Sunday, September 23, 2012


The theme of today's column in the Times Free Press: There are a million ways I do not understand my kids. Do. Not. Get. It. That's OK, though. Hell, it's better than OK. They teach me new things every day. Unexpected things. Odd things. Things I never planned to learn and, frankly, do not really care about at all. (Pokemon, anyone?)

Not to brag, but I am excellent at feigning interest in whatever it is they're talking about -- mostly because I am genuinely interested in them. It works out.

Sometimes I wonder, though, if they'll ever return the favor. Will they, for example, learn to listen attentively while I talk about my training runs and the vagaries of grammar and my endless quest for the perfect black pumps and the poignant, breathtaking humanity that infuses the works of Amy Bloom and Jhumpa Lahiri?

Probably not. That's cool. We don't have to understand each other in order to love each other. And wow, it's a good thing, huh?

This is a big deal. I do not know why. Just looks to me like a white car. I have a
white car. No one ever wants to stand in front of it and have their picture taken.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Yeah, this one is totally my fault

Ben (age 7): Dad, can I say the F word?

Jim (a good and sensible man): No, you may not.

Ben thinks for a minute about this answer. Then he asks: Can I just say it in my head?

Y'all, this kid is all me. All. Me. And it's going to be a big, scary ride.