The Kids

A Strange Interlude

We didn’t have a lot of time to hang out in Memphis during our whirlwind tour of nine states in nine days. We had a quick lunch, and then looked for a nearby park to let the kids blow off some steam before pressing on another 3 1/2 hours to Nashville. I found a place called Memorial Park, which turned out to be a cemetery. Weirdly, it also turned out […]

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The Dichotomy in my Living Room

My little daughter dumped all the money out of her purse onto the living room carpet this morning. It was mostly coins and one-dollar bills. She counted slowly and carefully. Her brother poked his hand in periodically, trying to sneak away a coin or two when she wasn’t looking. When she did look at him, he tried to invent a multi-dollar fine she could pay him for some imagined slight. […]

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Translating

Today was the first day of our home summer-school. It’s an annual fantasy for me that I’ll supplement my children’s educations during the summer so that they’ll be fluent in history, conversant in ancient and modern languages, whizzes at math, and just all-around baby geniuses. Annually the fantasy peters out because: a) I am none of these things myself and b) it’s summer and I just want to goof off […]

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Our Family Vacation, Part 2

We made it safely back after putting 3,245 miles on the Family Truckster in a mere 9 days, which averages out to a daily drive from Austin, Texas to Norman, Oklahoma. I can’t believe I’m able to write this truthfully, but the kids were awesome. They were *way* better behaved than I was on family vacations growing up. In fact, I think they were probably better behaved than I was […]

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Our Family Vacation

We’ve made it nearly 1,500 miles through five states in five days, and so far the family vacation has been a blast, ticks notwithstanding. I was worried about pulling off this itinerary with two relatively little kids, but they have been awesome. I mean really, truly, exceptional. I’m bragging on them while I can because the trip home — 18 hours of driving in two days — will be brutal. […]

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I’m a Real Tick Magnet

This was the view from the back porch of our cabin near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Those woods are lovely, aren’t they? They totally sucked me in. Daddy suggested that the kids watch a movie in the cabin during our afternoon rest time. Oh no, I insisted. We need to walk on the trail through these lovely woods first. We’re tired, and it’s 95 degrees out, Dad persisted, with maddening rationality. […]

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It’s a Round-Letter Day

Friday morning I made my bleary-eyed zombie walk to the living room to hustle the kids into the car for school. My little Kindergartener was still wearing her p.j.’s, but with a skirt on top. “Baby, why aren’t you dressed?” “Mo-o-om! It’s “O” Day. You know? Crazy Outfit Day?” As the days of school count down, her Kindergarten class is counting down with the alphabet. Each day they do something […]

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Our Avatars

I like writing down conversations we have in our little family, but I’m getting bored with calling my kids “The Boy” and “The Girl.” I could call them Jacob and Emily* but I thought it’d be more fun to create avatars for all of us. You’ve already seen mine: Now here’s The Boy: And The Girl: And of course, The Big M: I have this fantasy that I can recreate […]

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Trying to Do the Right Thing

My little six-year-old darling was picking up trash off the school grounds with her Daisy Scout troop this afternoon when she came upon a $20 bill. It was a cause for much celebration and excitement. She was the heroine of her little group. And then I made her turn it in to the office on the off chance that someone comes in asking about it. We didn’t even discuss it. […]

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Talking with The Boy

Just had this conversation: The Boy: Do you think when I run the timed mile that I should wear boots? Me: Why would you wear boots? TB: Like the army men do. Me: They wear combat boots, not cowboy boots. TB: What are combat boots? Me: They lace up. TB: One of the kids in my class, his mom is in … what’s that thing called that’s like the army […]

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