When I asked my 12-year-old daughter what she learned at her week-long sleep-away camp last summer, she replied: “Dad, some people pee in lakes.”I loved her nonchalant delivery of such an intriguing detail. I also loved the gender-neutrality of her use of “some people,” which created a bubble of mystery I chose not to burst.As a veteran stay-at-home father, one of my favorite aspects of camping is precisely its gender-neutrality, or at least gender role flexibility. As my extended family plans for another camping experience, I look forward to my daughters, nieces and nephews once again … [Read more...]
Do you have a poster of your family dog?I was asked this unlikely question a while ago by an even more unlikely source: my children’s piano teacher. Let me explain.My two daughters have been taking piano lessons from Susan, a very kind and talented musician, for several years. During this period, Susan has become smitten with our family dog, a Yorkshire Terrier named Benny, in part because he scampers through our kitchen with glee every time she arrives. I realized Susan was love-bitten the day she earnestly implored my wife and me to consider moving to California so handsome Benny … [Read more...]
Had I just used the profit motive for a less-than-fully ethical purpose? If I had a son, would I have gone to such lengths to justify the charity part of his sale?
+ + +“Can we have a lemonade stand?”As parent, you have probably heard this summery question at one time or another.As a stay-at-home dad, I often helped my two daughters with their many stands during their younger years. To teach them about charity, however, I would insist that 50 percent of the profits go to our local food bank. They enjoyed making a little money, and I enjoyed their … [Read more...]
Lights, camera, parenting insight?My wife, two daughters and I recently toured Warner Brothers studio in Burbank, Calif., and I’ve been processing the intersection of movie magic and parenting ever since.The theme of the tour was the power of illusions, beginning with the Hollywood sign itself. Our guide informed us that the original sign read “HOLLYWOODLAND,” which was the name of a real estate development in 1923. The “LAND” was dropped in 1949 but the misnomer became history.Pulses quickened as our large golf cart entered the grounds and passed parking spots for The Big Bang … [Read more...]
It began with a simple question from my oldest daughter, age 4 at the time: “Daddy, what is art?”“Art,” I began, “is something that, well, let me think about that for a moment.”What was art, indeed, I asked myself while continuing the mindless routine of a frantic preschool morning: load the dishwasher, supervise the brushing of teeth, check the backpack, and head out the door.On the way to school, I muttered a few tidbits about art being a way humans change materials like clay or paint into beautiful objects. As with so many adult explanations of abstract concepts, however, the … [Read more...]