February 5 18

If you ask Emily, she’s not the favorite. She feels overlooked.

If you ask Josh, he’s not the favorite. He feels overlooked.

If you ask Isabella, she’s not the favorite. She feels overlooked.

If you have ever talked to a parent, been a parent, watched a television show about a parent, you know there’s that standard answer: Oh, child of mine, you know that’s so silly. I don’t have a favorite. You’re all my favorite, of course. 

Maybe favorite is the wrong word choice. But, if we’re being honest, I certainly have moments where I’m more frustrated with one of my children. There are days when someone is particularly sassy. There are days when someone doesn’t have a grateful heart. There are days when it’s really hard to get someone out of bed. There are days when it’s really hard to get someone to go to bed. There are days when we gets those calls or emails from teachers.

There are days when I have to do too much math homework. But there are also days when I don’t have to do any homework {math or other frustrating subjects} at all.

And days when we get calls or emails to tell us that one of our children did something particularly incredible.  There are days when someone wants to cuddle with me before bed. There are days when someone hops out of bed in the morning and makes me a coffee. There are days when someone is grateful or says when someone is so sweet and kind and lovely.

Children are hard. Sometimes. They are emotional and physical work. They can be exhausting. They can make you cry. But children can also make you cry the best kind of tears. The kind when you just look at them and think I AM SO LUCKY THAT THIS CHILD IS MINE. Wonders, if you will.

These emotional swings do just that…they swing. On Monday I could be completely ignoring Josh because his needs and wants are so few, and Isabella gets the bulk of my attention because she’s struggling with something, and Emily gets what is left because she has a driving test we need to focus on. On Tuesday Emily could be the one who gets ignored because Isabella is dancing on stage and Josh needs math help. And then on Wednesday it’s Isabella’s turn to be overlooked.

The overlooked child. It’s something I have been thinking about lately. 

This all came to a tearful head when I was sitting in a very crowded theatre — with my kids to the left of me, and my parents to the right of me — during a winter-break viewing of Wonder.

I began to think about this balance in our family.

Because that’s exactly what happened in Wonder.

There is a scene — spoiler alert! — when the often overlooked older sister Via gets off a stage after a much-needed night of attention on just her and her mother gives her this look, and points at her, and that moment right there ended in SOBS. Because I have been there. Too many times to count, but certainly enough times to make me feel guilty.

I have overlooked an easier child to help a needier child. (And truthfully, I have also been an overlooked child because my mother had to be with a needier sibling.)

There were so many moments in the movie that made me think about being a mom. That made me think about being a daughter.

But that one, you guys, that moment, that was my Claire Danes ugly cry moment.

Interestingly, as a little sidebar to this story, only two of my children were with me in the theatre that night. One of my children had been having one of those days just before we left the house. I was so upset with this child’s selfishness and sassiness that I finally reached a breaking point and said, “I’m sorry. You are not invited to come with us to see this movie. You can stay home.”

So while I’m thinking about overlooking some of my children, I’m also thinking about punishments and follow-throughs.

Seriously parenting. It is not for the faint of heart. 

I’m telling you right now, if you haven’t seen this movie, you must. Everyone I know who has seen it has been touched by it (and maybe possibly cried)(Likely not as much as I did)(and probably didn’t embarrass their children as much as I did). For so many reasons. It was funny, it was touching, it was wonderful. (See what I did there?) Julia Roberts, Jacob Tremblay, and Owen Wilson perfectly play the characters so wonderfully written in R.J. Palacio’s original Wonder book. And listen…Daveed Diggs (YOU KNOW FROM HAMILTON OMG) and Mandy Patinkin are also in this movie so that alone should make it worth seeing. Daveed Diggs, you guys.


And I am super thankful to have FIVE copies of Wonder to give away.

Yes, you read that right. Five. And I’ve made it super easy for you to win. You just have to comment and tell me the name of the last best book you’ve read is. That’s it. I’ll go first. I recently read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan, and Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss. But, of course, I’m always looking for something good to read.

So comment! 

(And win!)(Winners will be chosen randomly at 5pm on February 13th.)


  1. The last book I read is actually The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**.

    I loved Wonder – took my girls and a friend to see it and had an ugly cry. Thankfully, it was the dollar cinema and it is hard to see the hand in front of your face, so I was able to re-group when we left.

    Still loving the blog posts – thank you for putting into words what so many of us parents think!


    Comment by Tova Havis on February 5, 2018
  2. Oh! My husband just sent me this book, thinking it would be a good one for me to read. Did you love it?

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  3. My husband loved it, but I thought it was ok. I am trying some of the techniques but having a harder time as I seem to care way too much ;)!

    Comment by Tova Havis on February 5, 2018
  4. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. *sigh* Not my usual kind of book, but one that really made me think. LOVED IT.

    Comment by megan on February 5, 2018
  5. I haven’t read it. Goodreads-ing now. 🙂

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  6. Just finished Wonder by Emma Donaghue by coincidence 😉 and yes I worry about the overlooked child alllll the time. I bawled during that scene too.

    Comment by Louise on February 5, 2018
  7. Oh! I read that too!

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  8. Love this. I haven’t seen this movie yet. I feel like I need to watch it at home, since there are so many triggers for me.
    My last book was ‘Leave Me’.

