Tag Archives: family

5 Parenting Tips you Won’t Find in the Books – With Love, your 17-year-old son.

[Dear parents: As you read this, try to look at these tips with an open mind. I’m not writing just to help teens, but to hopefully help you develop a better and easier relationship with your own teen/young adult.]

The struggle

I’m sure every parent has been through it, that lovely phase of teenage years into adulthood. Sure, being a teen is fun, but as a 17-year-old kid who has had more “real world” experience than most, parenting a kid like me can be a bit…challenging. So today, let me help you – help you because just as I’ve come to realize that a few things that I’ve been taught and that I’ve rolled my eyes at are true, today I want to give you, the parents, some tips from the kid you’re trying to parent that might make your eyes roll into the right direction.

My “teen” experience and yours – they aren’t the same.

Tip 1: Don’t parent your kid based on your experiences as a teenager. One of the things that teens hate to hear from their parents is: “I was your age once too”. And sure, it’s true, you were, but did you live through the same things I do? Were you a teenager in the last 5 years? Did you have threats of school shootings and bullies that could get to you 24 hrs a day? Did you have the expectations of looking like or being with an Instagram model? No? So, with all the current events going on and the technological and social situations, our shared experiences basically start and stop in two places: puberty, and growing pains (general figuring out life stuff).

In other words – just because you COULD HAVE made SOME of the same decisions as your kid (substances and following trends), that doesn’t mean you know everything about them and their experiences now.

Right now, your kids are just growing and figuring life out, just like you had to, just like your parents had to – and you turned out great so trust that we will too.

Insider tip: The number 1 thing that teens need isn’t a false understanding of the struggles we go through – it’s the reassurance of love. So, as long as we know you love us to death, we will make you proud. Just do us both a favor and let us figure out our potential and trust that we’ll ask you or someone else for help if we need it.

**That doesn’t go to say, however, if you see your kid making bad decisions constantly, it’s an obvious sign to ask them what they’re doing and why they’re doing it. Help your kids on things that potentially put themselves and others in danger, but for small issues, trust that you’ve taught them to figure it out.

Crime and Punishment (in two parts)

Tip 2: Punishment is NOT the solution for addiction. This is a HUGE one. Like many kids in my generation – I got into vaping during my sophomore year, and I obviously kept it a secret from my mom. But the way she handled it when she inevitably caught me – is something I will always be grateful for.

Don’t get me wrong, the first time my mom caught me with a vape she punished me – but soon after that she realized that wasn’t going to help – so she tried something that did.

The last time my mom caught me with a vape was the last time I used one. Why? Because instead of punishing me she opened up to me and we had a conversation about it. She said that I wasn’t in trouble and that she wanted to help me stop. And just from her saying that – that was all the help I needed. Seeing my mom in tears telling me she wasn’t going to yell or punish me, and that she wanted to help me stop it, motivated me enough to quit vaping for good. It took a week to get myself off of it but after that, I was done and I’m never going back. And since then, I’ve even trusted my mom enough that when she asked if I’ve ever smoked weed, I answered honestly, and when she explained to me that it’s obviously not good and asked me if I ever plan on doing it again – I confidently and truthfully said no, I’m not.

The takeaway: Doing things like this with your child builds a huge amount of trust and can help in other aspects too. Teens realizing that their parents want to help them instead of “hurt” them (punishing them) will automatically understand and trust their parents more.

Tip 3: Punishments are necessary but try to think about what (and when) certain punishments work for your teen. For me, when I get punished it’s the same thing: I get my electronics taken away. This might not seem like a big deal for some, but keep in mind (tip #1) that most parents today didn’t grow up with these things, and that for kids in today’s world, they make a big impact on our life. SO, while we may not NEED these things to live, we do need them to sustain our way of life and stay connected.

[And to anyone reading this thinking, “yeah – that’s the point, that’s why it’s called a punishment,” and I hear you. But just like punishing your kid struggling with addiction might not work – using the same punishment every time we have any minor or major slip up also doesn’t work. Not to mention, when a parent gets mad, they can call their friend or talk to their spouse but without that technology, we don’t have the support to work through our drama and do better next time.]

