Author: Tim Walker

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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This Time Next Year

As this year’s graduates said their goodbyes, I watched with a renewed attention. This will be us next May. Celebrating. Dreaming. Planning. So much of what I thought I knew about parenting has unraveled over the past few years. My oldest son is truly the test subject in this experiment we call parenting. We’ve stumbled our way through communication. We’ve walked the tightrope of independence. I’ve over-parented at times. I’ve fought against the fear of him failing, and letting him bear the weight of his responsibilities and challenges. And through it all, I have a different view of what...

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Middle School Cabbie

It takes a special set of skills to parent a middle schooler—especially two of them. Caterer. Counselor. Sports manager. Bank. But there’s nothing bigger than this one—driver. The role frequently doesn’t involve planning the event. They like to do that themselves. Incessantly. In fact, they will plan entire schedules without your knowledge. (And at some point, you’ll have to talk with the other parents involved and sift through what is a legit plan, and what isn’t. Most middle schoolers never factor in logistics or the schedules of others.) No, I’m talking about the constant need to connect with friends....

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Welcome to the Cave

My wife is incredibly social. She can talk to anyone, and anyone talks to her. She’s one of those people whom random strangers seek out to divulge all kinds of information. She can ride in an elevator with someone and know more about their lives than a close friend would know after a year of Facebook posts. I, on the other hand, lack a small-talk gene. I know how to shut down a conversation—whether it’s intentional or not. And while I crave alone time, my wife and my kids thrive on spending time with friends. My dream home is a...

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Raising Superman

Last weekend, I went to see Man of Steel with my oldest son. I’m a big superhero fan, especially DC comics superheroes—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash. We’ve been superfriends since my childhood. As I was watching the movie, wearing my Justice League shirt that my brother-in-law bought me, I saw myself on the screen. No, I have no delusion that I look like Henry Cavill, or that I can fly—despite my best efforts as a child, running around the yard with a towel bunched around my neck and flowing down my back. I just never could get any air...

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