Category Archives: Parenting

Boys castles

Boys, Castles and the Wonder of Childhood

My oldest son emerged into the world training for great capers. Sitting at 4 months, walking at 9 and climbing right away. He’s training for a great adventure. Discovering what that is has become such a huge part of his childhood. There is wonder in the chase for your life’s work, especially for children as they discover the passion of their childhood.

Knights, dragons, castles and kings are currently enchanting to my boys. And here they are, immersed in the wonder of it all.

I apologize for my children’s lack of pants. I ask myself why they won’t wear pants daily. But this is my life! 🙂
Boys castles


100 days of engagement | life with kids

I have to be honest, parenting my kids mostly by myself has made parenting into a chore.

I have started to see their little chubby hands as “mess makers” and feel so caught up in the work of getting-there-on-time-dressed-cleaned-happy-fed that I am not appreciating these amazing kids in front of me.

And the craziest part of it all: I am lonely. Lonely in the midst of two extremely social kids.

So a few days ago I decided, if I didn’t like playing this game I would change it.

Enter what I lovingly call 100 days of engagement.

It sounds like a silly romantic comedy but here is what it really is: 100 continuous days of spending at least 1 hour totally engaged with my kids.

One hour where I am not worried about the house, or work, or dinner. That’s 100 glorious hours between a few days ago and Jan. 10.

And while we’re having these adventures I’ll be collecting video to compile into a short film that will literally show my boys grow.

After a few days I already feel refreshed. I can’t believe how easy it is to squander the gifts looking you right in the face.

But at least I have woken to them now.

Truman at 4.

A boy and arrow

Truman at 4.

It was on a trip back from Des Moines wandering through Cabelas as a sort of mid-point between Iowa’s capital and home that Truman fell in love with the idea of his own bow and arrow.

Yes, Robin Hood, watched a few months before had planted the idea, kindling a primal boyish desire to take sticks and sharp things and make them shoot other things.

Even the baby likes to sword fight and has since he learned to crawl over to a toy sword (or stick, or anything remotely resembling a sword) and pick it up.

In Cabella’s he found real bow and arrows with a seven year old child on the cover that said to him: “Truman, look, you’re a boy, I’m a boy, let’s shoot these arrows!”

Of course, I wasn’t going to buy a three year old a bow and arrow.

Until, making our way through SCSU’s Lemonade Festival last Thursday I saw someone carrying one of these, hunt down the booth and made one little boy very happy.

Okay, one little boy and one mom. It’s pretty fun to use.

Sweet Keen.

Meditations at Bedtime

I think I got six mosquito bites taking this picture.


Sweet Keen.

Everyday when things wind down in our house after dinner and some play, my one year old gets sleepy enough to know it’s time for bed. One by one we each give him kisses to see him off into the land of sleep. And then I take him to the car, say good night one more time, and go on a quiet country drive to lull him to sleep.

The ritual evolved a few months ago, just like all of his other sleep rituals — each lasting a clearly determined amount of time based on his own instincts.

I’ve grown to love this one. Watching the light shine through the bottoms of trees, seeing which wild flowers are blooming day after day and how tall the corn has gotten. I pass the same collapsed barn and stop at the same stop signs.

Sometimes, in the middle of the journey, when I suspect he is already asleep, I stop for longer than I need to at the stop sign and just gaze at the world, feeling the stillness and silence of our day at it’s end.

My camera was in the car today.


Dear dad: Happy Father's day, enjoy these shoes with screws in them. Love, your four-year-old son.

“Hurting Shoes” — a father’s day gift

Dear dad: Happy Father’s day, enjoy these shoes with screws in them. Love, your four-year-old son.


This morning we told Truman, our four-year-old son, that it was Father’s Day and asked him if he would like to say Happy Father’s Day to Joe.

He did.

Then there was some silence and rustling followed by Truman approaching Joe with a pair of his shoes.

Joe: “Is this my Father’s Day present?”

Truman: “Yeah. Here you go, it’s your hurting shoes.”

And his shoes were full of screws.

Nothing says Happy Father’s day like a foot impaled with a sharp screw.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there, may your feet be safe.