On my daughter’s birthday last year, I drove several hours to visit her at college. I brought her the local vanilla-bean glazed doughnuts she claims are “the best” along with several assorted goodies from home. We then spent most of our afternoon chatting and watching reruns of Friends while we waited for her latest five-hour drip of IV medication to finish. For all but the first two of her 19 years, my daughter has dealt with juvenile dermatomyositis, an incurable autoimmune disease that affects muscles and blood vessels. Just three in a million children are diagnosed with it, so you … [Read more...]
If a near-death experience goes unnoticed, did it even happen? Yes, I can confirm, and for that we should always be grateful. I can explain. Recently, as I drove around my oldest daughter’s college campus, my mind returned to one of the best — but what could have been one of the worst — days of my life. It was just over 20 years ago, a few years before my wife and I started a family and I became a stay-at-home dad. At the time, I was excited about my new job teaching English at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Another comfort I enjoyed that day was our new leased car: a … [Read more...]
One of the first signs of autism I noticed in our son, Harry, occurred near the end of his year in kindergarten. Almost overnight, he began having difficulty making eye contact with me. As we went through the diagnosis process and I learned more about autism and Asperger's syndrome (the spot on the spectrum Harry seems to be orbiting), I noticed Harry only showed his mom and I affection while being a ”cuddly hamster.” What’s a cuddly hamster? It's when Harry talks in a very high nasal voice using squeaks and baby talk ("wuv" instead of love, "da-da" instead of dad, etc). Enter Avengers: … [Read more...]
One of the many universal struggles we parents go through with our kids is getting them to eat diverse and healthy meals. Life, after all, has more and better things to offer than just chicken nuggets and boxed mac and cheese.
Help is here for many moms and dads with the arrival of The Adventurous Eaters Club: Mastering the Art of Family Mealtime, a new family cookbook by actor Misha Collins of TV's Supernatural and his wife, Vicki.
The book, available starting today, tells the Collins' story of struggling to get their firstborn … [Read more...]
Broadly speaking, it's good we teach kids a few basics of safety. Not every parent is equipped to responsibly handle potentially dangerous situations. So we create very general guidelines that apply to most. That's cool. And kids should be learning about things like unwanted touches from others. Though there was a discussion at the preschool drop-off about getting everybody onboard with using the same body part names as used in the school lessons. But we all handle these things a little differently. However, when the school sent home the "Never-Never Rules" that they'll be studying soon … [Read more...]