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So nice to read you! I very much appreciated your NYT article and forwarded it to my sister before I even realized who the author was. I agree 100%. As a parent I’m trying to find the sweet spot between my mother’s generation: utter neglect and my generation: smothering, controlling, hovering. Kids need freedom to allow their imaginations to roam. I love it when I can overhear my daughter constructing an alternative world out of her toys. And adults don’t need to sit on the floor cross-legged surrounded by toys. Of course I do other things with my children. I especially love reading bedtime stories. These parents who center every waking moment around their children are going to be suffering greatly when their kids move out of the house at 18. And there’s nothing that hinders a child like having parents take ownership over every aspect of their child’s lives. They need to form their own independent sense of self. Comments and social media are the worst! I recently muted the comments section on my Instagram account. Not because I was receiving anything negative, but because a lot of the comments made me cringe and cluttered things up. I think the photos should primarily speak for themselves. An article is different, but it’s frightening how extreme and cruel people can be- there’s no room for dialogue or nuance. Best to be avoided as much as possible. When I used to teach I would allow a few negative comments to overshadow all the other positive feedback. I wish we could all give each other some grace- room to grow and evolve. Instead it’s all so either/or and confining. Your writing class/workshop sounds so fulfilling! I’m hoping to connect with some sort of short story group in the fall. Interesting to hear you mention auto-fiction. I’m still not 100% clear on it. I’ve read ‘Dept. of Speculation’ and ‘Outline’ which fall into it. But now everything I read lately I wonder if it qualifies as auto-fiction. Just finished Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Whereabouts’- which seems like it may be auto-fiction. Such a good read! And I started Dana Spiotta’s ‘Wayward’ - so far the novel seems so timely. Spiotta has nailed it with her protagonist. Again, good to read your posts. I admire that you have the guts to put so much out there. Yet, at the same time manage to hold onto some things for yourself.

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