Search: atticus

Not Lost in Translation

April 12, 2016

No supper. That was my vow on a recent cool night in Suzhou, China. I was alone. My son Atticus, a fifth-grader at The International School (TIS) in Portland, was living with a Chinese family for a week and attending Suzhou Experimental Elementary School, the culmination of seven years of Mandarin immersion. Like some other parents, […]

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What’s Evil, Dad?

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December 14, 2012

How can I fetch our seven year old, Atticus, at school in a few hours without imagining the slaughter today at a Connecticut elementary school? Will I scan the surroundings for danger, perhaps a sniper on the bridges overlooking his school? Should I scrutinize every adult I encounter on campus to see if they’re hiding […]

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Fashionable Guerilla Kids

camo clothes

October 9, 2011

Some shopping malls can be dangerous places thanks to random outbreaks of violence, including at the one near my house. That doesn’t explain all the clothes for sale featuring patterns once the exclusive purview of battlefields and hunting grounds. Takeoffs on camouflage have infiltrated clothing lines for kids, judging from my recent shopping trips for […]

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To Know Or Not To Know

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April 17, 2011

Like one of my favorite bloggers, Jason Kottke, I was put off by the idea of parties for parents to learn the sex of their gestating child. Then a video he linked to choked me up. Guess I’m a sucker for such joy. Still, not knowing the sex adds to the mystery and suspense of […]

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Toys of Nature

October 1, 2010

We try not to over-indulge our five-year-old son. Still, Atticus has ended up with many more things than any kid can keep track of, much less play with. I could haul away all his toys, and he wouldn’t complain — as long as he was lording over this small creek winding its way to the […]

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Existential Question

August 21, 2009

Leave it to a child to ask an existential question that reverberates louder than the Pacific surf: Will there still be waves if everybody’s dead? Atticus, in the midst of his first beach vacation, received a truthful answer — and a question. Why did you wonder such a thing? Silence, except the sound of waves […]

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Nature of Man

August 19, 2009

Our son Atticus, now 4, watched part of Finding Nemo tonight. The story’s setting was relevant given the roaring surf outside our rented vacation house on the Oregon coast. Judging from his reaction to the dramatic scenes (shielding his eyes with a blanket and whimpering occasionally), we’ve overly sheltered him from TV and other insidious […]

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I would have stopped there if I had been a few decades younger and still reckless and easily thrilled by mega-fireworks. It was one of three stores on the Nez Perce Reservation in tiny Lapwai, Idaho, competing to sell the really good stuff for the Fourth of July. I passed it ten times during a […]

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Blissful Ignorance

July 3, 2009

Seeing the world through the eyes of four year olds must be like looking through a peephole. This narrow, constrained view also bestows them with blissful ignorance. Take as evidence an exchange today involving our little boy and his friend: NPR, soundtrack of our life, blares in the kitchen. Michael Jackson’s name is mentioned, again. […]

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Alternate Universes

May 24, 2009

I pass the bathroom door. Our soon-to-be four year old, Atticus, is seated naked on the toilet. His mother is next to him. Atticus is holding her iPhone, which is playing a YouTube video of Sesame Street, a technique for scaring off the constipation spirits. Surely no one forecast such a scene more than a […]

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Dog Boy

April 25, 2009

I swear it’s true: Dog Boy, aka son Atticus, asked to enter a dog carrier. (Please, no calls to  the child abuse hotline.) His mother consented (arrest her, not me). Photographic proof here:

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Making Trouble

April 19, 2009

Cracked Window celebrated its one-year anniversary today without fanfare. That’s because I stayed away from the keyboard and enjoyed the outdoors on a beautiful spring day in Portland. It was my first nothing-but-shorts-and-tee-shirt day of 2009. Random projects, including installing two trellises on the fence two years after I bought them, were too much to […]

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Lunar Mission Gone Awry

March 9, 2009

Our little boy, Atticus, spots a bright moon at dusk. He’s holding a toy modeled after one that was around when I was a kid, the Dan Dare Planet Gun. Pull the trigger and it launches a spring-powered propeller disk. I’ve wound it to the max. From our front steps he aims at the moon […]

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