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pre-teen: a boy in blurry focus

It happened like someone had flipped on a switch. At one point there was a boy who wanted to tell me everything and who thought that facebook was stupid and his parents were pretty cool. And then, this summer, Liam became a pre-teen. He’s always been precocious (he was even born ahead of schedule), so I guess it’s no surprise that now, at the age of twelve-and-a-half, he’s verging on …

Nine

We went on safari last week. And now I have to pause for a minute because I still can’t believe that I am someone who can say “I went on safari last week.” There among the wildebeests, the giraffes, and baboons, Caleb turned nine. NINE. The baby is nine. His last year in single digits looms just as my last year of “forty-something” heads into its final stretch. While we …

Six

Baby Caleb is six today. He still sleeps with four small bears and a tattered blankie, but his body is long and lean, the shape of the young man he will become.   He is a pirate and a spy; collector of important rocks and sticks; he walks like an Egyptian when we’re out doing errands and then worries that people might be looking at him. When we go swimming, he leaps into the pool, …

Dear Eighteen: A Linkup with Chosen Chaos

Over at Chosen Chaos, Jamie has been running a series called “If I Could Turn Back Time,” in which writers are asked what they would tell their eighteen-year-old selves.  I posted this piece on her site a while ago, and now she’s doing a wrap-up week, inviting the entire year’s worth of writers to re-post their letters on their own blogs.  It’s hard to  re-post without tinkering and tweaking (or …

boys to men

The other day, at the beginning of class, I asked the students to write about a specific passage in the novel we were reading, so the students curled over their desks and the room was silent for a few minutes except for the scratchings of pen on paper. I love that silence – I loved it even as a kid (yes, hello, clearly even at 15 I was destined for …