When her feelings turn from tender to toxic, best strategy is keeping my mouth shut

What’s bothering her? She’s barely 10 years old. What weight of the world is she carrying? Is there something big going on in her life, or is she simply submerged under a landslide of minor injustices and irritants? Tender queries reveal two answers: “No,” and “Nothing.” Stomp. Slam. It must be hard growing up in … More When her feelings turn from tender to toxic, best strategy is keeping my mouth shut

Turning 10: A milestone among memories — but hoping she’ll never outgrow her inner child

10 years old. Double digits. Whoa. I remember standing in the upstairs hallway of the house I grew up in, contemplating my own 10th birthday. “A decade old,” I told myself. Sounded pretty momentous. Now, the 10th birthday has played itself out once again,  but instead of 1968, it’s 2017. My memory slowly records what … More Turning 10: A milestone among memories — but hoping she’ll never outgrow her inner child

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’

More Daddy-Daughter dynamics: Thawing the Cold Shoulder (if you can put your finger on it)

What am I really supposed to do when we see each other in the hallway or the library or the cafeteria? The first time this became an issue, I never saw it coming. I was trying to land a job at my daughter’s charter school. There was nothing too terribly wrong with my current job. I was working … More More Daddy-Daughter dynamics: Thawing the Cold Shoulder (if you can put your finger on it)

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?