Jennifer Wood Laird

Waking each day for the story.

Jennifer Wood Laird is a is a children’s book writer, literacy coach, and mom.

BENtime Stories and ABBYsolutely MAGGIEnificent Tales

Make Your Mark

It’s innate in my personality; I was born this way. For decades, I have been trying to ease the burdens my friends and family possess by sharing my time, my advice, and sometimes taking on their heavy lifting. I love creating unexpected surprises and smiles. Day after day, I continue to see this trait of mine bestowed in my kids; […]

The Nest

I saw her this morning and froze with excitement. She wasn’t resting but scoping her surroundings and precipitously moving her head from left to right. Her puffed out chest summoned the time was near. I’m already on to her decision. After all these years, she will settled for the ledge on the back deck where the garage roof slightly hangs […]

Stealing Kisses

I wrote this years ago when my babies were babies… When the moon shines high through the big bay window, I climb into your bed and move a pillow.  Your arms are stretched high above your head with warm rosy cheeks you sigh in your bed.  I see you lying perfectly still after your day of nonstop energy and thrill. […]

When the Sun Shines

When the sun shines, Hope bursts out the front door with glee. When the sun shines, Happiness returns from hibernation and greets others from a distance. When the sun shines, Stress slides off the backs of the overburdened and overdressed. When the sun shines, Anticipation joins the party to linger. When the sun shines, Giddiness stares at the possibilities of […]

Equity and Equality

As educators, we’ve all seen the picture with the family watching the baseball game behind the fence and standing on crates high enough where everyone can see. Equality is giving everyone the same thing and promoting fairness while equity is giving everyone what they need in order to be successful. Last year, I used this same photo to explain to […]

It’s Not a Generational Thing

The boredom has set in; the honeymoon may very well be over. Today, marks one week of no school (and Day 13 of our family’s quarantine). Each week, there seems to be a new norm we all have to find the courage to adapt to and this week, our Governor of Wisconsin has suspended all sleepovers and play dates. I […]

The Big Blue Truck

This morning, my husband and I found real purpose to wake before the sun since it’s garbage day. He rolled out of bed and then rolled the blue blue garbage bin in the dark, to its home, at the end of the driveway awaiting pick up from the Big Blue Truck. Even though there have been no signs of our […]

Wide Open Spaces

Breathing the fresh, spring air with no one around to share or cross contaminate. Friendly neighbors spaced out by 5 acres offer a wave from afar. Walking the gravel road in silence and peace to witness the nightly sunset. Recreating a good ole fashioned Wisconsin fish fry from fish caught this week on an empty, deserted lake. Cross country skiing […]

It’s a Gamble

Today, the news reported Kenny Rogers passed away. It’s strange how one name can spark such a memory like wildfire. A memory I haven’t thought about in years, but helps track and define who I am today. I was brought back to one classroom, in my hometown in middle school where I felt my best self! When I was in […]

No Bored Games

Games! Games! Games! Jeopardy weekdays at 4:00 for the entire family. Solitare during math games for my first grader. Today, as part of his independent learning time (that’s code for “I’m tired and you can study what you want!”), my son made a Kahoot game using NBA facts he’s stored in his brain over the last year. My husband has […]

Imagine

After 9/11, I wrote for weeks in my journal about the uncertainty our nation was feeling, what I was feeling. In the last 19 years, I have gone back to those journals several times and relived the angst, the fear, but also the connectedness of the American people. Today, I tweaked my son’s writing homework which was based on the […]

Time is a Gift

We all know we are in unprecedented waters and uncharted territory. We’re rewriting history day by day. Our lives are changed as we know it, and we will forever refer to our lives pre-CO-VID19 and post CO-VID19. My kids and I decided to FaceTime each of the grandparents tonight to check in on them. This is the generation we’ve been […]

Troll Hole

Once upon a time there lived a troll who owned a hole. The poor troll’s hole was a small section of the driveway and looked like charcoal. Three little kids continually rode their bikes and scooters through the hole with no control. This forced the troll to man the hole like she was on patrol. Every so often while out […]

The Essential Five

My soon-to-be teenager feels our family needs to eat everything out of our pantry before we decide to stock up. What a brilliant idea! He also suggested when it’s time to go to the grocery store, everyone should get one item on the list for a total of five items! As we begin Day “Five” of our quarantine, here is […]

In This Moment

The sun is shining in this moment. The snow is melting in this moment. The temperature is rising in this moment. Springtime is off in the distance waiting to make an appearance in this moment. My boys are ice fishing with Grandpa in this moment. My girls are upstairs playing ukulele and singing in this moment. The sun is still […]

Cessation for Staycation

With less then three hours left in my day, my relaxed self sat on the couch reading in peace. I almost forgot to write! It was confirmed again today how my mood continues to have the power to dictate the household’s mood. I know there are days when the four of my peeps look at me with uneasiness as they […]

I’m Gonna Homeschool the Heck Outta You!

