The Zoo

The following is an excerpt from the final chapter of my book, Rock, Meet Window: A Father-Son Story    One summer day when I was eleven, Mom, Dad, and I had plans to go to the zoo. For the previous three weeks, however, I had been pilfering quarters from Dad’s change bowl and burying them in Mom’s flower bed next to the front porch (perhaps this was overly cautious). That morning, I’d decided to dig up my treasure and head to

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Taking My Father’s Class

I was the youngest student in the class and unfortunately the most naive and confident—there’s no more toxic a combination than youth and bravado. The other students were college juniors from prestigious universities, and I was fresh off graduating from Rutherford Hayes high school in Delaware Ohio. My Dad had accepted a director position at an abroad program in Florence Italy, and I was brought along for the ride. My unearned intellectual confidence begged to be euthanized, but I never

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Sunday Family Dinners

Every Sunday we have dinner with Lindsay’s mom, sister and her husband, their two kids, and our two kids. I suspect someone drops off some extra kids too, and possibly a raccoon. It’s mayhem, and a tradition that’s a vestige of a bygone century when children were quiet when asked; sat down when told; ate at “dinner time;” and hardly ever drew on each other’s faces. But those days are behind us, packed-up in a time capsule with joysticks, televisions

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Fine Persian Bonding

Between the syncopated machine gun pops of Silas stomping on bubble wrap, I heard a flyer slide under the front door. “What’s it say?” Lindsay asked. “Either a sale on snow tires or a high school cupcake drive,” I responded. My kids started dancing, “CUPCAKES!” ”No, no, I was kidding.” And then a silence fell over the room. Even my dad was disappointed. So I broke my “never entertain hand-delivered offers” policy, and read it aloud. “Victims of the Madoff

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You Don’t Have to Google Everything

My mother is an information superhero with her iPad Mini. Granted, she types with one finger, can’t synch it, and insists on plugging it in as soon as the battery drops below 75%, but when it comes to looking up information, her skills are unparalleled. A week ago, while my dad and I were talking about Gene Hackman (why we were talking about Gene Hackman, I have no idea), I mentioned that it seems as if he hasn’t been in any

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