When did this change? She couldn’t wait to get braces — but the price changed, too

When I was 13, getting braces was a drudgery no child would willingly anticipate or take on. They were ugly, they made you look different — “Hey metal mouth,” and “Is that railroad tracks in your mouth?” We’ve known for several years that Daughter would eventually need braces. Her teeth took on a life of … More When did this change? She couldn’t wait to get braces — but the price changed, too

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?

The source of pain and new vocabulary: Getting older or just plain clumsy?

“I learned about compassion today,” the 6-year-old said rather matter-of-factly as we walked home from the bus stop. That stirred my curiosity. Not a word that generally comes up in 1st Grade. Perhaps they’re really moving ahead in language and usage, I thought. Just another reason I love our charter school. “How did you learn … More The source of pain and new vocabulary: Getting older or just plain clumsy?

Holy Birthdays, Batman! Caped Crusader never grows old

Our daughter, at age 6, is a party planner extraordinaire. She doesn’t need a special occasion — she’ll decide what the party will be about, describe what she’s doing to prepare for it, and give her orders (er, directions) for what she expects from her parents. That’s why there’s a disco ball hanging from the ceiling in … More Holy Birthdays, Batman! Caped Crusader never grows old

Tick, tock, tick, tock: Screaming your way through summer day camp

What few dim memories I have of my own summer camp experiences are for the most part worth forgetting, especially considering how much has changed in childcare and political correctness since the mid 1960s. As I drop off my daughter each morning at her day camp, I always have an idea of what she’ll be doing that day (thanks to … More Tick, tock, tick, tock: Screaming your way through summer day camp

Summer, summer camp, and a trail of kid’s clothing

Summer camp was once something more like a luxury, when stay-at-home Moms ruled the roost and there was less need to keep the kids safely occupied. In today’s two-wage-earner families, though, summer camp is often a necessity. It’s the only way a lot of kids can maintain any sort of social contact with their peers … More Summer, summer camp, and a trail of kid’s clothing

Farewell to kindergarten; ‘We’ll always have recess’

Kindergarten graduation. Complete with mortar boards and diplomas. Audience packed with parents, grandparents and friends. What’s more, shout-outs for certain students when their name is called to be awarded the kindergarten completion certificate. (Squeezing my voice into its best Walter Brennan-like drawl:) “In my day, we didn’t have kindergarten gradge-ee-ations. When you said somebody gradge-ee-ated you … More Farewell to kindergarten; ‘We’ll always have recess’

Take a bow: Parent’s social media blackmail scheme backfires (and the good guys win)

 Call it the case of the dance recital reboot and the Facebook blackmail. Rewind: Every time a parent would describe how their child was grievously wronged or unfairly mistreated during an organized activity, I could feel my eyes trying to roll. “Pull-eaze! It’s just a game / classroom contest or some other competition that inevitably leaves someone feeling … More Take a bow: Parent’s social media blackmail scheme backfires (and the good guys win)

Hey, kids: Just in case it slipped your mind, I’m Emmalee’s Dad

Sunday afternoon. Emmalee has staked out a claim on the kitchen floor — the only place that could be considered as open space in our house right now — to do an art project, she announces. “I need glitter,” she says, making it clear no mere crayon or colored pencil will suffice. I’m sitting at … More Hey, kids: Just in case it slipped your mind, I’m Emmalee’s Dad