And after a while of getting the same punishments, it just becomes routine to us. We learn how to deal with it and work around it instead of evolving and thinking about the reason we are being punished. So instead, mix it up – try taking away something that they haven’t realized is important to them. That way, when the time comes that they need it, they won’t have it and they’ll think to themselves: “Wow. If I didn’t do this, I wouldn’t be in this situation”

Sticks and Stones Definitely Break Bones – But Words they REALLY Hurt Me

Tip 4: If you and your child are in an argument, and there is something you want to say in the heat of the moment that could make it worse, don’t say it. I’ll keep this one short because it explains itself – In certain situations, saying something heated and in the moment can really upset and hurt your kid and if they are in a spiral they’ll spiral even more out of control. We know you’re human, but this is just something to keep in mind. 

Last one, and every mom’s favorite/the most important

Tip 5: Teens may act out and make terrible decisions, and you may fight with them more often than not, but deep down inside, they always love you more than anything. I was a terrible teenager for a few years. I had just started my teenage years when my dad died, and I can admit that I lashed out at my mom and never listened to her. But whenever we got into an argument, I always wanted to apologize immediately after, and most of the time, I felt like garbage and I tried to change.

When it comes to mothers and sons, the worst sight is your mother crying. And just because your kid acts out or is mad at you I can promise you that you aren’t doing that parenting thing wrong, and your kid knows you love them and you do the things you do because you love them.

At the end of the day parenting always has room for improvement, and no one does it perfectly. That’s the wonder of it all. But as a teen who wants to do better and knows how teens learn best hopefully, you got some things out of this, and you really go and use these tips in your parenting journey.

The Sins of the Father

A while back, there were certain religious institutions that would accept monetary payments in exchange for forgiveness. This “forgiveness” whether it be partial or otherwise would then grant deceased relatives access to heaven that they otherwise may not have gotten. Sounds great right? Assuming your family could afford it… and for a while people paid these “indulgences,” probably thinking and believing that they were buying gods love and a family memebers freedom from suffering. But in reality what the money really did was give religious institutions access to the kinds of funds that would support their varrious projects and “expansions.”

But why, on a Friday, am I talking about church and forgiveness? Well, to be frank, I’m not… what I am talking about is the debt we pay for the ones that leave us behind and while it certainly isn’t always monetary, it can still be quite costly.


Something that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately is the concept of inheritance and how we inherit the sins and in some cases, the atrocities, that were inflicted on our parents and their parents and so on. See a few years back a friend of mine posted this really profound thought that I probably brought up before but I’m going to say it again –

She said “We all just want to give our children a life they don’t have to heal from.” – read that again – “We all just want to give our children a life they don’t have to heal from.”

And though she is completely right and although no parent sets out to damage their child, some kids today are constantly paying for sins that they didn’t commit and that they might not even be able to understand for another two or three decades. Why? Because they, and we, are paying for the sins of our mother’s mothers and our father’s fathers and so on – and if you stick with me for a bit I can explain exactly why and how we are doing that.

Spacial Awareness and Mental Health

Now before I get too deep into this, I’ll preface this with – not everyone has aggressive amounts of trauma or any real trauma at all, but some have and as humans, it’s our job to respect people where they are at on their journey and listen to them and their stories to the best of our abilities. We don’t have to agree with them or their beliefs, but telling them they are wrong or lying for the sake of making ourselves feel better is no longer an option. That said, let’s get into it.

A decade or two ago, the mental health resources were obviously not what they are today. The stigma surrounding mental health and even asking for help was often portrayed as weakness and while, in a lot of ways, men are still made to feel inferior for asking for and getting the help they need – young men are in a way better place now than their fathers and grandfathers were 30-60 years ago. So, keeping this in mind – our parents and their parents, in some cases, are pretty darn screwed up. BUT ITS NOT THEIR FAULT. (With one very important exception…)

The exception: If you, as a parent, relative, friend, etc. can properly identify your own trauma and the trauma you are inflicting on others and you are not doing EVERYTHING in your power ie. therapy or medication or kickboxing (whatever works for you) to work through that and not be hurtful to the people you love – you CANNOT blame anyone but yourself for the fallout of your actions and you can’t blame those around you because they don’t spend every minute of everyday trying to avoid your invisible trip wires.

