A Decade of Duncan – To My Dear Son, You have been reminding me for weeks that your 10th birthday is fast approaching. I have brushed off thinking about that because it’s just another reminder of the swift passage of time. A lot has happened since you arrived in my life and when I do think about it, though, it is a wonderful story… read more

Small Stones – When I spend time cleaning the house I inevitably find a small stone, usually on a book shelf or the kitchen window sill. Pebbles of various sizes and colors, shapes and shininess… read more

Going Back to Something New – Good Morning, My Sleepy Kids. Here we are on the first day of in-person school. It has been a long time since we had to worry about packing lunches and gathering school supplies. Given all that has happened over the past year and a half, I am pleased yet unsurprised both of you still show some enthusiasm for the classroom… read more

Growing Up to 12 – At the end of one of those blistering days of Summer we were spending some quiet time in the backyard, enjoying the sweet spot between too hot and too many mosquitos. You were doing that thing where you make a video of yourself dancing to some random song… read more

Don’t Mind Me – I walk into the kitchen and see the remnants of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The bag of bread is left open with a slice or two tipped out onto the counter. The jelly jar is open and has the peanut butter and jelly-fied knife resting across the top… read more

What My Daughter Can See – Earlier in this school year my daughter threw her hat in the ring for president of her 6th grade class. She ended up in second place, making her Vice President, and she was thrilled… read more

Suddenly You Are Nine – To My Bright and Handsome Son on Your 9th Birthday. Please pick up these football cards. They are everywhere in the house and getting more dusty and beat-up every day… read more

Starting a Strange School Year – Yesterday I was sitting on some bleachers with my daughter, watching a few people playing games on a wide, mostly empty field. Two friends kicked a soccer ball, a girl practiced her softball pitching, half a dozen boys threw a football… read more

Owning 11 – It’s some time early in the morning, the room is dark, and all I can hear is the ceiling fan slowly spinning. On weekend nights my bed is usually filled with you and your brother and two cats… read more

The Memories of Cleaning – I am standing in the silence that begins the quieter part of my half life with the two of you. The car has pulled away, you are traveling to your other home, and my focus comes back to our house… read more

Parent Teacher Employee – I read a book recently that began with a character riding in a car along a sunny, forested road, watching the trees go by… read more

Time to be Eight – To My Big Boy, Yesterday morning as we walked to school, hand-in-hand, I asked you about how things went for you as a seven-year-old… read more

Feline Parenting Lessons – After a relentless campaign by the kids over the Summer, we adopted two kittens from PAWS Cat City. Now our home is once again filled with the sounds, smells, and detritus of young feline chaos… read more

Starting Another Year Together – To My Sweet and Smart Kids on this First Day of School, There was a distinct difference this morning from all of the other mornings of “the first day of school”: you were both up and out of bed before me… read more

Watching Ten – “Watch, Dad! Daddy, watch!” is what you say when you are ready to show me just how far you can back flip and cartwheel across the backyard… read more

An Even Life – This past winter a blast of snow hit our neighborhood, canceling school for a few days. During that first day, the kids were playing outside and having fun together building snowmen… read more

Big Strong Seven – To My Big Boy, You don’t notice but when we are out at a restaurant and I can just sit still and enjoy a meal together, I often spend time watching you… read more

Hand in Hand to First Grade – To My Best Boy, I know you are not going to like what I have to say but it’s time to trade in the shorts for socks and pants. The early mornings are here again. It is time for school… read more

Stepping Through to Fourth Grade – To My Sweet Daughter, In the blink of an eye it is already September and time for you to go back to school. The smoke and the heat of summer are mostly gone, the leaves are turning color… read more

The Milestones We Don’t Expect – Parents talk about and celebrate many common milestones: first tooth, first word, first day of school. What we don’t talk about are the many milestones we experience that suddenly come upon us… read more

You Are Nine – My Darling Daughter, In the middle of writing this essay, I was interrupted by the sound of shuffling about in your room. You have inherited my inability to get to sleep at a decent hour… read more

Creative Conversations – Having some school experience under their belts has expanded my kids’ vocabulary, allowing them to describe their world in new and interesting ways… read more

Happy 6th Birthday, My Best Boy – At last week’s school assembly I watched your class walk in single file to sit on the floor at the foot of the stage. As usual you were one of the first in line… read more

To My Bright and Handsome Son on Your First Day of School – Early this morning I had to tip-toe carefully across a bedroom floor covered in toys, random paper and rumpled clothes. I relied upon your gentle snoring to find you among the stuffed animals and extra blankets on your bed… read more

Moving Up to Third Grade – To My Darling Daughter, Here we are at the beginning of another year of school. Today is your first day of Third Grade… read more

