daily life

Crying in Office Depot Aisle 8

2017-05-18T14:45:55+00:00 August 28th, 2014|daily life, parenting|

Back to school! Second grade started Wednesday and I dragged Shayla clothes shopping and to get a haircut, rituals that feel as important as they are trivial. Why do we buy new clothes just before school starts? Our economy depends on us buying this stuff, but it's deeper and more primal for me. I can only vaguely [...]

Disaster Avoided, Again

2014-08-24T04:45:24+00:00 August 24th, 2014|daily life|

A long, rolling shake woke us this morning, a mild but persistent earthquake. Google says it was a 6.0 near Vallejo. It must have felt big there, but I'm not sure I would have noticed if it weren't for the sliding door of the closet thumping rhythmically. It woke Jay as well. "That was a long [...]

Both Here and There

2017-05-18T14:45:59+00:00 July 29th, 2014|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

I was startled looking at the Target check-out belt: skateboard, knee- and elbow-pads, and pullup diapers, all for the same kid. It terrifies me thinking of Jaden, my about-to-be-4-year-old, zipping around on a skateboard. But before you call the cops, I'll point out that he's made incredible progress on the scooter his Grandpa Ted gave him. And [...]

Art, Vacations, Summer

2017-05-18T14:46:02+00:00 July 14th, 2014|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

We frontloaded summer vacation this year, a week of family camp that's a beloved tradition, then a week at the beach in Southern California, a chance to prove to the kids that you actually can swim in the ocean, and time to hang out with all the grandparents. It was sweet. It was a relaxing blast [...]

Half a Life Ago

2017-05-18T14:46:03+00:00 June 12th, 2014|daily life|

Twenty five years ago this week my mother, quite ill in the hospital, had her 54th birthday. She'd had surgery to install a port for some kind of chemotherapy, but she never fully woke up, though she did say "balloons" sometime after she came back from surgery. We had, in fact, filled the room with [...]

The Gold Trophy

2017-05-18T14:46:04+00:00 June 9th, 2014|daily life, takes a village|

The whole "micro" softball season was focused on the basics: which base to run to if you hit the ball (first), how to hit the ball (swing), how to work on a team (hint: not everybody should run for the ball at the same time). Nobody kept score, and at the end of the game each [...]

Facing the Truth and Moving On

2017-05-18T14:46:08+00:00 June 3rd, 2014|daily life|

Maybe parenting is the art of the impossible. How do you balance these crazy opposites? On the one hand, my daughter's idolization of her mom is something she deserves to hold on to. She's lost so much, it would be cruel to take that away. On the other hand, the part of her that remembers [...]

Stranger in Strange Lands

2017-05-18T14:46:12+00:00 May 5th, 2014|daily life, gay dads|

Parenthood, I'm finding, is a trip deep into unknown territory, from playdate to PTA. There's the thrill of easy membership: they just accept that I'm the dad here — no proof required. And the welcome shock of feeling  “post-gay”: my primary identity in most of these places is Shayla or Jaden′s dad. Everything else is a [...]

Springggg Forward!

2014-04-28T15:41:05+00:00 April 28th, 2014|daily life|

Like a cartoon character shot out of a catapult, we're zooming through Spring. An intimate Passover Seder, a giant egg-dying-and-hunting kidstravaganza, and a million things in between. Will the dog's eye require surgery? Should we give in and get Shayla a DS for her birthday? Is the kids' mom alive, and would a visit be [...]

Time Zones

2017-05-18T14:46:17+00:00 April 7th, 2014|daily life|

"Is Austin ahead of us or behind us," my daughter Shayla asked. Hm. "Ahead I think. They get 7 o'clock two hours before we get 7 o'clock." "No, that's not ahead." "Oh." I didn't know what to say to that. We've been disoriented all over the space time continuum lately. We had three Spring Breaks [...]

My Kids’ Berkeley

2017-05-18T14:46:19+00:00 March 13th, 2014|daily life, parenting|

When it comes to geography, I'm a cat, not a dog. I'm slow to settle in. When I moved from Texas to the Bay Area, I loved it right away, but it took me a year or longer to start to feel like this was my home. Smaller moves across the bridge to San Francisco [...]

The Old Ball Game

2014-03-09T20:14:04+00:00 March 9th, 2014|daily life, gay dads|

I'd already gotten Shayla to the first practice of softball league, had put on my team shirt, met the coach, and offered to help carry up the equipment to the field when it hit me: I was a little league conscientious objector, and have never learned the rules of the game. I'd pray a ball [...]

Being the Practical One during a Family Flu

2017-05-18T14:46:20+00:00 February 17th, 2014|daily life, parenting|

You know if you're the practical one. You sense when it's garbage night. You have the phone number for the kids' dentist and doctor. If you and your spouse both have the flu for 15 or more days, you're more likely to rise from a 103 fever and pick up the kids from school. We [...]

Staying with Joy

2014-01-28T20:51:30+00:00 January 28th, 2014|daily life, parenting|

Sunday was gorgeous in Northern California, weirdly summery and hot, and we were at a memorial for my friend Frank Sclafani, who died suddenly and unexpectedly in the fall, a young, vibrant 59, gone too soon. The crowd overfilled the space, and stories about Frank's warmth and gentle kindness were everywhere. So much to celebrate, [...]

Saved by a Walk in the Hills

2014-01-05T16:29:03+00:00 January 5th, 2014|daily life, parenting|

Everyone's ready for school to start again. Each morning for the last week, about 6 am, Jaden gets right in my sleeping face and says hopefully, "school today?" Shayla is also sick of us, ready to see her friends. I thought I'd clear the cobwebs in my own head by sorting out the garage and [...]