When Vinny pulls up in the Camaro

So, the question from the 14-year-old was this: It’s Valentine’s Day and my boyfriend just got his license so can he pick me up and drive me to dinner? The automatic, parenting-from-the-hip response was an easy “No.” And it didn’t matter much that Kaylie’s beau is a nice kid with good parents who’s probably done […]

Teenagers think they’re so cool

Last week’s column about the game Guitar Hero III got me thinking even more about how kids learn, what they learn, and whether their experiences are fundamentally any different from what my generation experienced as kids. For the most part, they’re not. Sure, in 1980, a cell phone was recognizable only as a fantasy accouterment […]

The mysterious noise in the garage

There’s a funny sound coming out of our garage these days. Even people walking by outside, with the door closed, can hear it. “What the hell is that noise?” they ask. Children cower in fear; pets hide when they hear it. It sounds like machinery, like some kind of manufacturing is going on in the […]

A bean in his ear

So there I was, minutes before I had to go onstage to host a candidates’ forum last week, trying to suck a bean out of my son’s ear with a turkey baster. You can’t make this kind of stuff up. Someone, for whatever reason, had strewn a bunch of Tic-Tac-sized beans or seeds of some […]

This dad will always be a rocker

Parenting is, if nothing else, a long-term series of benchmarks, milestones and notable moments. They range from first smile, first steps and potty-trained up to training bras, first shave and, my favorite, first live rock concert. Dude, I was a total rocker as a kid. I had the extreme good fortune to grow up within […]

Moving around the mountains

Most families, at some point, have to make big decisions about moving. Once kids get past elementary school, their viewpoints can become part of that decision, and they will usually set up a stiff opposition to moves that take them away from friends, routines and settings they know. For mountain families struggling to make sense […]

End of the Chuck E. Cheese years?

Saturday, we spent a good chunk of the day amid the whirring, beeping, screaming, crying cacophony that is Chuck E. Cheese. Our youngest turned 7, and the trek to Denver for the Chuck E. Cheese thing has come to be an annual event since he was 3 or so. We were wondering if this would […]

Colorado Day a time for change

Usually for people trying to make changes or resolutions in their lives, the date they fix upon is January 1. Many a diet has been launched on that day, and many a half-full pack of cigarettes thrown away. For me, though, it’s always been August 1 – Colorado Day. Officially, the first day of August […]

Jimmy Neutron vs. Godzilla

The 5-year-old wrinkled his nose at the TV commercial and stated simply: “That’s a lie.” We were watching a commercial for some kind of “carpet of flowers” that you’re supposed to roll down, water, then watch amazed as a bounty of blooms appears overnight. Andy had a similar reaction to another ad promoting a cake-decorating […]