The biggest threat (choose one): Muslim extremists, nuclear attack — or our own guns?

It’s deja vu all over again, as Yogi Berra used to say. Howzat? We recently marked the 100th anniversary of the passage and implementation of the Immigration Act of 1917. That’s when we slammed the door on immigrants from the “Asiatic Barred Zone,” a sprawling region that included Saudi Arabia, most of China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, … More The biggest threat (choose one): Muslim extremists, nuclear attack — or our own guns?

She found coal in her stocking Christmas morning — I must’ve had rocks in my head

“If you’re not good, Santa is going to leave coal in your stocking!” Sure, we’ve all heard it. Said it. Understand the implications of the threat. But have you ever gotten a firsthand eyeful of what happens when this nightmare becomes reality for a child on Christmas morning? Sure, it had been a little rougher … More She found coal in her stocking Christmas morning — I must’ve had rocks in my head

This year’s Santa Claus: Hoping her beliefs evolve – not vanish

To believe, or not to believe. Last year, we wondered if it was the last Christmas for Santa Claus with Young Daughter. It’s bittersweet, since she’s been a fervent believer since she could recognize the jolly old fellow. We’ve watched the Polar Express the past few years, hoping it will ease the transition. I tell … More This year’s Santa Claus: Hoping her beliefs evolve – not vanish

Close encounters with 9-year-olds: Please keep me from looking ‘stupid’

I should’ve seen it coming. Never pretend to understand the 9-year-old mind, for your efforts shall be fruitless and fraught with frustration. What am I talking about now? (A question that’s often directed my way.) After the first few days on the new job teaching at Daughter’s school, she has been incredibly helpful, supportive, and … More Close encounters with 9-year-olds: Please keep me from looking ‘stupid’

40th Class Reunion pits memories vs. ambivalence; what’ll it be like for her?

Forty years. Sounds like a long time. That’s probably because it is a long time, even if you’re one of those Galapagos turtles. There’s a Pink Floyd lyric that’s always been lodged in my brain (taking up room that should be devoted to more important matters): “Then one day you find, 10 years have got … More 40th Class Reunion pits memories vs. ambivalence; what’ll it be like for her?

Days of ‘magic’ might be passing for her — but never for parents

He casts a magic spell, as our daughter leans back in the plush seat. That’s the euphemism favored by our children’s dentist, who refuses to use the term “pulling teeth” in front of his young clientele. “I just lean back and breathe through that mask. Next thing I know, he’s done his magic!” Unfortunately, “magic” has become … More Days of ‘magic’ might be passing for her — but never for parents

Recognizing how we’re alike, while others unfairly fear differences

Every once in a while, a parent is fortunate enough to look back on his or her past and suddenly see how it has become part of today and is destined to play an important role in a child’s future. This happened recently, unexpectedly, when these three timelines merged, all in one steamy afternoon. It … More Recognizing how we’re alike, while others unfairly fear differences

The Banana Incident: Dad stands firm, instead of slipping up

Younger Child is getting older. We marked her 9th birthday with a truly enjoyable trip to the American Girl Doll store in New York City, and took in another few attractions. I didn’t expect a birthday to bring overnight changes in Younger Daughter, of course. The changes are there, but they are slow to evolve. The … More The Banana Incident: Dad stands firm, instead of slipping up

The wonder of imagination: Wayward fish gets a condo; preparing for ‘awful’ nuptials

One of the many gifts a child can share with you is the joy of imagination, the ability to sidestep the real world and build a unique environment — one that that can pull in adults and help them recover their own memories of childhood imagination. Each day is another amazing display of how deep … More The wonder of imagination: Wayward fish gets a condo; preparing for ‘awful’ nuptials

4 years, a broken arm, a broken vow — but she finally walked the aisle as a flower girl

It’s interesting as to how life can take amazing twists and turns and yet somehow manage to land exactly where you hoped it was headed in the first place — even if it’s walking down the aisle at a wedding. No, our daughter isn’t getting married at the tender age of soon-to-be 9 years old. But she … More 4 years, a broken arm, a broken vow — but she finally walked the aisle as a flower girl