Category Archives: CHILD REARING

WHILE I WAS AWAY

As I got ready to leave town for 10 days, I worried about the baby hummingbirds near my porch. I had watched them each day as they began to move around and make noise and ask their mother for food. … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, CHILD REARING, DUMB SHIT I'VE DONE, SPIRIT | 32 Comments

BACKYARD MYSTERY

One springtime years ago, when my children were young and life was hectic, a small domestic mystery nagged at me for two or three weeks. Sometimes when I entered my backyard through a side gate, I would hear a sudden … Continue reading

Posted in ANIMALS, CHILD REARING, SPIRIT | 25 Comments

SLOW-MOTION MIDLIFE CRISIS

In an interview before he died, songwriter John Prine described his old age, his daily life, his relationships with others. “I’m good at hiding,” he said, laughing. He meant hiding from loved ones, from professional obligations. He meant slipping away … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, COURAGE, LITERATURE, MOVIES, MUSIC, MY CHILDHOOD, SPIRIT, UNIQUELY AMERICAN BULLSHIT | 39 Comments

OH BOY

Apparently the college where my kids are headed next month will attempt to enforce a 1-hour limit on parent help during move-in day. I say ‘attempt’ because I have a hard time imagining anyone limiting my Armenian-American spouse to just … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, MY CHILDHOOD, THE ARMENIAN IN-LAWS | 34 Comments

GOOD-BYE, SWEET BOOM

I woke up around 4:30am today to the sight of an owl swooping into the branches above me and taking away a rat, which protested loudly as it departed. The owl, huge and gray, vanished as quickly as it arrived. … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, COURAGE, DOGS, HEROES, SPIRIT | 80 Comments

BOOMER THE INCONTINENT

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But I’m learning that an old dog can teach an old man new tricks. My 14-year-old goldendoodle Boomer has deployed three strategies simultaneously to retrain me — senile barking, separation … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, DOGS, DUMB SHIT I'VE DONE, SPIRIT | 28 Comments

WE’VE BEEN GIVEN HEARTS TO KNOW THE INCREDIBLE

I thought of Ray Bradbury today while reading about the NASA helicopter on Mars. I thought of him not because of his first book, The Martian Chronicles, which he published in 1950. Instead I recalled the day 30 years ago … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, COURAGE, HEROES, LITERATURE, SPIRIT, UNIQUELY AMERICAN BULLSHIT | 8 Comments

A VERY GOOD DOG

People ask me all the time, ‘Is your dog friendly?’ My dog is a lot of things — old, lazy, mostly blind and deaf, senile. Friendly? Sure, if you lie down next to him and pet him for 45 minutes. … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, DOGS, SPIRIT | 21 Comments

PUT RESPECT ON HER NAME

Much has been written about The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix, and with good reason. It’s an excellent show. For me, one notable feature was the stories it chose not to tell. I’m so accustomed to certain plot lines. Each time … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, HEROES, MOVIES, SPIRIT | 31 Comments

THANK YOU, MISS KOPP

Yesterday I wrote about a bad teacher. Today I write about a good one — Janice Kopp. Miss Kopp was my 6th-grade teacher. She was strict, scary, a grammar fanatic, and … utterly heroic. She remains one of the two … Continue reading

Posted in CHILD REARING, COURAGE, HEROES, MY CHILDHOOD, POLITICS, SAYINGS, UNIQUELY AMERICAN BULLSHIT | 31 Comments