My Son Has a Girlfriend; Now What Do I Do?

My son has a girlfriend, his first, and I am pleased that he is now old and mature enough to enter the dating stage. I’m excited for him.  In a funny way, I’m re-living vicariously my long-forgotten feelings of first love and all the nervousness, anxiety, and “What am I going to do?” anxieties I felt at his age.  Nonetheless, I need to allow him to have his space, and keep my distance while still making sure that they’re acting appropriately.  But I don’t fully know how much to ask, observe, or try and find out.  Mostly, I think I need to let him discover for himself.

We’ll start with the back-story, a familiar but sweet teen romance and how “we” got to this stage.  I fully believe this is a stage that is nothing less than good, that I’m happy about, and that I didn’t personally experience till after high school.  Clearly, this is one of the reasons for the vicarious feelings.  I slightly envy his maturity and confidence in pursuing this relationship and it also makes me proud of how he’s handled things. read more

Just A Guy Reviewing A Book: American Parent by Sam Apple

american parentSam Apple recounts a journey I know well: the journey from childless husband to new parent.  As a dad to two boys, 15 and 12, the memories of their births and the anxieties felt at the time have faded, to be replaced by current anxieties like my teen wanting to drive (over my dead body–or a “B” average, which ever comes first). His self-effacing approach makes this less a Dr. Spock how-to than a valuable calming tool for first-time parents.   Apple’s book cannot be easily labeled—it is not quite a memoir, not quite a news report, and not quite a collection of humorous essays, but a bit of all of these.

Sam, as a journalist himself, took an investigative approach to all the current trends among new parents, from baby naming (yes, you can actually hire a consultant) to Water Births (I thought that only happened to fish), as well as stops to debate the value of Lamaze vs. Bradley methods of coaching during birth, Pre-Natal Ed, and whether you might need a Doula in the delivery room.  Yes, a Doula.  I’ll leave that for your reading pleasure when you pick up American Parent. read more