I am a writer, professor, amateur musician, science fiction fan, and lifelong member of the Reformed Christian tribe. I am also the mother of three children old enough now that I can’t tell you exactly where all of them are at the moment. For my day job, I teach early British literature and creative writing at Calvin College, where I have been on the faculty for twenty years and still need to pedal fast to keep (mostly) ahead of smart, feisty undergraduates.

I have published three books, over a hundred essays for The Twelve, and numerous articles, poems, and reviews in popular and scholarly contexts. I have a B.A. from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers.

Adamant Ties

Adamant Ties

When babies are new and tiny and soft, they curl perfectly into a certain place on your chest. If you’ve ever held a newborn, you know what I mean. Here’s what I wrote about my third baby shortly after he was born:

[W]hen I hold him against me, his warm, fuzzy head nestles into my neck and his legs curl under his bottom, remembering their formation inside me. Bundled on the slope of my chest, he seems to fit into me even more perfectly than before.

That baby is now almost 17—a tall, hairy teenager. It doesn’t matter, though: that place on my chest still longs for him, and for all three of my children. Once a baby has nestled there, that spot is never the same, never without a hunger for connection with that child.



I am a writer, professor, amateur musician, science fiction fan, and card-carrying member of the Reformed Christian tribe. I am also the mother of three children old enough now that I can’t tell you exactly where all of them are at the moment. For my day job, I teach early British literature and creative writing at Calvin College, where I have been on the faculty for twenty years and still need to pedal fast to keep (mostly) ahead of smart, feisty undergraduates.

I have published three books, over a hundred essays for The Twelve, and numerous articles, poems, and reviews in popular and scholarly contexts. I have a B.A. from the University of Michigan (Go Blue!) and a M.A. and Ph.D. from Rutgers.

Adamant Ties

When babies are new and tiny and soft, they curl perfectly into a certain place on your chest. If you’ve ever held a newborn, you know what I mean. Here’s what I wrote about my third baby shortly after he was born:

[W]hen I hold him against me, his warm, fuzzy head nestles into my neck and his legs curl under his bottom, remembering their formation inside me. Bundled on the slope of my chest, he seems to fit into me even more perfectly than before.

That baby is now almost 17—a tall, hairy teenager. It doesn’t matter, though: that place on my chest still longs for him, and for all three of my children. Once a baby has nestled there, that spot is never the same, never without a hunger for connection with that child.