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6 09, 2015

The Wishing Tree

 

Justin’s starting first grade tomorrow. He’s entering a first-to-third grade combination class in which he will be one of the youngest kids. This after being the oldest in his class for the last two years. There will be less play and freedom in his class, and more intellectual demands. We think he’s ready, but he’s […]

6 09, 2015

The Sandwich Generation

Joan’s on a week-long solo backpack trip, so I’ve brought the kids up to San Francisco to visit my father and his partner, Mariana. After seventeen years of loving each other from across town, they’ve finally moved in together. My father is eighty and in poor health. Mariana is sixty-four, getting ready to retire.

Allen and […]

6 09, 2015

Making Hard Decisions

 

It’s a terrible, horrible, awful, no good, very bad day and it’s only nine in the morning. Daniel, our twenty-two year old, and his girlfriend Annie, have been visiting from Boston, and are flying home today. We’ve had a wonderful visit, two parties, and last night, a trip to the Boardwalk. We’re happy and full, […]

6 09, 2015

My Son, the Marine

 

My stepson, Bryan, is at boot camp on Parris Island, learning to be a marine. At nineteen, he is learning to clean and shoot a gun, kill with a bayonet, keep his shoes polished and his bed made, to follow orders without question. He is a world away from us, in every conceivable way. Yet […]

6 09, 2015

Massage Night with My Kids

Our friend Joelle is visiting from San Francisco. We’ve just finished dinner. Joelle and the kids and I are sitting out on our back porch eating popsicles. We’ve just turned the clocks back and we’re enjoying the extra hour of warmth and sunlight. Emily is sitting in my lap for some snuggles. She’s been whiny […]

6 09, 2015

Sick Kids at School: What to Do

 

It’s one of those mornings – both kids are whiny, unhappy, hard to rouse. Emily’s nose is running and she just wants to be held. She had a cold and ear infection last week. Yesterday, she finished a round of antibiotics. The cold is old, so technically she can go to daycare. The rule is […]

6 09, 2015

Justin Counts!

 

I arrive at Justin’s school. It’s his day for Aikido, the one day of the week when we have to rush from school to the start of his Aikido class across town. No loitering. No lingering. No hanging out for another shot at the playground or a second chance at snack. The minute I arrive, […]

6 09, 2015

Losing Trust in My Kids

 

Justin’s been in the bathtub for over an hour, singing at the top of his voice, building intricate designs on the edge of the tub with a set of wooden pattern blocks. He calls me in to show me his creation. It’s multi-level and amazingly intricate. I come in to admire it, Emily at my […]

6 09, 2015

Teaching My Kid to Ride a Bike

Justin learned to ride a bike today. It was just a little two-wheeler we borrowed from a friend, much too small for him, but safe to practice on. He had tried riding it the day we got it (as Justin put it, “We got it yesterday’s yesterday”), but the back tire was flat. We threw […]

6 09, 2015

Kids Fighting in the Car

It’s a sunny Saturday afternoon. I’m with Justin and Emily and Justin’s best friend, Heidi. We’ve gone out to breakfast, seen a puppet show, and now we’re lounging around a friend’s front yard. Emily has stripped off all her clothes, as usual. “I’m nakey!” she yells in delight, taking off down the street, buck-naked, running […]