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Posts tagged "Parenting"

The Quiet Misery of Children's Birthday Parties

The Quiet Misery of Children’s Birthday Parties

You get past the person at the front door. There’s throbbing music. You walk into a sea of black lights and unfamiliar faces. While this may feel like a bad choice you made in your 20s, this is not in fact a dance club in the meatpacking district. This is a children’s birthday party. It […]

The Trauma of Decadent Religion (and the Best Worst S-Word)

The Trauma of Decadent Religion (and the Best Worst S-Word)

The notion of sin dominated my girlhood. Raised in Indiana by fundamentalist parents, sin was the inflexible yardstick by which I was measured. Actions, words, even thoughts weren’t safe from scrutiny. The list of sinful offenses seemed infinite: listening to secular music or watching secular television, saying “gosh” or “darn” or “jeez,” questioning authorities, envying […]

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Divine Amnesia, Cookies, and Ice Cream

Last Saturday, my son accompanied me on my typical weekend errands, and after he patiently endured the tedium of Costco’s packed aisles and long lines, we were finally en route in the Dodge Millennium Falcon to an impromptu father-son lunch date. As we approached our destination, he randomly blurted out, “Dad, remember that time last […]

Healing in the Middle

Healing in the Middle

This piece comes to us from Andrew Taylor-Troutman. When I say Asa, I sing Asa – Bry Webb, “Asa” Our middle child is named Asa, which means Healer in Hebrew. His biblical namesake was the fifth ruler in the House of David, the third king of Judah. In his two and a half years, our […]

You Must Be This Tall (To Receive Grace)

You Must Be This Tall (To Receive Grace)

(Note: This was written with help, insight, and revision from my wife… Thank you, Angela.) “Wait a minute, Ma’am… does she have a disability?” The question cut through both of us like a word of law, judgment, and accusation. What was she getting at? What was she implying? Where are we going with this? Sigh. […]

Judgment and Relief at the End of Summer

Judgment and Relief at the End of Summer

In my neighborhood, the evidence of leaves already falling from the trees sounds a clear indictment and an unmistakable verdict: Summer is virtually gone…and I didn’t do enough to justify my existence. We didn’t do a good enough bona-fide family vacation—as in, we didn’t go anyplace exotic like Hawaii or Mexico or travel across country […]

The World's Greatest Dad

The World’s Greatest Dad

My wife is pregnant with our first child, which means that soon I will become the World’s Greatest Dad. I know this because I have done all the self-work necessary to understand how my parents failed me in my childhood. Using this self-knowledge, I will not make any of the mistakes my mother and father […]

Another Week Ends: Breakfast with Dads, Dead Memoirist Romance, Twitter's Mercilessness, Sarah Silverman's Forgiveness, Metric Fixation, and the Wonder of Grace

Another Week Ends: Breakfast with Dads, Dead Memoirist Romance, Twitter’s Mercilessness, Sarah Silverman’s Forgiveness, Metric Fixation, and the Wonder of Grace

1. Lots of amazing stuff hitting our inbox this week, including this news story from a middle school in Dallas. After deciding to hold a “Breakfast with Dad” event at the school, teachers worried that many of the 150 students who signed up for the breakfast would be without their fathers. So they took to […]

Integrity, Parenting, and Always Calling Daddy

Integrity, Parenting, and Always Calling Daddy

A heartfelt reflection on raising kids who ask good questions, this one comes to us from our friend Jennifer Underwood. I think that my strong determination for justice comes from the very strong, dynamic personality of my father…I have rarely ever met a person more fearless and courageous than my father…The thing that I admire […]

What Once Was Lost

What Once Was Lost

I have two older sisters who both grew up to be teachers. They are about ten years older than I am, and we lived in a very rural part of Wisconsin, and there was no cable or internet at our house. In other words, we had a lot of time on our hands, and my […]

Fathers, Sons, Law, and Grace in August Wilson's <i>Fences</i>

Fathers, Sons, Law, and Grace in August Wilson’s Fences

My mother and father always attempted to instill into me and my brothers an appreciation for culture. Mom was and remains extremely well-read in classic literature, hailing Steinbeck as her favorite; she enjoyed foreign cinema and took me (while in the womb) to an Ingmar Bergman film festival; she could reference renowned plays and decided […]

The Myth of the Happy Parent

The Myth of the Happy Parent

This one comes to us from our friend, Samuel Son. We just threw a sixth birthday party for my third and youngest (and last) child. It got me thinking that in the last ten years of my life, raising three tiny human beings, I had been tempted to drive away to Costa Rica–or the bordering state–drive off […]