Category Archives: Children

‘They never asked to be extorted, raped, threatened and beaten’

“She was told that if she failed to pay again, they would first rape her once more and then kill her son.” My brother recently returned from a 10-day volunteer stint representing women and children who have crossed the border from … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Irish Investigations, poverty | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The enduring power of imagination: Bedtime story, 1997

In my basement today I found a copy of a newspaper column I wrote in April 1997. I am reprising it here, with edits, for my three sons — now 27, 24 and 22. The allure of the mud — … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Irish Investigations, stories | Tagged , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

When ‘The Boy With No Story’ has a tale to tell

Sometimes I fear I have no story. I don’t mean writer’s block. I mean that I have no story, no narrative that spells out what it is I’ve done, or what I’m doing, with my life. This struck me the other … Continue reading

Posted in Children, communication, family, Irish Investigations, language, music, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

‘The Last Waltz’ and other Thanksgiving rituals snuck up on me

It’s scary sometimes how the mind works. Mine, anyway. When Michelle came home from work the other night carrying cameras, backpacks and other tools of the photography trade, I greeted her at the door with, “Take a load off!” It’s not … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Children, family, Irish Investigations, music, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

November arrives, bag and baggage — and then some

November showed up at the front door this morning, and I had to let it in. This year it brought more crap than usual. There’s the traditional baggage, of course — gray skies … more darkness … the furnace kicking on … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Children, children's hospital, family, Irish Investigations, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

‘Silent Witnesses’ to domestic violence no more

Dani was in an abusive relationship for two years. One time she awoke on the floor and heard her abuser ask someone else in the room what he should do with the body. When Dani stirred, he told her, “Baby, … Continue reading

Posted in Children, crime, family, Irish Investigations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Balloons sent to heaven for ‘Ms. Toots’ on her 2nd birthday

“Ms. Toots” would have smiled and blown kisses to everybody who came to honor her on her second birthday Wednesday. Arie Baugh lost her fight with kidney cancer in July, two months shy of turning 2 years old. Arie’s mom … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Children, children's hospital, family, Irish Investigations, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Road trip revelations: A weekend in Happy Valley

Of the many observations I made visiting my son this weekend, one made all the rest possible: he is happy and thriving on the path he has chosen in life. That confirmation allowed me to enjoy the weekend, without any of the common … Continue reading

Posted in Children, college, communication, driving, family, Irish Investigations, role models, running, Travel, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A child’s enlightening lesson from inside the fridge

When life gives us moments of pure joy, they are best cherished and remembered. Here’s one of mine, circa 1997 — the day my three sons tried to figure out how the light bulb inside the refrigerator “knew” when to turn on … Continue reading

Posted in Children, family, Irish Investigations, role models | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments