Feb 11 2011


We were on our way home when Grace exclaimed, “I read it, I read it. It says zoo! But the sign is wrong. It should have an exclamation mark at the end because the zoo is exciting.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Feb 3 2011

Why My Kids Are Better Than ‘N’

People that know me are aware that I am an incorrigible nerd. I am fascinated by things that bore many to tears. I have encyclopedic knowledge of topics that have questionable value in daily life. I have regaled many (family, friends, and co-workers) with my recitation of said knowledge, tickling them with vague anecdotes of questionable relevance.

Pro-tip: If you must explain a quip, it likely missed its mark.

I bore. Really. I know it (and I am working diligently to stop), but my kids do not seem to mind.


Our eldest daughter asks for a story before bedtime. The topics range from fact to fiction. Each evening she is rapt, or so I imagine, hanging on each dangling participle. It is a meditation for me, a moment to reflect and recount from rich memory. Each evening meets its same end: she is grateful for the story, hungry for more. I am thankful that she has not yet realized that her mother and I are not the center of the universe. I am thankful that she still hugs and kisses me good-night, telling me that I am, “. . . the best Dad ever.”


Our middle child does not ask for a story or song at bedtime. She wants none of it. She will entertain your desire to recite or sing, but she is far happier to chat you up instead. She tells stories at a breakneck pace, with intrigue and drama and no boundaries. It is stream of consciousness and I treasure it. On the evenings where her mother does not dispatch her to much needed rest, we share the stories and a song, and a meditation:

Me: You know how much I love you?
Julia: Yes.
Me: To the moon and back again.
Julia: Thanks.
Me: Sweet dreams, sleep tight.
Julia: Don’t let the bed bugs bite.
Me: Don’t play with your nose goblins, they will devour yours fingers while you sleep!
Julia: *giggles*
Me: I love you.
Julia: And I.


Our youngest is closing rapidly on three months old. She is bubbly, boisterous, and genial. She says little to me at bedtime, save for the occasional jubilant yawp. I try to entertain her, but mother’s milk and slumber best me every time. I would not have it any other way.


While few, these are reasons why my kids are better than ‘N’. They are the reason I rise, the reason I work, the reason I cannot wait to come home. They have enriched my life beyond measure, just as my wife has. I pray that I bring them the joy and love they bring to me.

Nov 6 2010

In The Quiet of our Room

We can hear all of the little snorts and grunts and coos and cries.

From a distant and muffled doptone heartbeat, white and grey whisps of ultrasound images, and the late night writhing and hiccups, we have come to this.

I am awed and humbled by this creation. Complex and robust in her systems, fragile how she handles, tender and trusting in her nature — we made this. Three have come from two. Miraculous.

Nov 6 2010


Nora is squishy. Squishy nose, cheeks, and arms. She is long and pink and surprisingly non-squishy in places you would expect a nine-plus pound baby to be. Nora is squishy and perfect in every way.

Nov 5 2010


Salutations Nora. I waited the better part of a day to meet you and it was supremely worth it. I love you.

Nov 5 2010

Today Is The Day

Nine months and a handful of days have brought us here. The apex of the wait and the realization of hopes and prayers. For now, the excitement and anxiety build as we both wait just a little longer for the inevitable joy that awaits.

God speed my love.

Our temporary home until our baby three arrives.

Dec 7 2009

I Magic

Colleen decided it was time to start potty training Julia. Juju has expressed an interest, but lacked the focus to follow through.

That’s not entirely fair; Julia is two years old. A two year old lacks certain requisite personal qualities to succeed: an attention span, fine motor skills, and the realization that not everyone smells of piss.

I digress.

Initial forays were met with frustration, the liberal use of toilet paper, jaundiced socks, and little more. This time was different.

Colleen pressed the Potty Watch into service. For the uninitiated the Potty Watch is an egg timer that you strap to your toddler. Its purpose is to remind the trainee that it is time to void, regardless of whether one needs to or not. It is the pattern of behavior that we are concerned with here, not actual urges. The theory yields results, tangible results. The lesson comes at a price.

The Potty Watch emits a grating, woefully off key selection from the toddler canon. Somehow, against all reasonable logic and odds, it works. I continue to be amazed at the progress she makes with (and without) the watch. Her sense of pride and ownership are palpable. Julia completes the job at hand, looks into the abyss, and exclaims:

I magic.

May 2 2009

Failure to Launch

I am a perfectionist — in the worst possible way.

It is a wonder that you are seeing this post at all. The truth is  I labor over each of them (though it may not seem as if I do) for ages. I agonize over small things, the minutae, the bits that interest me. I tweak and pull and preen until the piece suits my tastes and to that end I have a full dozen posts that you will likely never see. It is folly.

I am a perfectionist — in the worst possible way.

I would rather put something off than risk being mediocre.

Nov 4 2008

Yes We Can

Yes, we did. Major news networks have announced, what will become, the 44th president of the United States of America: Barack Obama. I am pleased as this marks the end to eight years of poor policy, stewardship, and a general disregard for civil liberties. I am optimistic about the future and look forward to what it holds for Americans and the country which we call home.

Oct 21 2008

Harvest of Memory

My great grandmother, May, could feel the weather. My great grandfather, Steve, could read the clouds. I can feel a thousand things but their depth of feeling and connection to their surroundings has confounded me. harvest
Our perception of the world around us, of time, is a curiosity. My own sense of time has changed fundamentally over the years: I mean to describe a part of it here.

Many find calendars indespensible: it meters our commerce, vocations, and leisure. It fixes memory to the head of a pin.

I loathe it.

I believe the observed New Year of the Gregorian calendar is artificial; this synthetic construct has served only to disrupt our circadian rhythms. It confuses and disrupts what was once the domain of nature. Did my forebears suffer the same nagging sensation of imbalance?

My alternative is not revolutionary or unique, though my ritual may be. Necessity forces me to follow convention, however, I privately observe my own calendar. My year ends with the terminus of fall — a natural time for one to reflect. It is a time of harvest, of plenty: an opportunity to survey the labors of the spring and summer and take measure of what has been done. It is this harvest of memory that I treasure above all fall rituals. It is a time to gather what I have sown and draw it close to sustain me during the long winter.

Memories grow distant and long, just as the shadows, in fall. It is in these memories that I meditate and take communion with my past.