On a hot summer morning, I walk stealthily from my car to the covered pavilion in between two rows of tennis courts at the front of the park. I make sure to approach from a particular direction, keeping the small trees and bushes between me and the courts so I remain unnoticed. I sit on a weathered green bench attached to a picnic table. I disrupt a squirrel’s meal and, startled, it scampers away to safety. I’ve given up some things to be a stay-at-home parent — career, money, a large swath of my sanity — but moments like this make the sacrifice worth it. Quiet moments of secretive … [Read more...]
We have three children ranging in age from 3 to 7. The bedtime routine in our house is simple. First, my wife takes the youngest upstairs while I stay downstairs to get the older two into pajamas and ready for bed. On her way upstairs with the little one, my wife pauses at the top to say good night and wave to the two older children below. If you’re having trouble picturing this, think of the classic party scene from The Sound of Music when the Von Trapp children sing their good night song and wave good night from the upstairs balcony and the adoring party-goers shuffle to one side in mass … [Read more...]
Several years ago, we had a cat. He was sleek, moved effortlessly, and annoyed us to no end. In fact, when we moved from a townhouse to our current suburban home, we attempted to turn him into a part-time outdoor cat. Since he was always trying to escape from our old place, this seemed like a smart move. It didn’t turn out quite as we’d anticipated. My wife and I didn’t have much experience with cats, but apparently they like to bring "presents" to their owners. These presents were typically alive, but only barely. Or they were recently deceased, which was somewhat better relatively … [Read more...]
One night recently at the dinner table, my wife said to me, “You know you’re the reason why the boys are the way they are.” While I might have hoped this was general praise for their overall wonderfulness, I think what she was referring to specifically was their petty competitiveness. As is often the case, our 4- and 6-year-old sons were enjoying their dinner with a side of brotherly bickering. School had recently started for both, and they were arguing over who had received more points from their teacher that day. Our older son’s first-grade teacher uses an app to help parents track … [Read more...]
Earlier this summer, my kids and I embarked on a 600-mile road trip without my wife. Many people thought I was crazy, including, most notably, my wife. As is almost always the case, she was right.
The drive from our home in Florida to North Carolina was a grind and the fact that we had to turn around and do it all over again in just a few days was downright brutal. The in-between part while we were on what some might call a "vacation" wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either, although … [Read more...]