Dear Adeline and River, I had a conversation last night that broke my heart and...
Sons, On a recent flight from Phoenix to Baltimore I set next to a man who was on lifelong disability for injuries, mental and physical, sustained over several military tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. He was nice. He loved that I’m from Wyoming but managed to make it this far in life without ever discharging […]
Sons, In case you’ve ever been having a perfectly decent morning, and were wondering how you might be able to completely ruin it, I put together this list. How to have a terrible morning, in 10 easy steps: 1) Remember that your son has a doctor’s appointment you had previously forgotten about. 2) On your […]
To my oldest son, There comes a time when every boy, on his way to becoming a young man, must try and fight the tide. It may take several battles, or it may take just once, but we all have to come to terms with the fact that the waves aren’t ours to control. Until […]
At first, I thought it was just us, that the Valdez family had become a living entity of illness, that viruses came to our home to thrive, grow, and go back into the world stronger than ever.
Dear Eleanor and Wesley, I am sorry. It has been a tough month for your future. Recently, our state passed a budget to substantially reduce funding for education. Just yesterday I saw another study that ranks the Arizona education system as 49th out of 50 states based on a cocktail of measures. That means there […]
Dear Eleanor, I used to work at the dead-end-iest of dead end jobs that I can imagine. It was my first job, senior year of high school, and easily the worst. The company was The Analytical Group and the position was call center representative. I was the “call you early on a Saturday morning […]
Dear Adeline, Focus. Intention. Peaceful creativity. Bright red, white, green, blue – you swirl and mix these colors with intensity. You cock your head as you deftly graze your canvas with a kaleidoscope paintbrush. Then you go all in and you smash your hands into your creation, swirling the colors into indistinguishable shades. Distracted, you pause to […]
Dear Malin Reeese, 12 a.m. on March 12th You woke up an hour ago, coughing like you’d just swallowed a wheat stalk. I was in the next room, trying to figure out what this letter was going to be about. I’d almost committed to writing a scorched earth political rant(about this) when your hack session […]
People, mostly other men, will have standards that they’ve raised, or that they’ve been raised to raise, that measure what makes a man “manly”. And let me tell you, the vast majority of them are far more ridiculous than the Imperial Measurement System.
Sons- There are plenty of things in this world that carry with them a stigma of adult surrender, perhaps none more than the loaf of wheat bread-on-wheels, aka, the minivan. Your mother and I did what we could to avoid waiving the white flag on our youth, while still addressing the basic transportation needs of […]