"What's Eating My Child?" - notes from a talk by Kelly Dorfman

The notes that follow are my (Sarabeth's) summary of a talk given by Kelly Dorfman.

Thinking About Family

Dear Family,

To my old brown earth And to my old blue sky I’ll now give these last few molecules of “I.” And you who sing, And you who stand nearby, I do charge you not to cry. Guard well our human chain,
 Watch well you keep it strong, 
As long as sun will shine. And this our home,
 Keep pure and sweet and green,
 For now I’m yours 
And you are also mine.

--Pete Seeger (1919-2014)


Concerning eternal frustrations (Slippery Ice, Learning Something New, Life In General): "I HATE ice skating!

Really, This Must Be a Milestone

Dear Family,

Happy Christmas (to those who celebrate)! And Happy Day When Nobody Expects You To Do Anything, Which Is A Super Awesome Holiday (to those who don't).

This year, Jeff and I Divided To Conquer. He got the Super-Long Drive and the Potty-Trained Kids Who Sleep Through the Night. I got the Easy Commute, and the Sometimes-Potty-Trained Child Who Rarely Sleeps Deeply. Ben and Jem are having a Bountiful Christmas at Grandma's, and report that they are having lots of fun. Amazingly, both Jeff and I are getting some extra rest.

The Fundamental Preciousness of Things

Dear Family,

"No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow."

Someone, possibly Euripides, once said that. A character named Medea, in one of Euripides' dramas, further added:

"Sooner would I stand/Three times to face their battles, shield in hand/Than bear one child!"


Eliza is 18 months old, beginning to use sign language, and finally starting to say words like "Mama" and "Papa" (and today: "Buppy!", for puppy).

Big News! And a Tiny Little Problem...

Dear Family,

“Come, come, my conservative friend, wipe the dew off your spectacles, and see that the world is moving.”

--Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815-1902


"I'm not a punk!" Well then, Jem, what ARE you?? "I'm a NICE boy!"

Hey Jem! Why the heck are you drawing on my piece of paper? It's my list! "I'm writing! I'm writing 'JemBen,' 'cause I don't know how to write 'and'."

Jem's playmate: Jem, why do you call that your Spider Friend?

Atticus Finch and a Blue-Sky Summer Day

Dear Family,

"Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win."

--Atticus ("To Kill a Mockingbird," by Harper Lee)


Concerning the average duration of a cuddle: "...it goes until you Un-Cuddle."

"I'm going to write a book. Not a kid's book, but a Papa Book, because it will be about people dying.

Upcoming Food Events!

Eating Because We Love To (and because it's good for our health)!

The following events will focus on nutrient-dense, grain-free, un(corporately)processed food.

Squaring Off with The Big Black Cloud

Dear Family,

The Uses of Sorrow by Mary Oliver

Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift.

FAQ Concerning The Trip I took to NJ last month, with Jem and Eliza

Q. Did you have fun?

A. Yes! It was super nice to join my four siblings in celebrating our parents' fortieth wedding anniversary. What an inspiring couple, and the five of us have specifically selfish reasons for being particularly glad they both got together, forty years ago.

Introducing Robbie: A Family Turning the Tide

Robbie was sick and compromised from birth. He lacked oxygen during many hours of labor, and was born barely alive. Afterward, he was limp and listless and would only sleep. For a couple days he was like that, no nursing at all for many hours. There was every indication that he had irreparable brain damage.

He always had issues that were obvious to me, a mother of 5, because my older children didn't have any of them. He was not vaccinated, never had antibiotics, and was breastfed until age 5 or 6...and still he was never, ever well.

On Beyond Housework: An Attempt at a Peaceful Analysis

Dear Family,

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light. Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness, and fears." --Cesare Pavese

"Something's lost and something's gained in living every day." --Joni Mitchell


"The Babylife Song", sung as a chant from the bathtub, while watching a small sister unload the bathroom cabinet: "...Now you're taking things out of the drawer, and putting them on the floor, and now you're putting the bottle of Something in your mouth, but now you're putting the Something down and eating your hand instead.

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