Author: Tim Walker

Welcome to the Next Phase

A few weeks ago, I went with my oldest son to his freshman orientation at a local university. We started out the day in two separate check-in lines—one for parents, the other for students. Then we sat in a large auditorium together, getting some basic information for two hours. After that, my son split off into a group, and I didn’t see him again until the end of the day. As I went through the day, I was able to get the answers to some basic questions I needed—primarily financial. I got a free t-shirt. Lots of information. Some...

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Home on The Range

My mom was mischievous. One of her go-to ways to pick at my brother and me was to start singing. Off-key. Loudly. This especially annoyed me because I loved to sing. Her warbling was violating something sacred to me—but it was always kind of funny too. She always sang the same song, “Home on the Range.” Every note was broken and as far from one another on a musical scale as you could possibly get. She really liked to play up her inability to sing by making it sound as bad as possible and LOUD. It’s probably why the...

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Letting Go

There’s a pile of laundry in my oldest son’s room, and it’s driving me crazy. I want to sneak in there, grab an arm full of clothes, and at least wash some of it. I hate when things are undone. Especially when I know I am capable of doing them. But those clothes are his responsibility. And when he needs something in that pile, he’ll do his laundry. His sense of timing, his plan of action is different than mine. My mentality is do a little bit of laundry often so you don’t get behind. His is to do...

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The Myth of the Perfect Kid

We parents are an emotional, neurotic mess, aren’t we? Sure, some of us are better at hiding it than others, but push the right button or confront the right issue, and every one of us comes to a point when we feel . . . helpless. clueless. lost. We thought we knew so much. Maybe we did when ours kids were younger. Or maybe not. But there comes a point, a stage, when we’re not quite sure how to navigate as parents. Despite what others may think around us, we know we’re not perfect. Just ask our kids—especially if they’re teenagers. So...

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Cats and Dogs

Ah, middle school. The smell of axe wafting through the air. The endless group texts. The hormonal mood swings. It really is a magical time, isn’t it? When my oldest son was a middle schooler, my wife and I were blindsided by the changes. We were constantly second-guessing ourselves, and wondering what we were doing wrong. Our parenting, for the most part, had worked well up to that point. Now we found ourselves immersed in some kind of mystery with cryptic clues. Then we went to open house at the middle school. Those types of gatherings usually have me...

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