The Queen of Eight – I took a picture of you near the start of this past school year. In that picture you are smiling and standing a bit awkwardly, not sure what to do with yourself while you waited among your friends… read more

Finally Five – My Dearest Son, Today is your fifth birthday. I know that because you have been telling me about it for a month now. So, sit still for a minute and listen up…read more

Starting Second Grade – To My Darling Daughter, Today you begin your second grade year. It will be hard to top the successes from first grade but I am sure you will make this one even better…read more

The Forever War – My kids fight a bit. And by “a bit” I mean a lot. And by “a lot” I mean all of the damn time…read more

7 is Magic – I was watching you from the stands as you clung to the edge of the public pool. Your swim instructor, floating a few feet away in the water, held her hands out…read more

Too Soon – I have routinely stated that despite what people tell me, this parenting thing does not “go by so fast”. I can barely remember life without kids and I like it that way. However, there are moments that force me to see we are much farther along than I realize…read more

Four in the Morning – Once upon a time there was a Dad who had a son, a son who was the joy of his life. On one cold, November morning this Dad woke up earlier than he wanted, pulled back the bedroom curtains and squinted at the bright sunlight…read more

A Difficult Dinner – I believe it is my responsibility as a father to create a home of love and acceptance where my children can be free to discuss any topic, examine every choice, and be true to themselves. Sometimes, however, your children grow and change… read more

To My First Grade Girl – It has been a long three months since you completed your first year of school. Your kindergarten year was an amazing learning process for both of us… read more

Daddy Clicks – One bright and sunny weekend afternoon, my kids were running in and out of the house demanding everything from popsicles to water buckets and shovels. I began to feel as if I couldn’t go a minute without one or both of them beckoning me for something… read more

To My Bright and Sunny Six-Year-Old – Waking you up this birthday morning was not an easy task, for you were very tired. It is early summer, the sun is warm and bright and you have been busy enjoying your first summer break… read more

Bee Careful – My daughter has become fascinated with bees. Now that Spring has arrived we have been spending many hours outside preparing our vegetable garden. So, it is natural that she should come into contact with them often… read more

Happy 3rd Birthday, My Son – My Dear Son, Sometimes when we are sitting together you like to put your face up to mine. We press forehead to forehead, nose to nose, and look at each other. Sometimes we laugh, other times we sit in silence, content to simply be together. It is one way we connect. It is also how I got your cold… read more

A New PTSA Papa – A couple of weeks ago I attended my first PTSA event, an ice cream social. It was a simple concept: the school served ice cream in the cafeteria and opened the playground for all of the kids and families to play and mingle. For an introductory event, I thought, this shouldn’t be too hard… read more

To My Darling Daughter On Your First Day Of School – You are five years old and it’s time for school… read more

He Found It – My son has discovered what makes him different from his sister. He knows what it is and he knows how to use it… read more

Happy 5th Birthday, My Sweet Girl – Yesterday we were running together. It was such a simple thing – you needed to go on a potty break and we were sitting in the grass behind the right field fence at the baseball game. We got up to go and you immediately started running because that’s what you do now. You run everywhere… read more

Happy Mothers Day, Mom – As I write this essay it’s early morning after another successful slumber party with the kids. The air mattress gets cold so we all end up in a puppy pile by morning. This is our tradition and you would love to be here if you could… read more

Clever Girl – Each stage of a child’s development has its milestone moments and accompanying hazards. There is the moment they learn how use a light switch. They turn it on, they turn it off. Then on. Then off. On. Off… read more

Why is it Always the Bad Boy? – I knew this day would come. Eventually my beautiful, angel daughter would fall under the spell of a boy. I just didn’t imagine it would happen when she was four years old… read more

What Fatherhood Is For Me – Fatherhood begins with the sudden and heart-stopping realization that in a few months your life will change forever… read more

Happy Birthday, My Little Man – My Dear Son, When you are finished tormenting your sister I’d like to talk with you about what happens today. Today you become two years old… read more

Bruise Brother – My son needs helmet… read more

You Are Four – In the comfortable, quiet dark of your room you sleep amid toys and soft blankets. You have grown so much. The only resemblance between you now and when you were an infant is you still like to leave your feet uncovered… read more

The Best Parenting Advice I have Received – A couple of essays ago I wrote about what I have learned so far. It was a collection of bits of wisdom to pass along to any man who has or will become a dad this year. Now I would like to showcase some of the best advice I have received so far… read more

Monkey Business Is Booming – If anyone doubts the genetic similarities between humans and chimpanzees they need to spend five minutes with my son. For having him is like owning a bumbling monkey… read more

What I Have Learned So Far – Many men will have the good fortune of becoming dads in 2013. For all of those new dads I offer this short list of what I’ve learned so far. I hope it helps you… read more

The Color of Bacon – “Our house is the color of bacon,” my daughter said with absolute certainty… read more

