I’m getting blitzed on Le Trappe Quadrupel, a beer so…

Transforming Mutants

In Lille, we have The Last Bar Before the End of the World – undoubtedly a play on Douglas Adams’s The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, because everything about it screams “esoteric geek,” from the glassed-in collection of animé figurines to the cocktail names (“Sith,” “Triforce,” and of course “Pangalactic Gargleblaster”) to the…

Transforming Trans

Today is International Women’s Day. My life is blessedly suffused with smart, fierce, creative, and innovative women, many of whom love me for reasons I’ll never fully fathom. I cannot do them all justice in 1,000 words, so I’m going to focus instead on women who face a particular challenge – asserting their status as…