Neighborhoods, Deaths and Fear

This week our neighbor died. We used to live exactly across the street from him but now we live around the corner. He was one of the first people to know our children and I had the privilege of watching his children turn into adults. He daughter was our babysitter, and his son was the produce manager at my local market, his wife teaches at the kids’ school and it brings me joy to see her each day. During the last eleven years I looked forward to bumping into my …

The Case For Marrying Well

If we’ve spoken in person and asked me about my husband, you’ve heard my standard rap. I married the kindest man I’ve ever met. It’s simple and it’s true. I love that he’s handsome and smart, those are really great qualities, and especially useful when making babies, but the kindness is what makes our lives together so wonderful. Last night at dinner my daughter,  Jane,  pulled out a table topic. It said, “Would you rather have 10 siblings or be an only child?” Jane immediately opted for ten siblings. “More …

Adolf Redux

As I lay in bed this morning I felt little feet and soft skin pressed against my calves, and some not so quiet whispering. “But Dad, won’t you ground me?” Alexander asked. “No, I’ll buy you a present.” There was a long pause while my boys both let the news sink in. “If you ever have another boy say anything bad about your sister to her your face I want you to punch him as hard as you can, right in his face. Got it? Then you come home and …