bella, leaving.

Now I have a date, an actual day that my daughter’s childhood will end. She will move into the University of Portland dorms on August 16th, assuming all goes as planned. Today I was alone, changing the sheets on Bella’s bed, and without warning tears filled my eyes. How many times have I performed this […]

the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky

“I believe in aristocracy, though — if that is the right word, and if a democrat may use it. Not an aristocracy of power, based upon rank and influence, but an aristocracy of the sensitive, the considerate and the plucky. Its members are to be found in all nations and classes, and all through the […]

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 […]

everything flows, nothing stands still…

A week ago, after his second football game of the season, my thirteen-year-old son climbed into the back seat of his grandparents’ car and sat down next to me. My parents came from out-of-town to watch him play, and he played his heart out for nearly every minute of the game. Fifteen minutes or so […]

rest in peace Everett Williams, crystal child

Dear Lovely Death Dear lovely death That taketh all things under wing- Never to kill- Only to change Into some other thing This suffering flesh, To make it either more or less, Yet not again the same- Dear lovely death, Change is thy other name -Langston Hughes, 1931 Last Saturday I attended the memorial service […]

put your teenager in the meadow and watch him

Motherhood is daunting. No matter how many coats of denial and idealism one whitewashes it with, it is a formidable journey and it is not always easy to stay convinced of the delightfulness of the upbringing and management of the fruits of our genetic entanglements. Life is up and down, and take-it-as-it-comes, and full of […]

dénouement: the lonely sea

The flyer reads “Celebration of life”. The young caseworker who knew Werner’s father briefly at the end of his life is in charge of this event. On the phone beforehand, she tells me she has only worked here for a short time, and before this, she says, she worked with teenagers, so this is new […]

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 […]