Year: 2015

A Little Santa, a Little Jesus

During this Santa-obsessed time, I’ve been thinking a lot about how things have changed for our family holiday since last year. Christmas 2014 was the first for my older son to obsess over receiving presents. It made me nervous to think he’d become an unappreciative, acquisitive kid lacking any appreciation for the reason for the season. I fretted about it, but we made little progress beyond, “Why do we celebrate Christmas?” “To get presents!” This year, we’re reading books about Jesus, as well as Santa and Rudolph. As I’ve alluded, I’m a believer in a higher power, a worldly energy, a united human spirit. But I don’t think there’s a grandfatherly figure with a white beard deciding whether or not we get into pearly gates. And Biblical stories?, word-for-word?…not so much. Of course we embrace the spirit of Christmas, spreading joy and good tidings and all that jazz. But (as with appreciating Veterans’ sacrifices on Veteran’s Day – and that it’s not just a day off from school, and that Labor Day celebrates sacrifices made …

OMG. I’m on the Other Side

Last night, a good friend texted, “I hate everything and everyone.” We aren’t in regular contact, but we trade messages when we’ve reached the ends of our ropes. She has a 5-year-old and a 9-month-old. She continued, “Am I a bad parent if I want to give my children away? The oldest one does not stop whining. Ever. And the youngest doesn’t stop crying. I may have to commit myself.” I responded, “Yes. You’re a bad parent. And you’re on the bad parent bus with me as the driver. And let’s face it – do you really wanna be on a ‘good parenting’ bus with someone who can’t say a bad thing about their kids?” Her husband was home watching TV with their older son, the baby was in the crib (crying). I told her “Go scream into a pillow. Go outside and lie on the sidewalk and stare at the sky. Go. You have the right. Have a drink. You’ve earned it.” Then texting felt silly and I called her and said, “Vent. Vent …

A Not-at-all Embellished Textual Conversation with my Blogging Bestie about Christmas Cards

So…the following conversation took place between my blogging bestie and me. It started out innocently enough. I mentioned my feeling that people should sign Christmas cards…even if it’s just writing the recipient’s name and “xo”. But my friend (blogger Keeper of the Fruit Loops) says, “ain’t nobody got time for that.” Keep in mind, she’s a Christmas over-achiever to the Martha Stewart degree. We quickly devolved into sarcastic hilarity.. No hard feelings for anyone (including readers). But I thought it was post-worthy. Feel free to weigh in on the debate. If we agree, you get a gold star. If we disagree, well..you’re wrong. But we are still friends, and I’ll still send you a Christmas card (personalized). Daddy Coping in Style: I need to do my Christmas cards. Keeper of the Fruit Loops: That’s on my list, too. Ugh. DCS: I know. It’s so much work. Does anyone care? KFL: I like getting them. DCS: Yeah. It’s nice. KFL: I’m getting mine out tomorrow. DCS: Shut up. KFL: Suck it. I got them the other …

Melancholic Thanksgiving

When I think “Thanksgiving”, I also think “melancholy”. When I was 8, my dad died about ten days before Thanksgiving. And for the following 12 years, other family losses bunched up in November and December, culminating with my mom in December, 2007. For most of my childhood, Thanksgiving felt like a tremendous effort to ignore loss while meeting idealized (commercialized) celebration standards. My mother succeeded in creating a Norman Rockwell fest, even for our family of 2. Frenzied joy trumped her sadness (usually). But the pall of loss lingered. Now, this year, there are some health concerns in our family. And of course, it’s all timed around Thanksgiving. Do I bring this on, myself? I suppose Thanksgiving is a holiday of dualities: we celebrate our bounty at the same time nature turns cold and brown around us. Under dreary November skies, we fill our dining rooms with a feast. It’s also the first time of the year we’re expected to sit down as a family. For ten months there’s been summer BBQ’s and a few …

My Marathon Film Festival

As you may have read, I did not have a successful NYC 2015 marathon experience. I finished, which…I know, I know, is the important thing. And I finished in 4:26, which isn’t shameful. But I ran way too fast. I ignored basic tenets of humanity…”it’s a marathon, not a sprint” and I just ran stupid. I cruised at an Olympic pace (the Olympics of 1574 hosted by the Holy Roman Empire and comprising two sports: marathon and killing peasants) of 8:50/mile for 19 miles. And then I died. Anyway. No sense in re-hashing it, here…except that clearly I haven’t made peace with it. (Seriously…thinking I might “accidentally” qualify for the Boston marathon? I know. Delusional.) Anyway, here’s the culmination of my efforts to document the marathon with my little action cam clipped to my visor. The movie is horrendous. Your 9 minutes would be better spent watching paint dry. Why? I planned for every contingency…I purchased 2 extra lithium batteries to change every 90 minutes. I rehearsed pressing those microscopic camera buttons while running. I bought …

A Not-at-All Non-Fictitious Convo w/ My 4-yo About Terrorism

Sitting at a coffee shop, my kiddo eats a donut while I glance at the Saturday newspaper. Daddy? What’s that picture? (pointing to the cover of the NY Times.) Something terrible happened, buddy. In Paris. What happened? Some people we call terrorists took guns and shot at many other people. Is that why lots of people are saying ‘Pray for Paris’? Where did you see that? On your Facebook feed. You don’t even know the code to my phone. That’s what you think. And you can read? If I see something written over and over and over and over and over again, I get the gist. You’re a smart 4-year-old. Yep. So that’s why people are saying ‘Pray for Paris’? Yes. Why do people say that? Because…um…they don’t know what else to do. Do they really pray? Eh. Some do. Not everyone? I don’t think so. Why do they say it? Um…I think it makes them feel better. Do you say it? No. Why not? Because…I dunno. Praying is private, for me. Also, I think …

How NOT to Run a Marathon – in 7 Easy Steps

So I ran the NYC marathon, yesterday. It was tough. Like…really, really, really tough. I’d joked to friends that I was just hoping to finish. Secretly I wanted to finish in 3:45, which I told no one…except the entire intrawebs when I took the above pic and posted to Instagram at the starting line. (Seeing this discarded placard seemed a harbinger of the marathon miracle I’d soon conjure.) Apologies to those I made think I’d finished in 3:45. I most assuredly did not. I finished in 4:25. A good time, but definitely not what I’d hoped…especially as I deluded myself for 18 miles by running 8:40. Because at mile 19…I hit a wall. I’m pissed at myself for not following the rules. I literally forgot it was a marathon. My out-sized ego magically believed in unicorns and marathon miracles. While the jury might still debate unicorns, marathon miracles don’t exist. You have to follow the rules. Let my idiocy serve as a learning experience for all of you. How NOT to Run a Marathon in …