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’

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

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?

Identity crisis: It’s back to (before) Square One, but it’s a full-time gig

“You are not your job. “I’ve been telling you that for two years.” My wife and I were surfing the wake of yet another oh-so-close interview that failed to land the job. In the two years since I was drummed out of the ranks of fully employed editors/writers, there have been many highs and lows. I’ve learned, even after … More Identity crisis: It’s back to (before) Square One, but it’s a full-time gig

Compassion? Marking special events can be a royal pain in the …

I I must’ve lost track of time in February, somewhere between the Royal Ball, Compassion Day, and Presidents’ Day. Back in my day, February was much simpler. We all know the impact political correctness has had on our habits and holidays since those Dark Ages. This year at my daughter’s school, we dressed up and … More Compassion? Marking special events can be a royal pain in the …

A Tale of Two Mouths: The Tooth Fairy pulls through

It sounded like a blog-worthy idea: Similar, coincidental events of reasonable significance overlapping between the 56-year-old and the 7-year-old. Opportunities for a few clever comments, and some deep-thought wisdom. That’s how these blog posts work: An idea presents itself; it crystallizes and then synchronizes my brain and my fingers. Truth be told (shouldn’t it always … More A Tale of Two Mouths: The Tooth Fairy pulls through

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