Family

Happy Birthday to a Joyful Little Soul

March 18, 2014 Family

Three years ago today, my nephew Owen was born. We just celebrated his third birthday, but I wanted to say a little something here. Think of it as my personalized birthday card to him. First, a video for Owen’s amusement, which also has some good advice: Let me tell you a few things about Owen: […]

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The Paul Revere Owl of Rage

August 13, 2013 Depression

A friend of mine from Revere found a drawing I did in junior high school. I had totally forgotten about it, but once I had a look yesterday, I remembered what it was about. Mood music: I was asked to draw something that could be used for the Paul Revere School eighth-grade graduation program. I […]

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Sending Our Kids to Another School

August 9, 2013 Family

After weeks of agonizing, debating, praying and researching, Erin and I made the painful but necessary decision to move the kids from the only school they’ve ever known to someplace new. Mood music: In three weeks, Sean and Duncan won’t be starting school at St. Joseph’s in Haverhill. Instead, they’re going to St. Augustine’s in […]

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The Importance of Family in a Family Business

July 22, 2013 Family

For as long as I can remember, it hung on the wall outside the front offices of the family business, right next to the timecards: a memorial plaque for the company’s founder, the man I’m named for: William J. Brenner. I always found the plaque somewhat disconcerting to look at because there was my full name […]

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A Benevolent Dictatorship

June 10, 2013 Family

My kids learned a new term this weekend: benevolent dictatorship. It’s Erin’s way of describing the way of the household. We’re the parents, we make the rules and the boys don’t get to move the goal posts around. For the sake of Erin’s sanity and my own OCD management, it’s become necessary that the children […]

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What Arline Corthell Left Behind

May 15, 2013 Love

Erin’s paternal grandmother passed away yesterday. Although she’s gone, she leaves behind memories to treasure and influences to carry on. Mood music:  LunaThe Smashing PumpkinsSiamese Dream – 2011 – Remaster Memories Grammie had a gift for focusing on one person at a time and engaging them in deep conversation. She did most of the talking, […]

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‘This Post Is Escapism and Blame’

March 26, 2013 Communication skills for the crazy

A dear friend hated the post I wrote yesterday on how we’re all lousy parents. He found something in every paragraph to disagree with and found the opening particularly offensive. He told me: “Not all of us were raised by lousy parents. Not all of us ARE lousy parents. No matter how one was raised […]

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We’re All Lousy Parents. The Trick Is To Not Suck Too Much

March 25, 2013 Parenting

I’ve had conversations with other parents recently that highlight a fear we all share: Despite our best efforts, we’ll scar our children anyway. Mood music:  Don’t Tell Me [What Love Can Do]Van HalenBalance Most of us can point to examples of things our parents did to scar us for life, and we’re horrified to find […]

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To My New Nephew

February 4, 2013 Love

The family has been blessed with a new addition: Hunter Wild Anderson, born Saturday to my step-brother Brian and sister-in-law Sharane. Mood music:  With Arms Wide OpenCreedGreatest Hits Hi, Hunter. I’m you’re Uncle Bill, the one who’s going to show affection by teasing you a lot. I’ll do my best not to go too far. […]

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A Tribute to Nana Ruth

November 26, 2012 Gratitude

I’ve been thinking a lot about Erin’s grandmother, Ruth Robinson, since she passed away Friday morning. I have lots of memories, all cherished. Mood music:  Damn GoodDavid Lee RothSkyscraper Whenever I think of family, there’s always a lot of dysfunction to go with the joy. It’s like that in every family, and the dysfunction can […]

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