Another Shooting, A Mother’s Rant

a mother's comment about shooting

By: Shannon Ralph Today began like any other day. This morning, my alarm went off at 6:30 AM, and I rolled out of bed. Bleary-eyed and cursing Mondays, I woke my three children one by one. Milk was poured. Pop-Tarts were consumed. Teeth were brushed. Hair was combed. Shoes were tied and back-packs were zipped. […]

10 Things a Girl Needs to See Her Mom Doing

photo 8 (2)

By: Shannon Ralph I am the mother of a 9-year-old daughter. In some ways, I feel like raising my daughter is more difficult than raising my two sons. Yes, my sons fart. And try to kill each other on a daily basis. And their socks emit a smell that am pretty sure could be bottled […]

Raising an Anxious Child

anxious kid

By: Shannon Ralph My name is Shannon Ralph and I am an anxious person. I come from a long, dignified line of worriers, depressives, drunkards, over-eaters, and generally nervous people. As a small child, I was painfully, painfully shy. I remember second grade vividly. I had just moved to a new school and had difficulty […]

Kim Davis – This Time It’s Personal

Kim Davis

By: Shannon Ralph Until today, I have not written a single word about Kim Davis. In part, this is because others have addressed the issue of the fanatical Kentucky clerk with such eloquence and such cool composure that I am embarrassed by my own gut response. I have been completely incapable of discussing Ms. Davis […]

The 12 Commandments for Parenting a 12-Year-Old Boy

12 year old boy

By: Shannon Ralph I adore my son. I love him with all my heart. I do, however, find myself sometimes marveling at the unparalleled anomaly that is a 12-year-old boy. Not yet a teen. No longer a little kid. My son is taller than me. Hairier. His feet are huge. His socks smell. He’s opinionated. […]

Why I Hug My Tween (Even When He Complains)


By: Shannon Ralph I vividly remember my last day as a cool person. I had been living for years—mistakenly—under the assumption that I was a “cool mom.” It’s been five months since that façade crumbled, but it seems like only yesterday. It was a beautiful spring morning when my wife informed me, rather sheepishly, that […]

A Transgender Man Tells His Story


By: Shannon Ralph James Hart is a soft-spoken man with freckles and striking pale blue eyes. When you talk with him, his smile appears easily and often. He is kind and funny and has an infectious, if somewhat nervous, laugh. When I first approached James about being interviewed for this article, he admitted to having […]

Do White Parents Have a Responsibility to Talk About Race?


By: Shannon Ralph   Recently, my 9-year-old son began taking swim lessons at one of our local Minneapolis YWCA locations. On the first day of his class, we had planned a family dinner out afterwards, so my wife, my other two children, and I marched into the YWCA hand in hand as a show of […]

The Invisible Girl

The Invisible girl

By Shannon Ralph My nine-year-old daughter likes boys. Not in a boy-band-posters-covering-her-bedroom-wall sort of way. Not in a gushing-and-squealing-loudly-because-OMG-NIALL-IS-SO-CUTE! sort of way. Not in any pre-pubescent romantic sense whatsoever. She simply likes to hang out with boys. It only makes sense. Sophie has a twin brother who is her very best friend in the world. […]

50 Secrets about Nine-Year-Old Girls (From a Mom in the Trenches)

50 secrets about a nine year old

By: Shannon Ralph She wants to be cuddled like the little girl she was not so very long ago. Until she doesn’t. Don’t even think about touching her when she doesn’t! You are her very favorite person in the entire world…ever. Seriously. Until five minutes later when she can’t stand the sound of your shrill […]