Sand in the Gears

In defense of a (grayish) white Christmas

Monday, January 12th, 2009 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 10 Comments »

One of my fondest childhood memories is the ride to Grandma's house on Christmas Eve. All of us bundled up inside the Monte Carlo, music crackling over the AM station, my mother and stepfather smoking like chimneys. I can still ...

On the Unhappiness of Parenting

Friday, July 18th, 2008 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 11 Comments »

Newsweek reports on recent research indicating that contrary to popular opinion, having children makes people less happy, at least until the children leave home. This will no doubt please the happily child-free, who seem to have a thriving set of ...

Wienerectomies and Other Tales

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008 Posted in Fatherhood | 3 Comments »

I hit the heavy bag Monday for the first time in five years. I didn't have wraps or bag gloves, but there it was, hanging insolently in the corner of the gym, practically begging for a beat down. Which it ...

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 ...

The Striving

Tuesday, February 20th, 2007 Posted in The Art of Parenting, The Sermons | Comments Off on The Striving

I'm learning patience from the lady who is teaching Eli how to play the violin. She is a long-time public school music teacher, the kind we wish or imagine still ran things there, kind and competent and able to talk ...

More Light

Monday, February 5th, 2007 Posted in The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on More Light

They say that the insane and geniuses are alike in that their minds make unusual connections between ideas. The good news is that I may be a genius. The bad news is that insane people often imagine that they are ...

Lost and Found

Friday, January 12th, 2007 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on Lost and Found

I'm trying to work from home, after flying back early to beat the ice storm. The youngest boy is in the next room with his belly on a big recliner that can spin 360 degrees. He is racing around and ...

Terrible fathers

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | Comments Off on Terrible fathers

I'm sitting in an airport restaurant near three men, three boisterous men drinking at 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday. The oldest, who appears to be about thirty-five and dressed like he's twenty, is instructing the others on the tragedy of ...

Three Cowboys

Thursday, June 22nd, 2006 Posted in Greatest Hits, The Art of Parenting | 7 Comments »

Last night we went to The Prairie Rose Chuckwagon supper, where they feed you brisket, beans, and biscuits until you pop, and then sing cowboy songs. Caleb and Eli went in their cowboy gear: big hats, shooting irons guns strapped ...

Father of the Year

Monday, March 27th, 2006 Posted in Greatest Hits, Snapshots of Life | 24 Comments »

I'm in an air museum with all three boys in tow. The two oldest are seated in the replica cockpit of a helicopter. The youngest and most troublesome is strapped to my back in a contraption designed for children less ...

Apology Accepted

Saturday, May 21st, 2005 Posted in Snapshots of Life, The Art of Parenting | 9 Comments »

I return to the bathroom where only seconds before I had stationed Eli in front of the pot with instructions to tinkle before bedtime. This is important, you see, because otherwise he forgets to go until he is playing with ...

Home

Tuesday, May 17th, 2005 Posted in The Art of Parenting, The Sermons | 7 Comments »

Something inside draws us home. Last year, two swallows built a nest on the narrow ledge above my front door. We tried to shoo them off, used a broom to sweep away their construction a few times, but they just ...

Tracks

Wednesday, May 4th, 2005 Posted in The Art of Parenting | 8 Comments »

Some things are stitched through your life like a thread. I'm thinking of railroad tracks, which really are like threads, or perhaps great running scars. I learned to fear them when I was little; my grandmother would remind me often ...

Training Days

Monday, May 2nd, 2005 Posted in Snapshots of Life, The Art of Parenting | 11 Comments »

To be a proper parent, contrary to what one sees any given Saturday afternoon at McDonald's, is to train one's children. What they don't tell you before they let you take the kid home from the hospital, however, is that ...

Don’t Touch

Tuesday, April 5th, 2005 Posted in Snapshots of Life | 9 Comments »

The very first order given to us by the Almighty was: Don't touch. Are you listening to me? Hands to yourselves. Don't. Touch. Very, very bad things will happen if you touch that tree. See here, I've given you all ...