30 years of friendship

Four of my high school girlfriends and I got together with our families this summer at Coeur d’Alene Lake with our families. Only once we were all there, drawing from distances as far as London, did we realize that it had been 30 years since we first knew each other. It was so nice to see them in their lovely families.

Reid’s writing

Now that it’s finally August, Reid and I finally sat down to look at some of the schoolwork he brought home this spring. Two pieces of writing from early in the academic year stood out: he still had Central America on the brain.

First, a poem:

And then a story:

Reid’s teacher last year did such an exceptional job of sharing her enthusiasm for writing with the kids. I liked her technique for encouraging re-writing. The kids added “spider legs” to their books. Here’s an example from Reid’s first page:

An important letter

Reid and his friend Jack sold their aforementioned comic, Bob and Bob, at school as a fundraiser for a bird sanctuary. After they made their donation (with a good deal of logistical assistance from their blessed teacher), they got a letter back from the sanctuary. Pretty cool! Here it is:

Happy Birthday!

Our favorite daddy, husband, wood stacker, science geek, kid wrestler, tree house builder, baseball coach, Tolkien reader, professor, Orono walk commuter, conversationalist, and fellow adventurer in this wild ride called life turns 41 tomorrow.

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We love you, T. Happy birthday!

March for Our Lives: the QW experience

As you can probably tell from our photos, Orono’s March for Our Lives event injected us with a good dose of hope. One of my recent publications is an essay about our family’s experience:

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Needless to say, the photo the editors used didn’t come from me, nor–I would like to emphasize–did the headline. Liam and Reid’s teachers wow me with their professionalism and generosity every day. The essay is about our family’s decision to take a headlong plunge into America’s gun-violence conversation and the many benefits we reaped from activism. You can read the whole commentary here.

Below is a picture of Liam and Reid, joined by an awesome group of mostly-older students, talking with Senator King’s staff about the group’s gun-control petition:

Photo Bangor area schools

A new update: A few days ago, I held up one of the kids’ cherished NERF guns and asked if their feelings on these toys had changed after our activism. “Ugh!” Reid said. “Disgusting. Get rid of them.” Liam immediately agreed. These guys don’t normally win prizes for their willingness to give away toys or really anything they’ve outgrown. Their categorical response was intriguing.