“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...]
I recently lost my mother to Alzheimer’s. The disease made the last few years especially painful, but she lived to age 85 and led a full life. Perhaps the only silver lining was that the disease’s slow progression gave my five siblings and me time to process her death, reflect on her life, and arrange an appropriate memorial service. After some debate, my family elected me to compose and deliver the eulogy. I was honored. Because there were so many of us, we grew up in a noisy family. My mother, who had a way with words, might have said we were “multivocal.” Thus, I thought her eulogy … [Read more...]
Dad lessons -- they special things that fathers pass on to sons. Here's an even dozen I've learned over the years. 1. Love your family with all your heart and soul because they are the only ones you get in life and life is fleeting so enjoy every moment. 2. Life is better when you carry around a balled up paper towel in your hand because you never know when you are going to need one. 3. Toothpicks should be carried with you at all times. 4. “The trip is not over until you have unpacked.” 5. There is no such thing as “too much” outdoor illumination when it comes to Christmas … [Read more...]
Failure at something is how we learn. We try, we fail, we adjust, make notes, turn a tweak and try again. We may eventually win or we may find something else along the way that takes us in a whole new direction.
+ + +“I’m not good at it,” he said, as if that were reason enough not to try. “What does 'good' have to do with it?” I asked. “I can’t do it.” “You won’t do it,” I corrected. “There’s a difference.” We were standing outside the batting cage with a handful of quarters and helmets that smelled of sweat and disinfectant. I had planned … [Read more...]
I’ve learned that brothers manipulate each other like salesmen. If one of them wants something, all they have to do is feign not being interested in it and the other one will back off. This rule holds true unless it’s something that has an attraction so undeniably strong that neither one can fake it. Enter the doughnuts. Our grocery shopping trips always starts in the far right of the local Publix supermarket. That way we can pop by the bakery and get a free cookie. Free cookies, especially when the kids need a snack or you’ll be in the store for a long time, help keep daddy sane ... … [Read more...]