The Plagued Parent

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

Category: General

The Fantastic Mr. Fox

If you had seen him for yourself, you’d likely dispute his fantasticalness. He was worn, thin with a faded and thinning coat, ashen nose, dark and darting eyes, and… no tail.  Yes, his tail was missing.   Because of this I decided he was indeed a fantastic fox. Last week our dog Beckham, a Welsh Corgi […]

The Specter of Sacrifice

I forgot Ash Wednesday. No big surprise; I forgot last year too. I probably could have swung into the church I only haphazardly attend. I dropped my daughter off at school for 7 am so I could have stopped in… but I didn’t. So begins a stretch of 40 days and nights where my family […]

Time See What’s Become of Me

Mother Nature has a bit of a cruel streak when it comes to New England weather. Last week she dumped 14 inches of snow on us and today she come back with another 3-5. My wife checks weather on her phone and says with regret, “Well, I guess this isn’t actually going to keep me […]

Peeing on the Buddha

We have this stone buddha in our yard. We bought him when we got our first house in Providence. That house was built in the early-1900s by some rich old Italian who owned a sausage shop. In the back yard, surrounded by roses bushes was an empty pedestal. The old Italian likely had a whitewashed statue […]

A Winter of Listening

Right now the thermometer says the outside temperature is 50 degrees and rising. It is warm, too warm for January, and almost unnatural for Winter. Last week a storm threatened us here in New England with temps in the teens and 4-8 inches of snow. The computer models were off a little, by Sunday we ended up with […]

A Good Room

This room is a good room. We call it the family room, not because it is the room that holds the family most often but because that’s what the builder’s plans called it. This room is not the living room. The living room is at the front of the house, across from the dining room […]

A Small Good Thing in Times Like These

Recently I began baking bread and I can’t really explain why. I have always wanted to bake bread and it seemed something very primal, simple and pure. So I started baking bread, focaccia to be precise. After that, I decided I could tackle making loaves of white bread for toasting and sandwiches. How hard could […]

Let them Be

According to a recent study out of MIT, your friends don’t like you. You’ve probably already suspected as much. Your family probably doesn’t like you all that much either, they just tolerate you because of the shared DNA and the money you owe them. This MIT study suggests that, at least in terms of friendship, […]

Slow Learner

For months I have been struggling in yoga class with certain poses, one of them being “half moon”. Consistently I have fallen out of this pose, much like several others that plague me — eagle pose, warrior three, crow pose and wheel. But for what ever reason half moon pose has become one of the […]

Growing Season

My front yard now inspires me. This had not been the case prior to last Friday. For years the front of our house has been a mess. On one side of the front porch the pine tree that started out small was crowding out the Pee Gee hydrangea, as well as encroaching on the corner […]

The Mother’s Day Gift You Didn’t Know You Needed

The last towel from our first house is fraying. It was part of a set, maroon to match the odd tanish-yellow bathroom. A shower present? Maybe. Whatever the occasion it had a pretty long run, almost 24 years. It got me thinking though about Last Firsts. We make such a big deal out of firsts. Our first […]

Kindly loving kindness

Kindly love in the ways love itself yearns to breathe. Kindly speak unspoken words to open a heart yet unopened. We arrive where two roads meet, cross and intertwine. Failing to appreciate that fact I find myself here where the letter “K” resides. Starved for a theme, I ask my wife. Without missing a beat […]

The Don

Over my desk at work I have several family photographs pinned to the wall and a photocopy of Picasso’s 1955 work Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. What many recall of Miguel Cervantes’s 17th century Spanish novel is the windmills. In that episode of the book, The Don, believing himself to be a medieval knight errant complete with a […]


This morning I dropped my daughter off at school. In and of itself this is not unusual but the reason for taking her in this morning is — she may have a broken tibial bone in her ankle. I know, sucks right. When I returned home my wife and I had a discussion about how […]

Hidden Among the Leaves

The three of us sit at Easter brunch in a sun filled dining room overlooking the river and joke about skipping mass while waiting for French press coffee, juice and tea. We joke about pacing ourselves and getting our $40 (per person) worth. So much has changed over the past year and a half. Easter symbolizes a rebirth, […]

The Power of Perception; or… Men are Stupid

In Season 3 of House of Cards, Claire Underwood changed her hair. She colored her blonde hair a darker brown to match her natural color. Fans of the Netflix original drama can see this as a pivotal point for Claire’s character — her husband has weaseled (literally) his way into the Oval Office, she is […]

Walking the Mobius Highway

We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time from The Little Gidding, T.S. Eliot   For the past six months or so I have struggled. Because a family is a system, if one person struggles […]

Blueberry Pecan Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies with White Chocolate Drizzle

I love cookies. And if you are going to tell me I can eat them for breakfast, well I’m sold! I found a recipe that sounded delicious, but it was made with a blueberry muffin mix. I have fond memories of eating those as a child on a Sunday morning, but when we have muffins […]

In Search of the New Normal

Yesterday I went through my nightstand in search of some paperwork from years past that could save us a whole bunch of money if we were an organized household that filed things correctly. I never did find the paperwork. What I did find was a treasure trove of memories. Birthday cards from my children, drawings, […]

Donald Trump and the Placebo Effect

Listening to Boston Public Radio yesterday afternoon, the program hosts marveled with glee at the way Donald Trump and Marco Rubio went at one another in Thursday’s final Republican debate prior to next week’s Super Tuesday primaries. By all accounts Rubio hammered Trump on a number of issues revealing Trump’s lack of actual healthcare plan as […]

Daydreams and Molotov Cocktails

What do you do when life hands you a really shitty situation completely out of your control? Many of you know our story, for the past seventeen months our lives have been a drama of epic proportions. Recently I was talking with a good friend who said to me, “I don’t even know how you […]

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