What's the Deal with Me and Richard Marx? [DadCentric]

Inevitably, if a conversation turns toward musical tastes, I always end up the laughing stock of the group. Why? No one has ever deemed my choice of bands and singers as being cool. I’ll bring up names like Matchbox 20 or The Fray—and of course there’s that whole thing with Coldplay—and everyone starts doubling over.  It’s fine. I’m used to it by now. Sometimes I’ll even join in. Admittedly I deserve ridicule for my brief flirtation with Nickelback.

My wife, Ashley, is undoubtedly my harshest critic. A song from Snow Patrol will come on the radio, and she’ll roll her eyes so hard I can hear it over the music. “How did I ever marry you,” she will sigh.


Not My Kid

Not my kid. That’s what we as parents wish we could think on a continual basis. We see another child doing something outrageous, or we hear about it from a fellow parent and we naturally imagine our own children in the same situation, believing that our parenting skills have made enough of an impact so as to prevent them from doing anything stupid and embarrassing.

Hey, I’m no different… I’m no different until I overhear someone commenting on the kid plundering the bowl of mints offered in the church’s coffee cafĂ©, only to learn later that it was both my 11 year-old and my nine year-old sons who were grabbing fistfuls of peppermint candy like greedy pirates stuffing their pockets with gold doubloons.  I would’ve been none the wiser had it not been for the indiscriminate trail of cellophane wrappers laying in the hallway and the sibling who snitched on them. (With five kids it’s hard to get away with anything, especially when you don’t share the loot.)


The Life of Bi [Huffington Post]

There's an implied danger that goes with being greeted by a metal detector the instant you enter a door. After all, why would it be there if someone didn't want to prevent a deranged lunatic from attempting to sneak a weapon into a school or an airport? Or a behavioral health facility.
That's where I found myself -- a behavioral health facility assuring a hulking, six-foot-five guard that I had left my cell phone in the car as the sign in the parking lot instructed. The guard politely pointed me towards the door on the right of the nurse's station as opposed to the thick metal one on the left, which I noticed had a lock requiring the nurse to buzz someone in or out.
Peering through the small glass portal I could see a sterile hall lined with closed rooms. For a moment the option between doors made me feel like Neo choosing between the red pill or the blue pill, and I wondered which would take me down the rabbit hole.      ...continue reading.


Swim Test

Unlike me, my kids are a bunch of water bugs when it comes to swimming. Swimming is one of those things that never really stuck with me after I grew up. Perhaps this is because my sisters and I never went that often. Once each summer our mother would take us for a day at the Lake Erie peninsula where the lake’s docile waves would toss our bony little bodies back onto the gravely shore. Sometimes, if we were lucky, a well-off friend would invite us over to their pool, but mostly we just damned up the small creek behind our house and sat in muddy, knee-deep water.

My kids also have a good size creek running through our backyard, but they would much rather prefer the new outdoor pool at our local YMCA. It’s not that they are averse to playing in the creek (and then tracking mud through the house); it’s just that the pool has a thirty-foot water slide, a playground, a whirlpool, fountains, and a zip line. Needless to say we spent more than a few weekends there over the summer.

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