Look, believe it or not, I’m not here to place blame or condemn anyone or point the finger this way and that and I’m also not trying to be the trauma police. I’m not here to name names in order to validate my own trauma – that would be twisted – but I am saying this because I know I am not the only one who has been snapped at or has snapped at the people around me because someone did something to me or I did something to them as a result of an entirely disconnected situation. So, in order to understand why older people are triggered and why they react to things we do and why we and our kids feel like we are stepping on invisible trip wires – we need to accept that the people raising us have some stuff they haven’t dealt with – and a major reason for that is because they were conditioned to believe it is normal by their parents. (gaslighting is generationally screwy)

Forgiveness isn’t for them

I forget who said this recently, but I heard this quote that ran along the lines of “forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you.” – read that again – “forgiveness isn’t for them, it’s for you.” which brings us back to the church and to “indulgences” because when we pay for the sins of those before us, we don’t nessesarily do it for them. We do it for ourselves, to make ourselves feel better, while claiming we are doing it for them – and if you think that’s selfish… well in some cases you gotta allow yourself to put you first.

When we forgive others – we do it knowing that we can let go of our half of the burden and the weight of carrying that hurt and that anger in us. When we forgive others we give ourselves permission to move on.

So I guess in other words, we learn to bear it so they don’t have to – then we allow ourselves to let it go because we don’t have to. And none of this discounts how hard this can be but maybe on a certain level it allows us to come to terms with the idea that everyone that we love and that every person around us is human.

They are imperfect.


Everyone around us is fighting their own battles and sometimes we, in our proximity to them, are met with friendly fire. And that sucks – but at the end of the day, we choose what and how these things actually affect us – and hopefully twenty years from now we will have built better tools to carry those things with us. But for now – let’s just work on doing better and being better because just because I went through it, doesn’t mean they have to.

The Confessions of a Washed Up Track Star

In sports, when the buzzer goes, the game ends.

So I guess the most confusing part of my sport is that – when the gun fires, we don’t stop, we go. When the clock starts, we run, we throw, we decide when to start the jump, the throw, the race – and then we decide what line to finish on and whether or not we want to keep our mark – or scratch it.

In my sport, we don’t have a final buzzer. We leave the end open- ended and because of this… well maybe that is why I can’t see an end to what I feel as though I barely started.

I Never Saw It In A Dream – But it Became Real

Five years ago – I didn’t dream of being here. I never imagined that I would be good enough to be where I am. But, I also never thought it would hurt this much to leave.

When your race ends, you walk away. In 5 years I have watched countless people walk away when it was their time to, but I never thought that watching them walk meant losing what it meant to be a part of a true and cohesive team.

One Team – No Longer a Dream

Three years ago I was part of a team, one that cheered and pushed and expected things of one another. Three years ago I was part of something bigger than myself, but today it just feels like I’m chasing that feeling like a dream deferred.

What happens to a dream deferred?

     Does it dry up
     like a raisin in the sun?
     Or fester like a sore—
     And then run?
     Does it stink like rotten meat?
     Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?

     Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?


We all know the feeling of a dream deferred. The feeling of watching something you love slip through your finger tips like the string of a balloon leaving your hand at a crowded park with no one to save it as it flies away.

I never thought of Track and Field as my dream deferred – I never thought of it as something that could turn sour, but today, as I watch something rot and crust and sag – I realize that this love, like all others in my life have blinded me to how broken it is.

I Cannot and Do Not Win Without Them – And THIS is why We Do Not Win at all.

People assume that Track is a solo sport – It isn’t, but then again you cannot spell “Field” without “I” and I often feel that the Field part of Track and Field is forgotten – so maybe it fits. Because some times outside of my squad I feel like an I in a crowd of we’s.

It’s funny though.

The word team doesn’t have “I” in it – but if you re-arrange the letters it can say “ME”. And when I realize that, it gets me thinking how “We” turned into “Me” and “me” turned into a losing battle against myself.

