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The Girls on the Bus

When my wife Kat and I were beginning our lives together, we didn’t know much, but we did know we wanted to live in a city. Suburbs are fine, but they weren’t for us. Growing up in the Northern Virginia…

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Nanny Mussolini

All right, c’mon, now, hurry up, kids! We need to get cracking – beds made, wastebaskets emptied, fresh towels on the racks. And would someone please find a clean washcloth and set it on the edge of the tub? Your…

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Renaissance Sleepover

Dad, I want to go to Diamonds Direct.” “Why?” “Because I need a crystal to make a lightsaber.” The engine of any Jedi’s sword is a special gemstone that bottles The Force and turns it into a beam of lethal…

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Red Roses for You

I know, I know. It seems like it might cost a lot. Plus, they’ll just dry up and start to droop after a few days. And she already knows you love her, so why must you prove it again and…

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Grumpy Pants Does Christmas

Growing up, I was a child who, generally speaking, could barely contain his excitement. The night before my birthday, I’d lie awake in bed anticipating what might be under my pillow when I woke up. I would call Toys R…

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Fall Boys

As a cadet at VMI, fall made me anxious. While others were tidying up the frat house or skipping that first-period seminar, I was sprinting back to barracks and diving into a window. I had to beat the clock and…

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Fend for Yourselves

You would think, after so many years in this business of raising a family, that we would have it all down to a science. Or at least a well-greased, satisfactorily seasoned, pretty-well-blended routine. Just swing open our kitchen pantry’s floor-to-ceiling…

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“Can I Stay in the Car?”

Parenting is a series of ever-increasing circles of distance you let your children get away from you before you freak out and pull them back in close. When they are first born, someone is always holding them. When they get…

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The Yard is Yours

Just look at you now. Thirteen years old and well over five feet tall. At ninety pounds, you weigh far more than I did when I was your age, and you keep growing out of everything you have in your…

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Fatherhood in Living Color

When I was seven, a wizard came to our house after school one Wednesday. He messed with a few wires, and then handed me a remote control the size of our station wagon’s car jack. The gizmo had just enough…

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