Letters from Santa

It was the Christmas of 2013, and my 10-year-old twin sons were having a crisis of faith.Their elder brother had already settled into a comfortable skepticism about flying reindeer, toy-making elves, and Santa Claus. To their younger sister, the existence of such things was a matter of uncomplicated . . . . Continue Reading »

Unheard Voices

Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family ‘Equality’ edited by robert oscar lópez and rivka edelman createspace, 484 pages, $19.99 I magine that an interrogator has imprisoned someone and binds his mouth shut with electrical tape. For hours the interrogator harangues . . . . Continue Reading »

Children of Desire

My sister and I were preschoolers in the 1980s. Once upon an afternoon, our mother instructed us: If ever she were unable to pick us up and had to send another grownup in her stead, she would impart to that grownup a “secret word.” If ever a grownup approached us, neighbor or stranger, claiming . . . . Continue Reading »

My Daughter's Body

It was a rainy Tuesday morning in June. I remember pounding rain on a copper roof outside my window; sheets of water splattering as a city darkened and pealing thunder brought with it the full force of a summer rainstorm; then fierce pain. Continue Reading »

Kids Today

Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids edited by meghan daum picador, 288 pages, $26 The Dadly Virtues: Adventures from the Worst Job You’ll Ever Love edited by jonathan v. last templeton, 192 pages, $24.95 These days it is widely assumed that a . . . . Continue Reading »

The Myth of Vampire Children

My university experience, like that of so many others, was rich. I was a college athlete and editor of a campus paper. I had discovered a love for philosophy, and I was thinking seriously about going to graduate school. Life was great, an ocean of potential. And then I got the phone call that . . . . Continue Reading »

What are Children For?

Friedrich Engels was a prophet of marriage in the modern age. Monogamous marriage, he declared in The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State, published in 1884, is “unnatural,” setting the practical against the genuinely emotional, reducing persons to commodities, and undermining . . . . Continue Reading »