With social media and texting, it can be a lot easier to assemble a mob. The numbers are there, and the screen and keyboard can dehumanize the bullying just enough for even hesitant antagonists to pile on.
Arsenic & Old Spice
We want to capture these fleeting moments with our children. Just how fleeting is achingly evident now that their childhoods seem to have gone to full afterburner. But that can be a trickier order than you might think. Exactly how important is this?
When Nathan was born, my sister Jenny got excited about being a cool aunt. Clearly, part of what this meant to her was giving cool gifts. Cool, loud gifts. The Cat Remember the Cat in the Hat movie? Not the beloved TV short, but the Mike Myers film nearly no one liked, at least partially […]
I wonder, and fret some, about how our boys handle the potentially mean streets of their peers. I remember that in my childhood, a lot of it was wrapped up in that idea of “cool.” Hey, that kid doesn’t have cool shoes. Let’s make fun of him for it until he goes somewhere else. Then, let’s make fun of him for running away until he cries. Then, let’s make fun of him for crying.
The early years are special. All years of parenthood are special, but there’s something about getting your legs under you as a brand new mom or dad. The genuinely hard jobs are rare early on. Yet there are things that are tougher to understand than they appear. Here are three.
Our boys haven’t had much trouble talking to girls. Moreover, they’re mostly receptive when I have something to say about how to do it. I realize that may be a fleeting blessing as my older one pushes deeper into the teen years and I start getting really dumb. (Rocket City Moms and Dads, get to them while they’re still young and you’re still smart!)
I really reinforce only three things to them.
If you were born much past 1982 or so, it’s probably difficult to understand the depth of reaction to the rape and assault allegations against Bill Cosby. OK, so a celebrity is accused of sex crimes. That’s unfortunate, but regretfully, not exactly uncommon. Why are people reacting so viscerally, you wonder? So you youngsters look […]
I’m an American right down the middle of Generation X, which means that most of my why-when-I-was-a-boy stories for my children are rather tame ones of mere convenience. We’ve really had it pretty easy, you know? I mean, we were never shot at in the Pacific, and nearly none of us ever had to work […]
“That’s an old car horn. Want to hear it?” I was 9 years old, I think, which would make it 1980. My friend David and I had just come from exploring a new-to-us area of woods in which we’d found a rotting Chevrolet from the late ‘40s, and an Oldsmobile from maybe five years later. […]
My wife Lea has a couple of geographically inconvenient family members, which means she’s out of town sometimes. (Way out of town. Like, New Mexico out of town.) When Lea’s gone and I have the house and boys all by myself, I don’t even think about her absence in terms of days. I count hours. […]
What do your kids have to do around your house? Our kids don’t have nearly as many chores as either one of their parents did. However, they do have a few. One of Nathan’s is feeding the dogs. The dog food bucket is in the corner in the garage, just down the steps from the […]
Is there a worse holiday for stereotypically bad gifts than Father’s Day? I must have been 14 years old before I realized I didn’t have to get my dad Old Spice and new undershirts. What a great sport he was all those years. It’s maybe a bit odd that such a culture has developed, because […]
On April 11, 2001, I turned 30 years old. Lea and Charles put together a great ‘80s-themed birthday party for me. We had it in the house Lea and I had built seven months earlier—the house we still live in. Lea was two months’ pregnant with Nathan, but only God, her doctor, she, and I […]
At 6:42 this morning, I turned 43 years old. I don’t think 43 is supposed to be a significant birthday. It’s just one of those in-the-middle ones. It is pretty solidly “middle age,” though, I think. Once upon a time I teased people who were, say, 56 and claiming “middle age.” “Only if you live […]
Childhood’s exit is a thousand tiny deaths. For example, it gets steadily harder to generate a truly quizzical look on your child’s face. I got one of the best ones ever when Nathan was 9 or so. Nathan (hopefully): “Dad, how old were you when you got your first cell phone?” Bo (casually): “Oh, about […]
I realized early in fatherhood that I could turn it down, but I could never turn it off. I was a father all the time. I didn’t get to choose when I parented my son, because even when I wasn’t actively doing so, I was modeling behavior for him. When Nathan was about a year […]
The answer is “I never smoked; I had no idea what beer tasted like until my 21st birthday; and I lost my virginity to your mother on our wedding night.” Yes, Alex, what are: Three Things I’d Like To Say To My Son But Can’t? Well, seriously, whatcha gonna do about this, Mom and Dad? […]
“Mr. Claus, after lengthy consideration, we regret to inform you that we are eliminating your position from the Christmas season. We thank you for your years of service and wish you well in all your future endeavors.” Gasp! But, stop. Consider. Is that so crazy? Why can’t it be Christmas without Santa Claus? Though based […]
Thanksgiving! Christmas! The beach! The mountains! Families have lots of reasons to hit the road, and Rocket City Moms and Dads are no exception. I am proud to say I have a family of true road warriors. When it comes to settling in and turning the crank, I will put my wife and boys up […]
Some friends asked us if we’d be interested in joining them on a Huntsville Ghost Walk last weekend. After confirming no significant football schedule conflict, I accepted. Sounds like a nifty thing to do with a crisp October evening, doesn’t it? It went about like I expected. We walked two miles through the Twickenham district […]