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...]
The conversation started over breakfast, a thread to a tangent passed with pepper and more coffee, but it stuck like syrup in a mustache (it happens). Eventually it moved from a stranger-coveted empty table in an increasingly busy restaurant to another prolonged standstill in the parking lot, two family members dancing a tango of societal and political opinion while everyone else kicked leaves and waited for car doors to open. Then it continued in the front seat for another 20 minutes, me in the back with a 5-year-old on my right. His toy made a loud, electronic shriek, apparently forever, … [Read more...]
I know where it is. I see it pretty frequently, but, unless you knew it was there, you’d probably miss it. I picked it up, rescued it really, from the lawn mower a couple of years back and put it in a fairly strange place. It was hiding in the tall grass, all the way back in the yard, just this side of the home-run fence. It was what we always called a “game ball” to differentiate it from a “practice ball.” Game balls come off the bat hotter than the smooshy practice balls, so it was worthy of a rescue. If you’ve ever been around wooden fences, you know that sometimes the posts begin to … [Read more...]
Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.
-- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom SawyerFor years I had the pleasure of teaching The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I loved following Tom and his adventures and witnessing his foray into young adulthood. The simplicity that … [Read more...]