Halloween season always reminds me of the time I dressed as Clifford the Big Red Dog. My children’s school needed an adult volunteer to wear the costume for a reading event. I decided to oblige in part because I like to laugh, and in part because my two young daughters liked the idea. In other words, they had not yet reached the Age of Embarrassment.As children gathered in the gym, I started to suit up in a “secret” adjoining room. The costume was large and heavy, so a few parents helped me with the process. I remember being so amused by one of the instructions on the costume’s interior: … [Read more...]
I received a new friend request on Facebook the other day, which, in and of itself, is not exactly newsworthy. However, the request was not from a freshly acquired acquaintance or forgotten childhood chum, as is usually the case, but from my 13-year-old son. His appearance in my inbox gave me pause.Technically, he is officially allowed to use Facebook, and we have had the discussions that all parents and children should have before signing one’s life away to the internet. He knows about boundaries, privacy and bullies. Yet, I was suddenly unsure that he understood exactly what it means to … [Read more...]
Scene: 8 a.m. Early summer. Daughter’s room. Sunlight glinting through drawn shades. Daughter buried under her covers. Unmoving. Father enters. Me: Knock knock!Her: (Silence.)Me: Knock knock! Anybody alive in here?Her: (Slight shifting under covers.)Me: Goooooooood Morning! Rise and shine! It’s going to be a beautiful day!Her: (Muffled grunt.)Me: I don’t know about you, but I want to get out there and enjoy this spectacular weather! Who’s with me?!?!?!Her: Gorfmmmwm.Me: What’s that? Take your pillow off your face, I can’t hear you.Her: (Drawing pillow off … [Read more...]
We’re wrapping up dinner, passing around the bowl of string beans to finish them off because they make for dreadfully rubbery leftovers, when I make a relatively harmless remark my daughter doesn’t appreciate full stop.The mood around the whole of the kitchen table sours as her shoulders drop.She then shoots me "you’re an asshole" eyes, puts her fork down with the aggression of a gauntlet being thrown, and stops eating.It looks like she’s about to fling her chair back and flee the scene but I preemptively persuade her to stay. A small victory. That remains the full extent of the … [Read more...]
Even on her most temperamental day, my daughter knows she has a father and stepfather who are with her, all the time, all the way. With her at the starting line, with her at the finish line. It’s true on race day every spring, and it’s true in her life.
+ + +I fly back to my hometown of Boulder, Colo., every Memorial Day weekend to run in its annual 10k race. While I’m sure the "Bolder Boulder" began as an actual competitive event, it’s transformed into a mobile festival that winds through the city's most beautiful neighborhoods. My husband and I have … [Read more...]