Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Life as an Immigrant in Fairfax County

Fairfax County is one of the most diverse locations in the country.
Its residents come from every continent on Earth except Antarctica. A morning walk to drop off your child at school can put you within earshot of the more than hundred different languages spoken in Fairfax County (more than a third of the population speaks a language other than English at home). The student body in Fairfax County Public Schools comes from more than 150 countries, a veritable United Nations. A leisurely drive around the county brings home the diversity of its populace in more ways than one.
But what is life like as a new immigrant?
[I]f there is one thing that defines the immigrant experience, particularly in the first few days, weeks and months in this country, it is the near-constant state of exploration and discovery — everything from the mundane question of how to turn on a shower to the infinitely more complicated problems of learning how to drive, obtain utilities connections, school admissions, drivers’ licenses, insurance policies, find doctors, find the right place of worship and build networks.
More in the first of three essays on diversity in Fairfax County and life as an immigrant in Coming to America - The First Days.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Let Children Have a Say in What They Eat

A clap of thunder, a bolt of lightning and it hit me that this was it. The answer to my prayers to help me steer clear of the trap that many parents around me seemed to be unable to extricate themselves from — one in which feeding their children healthy food turned into wars of attrition.
My post on why it's important to involve children in the kitchen and tips on how to do it appears here.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Middle School Rules

Jessica Lahey on how 'regular' rules differ from 'middle school' rules.
Middle school rules. Different from the regular rules. Elusive, slippery things I'm only beginning to master, and I have spent the past five years as a professional middle school referee.
Read the rest of her thoughtful post on her blog for pointers on dealing with the all too difficult middle school years.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Even the Simplest of Things Come With Memories Attached

Seemebadhnekaayi curry with rasam rice was one of my favorite dishes as a long-braided teenager growing up in India. The squishy sweetness of the vegetable, a member of the squash family, gelled blissfully with the tangy spiciness of the rasam, a gravy-type dish usually eaten with rice.


 I turned my sights to the other vegetables on my list, left the coyote squash where I had found it after all those years and checked out of the store.

A recollection had waltzed in out of thin air, made space for itself and refused to let my mini-celebration be.

The rest is here.