Among the harder things to prepare for as a parent is the raw emotion that pushes up like an oil strike during big family moments. Our Clara’s confirmation got me good.
We earned our stripes with Clara. She is the oldest of our five. My wife and Read More ››
Spring is here. The season of new beginnings. Of baseball and baby chicks. Of Cadbury eggs and confirmations.
We are involved in something entirely new—new, that is, to us. Our Paddy (10) and our Sally (6) are trying their hands (and feet) at the ancient game of Read More ››
We’re having some work done on the roof of the new house. The chimney is twisted and needs to be rebuilt. Friends gave us the number of a guy we could call to fix it.
McNulty is from Ireland. He told me he did “finishing work” for Read More ››
I’m a student of pubs. Maybe it’s because my dad owned one. Maybe it’s because they smell so good, especially that front-door bouquet of stale beer, hamburger, air conditioning, and disinfectant. The flavor profile at my dad’s place included the unmistakable overlay of nicotine, but even Read More ››
My mother hated the house on Speedwell Avenue. She may have had her reasons. The kitchen was small, the sink was too far from the stove, there was one bathroom for six people, and the whole place drooped slightly so the bedroom doors wouldn’t close. Then Read More ››
The thing about spring is you forget how great it’s going to be. Life can be a drag. Winters can overstay. But spring is about hope, and hope is the thing that pokes its way out of a robin’s egg.
We take family walks. By the pond Read More ››
Our Billy is a growing boy. He had his first birthday over the summer and has recently taken up toddling. He’s also an early riser, and wants his breakfast on the tray about two seconds after his butt hits the high chair.
Did I mention he’s a Read More ››
I didn’t always have five children and a wife. It wasn’t that long ago that I had no children and zero wives. On TV, they make bachelorhood seem a paradise of freedom and adventure. Not for me it wasn’t.
The missus and me just blew past our Read More ››
We made a family confession. I know that sounds like we subjected ourselves to some bizarre public humiliation ritual. We didn’t.
The director of religious education at our parish graciously arranged for interested families to come for the sacrament together on a Saturday morning. Our priests graciously Read More ››
I know a guy. I can’t tell you his real name. Let’s call him Joe Boots. He’s a great fellow. One of the best. Joe Boots works hard. He’s up early every day. Sometimes he’s at his desk by sunrise. He gets the job done—and done Read More ››
Twelve year-old Billy Scheyd of St. Ann Parish in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport got polio. It was 1952, and the country was in the middle of the worst outbreak in its history. Nearly 58,000 people fell ill. More than 3,000 died.
That summer, Jonas Salk Read More ››
Clara is studying the flute. She practices at home in the evenings. She gets in 15 or 20 minutes of work, on average, every day. There are days when she’s not into it. She gets frustrated.
“Remember,” I say by way of encouragement. “Anything worth doing is Read More ››
Some people get depressed at Christmastime. My father-in-law, Bill Reel, was one such guy. He never could get into the spirit of the season. Couldn’t wait for January to come. “Christmas music is supposed to cheer us up, but it makes me sad,” he once wrote.
Mr. Read More ››