Category / Family Life

Father bundles up in winter, daughter wears summer clothes.

1. NOT SO TOUGH. My daughters and I have decidedly different responses to single-digit temperatures. They leave the house with whole patches of skin exposed to the elements, while I wrap myself from head to toe in double layers. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not as tough as they are, or just a whole lost wiser. For my ego’s sake, I’ll go with wiser.

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Collage of man and dog resemblance.

1. PET TWIN. I know it’s a common observation that people look like their pets, but it was still a shock to me when my daughters saw a recent picture my wife had taken of our dog and said, “That looks just like Dad!” Of course I don’t see any resemblance between my physiognomy and a Yorkshire Terrier’s, but I am a little worried that others might draw the same conclusion my daughters did. At 54, I’m too settled with my looks to consider any extreme makeovers that might make me appear less canine-like, but I have made one important change. I no longer complain about the expense when my wife takes our dog to a professional groomer. I am suddenly very invested in making sure our little Yorkie always looks his best.

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Family sharing a dessert.

1. SHORT RESOLUTIONS. Okay, one of my New Year’s resolutions is already broken. To work on getting my body mass index into the healthily fit and not just acceptable range, I had vowed to cut out all desserts. But last night, my family and I shared a slice of tiramisu at an Italian restaurant. I suppose I could kid myself into believing that eating just a quarter of a dessert doesn’t constitute a real breaking of a vow. But rather than cling to any false victory, I will take full pride in this year’s honestly gained achievement. I went a full 42 hours before breaking a resolution. So for me 2015 sets a record for determination and self-discipline that I’ve never reached before!

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Collage of family opening presents.

1. CHANNEL SANTA CLAUS. Even though my kids have long since stopped believing in the man in the red suit, they still insist we can’t put any presents under the tree until after they go to bed on Christmas Eve. When I tell them it would be easier on their mother and me if we did, they protest, “But it wouldn’t feel like Christmas.” I guess it’s a testament to my wife’s and my dedication to being good parents that we oblige them, even though our middle-aged backs don’t relish the prospects of carrying loads of boxes up from the basement at midnight. My one demand for granting this wish is that the kids put out some milk and cookies for Santa. My always health-conscious wife advises the girls that “Santa only needs one cookie,” but I insist the girls put more than a few on the plate. Santa’s reindeer need a few treats to reward them for their efforts, too!

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Family as turkeys, caricature illustration

1. RELIABLE SOURCES. Per usual this Thanksgiving, I have lots to be grateful for – all thanks to the three wonderful ladies who share a house with me. My wife provides a Rock of Gibraltar-esque level of support and can always helpfully explain to me the emotions behind every interaction I have with a friend or colleague. My eldest, with her harmless teasing of her old man, always has me laughing, while she also keeps me “au courant” on all the latest fashion and pop culture trends. My youngest’s ever-calm and cool demeanor is an inspiration to me, while her brilliantly articulated explanations of how the physical world works leave me continuously fascinated. I’m not sure how I managed to get through my days before they came into my life.

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