Posted tagged ‘children’

Mother’s Day

May 10, 2020

I was in a Hallmark store yesterday, looking for a Mother’s Day card for my wife. There were thirty guys crammed into the six foot wide aisle and ten more waiting for space … not one woman … the Y-chromosome must come equipped with a procrastination gene. Judging by the cards on the shelf, there seem to be several categories of male card buyers, probably determined by Hallmark though years of focus groups. There’s the Bigger is Better Buyer who believes that the best way to honor Mom is to give her the largest card on the block … though as a standard-sized card buyer, I’m inclined to think they’re over-compensating. There are the Humorous Card Buyers who can’t stand to see their Mom or wife cry … or laugh at their attempts to be serious. There are the Garish Card Buyers who think that every Mom’s dream card is covered with pink and magenta roses, lace, bows, and enough glitter to adorn an Elton John jacket. Then there’s the largest group, the Guilty Buyers who once or twice a year realize that they haven’t expressed their appreciation often enough to the women in their lives. Guilty Buyers always choose cards that begin with I know I don’t tell you often enough but … and follow it with a poetic paean to Mom that would make the Virgin Mary blush. As in … I know I don’t tell you often enough but besides being my best friend, lover, soulmate, and angel … the most perfect wife in the universe … you have been a perfect mother to our fabulous children. You alone have made them the beautiful, intelligent and thoughtful people that they are. They are your gift to the world and I am grateful to have been by your side as you’ve worked your miracles. I’ll try to express my appreciation more often next year. Gack! Me? I like a card that’s sincere and tasteful … so I read a lot of cards before I find the one comes home with me for Mother’s Day.



June 18, 2019

YRPI walk four or five times a week in Yorba Regional Park, one of the gems of the Orange County Regional Park System.   It is one of the places I will miss most when we move to Utah late this year.   During the week, the park is sparsely populated so I get to pay attention mostly to the natural beauty of the place, the lakes and the greenery and the assorted fauna that call it home.  There are ducks and squirrels and geese, hawks and osprey, herons and terns circling above the lakes.   Yes, and the small cadre of mostly older humans who inhabit the park on weekdays.   On weekends, particularly once spring has arrived, the park is crowded with picnickers and partiers, some of them large family reunions and my walking pastime becomes people watching.  I will admit that my sometimes curmudgeonly nature makes people watching more of a mixed bag (as we used to say).  I can find myself smiling at the joys a huge family has in being together or grumping at the behavior of certain individuals, whether it be someone playing music so loud it can be heard in Santa Ana, a bunch of adolescents annoying the ducks, or people leaving trash around.   In my heart of hearts, I know that the music hurts no one, the ducks will be fine and the park staff will be by to clean up the mess. (more…)

Kid Stuff

August 16, 2011


One thing that’s changed since my kids were kids is that you see children almost everywhere, even places that were considered adults-only thirty years ago.   It was no surprise this weekend to see the La Jolla Embassy Suites lobby over run with cute little urchins given the hotel’s family-sized suites and free breakfasts.   But there were a number of children at the La Jolla Playhouse performance of Sleeping Beauty Wakes, a pop-rock musical that blends the sleeping beauty fairy tale with sleep deprivation science in a way that a child has only two chances of following (yes, slimski and noneski … and slimski skipped town).  There were several families with children at the upscale and romantic Manhattan restaurant, too, as Muri and I celebrated our 43rd Anniversary.   And Sunday, when we went to the races at Del Mar, it was family day and the stands were crawling with kids, which brings me to Top Sites Tuesday Number 112 – Two Thoughts on Tuesday and Thought Number One: Is it really appropriate for parents to bring their grammar school-aged children to the track to teach them to play the ponies … and make bets for them?   There was a very All-American family immediately to our left in the stands.  Before each race, Grampa, Mom and Dad reviewed the Racing Form with Heather, Colton and little Ferndock, helping them pick a horse, then placed bets for them.  Aside from the fact that betting by children is illegal, do you really want to introduce your kids to gambling before ten?   And as of the end of the fourth race, all four kids were ahead and talking about what they were going to do with their money.  Can you say Gamblers Anonymous, here we come? (more…)

Fatherhood – Raising a Daughter

January 29, 2010

My wife and I were very fortunate – because we adopted our two children we were able to choose their sex.    For the first, we said, We’ll take whatever comes, and when we brought home our son, we specified female on the second adoption application that we started almost immediately.    Five years later a beautiful little eight-week old girl entered our lives.   Influenced heavily by the feminist notions of the sixties, I thought that most of the differences between boys and girls were taught, a myth my daughter quickly dispelled.   I learned that little boys are just little boys but little girls are little women.    My heart hasn’t been the same since. (more…)