Riding bulls and inhaling bugs: 10 Lessons from Cub Scout ranch-camping

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”

Even after the Vegas carnage, I’m glad I let my kid shoot

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”

I saw myself in seat 37F. It wasn’t pretty.

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.”

‘Responds to son’

The last in my ‘Mom and me’ series, which ran in The Coastal Star in 2011. This is slightly tweaked from the original. Reading the first will orient you if you haven’t seen it….

The call came at 2:20 a.m. My mom was about to die.

I’d been preparing for this for the last two years. But I still felt as though I were falling through a trapdoor. Continue reading “‘Responds to son’”