Tag Archives: The Simpsons

Parenting: Level – Top Secret

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My son is 11 years old, just a couple of months shy of 12 as I write this. In those 11-plus years, I have of course loved him with all my heart, as well as done my parental due diligence: fed him, clothed him, hugged and kissed him, dried his tears, caught his barf, wiped his butt. Took him to preschool where parent volunteering was required, and thus spent an inordinate amount of time wiping complete strangers’ kids’ butts. (If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is.) Read to him, then helped him learn to read. Took him to see Santa and the Easter Bunny. Assisted a couple of days a week in his elementary classes. Schlepped him to innumerable birthday parties and even hosted one, his seventh, at our house. (Once was quite enough, thank you. After that, Chuck E. Cheese was my homie.)

Of course, now that my son is closing in on the teen years, my job has changed somewhat. Once the driving force behind the Cub Scouts pack, moms like me are not quite as welcome in the Boy Scout troop. I now merely wave goodbye and remind him to take his phone as he leaves the house instead of driving him to his friends’ houses. I’m supposed to honor his request that I don’t embarrass him in front of other kids. (Yeah, like that’s going to happen while I have breath in my body.)

But there is one element of his preteen life that I must direct in order for my child to develop into any sort of well-rounded adult—Okay, wait. Let’s bring this in; we don’t want it getting out to just anybody. This is top-level, double-secret-probation type parenting here. Not the kind of thing you read about in parenting books. You ready? Read the rest of this entry

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I Want My Fall TV!

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Did somebody say Halloween party?

I can has Halloween party?

Did you know that in the calendar the ancient Celts followed, New Year’s Eve wasn’t December 31? Nope. Their wheel of the year turned to a new one at midnight on a completely different date: October 31. On the night of Samhain, they believed, the veil between this world and the Other Side was the thinnest, and the living and the dead could pass freely through it. (Ditto on the eve of April 30, before May 1, Beltane, but to a lesser degree.) This was the origin of the traditions that we’ve come to cherish as part of our annual Halloween celebrations, although we tend to give it a much more sinister flourish.

But it’s not time to talk about Halloween just yet—hey, I haven’t even picked my pumpkins, and gods only know where my bat garland is. The reason I’m bringing up the turn of the year is because I think New Year’s in autumn works great. Of course, I can only speak from the northern hemisphere’s perspective, but up here, it just makes sense. The entire vibe is different. There’s so much change going on. I mean, look at it—the weather cools off abruptly (your mileage may vary, of course, depending on your latitude). The landscape changes color (ditto). The kids go back to school.

Oh—and another “new” thing begins: the fall TV schedule.

And here is where I start snurfling and feeling sorry for myself. Read the rest of this entry