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Bill Bartlett

“I have to go out for a while and Bob will watch you.” Mom looked us over. “No fighting and go to bed early. I’ll be home soon.” Dad backed the car out of the driveway and they disappeared around the corner. Read more

Parenting

Older now and verbal, they always ask to go out and always obey our directions to stay in the yard. This makes me more comfortable, but I’ll never forget Ian’s grin when he figured out how to unhook the door without a word. Read more

Parenting

A dad and his musings on Date Night. Read more

Parenting

“Each fresh snow is like a clean, white page,” I told the boys on our hike that looked like we were walking through a painting. “If you know how to look, you can read what it says.” We stopped at some trodden snow, and I pointed out deer tr... Read more

Parenting

Some people put up their Christmas decorations on Thanksgiving, trimming their tree while the turkey cools in the kitchen. We’ve always delayed until a week or two into December before trimming our tree, and the boys have waited with their ... Read more

Christmas in KC

”Don’t worry about a thing,” I told Sandi when she returned from work on Thanksgiving morning. “Go to sleep. The boys and I will make Thanksgiving dinner for you.” Read more

Parenting

”Trick or treat,” James and Ian mumbled as they stood by the door. Just recently verbal, this was their first Halloween when they said the time-honored phrase instead of having Sandi and me speaking for them. Even so, the boys loved it. Read more

Fall in KC

“What are those?” James asked Grandma after she stepped down from the stool. Grandma looked fondly at her work hanging from the soffit of our home. Read more

Parenting

“Mr. Bartlett,” the voice on the phone said, “this is Ian’s principal. Ian has run off.” My face turned white and we hurried up to the school. The principal met us as we pulled up. “Ian’s OK,” she smiled. “We found him.” We both breathed ... Read more

Parenting

A father tells the tale of his sailing adventures with his son. Read more

Spring in KC

“Dad!” I exclaimed after I discovered that he had slid my cake in front of him when I wasn’t looking. Dad gave a big guffaw and slid my cake back to me. He loved expressing his sense of humor, but always in harmless ways. Being a child in m... Read more

Parenting

After years of watching my mother smoke, I decided to try it. With a pack stolen from my parents, my friend Brad and I hid in the crawlspace and puffed away. We thought we were safe and secure, but we hadn’t counted on Dad coming down to w... Read more

Parenting

We know that children don’t grow physically in a smooth, continuous flow; they grow in spurts. We don’t always realize that they grow emotionally in spurts, too. That little skink was too much for my Scout at that time. A Scout is brave, th... Read more

Parenting

”Laura, if you use that word one more time, I’ll hang up,” I told my irritated, teen-aged daughter who had just dropped the “F-Bomb.” I will not tolerate that language from my daughter. Hardly pausing after my ultimatum, Laura used the word... Read more

Parenting

”If you like them, Sandi made them. If you don’t like them, I made them,” I told my friends at church as I handed out my spicy chocolate chip cookies. Of course, I made them, but I like to put Sandi in the best light. Giving her credit is just an... Read more

Parenting

”What do you do if I yell, ‘CAR!’?” I asked James and Ian.   “We get off our sleds and stop,” they chorused back. Our sled track ran parallel to the road until it reached the bottom of the hill when the road curved to intersect it, three houses... Read more

Winter in KC

”Is that all?” I asked as I sat beside a pile of gifts, the floor strewn with torn wrapping paper. I knew it sounded selfish and ungrateful, but I didn’t mean it that way. What I meant to say, but couldn’t articulate, was, “Is there anything else... Read more

Christmas in KC

“Get your hands on the cart,” Sandi ordered James and Ian as they left Wal-Mart. We recognized all the dangers in a parking lot and Sandi watched the boys like a hawk whenever they walked to and from the car. She made them hold the cart that she ... Read more

Parenting

”Trick or treat!” I chorused with my friends. I loved Halloween then as now, but I had a secret. The dark terrified me. I was powerless to overcome this character flaw and it grew as I did. One night around age 15, I awoke for no particular... Read more

Fall in KC

”Daddy, tiger,” a small voice called. For the fifth consecutive night, the “tiger” in her bedroom that only Stacy could see frightened her and kept her from falling asleep. I had to do something to permanently remove her imaginary threat.   F... Read more

Parenting