A No Win Situation

Most days I ask questions I shouldn’t, ones that lead my coach to tell me to keep my nose out of it. But I personally cannot sit on my hands and be happy when this is not the team I signed up for.


These are My Confessions

Today I am stuck. I am stuck watching people suffer because the sport they fell in love with is pushing them away as quickly as it held them close and honestly, I never thought it would be like that because two or three years ago it wasn’t.

Today I’m stuck. Stuck watching some fall to over confidence and others fail by not believing in themselves.

Today I’m waiting for something I used to have. Questioning if it was ever real in the first place and wondering if team is made by bonds among friends or by coaches who refused to take our shit.

Today I feel like I’m teetering on the edge of washed up and irrelevant, but tomorrow everything could change.

In Other Sports

In other sports we are made to stop when the buzzer fades, when the teams walk off the court – but in my sport we decide when to cross the finish line and while I can see mine inching closer, I still have too much to do to admit that it’s over.

In other sports they leave everything on the court, but in my sport I take control and me? I’ve just begun.

To My Future Daddy’s Girl

Dear Sweetheart, Sweetie Pie, Punkin, Daughter,

The day you arrive, I pray your father will have it more together than me. I pray that he looks at you like he looked at me every day we waited for you – minus the fear in his eyes when he brought me the wrong food and I couldn’t help but yell, ‘how do you not know what she wants!’ To which he will reply – ‘I am not a seahorse, she isn’t in me – that’s your…’ and he will stop there because he will know better than to mess with your mother when she’s pregnant.

My sweet baby girl, I am not religious, but when I think about my future – well let’s just say “there’s no atheist in a fox hole” and baby girl you will be the whole damn war.

To my future Daddy’s girl, I pray your father will look at you, like mine did at me. Staring into your eyes and seeing the universe and all its potential – smiling like everything he ever wanted fits in the palms of his hands. And I hope beyond hope that he has enough memories with you to last you three lifetimes over because the time you spend together, brief or long will carry you through your darkest days.

Dear Baby Girl, right now, you and me are AT LEAST 15 years and a loving husband short of meeting one another. You and I are a world and a war away but that doesn’t make me doubt that the family I am dreaming of will be anything less than the greatest adventure of my life.

To my sweet baby girl – one day I will be ready for you. And when that day comes, nothing will keep me away.

A letter to my Father

Dear dad

Yesterday I turned 23 and for the first time in a while my birthday wasn’t a reminder of you getting diagnosed. For the first time in a long time it wasn’t the 3 month mark of hitting another year without you. For the first time in a long time I was able to just be happy and love where I am.

Dear dad,

I miss you. I miss you everyday. But this year I have been making the kinds of choices that you would be proud of. I have been working harder and smarter and taking better care of my body because I want to live a long enough life to give you the journeys you missed by leaving us so young.

Dear dad,

Yesterday I turned 23 and I wish you were there. I wish you could have seen all the love and joy that surrounded me. I wish you could have seen the incredible people I surround myself with because if you could, you would be so proud.

Dear dad,

Today I compete in my last winter track meet and as my college athletic career comes to a close this year, I simply could not be more grateful for all it and you have given me by allowing me to be your daughter.

Dear dad,

Thank you for the best present a person could ask for. Thank you for giving me the strength to be the woman you raised me to be and thanks for showing me that love is earned and deserved rather than simply given.

Dear dad,

I’m 23 – and it’s crazy.

Dear dad, I love you. And I can’t wait to show you what I have left in store for this final stretch of this chapter in my life.

This year I’m gonna make you proud but you know what else? This year I’m gonna make myself proud too.

Family Finds You

I have spent most of my life thinking I wasn’t good enough. That cool was something I could fabricate through looks and pop culture references. That I would never be or understand what it was like to be in the “in crowd”.

This is not to say I didn’t have a army of people who loved me. I did. But in school and outside of my summer escape to Maine I felt completely and utterly alone. During those years I felt hopeless and there was no way out of that darkness but then, 5 years ago I met my tribe.

And while I have never forgotten what it felt like to feel so on the outside you couldn’t breathe through the loneliness I have had the opportunity to find that hope I lost so long ago.


