My Ever-Changing Family

Our family shrinks and grows. People die. People get born. People get mad and won't talk to you for a while. Kids grow up and find partners of their own, and pretty soon there are brand-new in-laws.

Little Girls Are Superior to Little Boys — Here’s Why

A 5-year-old boy wearing shorts holds on to the arm of a 3-year-old girl in a dress. Photo by BF Newhall

Boys and girls find out at an early age that boys have something that girls don’t have. And it’s not what Freud claimed it was. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall, The Oakland Tribune, June 1, 1987

Little girls are superior to little boys.

This fact is not written down in black and white anywhere. The popular baby books talk warily around the topic of sex differences. And researchers will make only minor, technical concessions to the superiority of girls. [Read more...]


The Weekend I Talked — And the Kids Listened

A traditional house in an snowy, tree lined neighborhood in southwest Minneapolis offered by Edina Realty. Photo by BF Newhall

A traditional neighborhood with lots of charm in southwest Minneapolis. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

You know your kids have turned into grown-ups when they listen to your advice. I don’t mean take your advice. I mean listen – gently and kindly – as you talk away about how you did things when you were their age. Or how you did things last week. Or how they [Read more...]


For Wetter, For Drier — I’m Married to California

The hills of southern California on the Grapevine near Gorman are grey from drought. Photo by BF Newhall

Normally these slopes on the Grapevine near Gorman in Southern California would be a lush green from winter rains by now. Instead they are a spectral silver-grey with last year’s dead grass. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Note: This column first appeared in the Oakland Tribune on February 19, 1989, during a California drought. This year’s  droughtis far worse, Jon tells me.

Basically, there are two kinds of Californian. Those who are delighted by a sunny February day. And those who are dismayed. [Read more...]


Little Girl Lost — My Mother’s Magical Babushka

A street corner in downtown Detroit, 1942, showing Kern's department store. Public domain via Wikipedia Commons
A downtown Detroit street corner, 1942, showing Kern’s department store — in
summer. Public domain via Wikipedia Commons


By Barbara Falconer Newhall

When I was three or four years old, my mother took me shopping in a big department store in downtown Detroit.  Crowley’s, Kern’s, Hudson’s? I can’t remember.

I do remember that the  ceilings were high, and that the dark, worn wooden floors [Read more...]


We’re Having a — Merry — Christmas Without the Kids This Year

Two young adults place the angel atop a green Christmas tree decorated with lights. Photo by BF Newhall

Christmas 2010 with both kids at home. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Note: I’m taking Christmas week off, so I’m offering a post that faithful readers saw back in August when holiday plans were being made in our family. The upshot — we had a great Thanksgiving here at home with the whole family. As for Christmas Day, [Read more...]