The Plagued Parent

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

Category: Society and Culture

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 […]

Of Mice or (Hu)Men?

The other night I walked in the door just after 6 PM. Before my bag even hit the floor, my daughter blurted out from the dining room, “I need help with my English homework.” I sighed, took off my shoes and headed to where my daughter had all manner of study materials fanned across the […]

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 […]

Good Night and Good Luck

Curiouser and Curiouser. Here’s how slippery these bastards are. Five hours after the inauguration, Donald J Trump for President, Inc, filed FEC Form 99 declaring Trump’s candidacy in the 2020 Presidential Election. Why is this significant? Simply put: it limits dissent, chiefly dissent from non-profit organizations. An election lawyer in DC Tweeting with the handle The Resisterhood  broke […]

Raging Into This Brave New World

Women's March 2017

My wife and I were having lunch at a restaurant in Mohican Sun Casino as they swore Trump in. The images seemed surreal, his speech unreal. For me the scene fit because casinos are the epitome of surreality with their absence of light, their carnival-like sounds and colors surrounding the bent denizens hunched over flicking buttons […]

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 […]

An Epic Fail??

November 30 was the final day of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for short) and I have failed. For anyone who doesn’t know, NaNoWriMo has been around since 1999 and the challenge involves completing a 50,000 word manuscript in 30 days, an average of around 1700 words a day. I’m about 25k short of the […]

Tis the Season

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone. Evidence of the holiday lingers throughout the kitchen: the container that held the last pumpkin muffin with cinnamon cream cheese frosting laden with crumbs, a bag of brown sugar leaning against its half-brother powdered sugar, two pieces of apple strudel that somehow survived the onslaught, and several counters that […]

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 […]

From our Foreign Correspondent

One of the great things about blogging is the global reach. Silly Mummy, a fellow blogger from Great Britain, left the comment below on a recent post. Sometimes the “outsider” can see a little deeper into a situation thanks to their sensitivity, insight and distance. This American Presidential election season has been marred by all […]

Everybody Knows, or at least they should…

Bottom line: we all should know by now. For weeks I’ve listened to both sides, from Bill Maher to Rush Limbaugh, and the rhetoric and vitriolic tones reveal our further descent into madness. For both sides, this election cycle has become one of rationalizing rather than reasoning — although one could argue that Clinton’s side is […]

Trump unshackled?

All this Trump stuff makes my head hurt. I am not alone in thinking this. Last summer a group of clinicians calling themselves  Citizen Therapists  crafted a manifesto declaring how damaging Trump, and his ideology of “Trumpism” is for our collective mental health. Professionals are worried. No wonder. By now we’ve all seen or heard […]

Fairy Tales of the Mind

Sometimes I wonder what (or who) lives deep inside the mind. More importantly I wonder when they moved in and claimed their space. Worse still, like recently graduated millennials, once these notions move in they tend to reside rent free. Who can we blame for these fairy tale notions that distract us from living our lives? […]

Microscopic Aggression is an Oxymoron

So have you heard the latest bullshit about microaggressions? In a recent post about trigger warnings, a reader posted a comment asking this question. As a matter of fact I have heard about this latest bullshit called microaggressions. As a matter of fact, I responded, I was considering a post on that very topic. Here […]

Trigger this!

Actually, no part of your classroom education should be intellectually “safe”. This is how I began my semester last week, by reminding a new crew of Freshman that if you’re practicing “safety” in the classroom, then you are not stretching your intellectual boundaries. Let me explain… Over the past several years or so colleges, universities and […]

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, […]

Did you sign the waiver?

At the beach the other day, I saw something familiar play out . A mother was trying to coax her daughter into the rough surf at the Charlestown Breachway Beach. “Look,” the mom said, “your father and sister are out there, and I’m going because it’s too hot to sit here. So, let’s go!” The little girl, about […]

Traveling Mom-isms

We spent a recent weekend with family friends in New York City. My family has been numerous times but this was the first that I actually “listened” to what the moms were saying to our kids — and not just the two moms we travelled with. Mother’s and wives from all over — Germany, England, […]

Beware the Millennial Apocalypse

Not so long ago I had to face the fact that I fathered a narcissist with a capital “N”. I am not alone. It would seem that many of us responsible for bringing children into the world over the past twenty years have raised, well, assholes. We didn’t do this on purpose. We had the […]

The Pain of Shortcuts

For months we’ve been taking yoga classes on Sunday mornings with a specific instructor. Recently she left the studio to pursue a cross country odyssey with her husband to downward-dog it across the country to California. I had grown to enjoy her classes and the way she opened me up to the principles of yoga, […]

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