Not Just a Sick Day

March 11th, 2017|

No matter how routine life gets, adoption has some special spikes in the road that are as predictable as they are surprising. I doubt I’ll ever be fully ready, but I’m getting better at it.

All was calm, almost peaceful aside from the hectic pace of school, work, life. Kindergarten and 4th Grade rumbling along in that […]

Not Ready For This

January 14th, 2017|

The horror movies that scared me most when young (back when I watched such things) were not the “jump out” gotcha movies, but rather the ones where there’s a slow-dawning realization that you’ve missed something important. Invasion of the Body Snatchers is the classic. By the time you realize your girlfriend was replaced by a vicious […]

The Second-Worst Day

October 24th, 2016|

Shayla is attuned to everything going on around her. Precisely aware, for instance, of what her brother is getting away with, and whether it’s fair. But she doesn’t like to dwell on the past, whether 5 minutes or 5 years ago. Her therapist has long tried to get her to talk more about “before” our family, but […]

Puppy Medicine

September 19th, 2016|

It wasn’t long after we started trying marijuana that we realized we wanted another dog. Even though the pot was being ingested by our elderly dog Finnegan, I’m sure more than one person hearing this news will think we’re high on drugs ourselves, but no. (For the record, the canine cannabis is non psycho-active. You can read more here.)

We’d noticed that […]

Summer Storms and Switching Places

August 6th, 2016|

I should know not to tempt fate. Maybe a year ago I started feeling cocky, like we’d gotten this parenting thing down. Nobody knows what they’re doing, of course, but I felt we’re going to survive it—the adults, the kids, our marriage. I felt that everyone will emerge, more or less, unscathed.

And of course we will, […]

Four Years

March 27th, 2016|

We just saw Laurie Anderson’s lovely documentary Heart of a Dog, about losing her mother and her Rat Terrier Lola Bell, and obliquely about losing Lou Reed. It’s really about memory and loss and the strange business of being alive.

Anderson tells this amazing story about a long hospital stay when she was a kid, and while she’s […]

She Doesn’t Like Surprises

February 29th, 2016|

You can know someone for a long time and still not get it.

Last week I picked Shayla up from school, headed to an appointment. I’m sure we’d talked about it, the time, the plan, everything. But from the dark cloud on her face I could tell she was not expecting me.

“Poppa is supposed to pick me […]

Animal Story

October 22nd, 2015|

In my (priviledged) experience, you have to look pretty hard in Berkeley to find somebody who’ll object to gays, or two guys raising children, polytheistic and vegetarian. (We’re actually omnivores, that last bit just an example). I don’t think my expressive dance therapy, Ojai psychic, or Reiki training could manage a rolled eye for at […]

Spring, Break

April 9th, 2015|

Jaden and I were driving back from getting his kindergarten immunization records. He’s off. It’s our second Spring Break for 2015, a bit more pragmatic. We’re getting errands done.

When it’s just us in the car, he gets to roll down his window; we drive on the freeway, in mild rain, all sorts of times when […]

Happy Mother’s Day

May 11th, 2014|

Did you ever set out with clear sights and end up doing exactly the wrong thing?

I’ve swerved with my 6-year-old, between working to help her face the tragedy of her mom, who not only can’t take care of her, but can’t even manage a visit or card, and letting her forget about it and just be a […]

The Art of Not Doing

December 23rd, 2013|

It’s only the first day of the kids two week vacation, and maybe it’s time to admit I’m not as skilled as I’d like to be at relaxing.

In my defense, the run-up to Christmas has been quite a sprint: kids’ class parties and shows, present shopping, near-misses with Disney Boxes arriving by UPS, fistfuls of […]

Confused and Not Sure

October 21st, 2013|

Is there anything weirder than everything going right? It’s disorienting. I’m a little bit lost.

Sure, I’ve got to wrestle health insurance for the kids. Adoption means they transfer departments, get new names, are “uninsured” as their old selves and put into a new program. It’s kind of a hassle.

Also we’ve got to sort out the […]

More and More Married

September 26th, 2013|

I’ve been shocked by how changed I feel. I’m living with the same guy and kids, in the same place, same work, same dog, same cat. But a wedding, two adoptions, and a bridezilla reception has really changed how I feel in my life.

The power of ceremonies and traditions shouldn’t surprise me; there’s a reason […]

“I Need to Be Connected to You”

August 19th, 2013|

It’s incredible how clueless, and then how wise, our kids are.

Knowing our daughter for 16 months, some things are so transparent. After a disruptive event, like the social worker who removed her from her mom visits, or something happens very differently than expected, it’s easy to predict there will be a meltdown, and sometimes she’ll […]

On the Dotted Line

August 13th, 2013|

I knew our social workers were coming this morning. We were even dressed when they arrived, which isn’t always the case. I knew they were bringing paperwork, but I hadn’t really thought about it. The 6-year-old needed her lunch for camp made. I was trying to get the 3-year-old to use his proud new kid […]