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Category: Family Life

Because the Food is at Your Fingertips, Children

The girls and I are sitting on the couch, talking about…food. It’s a regular discussion around here. On this particular afternoon, the girls are saying that they don’t like the chicken nuggets served from the school cafeteria because “they taste like a freezer.” I’m kind of impressed that they would notice something like that and make a lighthearted compliment about their palates, which–as such a comment would, in Nowhere Land, I suppose–immediately insults them. Saoirse is the first to get defensive. “Well, I still like sugary stuff,” she says, like I’m about to deny her ice cream cones forever.  “It’s a compliment,” I reply. “It means that when you travel around the world some day you’ll be able to land in any country and enjoy whatever food you find there.”  My comment worked: the girls perked up, and thankfully the conversation shifted. Quinlan: “I want to travel.” Saorse: “I want to go to Mexico.” Quinlan, to Saoirse: “You’ll have to speak Spanish in Mexico. So you have to learn your Spanish.” Saoirse nods…

I’ll Go First

A former student of mine died a couple of weeks ago. He was 27, and the news was sudden and absolutely staggering. His loss is one that’s going to reverberate through the community for a very long time: a big light went out when this young man left the Earth. There’s no ignoring a darkness like that. As always in times like this, the tributes began to pour onto his social media pages. I can’t tell you how many of the messages started with “I know it’s been a while since we talked” and ended with some form of “I wish I could just laugh with you one more time.” Reaching out. It’s something that so many of us have good intentions of doing, honest, if it weren’t for just being so busy. I remember, about a year ago, thinking that I hadn’t heard from this old student as often as I used to, but I never got in touch with him to say hi. There’s another former student, one who moved back to my area and asked me to…

Lesson Learned

After a long day of kiddo basketball games Saturday we were back home, sitting down to take-out sushi (all of our children like sushi, the rawer and more tentacle-laden the better. Their taste for it is both surreal and getting expensive). Saoirse has been playing CYO basketball for a couple years now, but Quinlan had her very first game earlier that afternoon, as part of a big, non-competitive league in our town. It was an overwhelming experience for our first timer: two games happening at the same time, parents and younger siblings ringing the court, four coaches calling directions, kids and adults streaming in and out of the gym throughout it all. “Quinlan,” I said. She was cramming a piece of salmon into her mouth so fiercely it took her a moment to focus on me. “You taught me something today.” “Hmphm?” she asked (or tried to). “You were so nervous going into your game today, but you know what? Even though you were nervous, you never stopped moving. You just kept your eye on the ball and kept going.” She was paying attention to me now. “And…