Father’s Day Presence

This was the seventh father’s day for my youngest daughter. It means that all three of my children now have had a father in their lives longer than I had one in mine.

And I wonder to what benefit?

The absence of a father in my life inspired me to be ever present in my own children’s lives.  

I thought this would mean that they would see me as the greatest Dad ever. …


Origins vs. Traditions: Baseball, Hot Dogs & Apple Pie

Hot dogs didn’t come to America until the 1860’s when a German immigrant began selling them off a cart in New York’s Bowery.

Apple pie came to America courtesy of England – via Geoffrey Chaucer’s recipe.  But apples originated from Asia – which is also where fireworks were created.

Baseball, our national pastime, may actually trace its roots back to Egypt – where the first use of a bat and ball were discovered.…


What Do You Do When You’re Wrong?

In response to last week’s post, several readers wrote me to point out an error. I incorrectly wrote, “Mr. Rogers invited the postman, Mr. McFeely, to come soak his feet in his pool.”  

In reality, he invited Officer Clemmons. Mr. McFeely is white while Officer Clemmons is African-American – not a minor point considering Mr. Rogers was trying to make a statement about integrating public pools.

My initial instinct was to hope no one else noticed and ignore it.  


Small Invisible Acts

A man wrote a short story that he could not get published. So he included it in 200 Christmas cards he sent out to friends and family.
 
One of the cards ended up in the hands of a film director. He made a film based on that story.
 
It lost a fortune and the director never made a successful film again. He ultimately had to sell his production company and with it the rights to the film.


They Were Everywhere

On bookshelves, under end tables, on the dining room table, behind the sofa, and under chairs. In the hallway, kitchen, bedroom, living room and yes, the closet. They were spread to every corner of our home like the Starks to the kingdoms of Westeros.
 
Legos, Legos and more Legos. Our home had turned into a literal Lego-land. Constructed sets abounded – tree houses, ski lodges, yogurt shops, pet hospitals, ice skating rinks, pizzerias and amusement parks.…


What Will You Leave Behind in 2018?

With 2019 right around the corner, it is customary to look forward.  To set goals, create plans and, of course, make resolutions.  It is also an opportunity to reflect and look back.

Recently a friend told me that during a recent yoga class, the instructor asked everyone to reflect on the question, “what do you need to leave behind?”  In other words, what mindsets, behaviors or habits do you need to change if you want to be able meet those goals, follow through on those plans and keep those resolutions?…


The True Meaning of Eve

For millions of children around the world (and perhaps an equal number of adults), today is a day of incredible anticipation.  For tomorrow, they will wake up uncontrollably consumed by the excitement that comes with presents nestled under and around the Christmas tree.
 
The very nature of any “eve” is one of anticipation and even anxiety.  As the great Tom Petty once sang, “the waiting is the hardest part.”


Thank The Forgotten

This Thursday most of us in America will find ourselves surrounded by family and friends celebrating Thanksgiving.

Perhaps during prayer or a quiet moment in our mind, we will offer silent thanks for those whose presence in our life has made us who we are.  Our parents, partners, children, family or close friends will top most lists. 

Hopefully more than a few will go the extra steps and give voice to those silent thoughts in ways that go beyond a cursory thanks but offer a level of specificity of why we are so grateful for their presence in our lives.…


Freedom From or Freedom To?

After running around attending to the needs of various kids, I had just poured a fresh cup of coffee, grabbed my book and sat down to relax.  

As if intentionally timing her request to my first sip, my daughter summoned,“Daddy, get me a glass of milk.”  This is the exchange that followed:

“You realize this vacation is for Mommy and Daddy too, you know. 


A Great Vacation Idea

Leading up to the July 4th holiday, several friends told me they were traveling into America’s heartland for the week. There they would undoubtedly encounter people whose political beliefs were the polar opposite of their own. My own family vacation to Lake Erie meant that I would share both their predicament and trepidation. 
 
Yet there is something uniquely apolitical about how Americans celebrate July 4th. …