The Wit And Wisdom Of Sean Brenner

by Bill Brenner April 21, 2012 Children's issues

Today is Sean’s 11th birthday, and we’re all very proud of him. In honor of this special day, I share with you some of my favorite Sean-isms. Mood music: –Heard in the bathroom: Sean singing to no one in particular, “Your butt’s too big to be real…” –Me: “I missed you Sean. I love you.” Sean, staring intently at the drawing he’s working on as I tell him this: “Dad, go get me a pencil”…  [Read More]

Small Victories

by Bill Brenner April 15, 2012 Coping tools

Duncan and I took my father on a little walk around Deer Island yesterday. Dad still struggles from the stroke he had last year, but days like yesterday I admire his fighting spirit. Mood music: I’ve been reluctant to take him on long walks, mainly because I don’t want him taking a nasty spill on my watch. But it was a beautiful spring day and he was eager, so who was I to argue? Deer…  [Read More]

When ‘Helicopter Parents’ Get Easter Egg On Their Faces

by Bill Brenner March 26, 2012 Children's issues

When I see something like this news story about a cancelled Easter egg hunt in Colorado, I have to wonder what we parents are doing to our kids. Mood music: According to the article from The Associated Press, “Organizers of an annual Easter egg hunt attended by hundreds of children have canceled this year’s event, citing the behavior of aggressive parents who swarmed into the tiny park last year, determined that their kids get an…  [Read More]

Rock School Would Have Helped Me

by Bill Brenner March 21, 2012 Addiction

Watching my kids in the Scouts makes me wonder what I’d be like today had I not been so against trying everything my parents suggested. Mood music: My parents were always trying to get me to join different organizations: The Jewish Community Center off of Shirley Ave. in Revere, Camp Menorah, etc. I rebelled against all of it. My parents were right to push these things on me. I was in the fourth grade and they…  [Read More]

When Difficult Kids Turn Out Alright

by Bill Brenner March 9, 2012 Children's issues

Readers know by now that Erin and I have a big challenge — helping our second child manage ADHD. He’s often difficult. Fair enough. I was a difficult child, too. Duncan is actually tame compared to the 8-year-old me. He’s never filled up my gas tank with a garden hose. He’s never lit his plastic toys on fire, nearly burning down the house in the process. He’s never stolen money from his Dad’s wallet. He doesn’t bring home…  [Read More]

Things Kids Say, February Vacation Edition

by Bill Brenner February 24, 2012 Children's issues

The children and their friends have been giving me an earful this week. Silly little buggers always forget that I take notes. Mood music: “I demand my rights as an American!” Duncan, after being told he can’t watch TV before school (in this case, the Friday before vacation) “Good luck. You’re gonna need it.” Sean, wishing one of Erin’s friends well in an important business venture “Who do you think I am, Rosa Parks?” Sean’s…  [Read More]

You Win Some, You Lose Some

by Bill Brenner December 16, 2011 Children's issues


When You’re A Kid, Little Incidents Are A Big Deal

by Bill Brenner December 15, 2011 Children's issues

A point my mother made regarding some of what I’ve written about the past: “I remember differently than you on most entries. Not because I am blind but because children are little and see things big.” Mood music: I don’t disagree with that. When you’re little you do see things big. In this case, my mother was referring to the stuff I’ve written about my childhood and whether things really happened as I remember it….  [Read More]

My Mother Found The Blog

by Bill Brenner December 9, 2011 Children's issues

In my slow effort to reconcile with my mother, I made it easier for her to find this blog. Given the raw emotion to be found here, I was pretty sure it would be rough. Mood music: I suspect it hasn’t been easy for her to read through this thing. Not at all. But her initial comments suggest she’s really trying to get it and put it in the proper perspective. Some of my memories…  [Read More]

THE OCD DIARIES, Two Years Later

by Bill Brenner December 7, 2011 Addiction

Two years ago today, in a moment of Christmas-induced depression, I started this blog. I meant for it to be a place where I could go and spill out the insanity in my head so I could carry on with life. In short order, it snowballed into much more than that. Mood music: About a year into my recovery from serious mental illness and addiction — the most uncool, unglamorous addiction at that — I started…  [Read More]