Often I tend to internalize my fears and insecurities so, for a while, I never imagined I’d meet someone who knew what that feeling was like, but recently I did.

Most of us have that one friend that has no clue how amazing they are. That person that is gorgeous inside and out and is clueless of how rare that quality is. I have a lot of friends like that but for me, those are the best people to surround ourselves with.


Recently a new person joined my tribe and while she may not know it yet – there are people that come into our lives that save us from ourselves when we need it most. People who care to listen and to help without expecting anything in return. And while she may come to think that we are trying to be that person for her, she is already that person for us.


Without realizing it, having this new person in my little family has completely changed how we all act and see the world. It has saved us from our monotony added new comedy to old jokes and made us appreciate the simple times that we can spend together.

So to you. The person and people who have no idea how amazing you are, and to all the people brave enough to join me and my tribe on our journey, welcome. And consider this your official letter of acceptance to BDE U.

A Gift in Vinyl

As everyone does from time to time, we clean out our attics, closets, and forgotten areas to make room for new things and our places are not over flooded with things we never needed in the first place. Yet we always find things in these places that just cant be let go because they have a little bit of magic of olden days and people we never forget. Maybe its a shirt, a photo, a ring or its a random stuffed animal you haven’t played since you were five.

For me, Its my nana’s vinyl collection.

This past Christmas season, my parents cleaned out our attic which had so many things from my nana’s old home. Since her passing in the bone chill of January 2002 we have had her stuff in a corner of our attic, away from view. We put it away as far as we could for both my dad and myself. The sting was still hurting. Many years had passed and we have slowly dug through the possessions of photos jewelry and other worldly possessions. Since these were new to me yet had a memory for others, slowly and carefully i began to ask my father what they meant and uncovering my family as slowly as they discovered the Pharaoh’s tombs so long ago. I always ask questions about who they were because of how little to no time i had with them, feeling as if they were of mythical stories and legendary tales you would see in novels.

My grandparents were of the Irish immigrants who arrived in the great depression looking for a better life from the Irish troubles of that time. They worked hard and made a good life for myself, a second generation immigrant. I always hear stories of them from my father and some kinda make me say “Ok now i know where i get it from” like my stubbornness is from my grandfather who would sit on hours outside his house in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston blasting his horn if his parking spot was taken by a neighbor, or part of my compassion and caring comes from my nana who even at age 80 plus would never forget to have a plate of my favorite cookies ready for my visit. These stories and now the newly rediscovered vinyl records finally connect me to people i never got the true privilege of meeting.

What the vinyl records mean to me, is everything. Its the glimpse i get into who they are and what they loved in life. These simple vinyls i got to have showcase things i never thought of. With all the music of their home in Donegal Ireland, it seems as if they were home sick yet they felt rewarded with their sacrifice to come here. All the times my grandparents were told “No Irish Need Apply” and found the worst jobs to make the money to find a meal and all the times they saw college degrees and marriages and a grandchild, made it worth something. They embraced Americana and her dreams of success while never forgetting their Irish love and where they came from, something i try to embrace when i think of what they gave up to let me live a successful life. We all have that one person or people in our lives that started from nothing yet we have everything that they never had and it just makes their work all the sweeter.

As i write this post, i have one of their records playing in the background of my one bedroom apartment, getting me misty eyed every other song. I missed them everyday, especially after these 17 years, these records to me seem to be a gift stowed away for safe keeping until i needed them. A gift in time. In a world where we sometimes forget where we come from or who have gone on to the great beyond, this is something to remember them by. These records of Ireland dreams seem to give myself a reinvigorated sense of identity. Not just the Irishman i know i have in my blood, but what being me means. My anger, my patience, my love, my flaws everything comes together because of these simple songs that they played decades ago on a small disc to console them yet remind them of who they were.

Photo by Steven Hylands on Pexels.com

So as i listen to these records i say to my ancestors:

Mo aingeal Tá súil agam go bhfuair tú síocháin.