Happy Birthday, My Big Boy – You have your mother’s eyes. It was the first thing I noticed about you on the day you arrived. Since that glorious day you have grown into a big, strong, happy child; happier than I ever imagined a child could be…. read more

The Barrage Has Begun – My daughter’s “Question Everything” switch has been turned on. This is a well-known phase for children that doesn’t require a lot of explanation. I knew this was coming and, honestly, don’t mind it at all… read more

18 Minutes of Quiet Joy – The other night I was spending time with my son while my wife and daughter were out attending a Zumba class. Had this happened a year ago I would have been desperately looking for a way to keep the boy contained while I got some much-needed chores accomplished… read more

Jewely the Dragon – Every Dad needs a homespun story to tell their little princess at bedtime. My story is called Jewely the Dragon. I improvised this story one night and it has remained my daughter’s favorite for a couple of years now. It has a simple plot and the details can be modified on the fly… read more

Boundary Busting – Now that my daughter is officially three years old it is clear she believes she must test every boundary, push every button, and press on my every nerve. I survived the Terrible Twos only to get trampled by the Boundary Blasting B-Threes… read more

Happy 3rd Birthday, My Darling Daughter – I can still see you laying peacefully in just your tiny diaper. You were nursing on one of my pinkie fingers and clutching the other in your tiny hand. It was late in the evening and both of us were very tired. I had to hold myself still so you could sleep comfortably and not notice the three-inch needle a doctor had just inserted into a vein in the remaining mass of flesh that was your umbilical cord… read more

The Many Mistakes This Dad Makes – To My Darling Daughter: As I watch you spread Country Time lemonade powder on a slice of buttered toast, I wonder if maybe I have made some mistakes during my short parenting career. The answer is: of course I have…read more

Bawny’s Back! – In a previous post I talked about a great tragedy that befell my daughter. After a long day out earlier this month we accidentally left her beloved Barney, a plush dragon I won from a crane game, on a bus… read more

Dad is a Big, Fat Liar – I hate making my daughter sad. So, when she asks me a question and I know the true answer is going to hurt her I turn into a big, fat liar… read more

Little Miss Bossy – My daughter will become three years old this summer. It seems like she has been two for about five years now and with her birthday looming she is packing in as much two-ness as possible in these remaining months… read more

Dad Return – After a month off of work for family leave I’m getting back to the work routine… read more

Dad Leave – I haven’t had time to devote to writing an essay recently because my free time is at a premium and my ability to focus is obstructed by the general business of Life x 2(kid)… read more

My Child Goes to 11 – My daughter is loud. Sometimes she is obnoxiously loud. Now, I understand she is two. But when you combine her volume with her pressing need to have every question answered immediately this little two-year-old transforms into an audio jackhammer… read more

No No, Dada – This Way
– You can draw up a great game plan for your children. But once they arrive in your arms that chalk board of grand ideas gets erased. Actually, the chalk board doesn’t just get erased. It gets shattered in a thousand pieces and set on fire… read more

Dad is a Big, Fat Hypocrite – One of my chief roles as Dad is making and enforcing rules. Yet I will break those rules with impunity because I am a big, fat hypocrite. I have no idea how to resolve this within myself… read more

Negotiating No – My daughter has discovered the power of No. I can’t tell if it’s just a part of being two years old or the fallout from my constant campaign of No to keep her from touching, pushing, hitting, throwing, climbing, spilling, stepping in, pulling on, or eating the wrong things… read more

I Have A Son – I now have a son. He was born on Monday afternoon via Cesarian procedure a week earlier than his natural birth due date. This was because he is large and my wife is not… read more

Our Little Mimic – My daughter is at a stage where she is observing and mimicking speech and actions of the people around her. This is a wonderfully dangerous time for us. Watching her learn about and interact with the world is joyous experience. However, if we are not careful things can go wrong in a hurry… read more

My Child Scares Me – With Halloween fast approaching it’s appropriate that I talk about how my two-year-old daughter sometimes scares the crap out of me… read more

The Crying Game – My daughter is thoroughly, completely two years old. “The Terrible Twos” is a bit of a misnomer, though, because it is not entirely terrible… read more

T Minus Kid – I found an interesting article today on one of my favorite web sites, io9.com. The article, titled “What’s the Price of Fatherhood? Time, Money, and Testosterone.”, is about the hormonal impact of fatherhood. It turns out that fatherhood not only drains you of money, sleep, and your free time, it also drains you of your manly fuel… read more

The Kid Equation – Here is my theory: Take any task, add a kid, and the complexity of that task is multiplied by ten… read more

Being an Older Dad – I became a Dad at age 45. That’s a wee bit past the typical age men become fathers in this country. But it is not as unusual as it was 30 years ago… read more

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