“Don’t be daft!” That’s one of the most memorable fatherly mantras from my childhood. It came courtesy of Jerry, the father of Tim, one of my best childhood buddies. I was lucky enough to grow up with about a dozen close friends, and Tim’s house was often our headquarters, thanks in part to his beloved father. At first, I didn’t know what “daft” meant. But since Jerry would usually bellow the words half-jokingly after some of our shenanigans, I learned it meant “foolish” or “silly.” Jerry died years ago, but his mantra returned recently as I packed for a trip to Folly Beach, S.C. That … [Read more...]
I was alone at my museum. Not exactly alone, but my family wasn’t physically with me at the moment. In fact, the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis was packed, as it should be, because it is an amazing place to take kids. I had an opportunity to go see the dinosaurs by myself if I wanted. Or the Star Trek exhibit. Or whatever I wanted to do. Instead, I found myself wandering. I stumbled into the Pop Culture exhibit and got lost in the comic books. That’s when I heard it. “Daddy!” I turned my head. It wasn’t my kid, but a flood of memories swept before my eyes. I decided to … [Read more...]
“Dad, tell that story again about the time I stabbed you.” My younger teen daughter, Lindsay, makes this request every few months or so with a giggle. And while she’s the villain of the story, it also features one of my not-so-flattering moments as a parent — one of those many bloopers that all families experience when things don’t go as planned. At age 4, Lindsay attended a summer art class that she absolutely loved. When my older daughter, Lauren, and I went to pick her up from class one day, only Lindsay and the teacher remained. She was not quite finished with her art … [Read more...]
Your daughter is precious and beautiful, little brother, and, I’m sure, the apple of your eye even after only a few hours of existence. I’m so happy for you and your lovely wife. And, without sounding like our dad, I’m damn proud of you, too. While I look at your beaming smiles and the picture of her in that tiny Chicago Bears jersey, I can’t help but think about the first days of each of my kids’ lives. The truth is, though, there isn’t much to reflect upon. You see, I just can’t seem to remember much of anything about any one of my five kids’ early days. My memories of each, regrettably, … [Read more...]
I’m older now. I sense finality more. Last ballgames, the last time they need your help on the sledding hill or on their bikes or getting dressed or tying shoes.
+ + +Do you know Shel Silverstein? It doesn’t matter much, a poet – any artist, really - is only showing you what you already know. Does this line sound familiar? “Once there was a tree … and she loved a boy.” Yes, The Giving Tree. I have a weird and long history with his work. I first encountered him in my youth in the 1970s in Playboy magazine, which, at the time I was reading for the … [Read more...]