Nobody wants visitors from Florida: Covid-19 means roadblocks at the border

Being 13 years old is a full-time struggle. It’s tough to find friends — 3 schools in 3 years, and a 1,000-mile move. She’s met a few friends since moving to Florida; the 6th-grade friends from a different school have faded. Two friends she made this past year are still in the picture, but it’s … More Nobody wants visitors from Florida: Covid-19 means roadblocks at the border

Sweet friendship is blind for Birthday girls; meanwhile, one gift is painful irony

You know she’s growing up when she hits the birthday when the gifts include only one toy … and a collection of clothing, books, gift cards, a beautiful photo collage of daughter through the years, and cash. The celebration with friends has evolved as well, of course. Two close friends spent the night Friday night, … More Sweet friendship is blind for Birthday girls; meanwhile, one gift is painful irony

First day of 5th Grade: A year to learn about yourself and make (good) memories that last

First day of 5th Grade. A new school year. A new, grown-up “tween” world view. A new uniform shirt color. She told me at breakfast this morning she felt nervous, an unusual admission on her part. Reason? She didn’t know who (which friends) would be in her home base/fine arts and content classes. She will … More First day of 5th Grade: A year to learn about yourself and make (good) memories that last

Saying goodbye to Ted — and realizing death among peers has become a natural part of life

I call it “in the zone.” Pretty vague, I guess. For me it means you’ve reached the time of your life when it’s no longer a shock when one of your peers — even someone younger than you — dies of “natural causes.” Hold on a minute. What does this have to do with my … More Saying goodbye to Ted — and realizing death among peers has become a natural part of life

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?

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

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’

Book ‘shares’ Lost in Space? NASA Barbie goes for a ride — Sally Ride, that is

They used to call them book reports, back in my day. Plain and simple, with your neatest handwriting. There was a word count, and you learned the tricks for padding your prose. Book reports were generally a chore, and squelched the joy of reading. Some short-sighted classmates would “borrow” information from the inside of the book … More Book ‘shares’ Lost in Space? NASA Barbie goes for a ride — Sally Ride, that is

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