The Playroom: April anger

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Here in the Midwest we don’t get to enjoy beautiful spring days without consequence. Warm air in Michigan in April will be met with something colder, and our beautiful day will erupt in a night of stormy protest. I erupted today too. Lost it.

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The Playroom: The memory tree

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

There is a tree we pass when we walk to and from the lake. As we walk by, the dog approaches it, sniffs, pauses. This tree holds memories for me, and I would like to think the dog has found them, that some part of me he can sense still lingers there in the roots tangled in the sand.

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The Playroom: The donut rule

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I have a 10 percent rule I came up with after holding the worst PTO co-chair position ever for two years. The kind of volunteer position that has my friends giving me cocktail napkins with catchy phrases on them: “Stop me before I volunteer for something.”

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The Playroom: Samson’s butt

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I decided to take two 6-year old boys to the Chicago Art Institute. I used to go to the lectures there on Tuesday nights after work and then walk around the quiet halls, perfectly happy to be in that place alone, appreciating the art. Today, 20 years later, I am no longer alone walking quiet galleries. I am yelling my fool head off.

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The Playroom: Lenten watermelon

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Lent starts next week. Typically, I don’t pay too much attention to Lent. But my daughter is now 8, embracing her Catholic faith, and challenging me to do a better job at playing by all the Catholic rules. I’m not good at paying attention to rules I don’t like.

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The Playroom: A cold walk

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I am walking uphill, and I am cold. The snow flakes’ sharp edges sting as the wind whips them against my face. My shoulders hunch forward as I lower my head against the misery. Even my dog decides this wind is too much, and he walks behind me.

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The Playroom: Cereal guilt

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I’ve got cereal guilt. Every time I don’t make my kids a hot breakfast, and I feed them some whole-grain cereal with six grams of sugar or less, I feel guilty about it. I have friends who don’t even buy breakfast cereal.

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The Playroom: Valentine’s Day

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

I am a mother of young children, and I think Valentine’s Day can be annoying. One of the biggest annoyances is the peanut-free school Valentine’s Day party, which necessitates 78 valentines I have to come up with for my kids to distribute at school so other mothers can throw them away.

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The Playroom: Golden leaves

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

The killing frost had not come yet and everything was still holding on. While I was at the park that day with the children, I noticed a tree. I stared at the tree because it was beautiful and fleeting and I wanted it to stay.

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The Playroom: Guiding hands

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

Given my daughter’s embrace of the symbols of our faith and her new devotion to prayer, I am trying to participate more. I recognize I have come to a place in my parenting journey where it is time for my daughter to lead and for me to follow.

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The Playroom: Duct tape

By Maraya Steadman '89, '90MBA

As I hear the familiar sound of my son falling down the stairs, my first reaction is not one of concern or even a shred of the protective instinct found in your average ant colony. My first reaction is one of defeat. “Damn, we are going to miss our portrait-sitting again.”

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