New Work at Club Mid

October 23, 2015

This summer, I started seeing funny posts by lots of women who appeared to share my birth year and sense of humor.  Their work was up at a site called “The Mid,” and I found that lots of the articles posted there made me chuckle. The Mid was quickly picked up at Scary Mommy, and […]


I’m so pleased to have my writing in the Spring 2015 Amherst Magazine. It’s called “My Amygdala Ate My Homework,” and it discusses the impact of changes in the brain during adolescence. (A version of this was published first in If you went to Amherst, you can read the copy already on your coffee table. […]


Here’s what happened when our trip finally unfolded…


Teaching Baltimore

May 4, 2015

Today I’m honored to be sharing a story at the online version of The Atlantic. And at least for a bit there, it was the top story! It’s all about what happened when my students planned a trip to Baltimore within weeks of the Baltimore protests and riots. I hope you’ll be impressed with […]


Sitting with the Chaos

September 24, 2014

Today at I have a book review of Krissy Pozatek’s new book, Brave Parenting. She reminds us, once again, that kids need just the right level of challenge to thrive and to become emotionally resilient. Drawing on the lessons of Buddhist practice, she reminds us that it is our bravery as parents — letting […]


How I love to write for Here are three of the latest: How (Not) To Talk to Kids about High-Stakes Tests 7 Ways to Help Kids Unplug from Technology  and, from the fall, Mindfulness for Teachers, a review of Andrew Solomon’s Far from the Tree, and my best-read, best-titled article ever, My Amygdala Ate […]


I am so grateful to my college friend Melissa Lawrence for allowing me to guest post at her terrific parenting site, CloudMom.  Melissa is a mother of five who shares all that she has learned in her years as a parent:  from swaddling to breastfeeding to learning not to take it all so darn seriously. […]

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Today I have the privilege of guest posting on Read the story of how we tried to escape the stresses of a too-full life here in Brooklyn… and found ourselves with a whole new set of challenges. The post also is related to an article in this month’s Parents Magazine, “A Principal (and Mom) […]

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We drove past fields of Taro this morning on our way to a hike.  The road was orange with earth.  The sky was blue.  The plants were lush and green.  Water flowed down the Hanalei river and alongside the road, irrigating the plants, sunk in knee-high water.  It was beautiful.  All of our favorite places […]

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The Real Voyage

July 14, 2013

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”  — Marcel Proust So it’s not some big secret that our family loves to travel.  Or, to put it more accurately, we are compelled to travel, and then we get there and discover ourselves terrorized by the simplest transitions […]

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Minds at Work

June 7, 2013

I had a piece published last week at, a new site dedicated to transformations. The article is called Changing Our Minds. It’s something I have been meaning to write for a long time, the story of a journey that had once caused us all such pain, but which seems to have found its happy ending. If […]

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After a year of blogging the first draft, and three years of edits, my book is finally here! Home Away: A Year of Misapprehensions, Transformations, and Rosé at Lunch. Read it. Love it. Review it on Amazon.  Now we can say, for real, Launa Wrote.

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Back to the Classroom

November 4, 2012

So honored to be posting today at The Motherlode Blog.  Thinking of all the students and teachers heading back to school tomorrow after a long break.  


During the school year, I told myself that I would spend the whole summer writing.  Sure, I would be planning next year’s curriculum, and visiting friends, and walking the kids to camp, and hiking, but I’d also be writing. While I try to pretend that every summer is insanely, infinitely long, it’s more accurate to […]


Last year, at Miles of Music Camp, I wrote snippets of songs, danced by the moonlight on the dock, and rediscovered a love of music and performing that had been buried under the weight of parenthood, work, and adult responsibilities.  At the start of the week, my kids went fishing, and DH sulked around a […]


The other day, I was walking down Union Street past the casket company on my way to work. I take one of two routes:  past the caskets, or past the unemployment line; both routes remind me just how lucky I am to be walking to work. As I walked past the factory, I saw every […]

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Crazy Rhythms

April 27, 2012

The last of Five for Five.  Today, on Listening.   I listened all week. To various complaints, reasonable and unreasonable, I gave my patient, most understanding ear.  I listened to my middle school students, when they asked — nicely or not — if they could do this particular thing or hand in that particular assignment […]


“Next Day”

April 26, 2012

The fourth of Five for Five.  Today’s topic:  Age For years, Randall Jarell’s poem “Next Day”  was my very favorite poem. I was so amazed by the way that the poet got into the mind of another person.  For years, he let me imagine my way into this nameless speaker’s world.  It was like a […]


