Tag: family Page 2 of 14

On Marriage

Sometime in the early dark of evening on this winter solstice, my marriage to Kelly will officially turn 18 years old. It will be old enough to vote. Our relationship has really grown up. Heck, it’s old enough to get married itself! These, I should point out, are the khaki-wearing Dad-joke punchlines I’ve been wearing out the last several days. When you’ve been married for 18 years, it means you are officially old enough* to make cornball quips like this.

The term of years in this year’s anniversary hit me a bit harder than normal. Perhaps it’s because I remember turning 18 myself–because I was in college. When I turned 18, among other things, I bought a pack of cigarettes at the convenience store. I didn’t smoke, but I thought it would be interesting just to buy a pack, Joe Cool on campus and whatnot. Fortunately our marriage behaves much better than a college freshman.

Newlyweds often mark anniversaries with notes about how in love they are, or how lucky they are to spend the rest of their lives with their partners. Couples who are new parents change up the language a bit, admiring their other halves for the mothers or fathers they are.

We Came for Salvation

Who would have thought watching a concert on top of a minivan in a speedway infield would be so cathartic?


I didn’t see a professional concert—as in a big, touring band—until I was in high school. We saw Billy Joel in Greenville, South Carolina. Kelly and I, who were high school sweethearts at that point, made the hour-and-a-half trip to city neither of us had ever been to. We had lucked into seats in the fourteenth row (still the best seats at a show I’ve ever gotten), so close Billy Joel could spit on us if he wanted to. It was amazing.

My kids, on the other hand, got to experience their first big concert in the midst of a pandemic that has cancelled almost every major touring schedule nationwide.

Nothing about a concert, either indoors or out, seems like a wise thing to do as we grapple with a virus that’s best spread through close contact. But when the Avett Brothers, as local of a big-time band as we probably have, decided they needed to play in front of actual, live people, they figured out a creative way to do it.

The kiddos check out the pre-show film from the back hatch.

Three Squared

Dearest Julia:


What a time to be alive.

Here we are, celebrating your ninth trip around the sun, in an age when we cannot have a birthday party because of a global pandemic. If you had said this to me the day you were born–that in your lifetime we would find ourselves locked in, shut down, physically distanced from one another

Well, I couldn’t have imagined it then, and I can barely imagine it now. You woke up today, and we celebrated over breakfast and opened presents. Then you attended to your school work at the dining room table, because schools have been closed for two weeks and will remain shut until at least May 15.

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