The Crash

Wrecked car on tow truck

In January, I was in a car crash. I crashed my car. It was a good crash in the way you want it to be. I was the only one in my car. The other driver was the only one in the giant truck I rear-ended. Traffic was moving slowly. It was a freak accident that, if I had hit any other vehicle, I think we both would have driven away from it. We would have bounced around, and then squinted at each others’ bumpers and decided it wasn’t even…

Texts from my Daughters

texts

We’ve been slowly inching towards the day where the kids start staying home alone from time to time. There are a lot of reasons why they should. They’re old enough and responsible enough. That’s the primary thing. But eventually saving a mortgage payment’s worth of cash on daycare every month – that’s another. Watching them grow and self-actualize. Knowing that they’re in their own space, able to do their homework and tend to the pets and take ownership of the home in a cool new way. But I’ll tell you…

Productivity Guilt

productivity guilt

Two holidays in a row, I’ve gone back to work more tired than I left. No matter how productive I’ve been, I can’t shake the feeling that my level of productivity was just way too low. It’s not like I haven’t enjoyed myself. March Break with the kids was excellent. We had some decent weather, one last snow, we got outside and did activities and made art and crafts and watched movies and played games and generally just had a great time. But this break, in spite of the fact…

An Argument With My Daughter, Paraphrased

It is about ninety seconds before the children need to be out the door to go to school.  I find myself in conversation with my eldest. “Where’s the item that you take to school every single day?” I ask. “In the room that’s a mess because of my sister and I and the animals,” she replies. “Okay. Grab it please, we need to get you out the door.” “No. There’s a reason I won’t,” she says, voice rising. “In fact, I’m upset about it, as you can tell by the…

Fleenk-Shnert Means…

love

“You know what the most annoying thing you do is?” I admit, I wasn’t quite prepared for that question from Sprints. “I mean, when you put it that way – no, not really,” I laughed. “But go ahead.” She looked me straight in the eye, laid down her fork, and said, “You tell us you love us, like, all the time.” It’s true, I admit it. I’m pretty relentless with the affection. But she’s my Sprints. The Artist Formerly Known as Little Fish. The one who, for a brief time,…

Knock Knock – A Story of Socks

doorknob

“Knock knock,” I said. “Who’s there?” Whistler had told knock-knock jokes at me through the bathroom door for five minutes earlier. Clearly, she wasn’t done. Only this time, I was on the outside of the door, butting in on her quiet moment. “Sock delivery,” I said. That wasn’t a joke. I really did have an armful of socks. She was strong enough to carry her own laundry upstairs, but wasn’t quite strong enough yet that she could do so without spilling socks all over the stairs. “Sock delivery who?” “Sock…

Changes

kids on first day of school

The change started in January. In short order, the girls’ parents were married, and only six months after I started on a new career path, so did their mom. These weren’t massive changes, functionally, but I could tell the kids felt it. A subtle shakeup to the background noise of their lives. Whistler and the Fish met those developments with excitement and an easy acceptance. Then, less than six months later, we decided to change not just little things, but everything. We decided to move. It would mean a new…

Perfectionism, Projects, and Parenting

Perfectionism, projects, and parenting

I used to suffer pretty obvious perfectionism, through a combination of talent and insecurity. When I was in high school, if I couldn’t do something super well, I’d stop bothering to try. University was hard, and as you might imagine, my time there was less than illustrious. There are elements of perfectionism in my girls, as well. DD8, my Little Fish, is one. She will often bang her head against a problem until she either batters it down through sheer force of will, or melt down in the process. The littlest,…

What do they CALL you?

The question always comes the same way. There’s a lean across the table, as the questioner literally positions him or herself on the edge of their seat. There’s a narrowing of the eyes, a pursing of the lips, a creasing of the brow. Concentration pinches their features, they summon up their boldness, and they ask: “So – what do they call you?” They’re asking about my kids. My stepkids, which is why the question is asked. Unless you’re actively chewing vegan granola on the roof of your biodiesel-fueled classic VW…

#mo365 Day 14: Thanks Justin!

I don’t always know what kind of teacher I am. Today was a day that told me. This term, I have the immense privilege of teaching with the love of my life once a day. It’s an incredible experience, and one that I’m constantly and immeasurably grateful for. I also get the benefit of being able to call in talented and successful people I know to enrich classes and bring the subject to life. This term, my students got to meet an old school friend of mine, the talented filmmaker…