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Here’s to Autumn

The English romantic poet John Keats described autumn as the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” Keats was twenty-four when he wrote “To Autumn,” and then, adhering to the romantic code of conduct, promptly died of consumption. Which explains a…

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All Hail Halloween Dad

So here I am again, standing at the end of the walk with the flashlight in my hand. Up at the front door, past the jack o’ lanterns on the stoop, the monsters, superheroes, and fairy princesses crowd around the…

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Dad Checks Out

Once upon a time, back-to-school was strictly interpreted to refer to school-aged children. When children went back to school, parents went straight to happy hour. But, in yet another sign that our country is declining into a sad twilight of…

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Swim Team for Dummies

I guess I’ll look back one day and laugh at the whole thing. But right now, sitting here in this spine-twisting camp chair in the middle of all the splashing, yelling, whining and cheering, with whistles screaming and horns blowing…

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Ode to Boy

The jutting chin. The inscrutable eyes. The shock of unkempt hair. It’s all there in the alabaster bust of Ludwig von Beethoven sitting just outside the door to the violin shop. We’d caught his brooding gaze many times before as…

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Dad vs. Universe

June is here! The end of school is nigh! Run for your lives! OK, maybe that’s my take on summer break. Maybe you actually look forward to mosquito-bitten days of tedium and kids bored to petty crime. Or, maybe you…

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Farewell to the Fourthies

The call comes just as I am trying to pry open her stuck bedroom window. It’s almost time for dance class, and she’s forgotten her jazz pants. They’re in the bottom drawer of her dresser, she says. And can I…

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The Long Run

Wisdom comes in the shape of my son’s size eleven running shoe. Several weeks ago I had foolishly challenged him to a hundred-yard dash. Now, as he runs easily away from me, his foot strikes tap out a message with…

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Dad Packs the Lunch

It seemed like a good idea at the time. And how hard could it be, anyway? A sandwich, some cookies, a nice, ripe piece of fruit. A whimsical mix of the bedrock food groups, all prepared by my loving hand…

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Essential Sledding

It is the day after a beautiful snowfall. The skies are clearing. The wind in the high pines unspools snow like tulle. I am supervising the outfitting of my two sons as they prepare to hit the sledding hill. “Have…

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