With the announcement of our state closing school for a month, my kids cheered and smiled but with some panic. I had my usual angst (and this time with much more heightened apprehension) knowing a snow day with small children is only euphoric for the first few hours. With a one month lapse in school, I told my kids I […]

A Mother’s Love May Help

Parenthood is an ever changing obstacle course of firsts for them and firsts for me. It appears my children always look to me as if I will have all the answers; this is both frightening and empowering depending on the situation. In past years, I’ve mastered healing scraped knees, midnight feedings, and sending my loves to kindergarten. Today, I am […]

Particular Personalities

We think we know ourselves until someone makes a statement or an observation about us, and we are offended. We perceive ourselves in a particular way, hoping others do too. In the past, I may have been offended when someone pointed out a characteristic about me (which may not have been my favorite) in general conversation. Now I realize (and […]

“I See Moon, Mama!”

In honor of the super moon and the boy who made me a Mama… The moon is shining high through the big, bay window. We are sitting next to each other, your little, bare feet hanging straight over the couch. Your winter chapped cheeks are rosy and always scream for a kiss. Your wispy hair is everywhere with no solution […]

Grub Plans

Feeding my own crew is very similar to meeting the needs of a variety of learners in the classroom (which I’ve been doing for 21 years). I can differentiate the heck outta any meal thanks to the proficient verbal skills of my children. Teachers know it’s simply easier to be at school than to write sub plans due to both […]

An Unforeseeable Victory

I didn’t plan for it to happen. It was an impromptu moment. Perhaps it was kismet. Last night, I suggested something to my preteen son and little did I know the 20 minutes to follow boosted my mothering career and probably had the power to eradicate at least twenty of my bad mothering moments. Being my son was born in […]

We’re on the no plan plan…

A full Saturday with nothing on the calendar can be compared to the elation a teacher feels when the phone rings to signify the cancellation of school! It doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, I can instantly let go of obligations and stress and find myself able to engage in the best conversations and moments with my kids. […]

Time For the “Seasonal Size Up”

There are so many wonderful reasons to live in a climate where four very different seasons are presented to you like a highly anticipated gift. Spring is in the air, but this time of year seems to bring more disappointment than any other season. For the most part, this week has been calm, sunny, and mildly warm in Northwestern Wisconsin […]

That first sip.

Almost thirteen years into parenthood, I can fully accept most quiet moments will be loudly interrupted, most tantrums happen unexpectedly, and while I’m in full control of my trio, I have no control over my day’s adventures. I have fully accepted this. From the moment those three set of feet hit the ground, I plan to be armed and loaded […]

Mama Down!

On the first day of March, my cold came in like a lamb with a scratchy, sore throat (but Abby did the laundry.). On the second day of March, my cold was a reality because my nose started dripping like freshly tapped maple trees (but Maggie took my temperature…about 800 times). On the third day of March, my cold was […]

There was a slight “implosion of my cool”

“You’re an antagonizer! And you, you’re temperamental, and you’re just acting like the baby.” And, the Oscar for Worst Mother goes to… Yep, that was me starring in my one of my finest roles in motherhood. This not-so-great-moment was brought to you by the hustle and bustle of parent/teacher conference week; a week devoted to the extension of the teacher’s […]

There’s no vowel in PMS

It’s true. There is no vowel in PMS, and it couldn’t have made me happier for my first grade reader to recognize this fact. Prior to her blurting out this fast fact, I was snuggling with my 11 year old, Abby, at bedtime and trying to have a very serious conversation about moods, body changes, and the uber of them […]

Damn Door

Most people look to my Magdalyn for free smiles with a side of belly laughter. She’s a bold, brassy (and borderline sassy) seven-year old who’s mastered the use of the eye roll. As her mother, I’m usually on the defense waiting for her personality to be misconstrued. One of my most favorite pastimes (okay, of the last seven years) is […]