Family Does Not Last Forever

Thanksgiving is around the corner, many families will gather to celebrate the joyful time of being together. Where the little ones will be watching the parade with Grandma and Grandpa and seeing the big floats go by. Where many will sit around the table, sharing a meal  and recounting the joy of being together and how thankful they are to have that Aunt Susie or Uncle Tom in their life. Life would be so grand.

This is a Hallmark illusion

The fact of the matter is that not all families are perfect. Some have uncles and aunts who don’t know where the line ends and that it doesn’t bend for egotistical ideologies during the holidays. Some grandparents want the holidays to be a catered dinner where they are the star of the show, even tho their isn’t an audience to feed them what they want. The illusion of families being perfect for the holidays where every grudge and nasty deed preformed in the year gets put aside for one day is a dream that only a child could conjure up. I like to think when we start our own families that we aspire to this ideal but do not let it takeaway reality of what goes on in the world.  Families are not perfect.

I can remember from my own personal experiences of how thanksgiving use to be for my family. It was always a rush to eat so everyone could go up to my uncles for desert and drinks. My mother would be so stressed to cook, clean and be up there that it ruined the holidays for her. She catered to some that would never be grateful for her work like i was. Going to my uncles wasn’t that great either; always stuck at the kids table, always the butt of a joke, never an enjoyable time no matter the holiday. This was coming from a 12 year old kid who could see through the stress that was piled up on my parents to put on a meal just so everyone could go get hammered at a house of nightmares. I still cant stand my family, but i decided that family doesn’t have to mean they are a part of my holidays.

Ever since freshman year of college, we have not invited family over to dinner and we have only gone to one place afterwords, but it is nothing that would leave a stress mark on my mind. We hang out at houses and even with the newest trend of “Friendsgiving” we get to be with friends from near and far to celebrate each other during this time for thanks. Holidays have become more enjoyable since we focused more on who really makes up our family. My mother will always take a moment during the dinner to show the fact that she can finally enjoy the holidays once more, something i think should never be overlooked.

In my opinion, family are the ones who stand by you in the good the bad and the ugly, they are the people who lean on you and you lean right back when needed, they never have to be blood but they damn sure feel like it. This is why we still invite people over. We still have a standing invitation for anyone from either work, school or anywhere in between to join us for a holiday meal if they have no place to go. In the years since some have taken up the offer and really add an enjoyable tone to the dinner. Less stress for mom is always a plus as well.

I guess that what i am trying to convey is the fact that even tho you have family members doesn’t mean they are family. The real family you have are those who you deem worthy of having the title of “Uncle”,  “Aunt” or any other title you like to give. People say you cant pick your family, i say different. If anything you cant pick the good ones but you chip away the bad ones.

Holidays are meant for peace on earth and good will towards all.

Its OK to make some man made peace yourself.


A Dedication to the Comic Strip

It has been in the Sunday Newspaper for more than a century.

Its part of a daily routine for many people to sit with a cup of coffee, tea, etc and read the funnies to themselves for a good chuckle to begin their day. As recent years has slowly bled the ink out of the newspaper industry, websites have started to develop pages solely dedicated to the art of the comic strip. You can sign up, get a personalized page with all your favorite comics and never really second guess the idea of finding them. Its a nice, relaxing read.

I do not think our generation finds these types of comics to be as entertaining or funny as the older generations have in the past. We want the instant gratification of the laugh without thinking hard into what the comic is really offering to the reader. There are some comic strips that you need to be ready to read between the lines to understand like the comic Dilbert. Others have references that we do not understand because the joke is not meant for us and even after an explanation of the joke, its just lost its touch to us and we keep looking for another comic. Now, why would i want to dedicate this piece to a dying art form? Its because the comic strip has shaped a lot before i was born and in my young life as well.

Comics are my dads pride and joy. Period

He loved reading them on a day off from working in downtown Boston as a FedEx driver. On his weekends, he would not do anything in the morning until he either read the paper for comics or boot up the laptop to read his funnies. He loves these things. To his credit, its how he communicates with a lot of people, including me. We had a family friend named Jack Dillon who got dad’s humor to a tee. While Jack was able, both of them would cut out comics from the newspaper and snail mail it with a ” Hello and you will get a kick out of this” type letter. Basically until jack died in 2011, he still sent a funny or two a month that lifted both his and dads spirits up. What many do not know is Jack was a father figure to my dad for many years, i consider him a grandfather figure to me because i was treated like a grandson for many years. This is one of the reasons my dad loves comic strips, it brings back Jack for at least a moment of joy. My dad will always send comics out to people that he knows either through himself or even some of my aquatints. He will send me a link to send to my guidance counselor or my history professor or even my boss. They are always funny.

