He looked like a gangster. To be fair, perhaps less of a gangster from The Sopranos and more of one of those parodied in Guys and Dolls. The boutonniere was the topper, a single red rose, which his mother attached to his lapel. Ahead lay the junior prom, my son’s first foray into the world of dressing up and acting as if he were an adult.
To be honest, I was surprised that he even wanted to attend. We hear many tales about his “friends” from school, about how the guys all joke around and the girls all pal around. But we don’t see many of them or hear from them past Friday afternoon. continue reading »
Goodbye, old fiend.
The opportunity was just too delicious. And so, 2009 decided that it had one more trick up its sleeve before a year that I would just as soon forget left for good.
It wasn’t a fun year, but I’m sure that I’m not alone in that assessment. After losing my job just before Christmas of 2008, I spent all of 2009 as one of the growing numbers of unemployed people in America. Becoming unemployed was not my fault, but that doesn’t stop just a little bit of you from thinking that you are a failure. You have no choice but to leave when the business closes its doors, and that was my plight. continue reading »
Growing up in today’s society, with its pressures, temptations and strains, has made raising young children difficult – especially when it comes to raising young women. Girls are being forced to grow up faster and mature quicker in order to compete in this fast-paced environment. Mothers in the NEast are always concerned about their children’s welfare, but ever more so when it comes to peer pressures that young girls encounter at such an early age nowadays.
“My daughter is 10 years old and already there are children in her class engaging in explicit acts,” said Nikki, a concerned mom whose daughter attends elementary school in the Northeast. “She’s 10, my God! I didn’t even know all my curse words by 10, much less say, them and now look at kids today.”
A small poll taken of 15 NEast mothers reported that their No. 1 fear for their young daughters was that they would engage in sexual activities before they were mature enough to fully understand the consequences of their life-changing decisions. True that pregnancy and STDs are a big concern, but in addition, young women’s mental health and self image may be affected, causing potential life long problems that may lead to intimacy issues down the road. continue reading »
It is now two weeks past my 16th Father’s Day, and despite positive comments by many people (including my mother), I often wonder how good of a father I really have become. My parenting skills were certainly put to the test when school ended, in the two weeks before the beginning of camp. continue reading »
Monday began with games, to be followed by laser tag and bowling. There will be trips to Pennypack Park, trips to the movie theater and trips to just about anywhere else but inside a classroom. Welcome to the last week of school.
With finals completed and plans for the next school year in full swing, what else is there to do except have fun? Well, there’s work. I was informed that a couple of neighborhood kids are spending their final week of school in the classroom – cleaning. Obviously, their school has a different philosophy than the one where my daughter attends. continue reading »
As I’ve said to my son on far too many occasions, I am not that far removed from my high school years to have forgotten what it was like to be 16 years old. I remember the awkwardness and the boredom in school. I can still recall getting angry with my parents over chores or behavior.
But I always made it a point to draw the line at outward disdain. I also never made the mistake of comparing my father to, say, one of the most hated men on the planet. Sadly, a play on that monster’s name has become my son’s favorite moniker for me in his most stressful of times.
Yes, in my home, I am sometimes referred to as “Dadolf Hitler.” Or, on his nicer days, it is toned down to “Dad Jong-il.” These names don’t pop up all the time. If I ask him to feed the cat or make his bed, I might simply be greeted by the anonymous grunting that is part of the teenager’s code. But when something heinous like homework or cleaning is brought into the mix, grunting often turns to comparing me to men who’ve brought death and misery to millions. continue reading »