We hit the road for our first Cub Scout camping trip, to Westgate River Ranch, an outdoor oasis in the middle of anonymous, sprawling scrubland — a wonderland of vast fields, bulls standing sternly at fences daring you to come just a little closer, a rodeo arena with its dazzling orange dirt, a saloon, all on the wide and wild Kissimmee River. Other than a lesson on the joys of being immersed in the outdoors while with a couple hundred outstanding people, here’s what we learned: Continue reading “Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping”
The fires, the hurricanes, the earthquakes, the shootings. The calamities have been so repetitive that together they’ve created a numbing rhythm, one reliably following another, like the ticking of a clock.
It’s hard to be shocked these days. Continue reading “Shocked? That’s good. “
I let my 6-year-old shoot an air rifle for the first time on Sunday. Later that day, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history took place.
Talk about giving a liberal dude some doubts. Continue reading “Even after the Vegas carnage, I’m glad I let my kid shoot”
Tidbits from a shuttered home:
•Other than storm surge, tornados are the scariest things in hurricanes.
•Irma is producing a crap ton of tornados. Continue reading “Tidbits from a shuttered home”
It’s really weird to be driving to avoid a hurricane — but be driving toward that hurricane.
But that’s what I did today. Continue reading “Driving toward Irma”
I’ve been thinking about parent overreach after I stumbled across a not-all-that-recent essay in The Times warning parents against the rabid pursuit of “passion” for their kids, that laser focus and fierce discipline that some parents think is needed to produce tennis prodigies and Ivy League admissions and recital hall social-media brags. Continue reading “Dad’s dangerous baseball wish”
I was just on a flight and sat next to a guy and his son. The boy looked about 5, close to the age of my older son. As we chatted, the dad reminded me of me: thoughtful but not doting, attentive but still keen on carving time out for himself. He’d been watching a movie on an iPad while his son played a game on his iPad. Continue reading “I saw myself in seat 37F. It wasn’t pretty.”
This morning Quinn got up barely past dawn and immediately asked for markers and white paper. He wordlessly sat down at the art table. Half an hour later he’d finished a book of ‘Dsins.’*
Months before he made his first appearance the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the air was already crackling with anticipation of the Elf on a Shelf — that cute, mischievous figure clad in red who sits in absolute stillness in our house (on a shelf or poking his head out of a toy bin, or in the corner of the kitchen counter) until reappearing the next morning in another spot, where his paralysis has again taken hold. Continue reading “The elf’s spell”