    Comment by Heather Hamilton on February 5, 2018
  9. I recently finished Hillbilly Elegy and I really enjoyed it.

    Comment by Kristabella on February 5, 2018
  10. I don’t know it! Off to google.

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  11. i haven’t read any good books lately – really in need of one too! I feel like all i read now are books to my kids – batman vs. robin really doesn’t cut it in the literary department for me!

    Comment by Katy on February 5, 2018
  12. Ohhhh I so remember that stage 🙂

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  13. I read a lot! Like a book every couple days but not all of it is high quality. When I am asked to recommend a book I always name “The Nightingale”. It is just such a good book. My son is a huge fan of both Wonder the book and the movie. Cannot wait to watch it again with him.

    Comment by Dawn on February 5, 2018
  14. I loved The Nightingale. So, so good.

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  15. The parenting thing gets in the way of my reading – haven’t really read anything lately that I wasn’t reading with my kids! We loved wonder though!

    Comment by Chana on February 5, 2018
  16. All The Light We Cannot See!!

    Comment by Rena on February 5, 2018
  17. So good. I loved the heck out of that book. 🙂

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  18. 3 latest and greatest reads:
    Before We Were Yours
    The Book That Matters Most
    My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

    Comment by Jessica on February 5, 2018
  19. I just ordered Before We Were Yours!

    Googling the other two!

    Comment by ali on February 5, 2018
  20. I hope this giveaway is open to Canadians . I would love to see the movie Wonder. The last book I read was Love You Forever by Robert Munsch to my 1 year old daughter.

    Comment by Christine on February 6, 2018
  21. open to everyone 🙂 🙂

    Comment by ali on February 6, 2018
  22. The last book I read was From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankwieller. My most favorite book so I shared it with the girl I tutor.
    What a great book. Talk about overlooking a child.

    Comment by Jpm2375 on February 6, 2018
  23. The Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domingue – one of my all-time favorites. I’ve read it at least 30 times.
    The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman – spellbinding and so emotional.
    All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – intensely riveting.

    Comment by Lisa on February 6, 2018
  24. I completely bawled my face off during this movie. It is life-changing. My oldest is almost old enough to watch it and when he is, it will be required. It was truly wonderful. I haven’t read the book and need to! The best book I ever read…probably Little Women. A perfectly lovely classic, and my favorite movie adaptation is the super old one, of course.

    Comment by Chris on February 6, 2018
  25. Little Fires Everywhere was great, but I see someone already mentioned it.

    The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor, and just finished One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus.

    Comment by Alison on February 6, 2018
  26. Hahaha. You mentioned it. Oh boy. I need coffee.

    Comment by Alison on February 6, 2018
  27. This completely made my day.

    Comment by alimartell on February 8, 2018
  28. Just finished the Nightingale for book club. A couple of quirky Canadian reads were Bellevue Square and the Shoe on the Roof. Both good and different!

    Comment by Karen on February 8, 2018
  29. I just bought Bellevue Square! Maybe I will read it next!

    Comment by alimartell on February 8, 2018
  30. “Let’s pretend this never happened: a mostly true memoir by Jenny Lawson

    I think you would love this book if you haven’t already read it- definitely one of my al time faves

    Comment by Daniella on February 8, 2018
  31. Oh I LOVE that book. And Jenny. They are both amazing.

    Comment by alimartell on February 8, 2018
  32. I just finished The Truth About Alice, which was a fascinating look at how high school rumours start and grow and their effect. I’ve been on a bit of a YA kick lately… But I love recommendations, so I hope I get inspired by some of the other loved books. ????

    Comment by Laurie on February 9, 2018
  33. That’s exactly why I chose this question for this contest! I was hoping to get some good recommendations 🙂

    Comment by ali on February 12, 2018
  34. The last best favouritist book? Probably The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I might have had a Claire Danes ugly cry moment. Or the Dawson Creek ugly guy cry moment. I recommended it to a colleague who showed up at work with tears streaming down her face, having finished the book on the bus on her way in. “This is your fault!” she yelled at me. Yes, yes it was.

    Comment by Tariq on February 13, 2018
  35. I missed this movie in the theatres! The last book I read – The Nest.

    Comment by Ahava on February 13, 2018
  36. The last book I read was The Alice Network by Kate Quinn.

    Comment by Laurie on February 13, 2018
  37. Currently reading “So You Want To Talk About Race”. Ijeoma Oluo.

    Comment by Desera Johnson on February 13, 2018
  38. last good book I read was A Man Called Ove. loved it. haven’t read wonder or seen the movie so would love a copy …. would probably read together with my son who is 13 🙂

    Comment by Sarah McCormack on February 13, 2018
  39. It’s old and you probably read it years ago, but I fell in absolute love with Fortune’s Rocks by Anita Shreve.

    Comment by Kelly A. on February 13, 2018
  40. Americanah by chimamanda ngoni adichie. And, btw, gave out several copies of the book (wonder) to the students I tutor

    Comment by Cindy katzoff on February 13, 2018
  41. The last “best” book I read was “The BFG” by Roald Dahl. Never read it but my daughter had to do a book report so I read it to her because of the mispronounced words and spelling and I have to say, we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Comment by Nellie on February 14, 2018

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