Immigration Is our Universal American Story

“When asked what drove her to see it through, she said that she wanted to be an American citizen like her children and husband. She wanted to show them she could do it and make her family proud. Manuela also very much wanted the right to vote. On July 14, 2017, she was sworn in as an American citizen.

“The opposition to refugees and immigrants is strong, but it is the most universal story we share as Americans. It should be the common ground that unites us.”

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Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE

Is Your Car Childproof?

My newborn son asleep in the car

Parents are busy. New parents especially are stressed and exhausted. It takes its toll. You must understand how ridiculous it sounds to the parents when they have to answer to the authorities. They had just made the ultimate mistake, and all they could come up with is the horrific utterance, “I forgot.”



Read more columns from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE


Abortion and the Catholic Currency of Shame

“Though I appreciated that particular priest, I no longer consider myself Catholic. The recent meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a great example as to why. The bishops voted to draft guidelines for receiving the Eucharist with the goal of ultimately preventing lawmakers, including President Joe Biden, from receiving Communion if they supported a woman’s right to choose. Catholic leaders are exerting their power through public shame, hoping to influence decisions of our supposedly secular legislature.

“It is the same powerplay that Catholic bishops in New York state exhibited in1967 that resulted in something unexpected from their religious peers. It’s a nugget of little-known history that would serve Catholics a great reminder.”

Read the full column at the link below

Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE

Love, Loss and Pandemic Puppies

Bella in 2019

My daughter got Bella at her dad’s house shortly after the divorce. My ex even called the sweet yellow lab “the divorce dog.” Visits with dad also meant time with Bella, which was great when my daughter was 8 years old, but the teen years brought work, band practice and a social life. Visitation with dad became more sporadic. Then, my ex asked if we would dog sit. Bella was a senior dog by then, and we were all smitten. We asked if we could just keep her. He said yes.

Bella and I bonded in a way I hadn’t anticipated. I worked from home, and she was my constant companion. My daughter grew up and moved to an apartment of her own, but Bella stayed with me.

COVID-19 brought with it a puppy boom as people sought comfort and companionship during quarantine and isolation — but for me, Bella was there. We took walks in the woods and played in the yard with my son. Our circle got smaller as the pandemic began to rage. Schools closed, my husband was furloughed, and then, just as everything shut down, we had to say goodbye to Bella. That stacking of hardships is known as collective — or cumulative — grief, and I wasn’t sure I could take it.

Read the full column at the link below


Read more from Bonnie Jean HERE and HERE.

Every Path Is Valid

“I did not attend my high school graduation. My family had a lot on its shoulders. My dad and stepmom were going through a divorce. I was told the Friday before my senior prom that it was over.

Graduation photos are all over my social media feed, and even The New York Times featured prom photos on their front page. High school graduation is no doubt a rite of passage and a major transition in life. But there was no point in pomp and circumstance for me. It would seem my future was not so bright anyways. I was a horrible student. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to learn, I just didn’t learn well in a classroom. For others, college would be the next logical step, but I barely had the grades to graduate high school.

I clung to the words of Chuck Keller, my junior year English teacher. He had told me, “Your success in high school does not determine your success in life.”

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The Privilege to Push Against Progress

Two supporters help up a banner at the back of the auditorium to show their support for the proposed social equity course.

critical race theory

“I recently moved back to my hometown of Fort Thomas, Kentucky, located just across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. I promised my husband, who’s Hispanic, that it is more progressive and more diverse than when I was growing up. I also sold him on the fact that it is one of the top school districts in the state. But, as I sat in a community meeting in our local high school auditorium and listened to my fellow community members make public statements about a proposed elective course on social equity, I worried that I was wrong.

Many of the comments at the microphone were in favor of teaching social equity. Some shared a personal story to illustrate why it’s important to them. But those who spoke out against the course hammered home the same sound bite that’s been echoing across the country as states seek to ban critical race theory (CRT) from public education.”

Read the full column at the link below.

Read More of Bonnie’s work HERE and HERE.

What’d I Miss?

Where Chronic Illness and Mental Health Intersect

Life doesn’t happen inside neat little schedules. Plus, my zest for life doesn’t quite match the illness’s demand that I slow down.

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Read More From Bonnie HERE and HERE

Mother’s Day. It’s Not for Everyone.

This year, Mother’s Day is especially painful. Thanks to COVID-19, we have lost loved ones at an alarming rate. So, if this Mother’s Day is hard for you for the first time, I’m here to tell you it’s OK to sit this one out. It’s OK to say no to this holiday that feels like everyone is celebrating “at” you.

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Read More Columns From Bonnie Here


Writing About Psoriatic Arthritis

Arthritis Walk 2011

This is my first piece for Healthline on a topic I’ve not really written about – my health. I’ve not really considered writing about Psoriatic Arthritis It all started with this tweet – a callout for a writer who also had PsA:

No Title

WritingCommunity Seeking pitches from writers living with #psoriaticarthritis. Interested in POVs about the experience of living with your condition as well as tip-based content! email in bio. #chronicillness #disabledwriters #spoonies

I didn’t know what Healthline was looking for in particular when it came to Psoriatic Arthritis but I sent an email and learned they wanted someone to write about “Things I Wish People Understood About Psoriatic Arthritis.”

I was really apprehensive about taking this assignment because I did not want to write an article that prompted pity or came across as wanting anyone to feel sorry for me but I also wanted to be honest about autoimmune disease and PsA in particular. There’s a balance there. There’s also a vulnerability.

“There’s no runny nose to signal to everyone else that I’m constantly in the midst of battle. I’ve always wanted a T-shirt that read, “I’m so bad, I kick my own ass.”

Needless to say, I wrote the article 8 Things I Wish People Understood About Psoriatic Arthritis and I do hope you’ll read it. Linked below:


For more articles from Bonnie on Health check out her Clips Page Here or click on the recommended articles below:

When Teens Question Their Parents It’s All Part of Growing Up

“They’ll understand when they’re older.” It’s meant to be comforting: When our kids are parents struggling to do the right thing, they’ll realize how tough it all is. But the part no one tells you is that just because they may one day understand that you did the best you could, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll agree with your decisions. 

A lot of recent conversations with my 19-year-old daughter have revolved around parenting decisions I made in her childhood that she disagrees with. She feels some have even caused lasting damage. Ouch. That hurts. I love my children, but love doesn’t make anyone a perfect parent. We’re all still human, just doing the best we can. I know my intentions, but I also know that I still don’t agree with every parenting decision my parents made. My goal was to be better than my parents, but I’m not any better—I’m just different. 

Read what learned from the experts in my latest column below:


Read more of my work on child development and parenting