Archive | September, 2011

Senior Moments: Celebrating Arrivals

Seventeen years ago our son Whitman, our senior son, arrived. He came early. Perhaps he knew he had to: a month before, his grandfather Melvin (Susan's father) had lost his year-long fight to cancer; a week later, his grandfather Jerry (my father) would lose his own year-long battle to a different cancer.  We named him […]

Senior Moments: In the Garden

Today, I would see, at different times, Ann out in the garden, sitting under the apple tree, or on the deck of the playhouse, later on over on the swing seat under the rose arbor.  It was as beautiful a day as San Francisco gets here in September, that point of the year that really […]

Senior Moments: The Application Process

High school seniors across the nation (and in all my classes…and at home) are beginning the process of applying to college.  Many of our friends whose parents are aging, especially those in declining health, are beginning the process of applying to assisted living facilities. Some of our friends are doing both: helping their sons or […]

Senior Moments: Obstacles

Sunday I went for a long bike ride out along the California coast. While taking a break, I saw these stones, one kept apart by a police barracade, and on the other side of that, waves, and past that, dense fog through which the sun did not shine. As my seniors at school (and at […]

Senior Moments: Know Thyself

In the summer of 1985 I sat here at Delphi, where people like Alexader the Great would come to consult the oracle. What is to come? they would ask. Will we be victorious? he would ask. Or, in Oedipus the King, which we have been discussing in my senior class lately, you find Creon asking […]

Senior Moments: Fleeing the Parents

My seniors are just beginning to read Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Antigone, which are about many things but very much about the moment when we see our parents (or, coming from the other side I now know too well, our own children) as strangers, as antagonists, as obstacles to overcome on our way to our […]

Senior Moments: Changes

When you are a senior, things change—or are about to—and often in big ways, though we do not always know this at the time.  Senior year in high school two things happened that would change me in ways I am still realizing. First, I was moved without being asked into a drama class. This was […]

Senior Moments: Leaving Home

This weekend we were up at the Russian River, the whole family, including Ann. We had two cars. Whitman, our high school senior, asked to drive the 90 minutes home by himself, as we were not leaving till later.  I said yes because I know he needs more rope, needs to feel we believe he […]

Senior Moments: Vulnerability

A new book out, This Beautiful Life, by Helen Schulman, has been getting a lot of attention lately for the story it tells. In the book, a high school boy and his family lose all they had worked so hard to achieve and enjoy when their son forwards a sex video a much younger classmate, whom the […]

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