Jayson Greene, Once More We Saw Stars (2019)

Once-More-We-Saw-Stars-2019Once More We Saw Stars (Knopf, 2019) is a memoir by Jayson Greene, about the tragic loss of his 2-year-old daughter Greta and his path through grief to healing.

A review in the Washington Post notes, “The book’s title, from Dante’s Inferno, tips us off that Greta’s bereft parents will, in the poet’s words, ‘get back up to the shining world.’ But Once More We Saw Stars, an outgrowth of a journal Greene began shortly after the accident, is a chronological account, which means there’s unthinkable pain before the arduous ‘path toward healing.’

“Like Virgil, Greene makes for a good guide on this journey to hell and back. He’s a Brooklyn-based journalist and editor who met his wife, Stacy, a cellist by training, at the classical-music nonprofit where they both worked. After Greta’s birth, Stacy switched tracks to become a lactation consultant and nutritionist. Their story is not just of loss, but of their remarkable love, which helps them through this tragedy.” [. . .] — Review by Heller McAlpin in the Washington Post (May 8, 2019)

Tenth Circle of Hell: School Supplies

“Dante wrote about the nine circles of hell; but I discovered the 10th – school supplies shopping. I admit, I used to enjoy it. After all, the limitless possibilities of a blank sheet of wide-ruled notebook paper are boundless. But, there is a downside to the scavenger hunt to find plastic folders with prongs, binders by the inch, and a pencil bag for the 72 mechanical pencils on the list.” — Lara Patangan, Mercy Matters, August 13, 2014

Read the rest of the article here.

The 9 Circles of Tee Ball Hell

“Yes, it is almost summer, and for parents with children between the ages of four to six, it is tee ball season, the embryonic stage of America’s favorite pastime. Sure, seeing your child in an over sized t-shirt in one of the primary colors with a matching kiddie baseball cap is cute, but is it worth it?

“I have had two children go through tee ball, and my third has just started, and what I’ve realized is that there are nine circles to tee ball hell. I have taken the liberty of laying them out here.” — Nicole Johnson, Sammiches and Psych Meds

Read the rest of the article here.

9 Circles of Parent Hell

“Some days parenting feels like nothing more than a series of bare-knuckle bouts in the gladiator pit of life. Some days it feels as if all you do is pick up the crumpled, inside-out socks of Satan’s spawn. Somehow we manage. We wade through the muck putting out fires. We fan the embers that need flaming, we keep the home fires burning long enough to cook dinner, and we do our best to avoid the nine circles of parenting hell.

“Not familiar with the 9 Circles of Parenting Hell? Let me fill you in.” — Wine and Cheese Doodles, March 7, 2015

Read the full article here.

The 9 Circles of Youth Sports Hell That All Parents Will Recognize

9-circles-of-youth-sports-and-dance-hell“Youth sports aren’t all trophies and high fives. Youth sports can be a firewalk through the inferno.” — Josette Plank, Scary Mommy

Read the full article of the circles of youth sports hell here.

The 9 Circles of Children’s Birthday Party Hell

“Kids’ birthday parties always sound so fun in the abstract. Maybe it’s that they’re a guilt-free way to avoid weekend errands for a few hours and at the same time load up on sugary cake. While most of them are fine, over the years there have been some real doozies. In escalating order of awfulness, here they are…” — Tracy Charlton, Scary Mommy

Read the full article here.

The 9 Circles of Hell…I Mean, Bedtime

My daughter just turned thirteen, but because of her disabilities she’s much more immature than the average thirteen-year-old, and believe it or not, we are still struggling with bedtime. Yes, thirteen years into this parenting gig, bedtime is still a struggle. I know, I’m a failure at parenting in many ways, this is just the one I feel like talking about today. Here’s a look at what bedtime is like at our house now…” — Cheney Meaghan, Pickle Fork, January 4, 2019

Read the rest of the article here.

Fire in Guatemala at Children’s Shelter

guatemala-childrens-shelter-fire-2017“A fire that raged in a home for abused children in Guatemala killed at least 35 people, mostly girls, and doctors on Thursday described their shock at the severity of the burns suffered by two dozen more hospitalized victims.

“‘I’ve been doing this for 29 years. What I saw yesterday was a scene from Dante,’ said Juan Antonio Villeda, director of the San Juan de Dios hospital, where victims with extremely serious burns were being treated. Villeda was alluding to the 14th-century poem The Inferno by Italian author Dante Alighieri that depicts punishments suffered in Hell.

The fire broke out on Wednesday in a wing of the government-run Virgen de la Asuncion home near San Jose Pinula, 25 km (15 miles) southwest of Guatemala City, as some residents allegedly set mattresses ablaze after an escape attempt the night before.” — Sofia Menchu, Reuters, March 8, 2017

Read more about the fire here.

Una commedia divina, Arianna Caldarella (lyrics) and Corrado Neri (music), 2015

One of the performances at the 58th annual Zecchino d’Oro (an international children’s music festival), held in Bologna in 2015, was “Una commedia divina,” with music by Corrado Neri, text by Arianna Caldarella. It was performed by Andrea Amelio and Chiara Casolari (pictured below), together with the Piccolo Coro “Mariele Ventre” dell’Antoniano.

Zecchino-d'oro-commedia-divina-SingersThe Zecchino d’Oro website describes the song as follows: “Originale rivisitazione a misura di bambino di uno dei più grandi capolavori della letteratura italiana: la Divina Commedia. L’amore di Dante per Beatrice si carica di un’energia tutta nuova, fresca e vivace, e prende vita sotto forma di un linguaggio semplice e dotato di una punta di ironia, concedendo anche ai più piccoli di addentrarsi nel favoloso mondo del ‘sommo poeta.’ Il brano si propone inoltre di omaggiare in musica Dante Alighieri nell’anno in cui si celebra il 750° anniversario della sua nascita.”

The full text of the song is available on the Zecchino d’Oro website (with videos) and at si24.it.

Parenting Circles of Hell: The Supermarket

“It is a well known fact that The Supermarket is in fact the seventh circle of hell for parents of toddlers. And pre-schoolers. And primary, secondary… oh stuff it, most kids. Shopping with kids full stop is a particular pain that most of us dread but for some reason, The Supermarket is a special, fire-burning hell that should only be braved by the thick of skin and girded of loin.” — Kate Dyson, The Motherload, February 9, 2018

Read the full article here.