The Love Boat

2017-05-18T14:44:06+00:00 December 13th, 2016|holidays and celebrations|

I'm not sure anything could have prepared me for being aboard the Disney Wonder, the 2,500 passenger cruise ship that swallowed us up and took us away last week. Certainly not the industrial Galveston, TX port, where except for a few Mickey-themed banners we might have been going into a warehouse to inspect the seafood catch [...]

Fifty Three

2017-05-18T14:44:07+00:00 November 15th, 2016|daily life|

Some random thoughts on turning 53! I think frequently about the fact that I'm just one year away from the age at which my mother died. I know this doesn't have more than emotional power. Facing life threatening illness with my friends in my 20s taught me none of us can take a day of life for [...]

The Second-Worst Day

2017-05-18T14:44:11+00:00 October 24th, 2016|adoption|

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 [...]

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 [...]

Quitting

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 [...]

Puppy Medicine

2017-05-18T14:44:15+00:00 September 19th, 2016|adoption, daily life|

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 [...]

My Dog’s Pot Club

2017-05-18T14:44:17+00:00 September 5th, 2016|daily life|

I’ve never been a big fan of marijuana. The couple times I tried it, decades ago, I had strong, unpleasant reactions. I’m told it’s exponentially stronger today, which sounds much worse. I have no particular feelings about its use, though stoner culture doesn’t appeal to my German Protestant work ethic. For relaxation (not that we [...]

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 [...]

Time Out

2016-05-15T22:38:32+00:00 May 15th, 2016|parenting|

I've stormed out of the house again. Standing by the garage, I see my neighbor up the street wrangling clippings into the green bin, and I think maybe I'll head up there. Make conversation. But I'm not sure. There's a wet dishtowl over my shoulder, and probably a fire in my eye. I might seem [...]

Four Years

2016-03-27T20:51:55+00:00 March 27th, 2016|adoption|

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 Doesn’t Like Surprises

2017-05-18T14:44:25+00:00 February 29th, 2016|adoption|

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 [...]

Two Books

2017-05-18T14:44:30+00:00 February 19th, 2016|daily life|

As a somewhat introverted person, my different roles sometimes feel like parallel lives. I'm a father, a son, a husband. A web producer, geek, proud member of the PTA. I'm a gay man, a political moderate (not easy!) and have my level 2 Reiki certification. But perhaps my most solitary, private role is reader. Absorbed in a book, I [...]

Death and Cookies

2017-05-18T14:44:34+00:00 February 5th, 2016|daily life|

The girl scout industrial complex landed this week and there was nowhere to hide. Of course it's my own fault. Last year Shayla got excited and we sold lots of cookies. When the Troop needed a Cookie Manager, it seemed harmless enough. Why not store a few cookies in the garage and help out? Fast forward: [...]