Katie-isms, December 2016.

I’m reaching back with this story. It’s one I’ve wanted to tell for a long time and keep forgetting. Our beloved girl-child must have been two and a half years old. Old enough to walk and talk and not do either very well. At an age and short enough that if she wanted to drink from a water fountain I had to kneel down and let her stand on my leg. Out to eat, she might come back from some Important Two Year Old Errand and I would get up from the table and kneel in the aisle so she could … Continue reading Katie-isms, December 2016.

Who’s making the tea?

My family drinks iced tea. Lots of it. We don’t “do” soda as a rule. Lemon-lime stuff when we’re sick, the odd root beer from time to time, but that’s about it. Tea is where it’s at, a holdover, I suppose, from when I was a kid. 3 – family size, black tea bags 1 – honeybush tea 1/2C sugar 1 gal water The honeybush gives the tea a very light citrus-y note, mellows out the flavor. Simple, inexpensive, tasty. Win, win, win. For years, I’ve been the tea-maker. As the children have grown older and gotten more familiar with the kitchen … Continue reading Who’s making the tea?

Catnip

Took the last batch of tomato sauce and decided to make a meal of it. Garlic, kosher salt, olive oil, brown sugar, then out to the herb garden for marjoram and basil. To amuse myself (sometimes I do) I brought in a couple of very large catnip leaves. Now, a lot of people, given such a raw material, will smush it up and rub it on the couch, but how pedestrian is that? No no, I also have an eight year old boy at my disposal, so… I smushed up the leaves and rubbed them on his forehead. Last I … Continue reading Catnip

The hard side of parenting

I write a lot about the positives. I love amusing anecdotes. But it’s not always easy. If it was, everybody would do it. It’s harder with special needs and gifted children. Oh, so much harder. We (and by “we” I mean any of us in a parental role to a child) often come into conflict with our children. We have the dicey task of weighing what they want versus what they need or what is safe or what is moral or (just as often) what we can afford, and children don’t often listen to logic when they hear the word … Continue reading The hard side of parenting

My Sous Chef

Jami walks in to the kitchen as I’m clearing counter space, emptying the dishwasher, scrubbing my favorite saucier (i.o.w., getting ready to make supper), and says, “Dad, can I be your sous tonight?” No, no punchline. Just a proud moment: one, that my son knows what sous means both in and out of this context; and two, that he wants to help me cook. And now, a punchline. After roasting, mincing, and tasting a fresh jalepeno, I grabbed a tasting spoon from the holder by the stove, grabbed a couple of pieces and offered them to him. This is standard … Continue reading My Sous Chef

Age and perspective. Sometimes they sting.

Michelle had borrowed my pocket knife. As the morning was busy (we were at a feis, getting ready for the day) and Jami and I left the room early to get him downstairs to practice, she tossed my knife into her purse and forgot about it. Later in the day, I went looking for it. “In my purse,” she said, making no move to help. It’s a soft-sided thing, a quite perfect example of the “bag” half of “hand-bag”, and while attractive it isn’t easy to dig through looking for something so small especially when, being male, “purse” is just … Continue reading Age and perspective. Sometimes they sting.

Mowing the lawn

My dad was one of those “throw him in and see if he swims” kind of dads. If you sank, well, you could damn well hold your breath and walk back to shore, then. My siblings may have different memories of him, but by the time he and mom got around to me – and I wasn’t planned, it should be noted – he was different. The stories I heard of him from years before didn’t match the dad I knew.That unpleasant dichotomy is a story for another time.

Anyway, I try not to be that kind of dad. Oh, I’ll throw the kids in, but I’ll make sure they’ve got a rope tied on. Metaphorically speaking. Continue reading “Mowing the lawn”