The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Month: January 2016

Hanging On

Pebbles fell from the summit top above, grazing him and he knew she must have made it to the top. Free climbing he hung by his fingertips, the rough cliff face digging deeply against his limbs and he questioned their decision to do this without setting ropes; he had insisted, we can. Arms tired, shaky and weary, fingers […]

She was the stuff of legend

Dennis said, “The boy needs a dog.” I was almost two. My parents had their hands full and were not so convinced. Being ex-Navy, strong willed and forceful my uncle insisted, “A boy needs a dog.” She was a Shepard-Collie mix and I named her Tinker. We were inseparable. Our yard was fenced and I […]

If You Want it to Grow, Add Manure

Like most parents, we try to make our children’s lives easier. We consciously try to avoid the “mistakes” made by our parents, and we actively attempt to give our children those experiences  — material, physical, spiritual — we may have lacked. Still, despite the fact that we have made our children’s lives easier, and more […]

Yellow Balloon Rising

He sat in the cafe toying with his demitasse wondering where his wife and children had gone and thinking over this trip of a lifetime; he took a sip of the strong black espresso, looked over the tourists filling the palazzo like pigeons and felt more than just a little disappointed. Since they arrived his family had […]

A Gooey, Gummy Residue

Society seems to crave labels, both for good or ill.  We love superlatives in their varied forms, from being labeled the most likely to succeed to being called the class clown. Validation comes in both positive and negative forms, as both those labels can illustrate. In high school scoring either of those superlatives in the […]

A Reasonable Facsimilie

She looked different, that much was certain. Hair shorn close to her skull sporting a garish bleached stripe designed to help her assimilate with the marginalized, a cliched touch more mainstream than any of her cohorts would care to admit. Her clothes were different too — boxy and androgynous, fashion attempting to blur lines and hide […]


“No way,” her son pouts. “You have to.” “Why?” “Because, I say so. You ordered it; you eat it. That’s the rule.” “It looks gross.” “It’s not gross,” she points at her husband’s burrito, “That’s gross.” Her husband smirks, “Yours looks different but it’s like a grilled cheese.” “Being like a grilled cheese,” he retorts, […]

The Walking Dead Like Me

The attraction to a television show like The Walking Dead reveals America’s zeitgeist: post-9/11 we fear the faceless terrorist, we fear the Muslim immigrant (thank The Donald for intensifying that one), we fear invading hordes infiltrating from beyond. We’ve gotten it wrong though, we’ve mistakenly identified the antagonists. The hordes we should fear, the herds […]

Industrious Revolution

Andrew Jackson congratulated Samuel Slater on his ability to spin thread. Waters from the Blackstone flowed and the wheel moved. Hundreds of wheels up and down its banks. The mighty center of work and industry crafting cables, jewelry, locks, locomotive engines, knives and chains. Until industry evaporated and work moved to points farther south and […]

The F*ck You Position

Last night my wife and I watched the  The Gambler  with Mark Wahlberg and John Goodman. The movie is a remake of the 1974 film starring James Caan and based on a novel by Dostoyevsky. This 2014 version wasn’t great but on a cold January night with little else to watch and suffering from a borderline sinus infection it […]

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