Fast, Cold Winds

2018-12-05T10:12:36+00:00 December 4th, 2018|parenting|

My 2nd Grader has been eager to walk to school alone. Like many things he wants to do by himself, he's ready, but not fully able. So in a compromise I get him to within squinting distance of the intersection where his school is, and he goes alone from there.  This morning I was waving [...]

Shaun and Spike are… Changing

2018-05-26T09:12:50+00:00 May 26th, 2018|parenting|

One of the joys and tragedies of siblings is how much the little one picks up. When my daughter was in first grade, I was welcome in the classroom, on field trips, anywhere. She was glad to see me until at least fourth grade, when she started setting limits of how much (or if) I [...]

They Blew Up Japan

2018-04-15T22:03:16+00:00 April 15th, 2018|parenting|

Sometimes the raw honesty and directness of childhood takes my breath away. When I think about death, there is a brooding quality, a familiar one yet muted. Adults learn to push it to the back of the shelf. And there's a bittersweetness; I think fondly about those I've lost and miss. None of this is [...]

Anniversary, with Tween

2018-02-21T16:26:43+00:00 February 21st, 2018|adoption, parenting|

It was the 9th anniversary of the day we met, though not our wedding anniversary, which will be 5 years in August. My head spins at how quickly it goes. We dragged the kids to a fantastic Berkeley Cajun place we hadn't taken them before. Fingers were crossed. A few years ago we were sure [...]

Fever and Delirium

2018-01-23T13:50:46+00:00 January 23rd, 2018|parenting|

It's tiresome, how unprepared I am for the things that inevitably happen. Jaden was running a fever of 102, 104, even briefly 105 over the weekend, and was snuggling with me, and coughing in my face, during the night. The advice nurse said we were doing the right things: fluids, rest, ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Compared [...]


2018-01-17T14:37:37+00:00 January 17th, 2018|adoption, parenting|

It comes in waves. When you watch the ripples on a lake, and two big sets of waves come together and it's all foamy and turbulent? That's the state we reached this morning. The screaming was epic. New year, post vacation, then Monday was a holiday. It sounds nice, but getting out of the routine [...]

The Breaking Point

2017-11-25T20:15:07+00:00 November 25th, 2017|parenting|

The school secretary sounded serious. "Your daughter is ok, but I think she needs to be seen by a doctor," she told me. She'd slipped in the mud playing football and her arm hurt. In the office, the principal and I asked her to wiggle her fingers, and how much it hurt. It didn't seem [...]

Cub Scouts and Knausgaard

2017-10-03T20:54:12+00:00 October 3rd, 2017|daily life, parenting|

Really all I need is a simple way back to now. And I need it again, and again, and again. When I escape the trap of my worries, the real world seems so solid and beautiful. I find myself Assistant Scout Master for my son's pack, or pride or den, whatever it's called. First grade is [...]

Labor, and Rest

2017-09-04T22:12:19+00:00 September 4th, 2017|parenting|

As an anxious person, I spend a lot of time trying to calm myself (and others) down. As a loving person I long to be in synch with and connected to people. I watch with envy those who seem calm and at ease with themselves, and strive to make myself that way too, but I'm [...]

My Children Far, and Near

2017-07-01T08:35:18+00:00 July 1st, 2017|adoption, parenting|

We're just back from a week at family camp. It was our eighth year, and there's much to love. For one, the corny entertainments. There are singalongs and sketches and silliness that benefit from being performed in such an improbable spot, tucked into the trees in the Sierra Mountain wilderness. There's barely electricity, but these [...]

Travel Madness

2017-05-18T14:44:12+00:00 October 12th, 2016|parenting|

We're just back from a whirlwind 4-day trip to Boston, and I know I should be celebrating keeping the kids alive through airplanes, subways, Ubers, and staying with friends. We had fun, we all came back, we didn't get kicked out of anywhere. That should be a win, right? But it's been hard to stop focusing on [...]


2016-09-27T19:00:37+00:00 September 27th, 2016|daily life, gay dads, parenting|

Two recent endings have me feeling a bit deflated, though it's been tough to figure out exactly why. First, I'm giving up standing at work, or at least most of the time. I'd had great hopes for the benefits (health! vigor!), but after more than a year trying it, I think it's mostly substituted back stuff [...]

Summer Storms and Switching Places

2016-08-06T21:56:29+00:00 August 6th, 2016|adoption, parenting|

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 [...]

Coming Out

2017-05-18T14:44:22+00:00 July 6th, 2016|parenting|

It was time to start telling people. Probably past time. There's a dull pounding in my ears. I take a breath, and steady myself. As nonchalantly as possible, I say "Yeah, Jaden's in kindergarten in the fall..." Pause. "...Again." It's strange how vividly every time I ever told someone I'm gay flashes before my eyes when I've [...]

My Bad

2016-05-17T14:14:19+00:00 May 17th, 2016|parenting|

One of the perks of writing — and I guess parenting — is that I get to be right so much of the time, or imagine that I am. School dropoff is time for the adults to share war stories, and these don't tend to paint our little dears in a great light. They're headed to class, unable to rebut [...]