Making the Best

Today Chloe turns 11. Now, both her and Julianna have had to celebrate their birthdays during the Great Quarantine of 2020. I find myself feeling a bit conflicted about how to handle the emotional ups and downs both girls have felt about their birthdays happening during this time. For Julianna’s birthday, we asked a bunch

The Matriarch

Well… My grandmother died today. She was just about to turn 95 years old. This is a weird one. My grandmother, Rhoda Brand, had been battling dementia. It is difficult to know exactly when it really took hold but I’d say it has been roughly 8 to 10 years where I can remember being able

From the Beginning to the Middle

5 years ago, Julianna was in Kindergarten. Her first day did not go well. She cried hysterically and for all intents and purposes had to be pried off of us and “guided” into school. It feels like in each day since, there has been a steady improvement. Last week, nearly 5 entire grades later, she

The Force Awakens

Today Chloe turns 8. It has been quite a year for her; for all of us really.  Last year, on this day, I wrote about how we had brought home 2 new members of the family: Willy and Charlie (kittens).  Just over 3 months later, Willy died.  He had a rare kitten disease that was

Packing for Camp

Three and a half weeks. In three and a half weeks we will drop Julianna off at overnight camp.  As an avid reader of this blog, you might remember a post I wrote 2 years ago about her first day at day camp.  That day went well. The day camp experience is very different than

A. Brand Name

My Grandfather died today.  He was 97 years old and I can’t imagine what life would have been like without his influence; without his presence. We all have starting lines.  We have places where the family tree begins.  Certainly I’m aware that before my grandfather there were his parents and other people but I never

The Death Situation

“Daddy, what’s the situation with death?” Not long ago, I wrote about my Great Aunt Charlotte passing away.  That event has inspired all sorts of interesting and reasonably difficult conversations over the last few months with Julianna.  For this post, and for the record, Chloe is not particularly interested in these matters yet which is