paradoxes of parenting pubescents

Today my 13-year-old son and I were at the grocery store, and he bumped into one of his friends whom he hadn’t seen for a while. His friend apparently said to him “Oh yeah, the last time I saw you was when your parents attacked me.” I remember it clearly. We were having dinner and […]

choosing to do wrong, and failing to do good…

Most of us have a youthful time in our lives that we look back upon fondly, even if it was fleeting or fraught. This period in our life is often characterized by experimentation, falling in love, creativity, or travel, but mostly by a sense of unbridled freedom and a feeling of endless possibility. This time […]

what you sow

Yesterday my partner Werner and I visited the small apartment where we are told his father has lived for the past four years. Werner’s uncle called a week ago to tell him that the medical examiner’s office was looking for him because his father had died. Werner was apparently the only known next of kin. […]

The tide rises, the tide falls: telling stories of a father who is gone.

There’s a story a man has told for most of his life. He has changed the story to suit himself as he’s grown older and wiser and gained life experience. He knows the story intimately, yet he doesn’t really know it at all. While he believes in his story, he is aware that it could […]

Struggling with last week’s murder, and helping my children cope…

Several days ago I wrote about how my children witnessed the aftermath of a shooting in our neighborhood.  If you want to read about it, you can click here.  My kids are processing their feelings about it in different ways.  My 17-year-old daughter had horrible nightmares a few nights ago.  She dreamt about stepping over bodies after a massacre at a […]

Attachment parenting 20 years later, or “Babywear this!”

When my first child was born 20 years ago, “attachment parenting” was a new and somewhat controversial child-rearing philosophy which involved strict adherence to a demanding set of rules and behaviors including: natural birthing, leaving boys uncircumcised, babywearing, breast-feeding and child-led weaning, co-sleeping, not allowing babies to “cry-it-out”, practicing positive discipline, and so on.  While I didn’t like to put a label on the way I […]

wherein my children witness the aftermath of a murder…and I contemplate my own nature

Phone calls at five o’clock in the morning bringing news of the death of a loved one by crocodile attack tend to have a life-long PTSD effect on a person, at least that’s what I’m noticing.  Thus, when my phone rings unexpectedly, I instinctively brace myself emotionally and listen for any sign of bad news about to […]

staring down the barrel of September…

Yesterday was my daughter’s first day of her junior year of high school, and my son starts his 7th grade year at a new middle school next week.  I’m in the middle of  a rude and abrupt awakening from the endless-summer fantasy I’ve indulged myself in these past few weeks.  Like always in the month of August, I’ve had that stupid “mother-amnesia” thing […]

Football: a “lower-conciousness sport”?

Somehow I ended up giving birth to a bunch of athletic kids.  All three of my children (two boys age 19 and 12, and daughter 16) have been capable, if not gifted, at nearly every sport and physical activity they’ve chosen to pursue.  My youngest son’s first word was “ball”.  As soon as he was able to get his baby-self into a seated position, his favorite way […]