Pictures in my mind

April 25, 2012

Today’s Five for Five post, on the subject of Pictures.   “I can’t see any pictures in my mind, Mom.” This appeared to come out of nowhere, as most of her most crucial pronouncements tend to do. But it actually came from a very important somewhere: our shared evening meditation. Grace, age 13, and I […]


(a second post, for’s Five For Five.  Today’s post, on the subject of WORDS.)  Put a machine in front of me — at least one that lacks a keyboard — and I freeze up.  Not only do I avoid changing lightbulbs:  I am actually just the tiniest bit afraid of them.    Among the […]


April is National Poetry Month. Blossoms mass on the cherry trees. Liquid light draws forth their pinks, brings into being colors I have not before seen. Blue from the open sky, Browns from the house paint on the doors and windows of 1st Street. Like an existential alarm clock, April calls out through the old […]


Thanksgiving E-mail chain

November 28, 2011

(A very important note for readers of today’s blog:  none of the completely fictional characters in the following blog entry has anything in common whatsoever with any member of my family.  The morbid turnip joke and the enzyme comment, however, are real.) Date:  Thursday, November 10, 2011  10:15 AM To:;;;;; […]


What I Wore

November 17, 2011

“November 7: I met Adrienne Vittadini for lunch at Swifty’s. The weather was gorgeous, and I went with Hermès: a black suede fitted jacket with long fringe and nutmeg-colored calf-leather pants. Paired that with Manolo Blahnik ostrich booties and my black Birkin. Then a trip downtown for a meeting… Back uptown, picked up my daughters […]


I love this post

November 10, 2011

If you have a middle schooler, or teach middle schoolers, or care about education, you should read it too. It’s about a great big FAIL in the middle of the fall.  And what this one wise teacher did when faced with it. It’s also discussed at Motherlode, where the most awesome KJ Dellantonia is ripping […]

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Dinner at Roberta’s

October 24, 2011

The posts here are few and far between, but our adventures accelerate all the time. Here are the girls, grinning and goofy together the night we all went to Roberta’s pizza in Bushwick. The place is a ramshackle miracle,  old shipping containers nailed together to make a series of connected rooms.  They serve fancier dishes, […]


A History Lesson

September 30, 2011

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Family Portraits

August 18, 2011


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On Belonging

August 14, 2011

“…if you arrive in a new country as an adult, it is probably impossible to ever feel truly at home there.  You can always make a virtue out of this:  You may imagine you perceive things more clearly than the complacent, accepting natives; you may have deep affection for the place and grow accustomed to […]


One of the very first lessons I learned during our year in France (right after this one: no smiling at strangers) was to enjoy each moment as it unfolded. I learned it most strongly by putting off until another day my desire to take a photo of a field of sunflowers.  We drove past it […]


August 10, 2011

Today I have the opportunity to post one of my rants on the New York Times Blog Motherlode.  This one is about summer homework, and now that it’s out in the world, I’m not sure whether I’ll be in more trouble with my kids’ teachers or with my former teaching colleagues. Many thanks to Lisa […]

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Then and Now

August 7, 2011

Tonight I made ratatouille for dinner.  I cut two big eggplants from the garden, then chopped and salted them to get them to release their bitterness.  I gathered basil, thyme, a bowlful of tomatoes, and a gargantuan zucchini with a skin as tough as a winter squash.  I chopped onions and peppers, and cooked each […]


I am incredibly grateful to Sarah at Momalom for the hard work and design intelligence that went into the design of I first met Sarah and her sister Jen — virtually, that is — through their Five For Ten writing challenge last spring.  With their inspiration, and the inspiration of the other writers writing […]


Proud Mama

July 27, 2011

When you complain about your perfectly lovely children as much as I do, it seems only fair to note the moments when they so drastically outstrip your expectations. That’s sort of a roundabout way of saying that I need to tell you that Grace has been just astonishing me lately.  I need to write it […]

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Music Lessons

June 21, 2011

OK, OK — last Band Camp post.  I promise. In this one, I try to explain, mostly for my own edification, what I learned by singing and writing and playing.  I hope here to name what might be traveling home with me, aside from a whole lot of smelly laundry and a dozen nasty mosquito […]



May 25, 2011

Please stay tuned while this lovely new blog is being built. You’re going to love it when it will has even more colors and pictures and a rabbit hole portal to the old blog, where you can read about my year as world’s worst expat. For now, read my first entry, below. But be forewarned: […]

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