I picked up on my dad’s love of comics.

I always enjoy a good comic in the paper or on a website. Its classic humor and never gets old, usually sticks with the times. The first comic i picked up was when i was 10-12 years old. It was a collection of Calvin and Hobbes comics over the years and i never put them down. I collected a lot of books over the years of Calvin and Hobbes adventures, hands down are my favorite comic. A boy who is basically a maniac, his tiger friend Hobbes who is a stuff animal, and his other supporting characters; sounds like me in a nutshell. Even to this day i always read the comic strip, follow the twitter account, and basically love anything associated with it.

Now there is one comic that is basically my life in a nutshell; Zits

No, its not about the skin irritation. Its about a teenage boy living in high school and living with his mom and dad. I kid you not this is basically about me and my parents. We legit always quote it or on every comic say along the lines of ” Yup that’s Kevin alright.” Many things that are exaggerated in the comic strip but i always get a chuckle when dad sends them along to me with the subject line of the email being something witty or at least he tries to be. I have explored on my own to see what other comics i enjoy. One of the predominate ones Pearls Before Swine has become one of my favorite comics. I can relate to the humor that he writes, it seems as if my dad and i write these things.

Essentially, Comics although considered a dying art connects generations.

My father and i share a bond with comics. Since i have grown up into a version of him, i sit on Sundays with my cup of coffee and i read the things he sent me over the week and laugh and give him a call to talk about the comics and laugh and see whats going on. Its a excellent conversation starter especially as he shares a passion of his with me and i have adopted it so well. I can tell you Sunday’s comics take a whole different meaning when you can enjoy them with someone else.

Being Adopted by a Friend’s Family

WE, the young people usually spend our summers on the road traveling from friend to friend getting every second out of summer.

In some instances, instead of driving home we stay the night on whatever, couch, bed or floor we can get to accommodate ourselves for the night. Its nothing we complain about after a night of fun (what ever that may be). We all reach that point where we are seen so much that you COULD be considered part of the family. I mean you spend enough time with them, you talk with their direct family members, hell you are on a first name basis with their second cousin twice removed! ( Yes i am very weird) But what if you REALLY became part of the family? How would you feel about the experience?

What if the family started inviting you to events that normal friends might not be a part of? What if they were treating you like a little brother and busted your chops the same way? How would you react when the niece and nephew of your best friend started asking for you and wondering where you go when you leave their house. How would you feel when they started calling you their Uncle…….


So if you could piece it together, this happened to me this past year. One of my best friends who i roomed with for graduate school brought me home a couple of weekends out of the year and i would hang around, go fishing, eat MARIA’s subs and be legit adopted by these wonderful people. One of his siblings has two wonderful small children that always wait for the day when i show up and get to play and watch Aquanauts and Disney Movies and basically be the best thing since slice bread. (Not that i am but i appreciate it once in a while). In the middle of the summer, their mom yelled out to the kids when i arrived on a warm May afternoon ” Look who’s here, its Uncle Kevin!” WHOA…..

Being called uncle? Being part of the family? It felt unreal, like a pause in time. I had never held a title like that to someone. It felt unnatural yet it fit like a glove.

Being an only child, i will never naturally experience being an Uncle to a sibling’s child.

Ill never get to have the fun uncle experience with my family, ill never get the experience of them growing up, coming to Sunday suppers, seeing them graduate. Its a weird feeling. Of course when i am old and grey and i marry into a family that may have nieces and nephews,  i wont be looking upon this post with much thought.

Its still a great feeling to be called an uncle and part of the family when it comes to my best friend. They legit treat me like family and its one of the best feelings. I don’t know where i would be without the long trips down to the cape to go fish, to eat, and to kick back with such a great family. If you ever find someone who has a family that has this much love to spare, its a good place to stay and become their adoptive son, even if its only for the summer.

