The Baby

2015-08-11T16:08:54+00:00 August 11th, 2015|daily life, parenting|

I can remember only a few things about kindergarten. Making paintings with string, all of us in our painting aprons. Somehow getting poor Mrs. Gibson in a conversation about whether God exists. (She and my mother became lifelong friends, so whatever that was about they worked it out.) I barely remember how it felt to [...]

Treehouse Summer

2017-05-18T14:45:08+00:00 July 14th, 2015|daily life, takes a village|

I love the cool, foggy Bay Area weather, but I lose track of the seasons. Rain means fall or winter, but chilly and overcast could be any day of the year. I wilt in real heat, but sometimes I miss signs of summer. So I was thrilled when my friend Mark insisted we get going [...]


2015-07-13T11:04:47+00:00 July 2nd, 2015|parenting|

Is it normal for parenting to feel like you've got absolutely no skin? We went for Shayla's 8-year-old checkup this week, and she kept up quite a brave front. "Am I doing a great job?" she asked, at least 4 times, as we drove there, parked, and got to the waiting room. "You're doing awesome." She [...]

Camp Dreams

2017-05-18T14:45:13+00:00 June 22nd, 2015|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

One: Getting Here It’s hard to remember, with the weeks of excitement and anticipation leading up to family camp, that what I should be reminding the kids, at least the older ones, is that the first day of camp can be tough.  Not for Jaden. Our 4-year-old is at home everywhere we’ve ever taken him. [...]

Please, Anybody But Me!

2017-05-18T14:45:19+00:00 June 13th, 2015|daily life, parenting|

I was startled today to realize that I'd been comforting my daughter for a few minutes without really taking in, or taking seriously, that the tragedy at hand was that she had to ride with me to swimming, not her beloved Papa. ("Not Daddy, noooo! I always have to go with Daddy! Why do I never ever [...]

Spring, Break

2015-04-09T21:42:54+00:00 April 9th, 2015|adoption|

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 [...]

Throwback Parenting

2017-05-18T14:45:20+00:00 March 6th, 2015|parenting|

I love the Throwback Thursday photos posted by friends when the nineties seemed so "now." How young/cute/clueless we all seem! But parenting is giving me a different kinds of flashback, and lately it's been to high school, 1978-1982. (Yikes!) Me around 1977 or 1978? Notice the blue-lemon-and-lime color scheme, including custom painted garbage can and sidetable. Also the polyester [...]

Being a Dad Means Having More to Lose

2017-05-18T14:45:24+00:00 February 21st, 2015|daily life|

The above is not a photo of tragedy, neither kid got hurt. But I can't help looking at my son flying through the air and imagine crash landings and disaster. There's been a lot this week reminding me how fragile and precious life is. Oliver Sacks' essay on learning he had terminal cancer was like a kick [...]

My Miranda July Superbowl

2017-05-18T14:45:28+00:00 February 1st, 2015|daily life, gay dads, holidays and celebrations|

The best part about reading fiction, maybe any book, is the way a wonderful writer stays in your head. For a few days after finishing a book, it feels like I have some special goggles on, still half in the world of the novel. This weekend it was Miranda July's The First Bad Man, and let me [...]

Put On the Curb

2017-05-18T14:45:30+00:00 January 12th, 2015|holidays and celebrations|

After the New Year, I get an itch to take down the decorations and get everything "put back." Part practical, part compulsive. Use that vacation time productively! Don't have pine needles and sorting out light strings and boxing up hanging over my head. But I'm always sorry. There's nothing sadder than the cold January week when [...]

Thank You for the Yucky Food

2017-05-18T14:45:35+00:00 January 4th, 2015|daily life, parenting|

I know it's developmental. Kids are wired to be self-centered, and part of our job is to help them understand there are other people in the world. Sometimes they impress me, like when Jaden insists on bringing his big sister a treat if he's getting one. Haircut lolipop? He's got an absolute code of honor [...]

Growing Up Fast, Part 16

2014-12-23T12:49:40+00:00 December 23rd, 2014|daily life, holidays and celebrations|

My babies are growing up sooooo quickly. I took Jaden in for his haircut and AJ said "he's shooting up so fast, next to go are those chipmunk cheeks. Broke my heart when my baby lost his." Four-and-a-half and the baby face goes? Please say it isn't true. Shayla is on the last kid's shoe size, and [...]

Drawing the Future

2017-05-18T14:45:37+00:00 December 12th, 2014|daily life, parenting|

I've been thinking about a sketch I did years ago. In another life, really. Surrounded by sick and fearful friends, I immersed myself in what you might call the California New Age curriculum. We talked about our feelings, drew them, danced them. A skeptic would have a lot to make fun of. A believer could be changed forever. [...]

The Family Bed

2017-05-18T14:45:39+00:00 November 26th, 2014|daily life, parenting|

We all know Jay and I didn't turn out to be French Parents a la Pamela Druckerman. The vision sounded so nice: after eating a very adult dinner, the little ones loving the kale and trying everything, the kids trump off to their rooms, ready for bed. After books and kisses, no drama sleep while the parents have [...]

Pondering Irrelevance

2017-05-18T14:45:40+00:00 November 6th, 2014|gay dads|

Tonight I had the fantastic opportunity to attend the Out & Equal conference closing dinner,thanks to Jay's connection Brigadier General Tammy Smith, the highest ranking openly lesbian or gay person in the US military. It was a beautiful eveing, and fun. Comic Kate Clinton was hilarious. Martha Wash performed "Everybody Dance Now (Gonna Make You Sweat)." OMG! And [...]