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

Illness in the family: But I didn’t realize they had one of those

We had a health scare last week with the newest member of the household. It made me confront for the first time how we would break the news to our child and cope with the death of a loving family pet. When it comes to animals, though, I’m a very effective grief counselor. I go to pieces. I try to … More Illness in the family: But I didn’t realize they had one of those

Final say on Obituaries: Now it’s ‘Surrounded by family members’

You could say I’ve had a lifelong interest in obituaries. It began with writing them, in the early days of my career in journalism, and continues even today. But it makes me wonder about the future of these re-caps, recounting and chronicling of someone’s life.   I fear the importance of and attention to printed … More Final say on Obituaries: Now it’s ‘Surrounded by family members’

Welcome back: Why do those Hollywood dance classics stir up the birds and the bees?

Writer’s block? More like the border wall President Trump is ordering Mexico to build. Sure, I’ve stashed a couple of half-hearted starts and musings in the draft folder. But I always remember the writer’s axiom: Good writers write about what they know. When you’re not confident in what you know, well … Still not an excuse for … More Welcome back: Why do those Hollywood dance classics stir up the birds and the bees?

For grown-up and kids, Santa’s true home lies between the manger and the mall — deep in our hearts

Last week, we had one of those “Yes, Virginia” moments. Knew it would happen eventually. Standing in the supermarket aisle, she turns to me and asks, “Is Santa Claus real?” I wondered if she intentionally phrased the question that way. It wasn’t the standard believe-don’t believe inquiry. Still, my immediate thought was that this would … More For grown-up and kids, Santa’s true home lies between the manger and the mall — deep in our hearts

Tiny daggers to a child’s heart: It’s parents who feel them most — and deepest

When your child comes home with one of those little daggers in her heart — or you sense the threat of one — parental instincts move into overdrive. One time while she was in Pre-K, our daughter had spent a great deal of time at home drawing and coloring four unique pictures for four of … More Tiny daggers to a child’s heart: It’s parents who feel them most — and deepest

An old dog struggles to learn new tricks — but refuses to roll over or play dead

“Daddy, you smell like Sizzli.” I had just walked in the door after my overnight shift, and we were in the midst of our 3-way turnaround — Mom leaves for work, I get our daughter to the bus stop, and I come home and consider going to sleep. This all unfolds over 10 or so … More An old dog struggles to learn new tricks — but refuses to roll over or play dead

When parents do what they have to do to keep the family afloat

We didn’t have a lot of money when I was growing up. (Wait — isn’t that what everyone says?) It was a time when Moms stayed at home and Dads earned the paychecks. We had one “previously owned” car. I remember watching my father pull out the back seat and anchor and install seat belts, … More When parents do what they have to do to keep the family afloat

Today’s news: She reads the paper — beware of what you wish for

Certainly I’ve been accused of being a Luddite when it comes to modern communications technology. I prefer to think of it as old-fashioned — a choice I make. That’s why it’s been a source of pride to me that our 7-year-old old has picked up on my interest (devotion?) to reading a printed newspaper. Every time … More Today’s news: She reads the paper — beware of what you wish for