Moving Out (College Graduate’s Song)

Yes, the title is a reference to one of my favorite artist Billy Joel.

There is something to say for moving out of the house for the first time, and no I don’t mean going to your dorm room. I mean moving basically everything you own; your entire worldly possessions into a place where mom isn’t cooking dinner, dad isn’t watching College Football in the recliner, or in my case not going home to a queen size bed every night Moving out means you are fending for your own life and trying to make it in this world in a very adult yet confusing way, and boy does it suck. I remember the first time I lived on my own. I loved it for the first few months but living in a big apartment can make you feel small. Being there by myself was one of the worst times in my post grad life as It was a very much a smack in the face reminder that I was no longer living with all my friends on a condensed campus. It took some time to center myself into the grind of earning my Masters Degree in Education but once I felt balanced, living on my own felt like I was riding a bike

Moving out is one of the realizations you are not going to be given a free ride anymore and its time to grow up or get left behind. I consider myself adaptable and actually moving out and living on my own was a challenge I could take on. Our generation wants to take on the challenge too, however it is a terrible move statistically to do so. Stats don’t lie in saying millennial’s are one if not only generations to move back home after college and it is in due part to the housing market, loans and basically anything in between that keeps us financially independent. It’s OK to move back home after college as long as you are doing your share to keep the house in check. I was the runner for my mom’s daycare service for the summer, if she needed something done I was the guy. Eventually we will have to finally leave home and get on where we left off or in other cases continue where we are.

When the day comes that I am truly away from the sweet city of Boston the only thing that worries me isn’t where I am moving to, it’s what I am leaving behind.

Being an only child, I only have mom and dad in the family and as they get older I start to worry about how they will do without me and the checkup calls that I had to make in college transition from my safety  and me to them and their safety. I know they are capable of taking care of themselves but in the back of my head ill always worry about how they are as I move out in this post grad world. It not just me that worries about how their parents are doing but for me when i’m the only one it adds an extra value to the time i spend at home or the time i spend calling them.

So in short: Move up, Move Out but don’t forget who’s waiting at home.


“ Mama if that’s moving up then I’m moving out”

On Being a Boulder Brook Mom (and the ramblings of a young poet)

The women around here are not JUST women – they are Titans. They grow up knowing that they have to be brave, fearless even. That they have to have grace and know their own worth – know that they are not cut out to simply be an accessory in their own life. That husbands aren’t guaranteed, because time is not kind and old age and good health is as good a gift as any other.

Women around here wield water skis like swords and dirtied hands like first place prizes. Women here are the reason we believe that there is a future beyond the hateful words we hear anywhere else. Women here are the reason this writer – has a voice that says something other than “like and um” when speaking in front of crowded rooms. Women here are the reason I write.

There’s Something About a Place Like This

I said it once but I will say it again, I grew up around powerful women. Strong women who loved, lived and cried for the future of their families. I grew up around Roxy the riveter types – women who were true heroes in their own right. I grew up around WOMEN – and when I say there is something about a place – I mean, there is something about THIS place that makes being who you are a little less frightening and a lot more possible. And maybe that feeling could be attributed to a mothers touch or maybe it could just be called what it is – this place is love.

It is my father’s heart still beating as the waves crash on the beach that reminds me of him – its my mother’s smile from before she knew what true unending hurt was. It’s dirty feet, sandy carpets and a love for people that are so much more than family.

In a place like this – like home, the wind moves like poetry and the waves crash in such a way that could make a natural disaster pause and watch. In a place like this – drunk thoughts become sobering memories of sunsets that reminded you of a childhood you can’t return to. It’s a place like this that becomes your identity and it is from mothers like ours that we can translate what all this poetic bullshit means.

So How do you Put words to this kind of Music?

Well I guess you don’t… but instead of stopping to correct the music – maybe its better just to sit down, pause and listen.


this post is dedicated to all the powerful and influential men and women we have lost this year. thank you for all you have taught me – thank you for being titans among men