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Showing posts from 2018

New Rules

“ Were you scared? ” I asked her. “ Well, maybe a little. But the good news is, I thought, is that I was in the computer room, which is waaaaaaaay at the back of the school, and I figured that if anyone got into the school, he probably wouldn’t get all the way back to us there, so we were probably fine .”  She went on: “ We hid under the computer tables, which was gross because people stick their gum under there. So we had to lie there and stare at old gum. So I pulled out a book and started to read so I wouldn’t have to stare at the gum .”  And a little later: “ My teacher didn’t get underneath anything though. She just kept walking around. Shouldn’t she be safe too? ” I agreed with her that yes, her teacher should be safe too. This is the conversation I had with my daughter recently, after her school experienced a lock down. The episode was brief: the lockdown was triggered not by anything dangerous happening at the school but by police activity in the

Repost: Life & Death

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I first posted this piece in 2011.  Since then, my family has experienced quite a bit of grief and loss.  There are some lessons we need to learn and relearn every day of our lives.  This, I think, is one: * * * My son asked me the other day how long it takes to get over the death of someone you love.  There is inherent hope in that question, that getting over loss is possible, that everything will be OK at some point in the future.  I didn't want to answer him, because...well...who wants to tell a child that there are things you never get over?  But I answered.  I told him that you never get over a death, that you always miss the person you love, and no one and nothing ever can take his (or her) place in your life.  It's also possible, I told him, to go on and live a wonderful, full and happy life, to meet other people that you end up loving very much, to be joyful and to enjoy your life to the fullest.  But you don't  get over  death.  You don't ever go back to t

My Own Little Renaissance

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I went for a walk today after work.  I really didn't want to.  I was torn between passing the time before picking up my daughter from soccer practice by (a) stopping at the local taqueria and having a beer or (b) getting. in. my. steps.   (If you say those last four words like you're the Economics Teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, you will capture something of my feeling about going for a walk.) But walk I did.  I made the smarter choice.  I'm glad I did, but I'm also struck by just how hard it was to make that choice.  It was, like, super hard.  Like, teenager who can't get out of bed hard.  Like, tween who doesn't want to take a shower hard.  Like, toddler who doesn't want to hold hands across the street or do anything else remotely reasonable hard.  Made me feel very wimpy. But I digress.  This post isn't about my walk, but about something I've discovered recently, which I was reminded of on my walk.  Here's what I hav

Teenage Girls Are Awesome: Here's Why

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 simpler time: before they were so confused about me.  When she was around eleven or twelve, my middle daughter once threw her arms around, pulled me in tight and close, and yelled in my ear, " GET AWAY FROM ME ."  There was a beat of silence between us before we cracked up.  We both enjoyed the absurdity of that tortured pre-teen moment. She’s speeding towards 14 now, and she still does some version of the "push-me-pull-me" dance on a regular basis.  Sometimes, she comes up to me and encircles me with her arms while trying not to touch me.  Or she’ll grab my arm and fling it away.  Repeatedly.  While squawking.  Basically, she’s confused. I have three daughters, so opportunities for absurdity abound. Today at the 9am Mass, I took a chance with Daughter #1, who is 15: I put my arm around her.  Mothers around the world know what a foolhardy mission this could have been, to open myself up to ninja level rejection and scorn like that. But lo, a miracle occur