Daddy Daydreamer

My son broke his collarbone and my heart skipped a beat

A morning in Urgent Care reminded us to slow things down

Arm in sling
Photo – Jacque Stengel

The pain must have been excruciating upon impact. I cringe at the thought of my seven-year-old's collarbone snapping.

The call came in at 11:03 a.m. The school secretary said he fell playing soccer. They put his arm in a sling; after tears, he returned to class. She said he seemed okay. Nobody . . .

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Posted in: emotions

June 08, 2017

It takes a child to make the man

A poem

Father, son playing at the park

It takes a child to make the man

Dandelion seeds
land on our noses.
Slide down the hill,
check out our poses!

Wiping out in the mud,
Ribbon Bear laughs
at J's mouthful of slop
and S's tumbling flop.

Let's do it again!
all three of them yell,
it's obvious to tell
laughter and friendship
are innate and true

and watching these
kids and a bear
make Dad . . .

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May 25, 2017

How my mom inspired me to be a writer

She fostered a love of reading and writing through her diary

Journal and hat on bench, photo by Sue Anna Joe
Photo: – Sue Anna Joe

When I was a kid, Mom encouraged me to keep a journal. "Aw, do I have to write?" I often complained.

She said I'd thank her as an adult.

My mother documented her experiences and viewed things from my kid perspective. The diary, sometimes written in the second person, was like a pre-internet blog.

She . . .

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May 11, 2017

Dealing with the stigma surrounding lice

The critters are unsightly, but not a health hazard

Silvrback blog image

Our family dealt with head lice for the first time, back in March. Lice are unsightly but don't carry disease. Other than a bit of scratching, they're harmless and don't pose a health hazard. But there is a stigma attached to them.

When we found the critters in our sons' hair, I admittedly was digusted.

I did a lot of research . . .

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May 04, 2017

I was exhausted after volunteering in my son's class

It's challenging to get a bunch of kids on the same page

Silvrback blog image

"Dad, can you come in for our scientists workshop?"  second-born asked.

"You want me there?" I queried.

"Yeah," he answered, with that smile of his, eyes scrunched.

"You know I can't come in all the time," I said, "now that I'm working."

"I know."

"But I can still come in once or twice, maybe."

He smiled.


I have huge respect for . . .

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April 27, 2017

How I'm coping with my sons' sibling rivalry

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

Silvrback blog image

Newton's third law:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I use this as a reminder in coping with my sons' sibling rivalry. Usually, it starts over something silly (at least it seems that way to me). Whether it's a water bottle, soccer ball, video game, it doesn't matter. The argument is basically the same. One kid . . .

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April 20, 2017

Shutdown & Drummer Boy

Two poems

power button


don't talk—
ignore the old man,
he's angry.
I deserve it,
just don't yell
at me anymore,

I cry cuz it
hurts my feelings
I annoy my brother
cuz it's so fun
I'm just a kid
brain not fully formed

don't expect me
to be an adult—
I'm just a kid,
just a kid
don't kid yourself;
think I'm doin'
pretty good

I hate you
. . .

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Posted in: poetry

April 06, 2017