Sand in the Gears

Children and pornography

Monday, February 24th, 2014 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on Children and pornography

Some of you might appreciate my latest essay for Good Letters. Others of you may not like it at all. Maybe it's proof that I'm no less angry today than I was ten years ago, when some of you first ...

Crafted

Monday, December 9th, 2013 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 49 Comments »

My mother died while I was at the beach and so while my children spent their days on the shore, I spoke by phone with the many professionals who position themselves between the living and the dead. My thirteen year-old wanted ...

A boy grows

Sunday, February 12th, 2012 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 5 Comments »

Yesterday was Stephen Caleb's birthday. He's twelve, and there are now only 364 days between him and the onset of teenagerism, which I associate -- at least among American kids -- with sloth and self-indulgence, ignorance and idiocy and all-around ...

Good men

Friday, April 29th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 5 Comments »

Someone told me recently, "You're a good man, Tony." This made me think of a James Taylor concert I heard about once. In the hush between sets, someone in the audience shouted, "I love you, James!" Taylor stepped to the microphone and replied, ...

The good in them

Sunday, April 10th, 2011 Posted in Fatherhood, Snapshots of Life | 10 Comments »

I didn't mean to be gone this long; the hours piled up into days and then weeks, and once again I was a negligent blogger. Sometimes I think there should be a social services hotline for blogs, to have them ...

The Loughner boy’s eyes

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 Posted in Faith and Life, Fatherhood | 20 Comments »

When young men take up guns and set about killing to satisfy whatever dark insanity has possessed them, I think of my sons. I think about the world in which they walk, a world that is physically safer than most ...

On the giving of thanks, stomach viruses, and giant Christmas ornaments

Friday, November 26th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, Snapshots of Life | 3 Comments »

Yesterday we cooked and cooked and cooked, and ate and ate and ate, and it was delightful, even the cheesy squash casserole that makes my children instinctively gag just from looking at it. Especially the squash casserole, you little ingrates. My friend ...

Render thy car seat unto…

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, Snapshots of Life | 1 Comment »

Six year-old Isaac had a running argument with three year-old Isaiah for a few weeks, on the question of who owns Isaiah's car seat. Isaac, more than any of my other children, has seized on the God trump card in ...

Nerf war

Saturday, October 9th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, Greatest Hits | 6 Comments »

A gymnasium strewn with upturned tables for barricades, a child-hearted husband and wife instigators of the fracas. Boys with single-shot pistols, automatics, rifles, rocket launchers, gathering to compare armaments. The older ones show the younger how to modify their weapons ...

Memo to the NCAA

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 4 Comments »

Perhaps it's a new phenomenon, or perhaps I'm becoming more curmudgeonly, but it's gotten that I cannot abide watching the aftermath of NCAA basketball games. It's almost a certainty now that, in the event of a close game, at least ...

Quietly amazing

Friday, February 12th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, Snapshots of Life | 2 Comments »

Caleb is now ten. He's a "ten-ager," as he likes to say. The boys come to work with me on their birthdays. I don't know what they'll do once I'm a world-famous author who writes full-time for a living. Perhaps sit ...

Snips and Snails and Puppy-Dog Tails

Tuesday, June 19th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 5 Comments »

Cathy Young, whose writing I sometimes enjoy, suggests in her Reason Magazine essay that the wildly popular Dangerous Book for Boys is dangerous indeed, because it reinforces traditional sex roles. Why couldn't it have been titled "The Dangerous Book for ...

Shoot-Out at the Cap Gun Corral

Monday, June 11th, 2007 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 2 Comments »

This weekend I introduced my sons to the wonderful magic of the cap gun. I carefully threaded the pink rolls into two of their silver cowboy guns while they stood watching in awe, and then did my best impression of ...

The Least of These

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007 Posted in Faith and Life | 6 Comments »

We've been adopted by a kitten. She's a scrawny black creature who darted out of the bushes a few days ago, mewling and shivering, afraid of all of us but desperately hungry. Now we have a dish for food and ...

Three Reasons

Thursday, March 1st, 2007 Posted in Snapshots of Life | Comments Off on Three Reasons

Caleb has borrowed my Essential Charlie Parker, and I don't think he's ever giving it back. He likes to listen to it as he falls asleep, and so I hear it drifting down to me from his bedroom, the cool ...