The RV Chronicles — Playing the shell game at the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Brazilian style Shrimp Stew)

I managed to make it to our fourth child before I had to take the reins and become an insurance negotiator, symptom translator and prescription picker-upper. Boy howdy! Yes, the boy was sick this week. ‘Good morning. I have a sick child and would like to make an appointment,’ I said to the lady on […]

The RV Chronicles — Baby Girl isn’t a baby any more (Recipe: Brats en Brochette)

I knew it would happen. I wished for it, in fact. But now that it has arrived, I’m a bit melancholy. Baby Girl has grown up. Long gone are the days of father-daughter outings to Applebee’s for mac & cheese. She’s a calamari connoisseur these days. Baby Girl has traded Sailor Moon for Sephora. It […]

The RV Chronicles — Thank goodness we’re not total kindred spirits (Recipe: Ancho Braised Short Rib Sandwich)

I’m a smarty pants. Always have been. Don’t know why. So is Baby Girl. Thankfully though, she didn’t inherit my ‘go down with my middle fingers in the air’ temperament. In all fairness, I graduated from that approach some years ago. But at 17, my daughter’s age, I was a young man with an inexplicable […]

Confession No. 136 — You are my sunshine, my only sunshine…

For those of you who are new to these parts, this project began almost four years ago with my ‘Confessions’ — everything from rants about people wearing pajamas in public, to very personal pieces about my life as I know it.  Following is one of those intimate essays, a letter to our youngest son. April […]

Confession No. 134 — My kid said what? (Recipe: Creamy Meyer Lemon Shrimp Scampi w/ Artichokes)

He’s our fourth child and without a doubt, the most forthcoming with his words. Following are a few conversations that happened in the past year — before he turned seven on December 19. Keeping me honest At a drive-thru convenience store, I was behind a carload of boisterous young men. The clerk handed them a case […]

Confession No. 128 – Back to the days of Christopher Robin

Most of my memories begin with a letter. I wrote it as my son slept beneath a swaying mobile in his dimly lit nursery. A CD player with soft volume was set to shuffle Kenny Loggins’ Return to Pooh Corner. Catherine and I had converted our first child’s room from an office to a little […]

Confession No. 127 – The Talk

My father had it with me. His father probably had with him. And his father’s father before. The talk. I’m talking neither about the birds and bees nor the discussion about family secrets revealed. This talk is the one that fathers have with their sons just before they are about to show the boy – […]

Confession No. 125 – For the love of a child

‘Mom, I’m glad I’m not adopted,’ the little boy said out of the blue. ‘Really,’ she responded. ‘Why do you say that?’ ‘Because, if I was adopted you wouldn’t love me as much.’ It had been more than five years since the boy made the transition into his new family. He was about a year […]

Confession No. 122 — The little girl who cried wolf wasn’t whistling Dixie after all

It was her go-to excuse for more than 15 years. She used it to occasionally stay home from school, church and even fun family outings. It’s been so frustrating that I’ve wanted to strangle her. But as it turns out, we erred. And I’ll be damned if I shouldn’t have known better. I was a […]

Confession No. 121 – Woe is me. Pee-wee soccer is upon us … again.

I’ve spun many a yarn over the years and have done a pretty darn good job of sugar coating the bad parts. But even the best storytellers in the world don’t own enough fib to beat around the bush about organized youth sports. Spin it any way you wish. There aren’t enough positives to outweigh […]