Category Archives: The Fam


Marriage, like anything worth having in life, takes work and luck and patience and forgiveness and more luck and, if you believe in that sort of thing, more than a little grace.

It’s a life’s work and it’s never perfect, except for the times when it is, hopefully more often than not. Marriage is like parenting is like life: magnificent/difficult/wonderful/horrible/sanctifying. Our very presence in each other’s lives helps us strive to be the best versions of ourselves.

I believe it should be available to everyone, but that’s probably a different post.

I am so thankful for the circumstances that put her and I on the same path.

Here’s to the next ten years, and the decades after that.

The lesson.

It doesn’t matter how old you are. It doesn’t matter what other people tell you.

If you can find some courage (in yourself) and some faith (in anything) and some perspective (it’s not that big a deal) and some kindness (always be the nicest person in the room) you can make things happen that will amaze people.

This is what I’ve learned from my mother. Not just in the past month, but my whole life. There’s a reason my people pay attention to “Auntie Kay.”

Make a museum

My daughter claims she wants to be an artist, and decided (all on her own) that she wanted to create a museum featuring her favorite "cruisers" (her word for art projects) that she had made in the past year.

So she went through the archives, selected a bunch of her favorites, and we decided to take the idea seriously. We all dressed for the occasion, hung the art in the living room, invited Grandma and Grandpa Morrow, served appetizers and champagne, etc.

It was a full weekend project, but we all had a blast.

She was so proud of herself.

Not to pat ourselves on the back, but here’s the thing I learned: if you have kids, and they are enthusiastic about something (anything), take the time and effort to really honor it.

It wasn’t convenient, and it wasn’t my first choice of how to spend last weekend, but it made my daughter absolutely shine with pride, and her interest in “being an artist” has grown even brighter.

And if you don’t have kids, what are you enthusiastic about? What can you make the time to honor for yourself? What’s your museum?

PS—I decided to try Animoto to make a quick montage of some of the pictures. It’s too short (you only get 30 seconds for free), but kinda nifty.

The Green Light

In the middle of a cul de sac in the town where we used to live is a little island of grass and a single, nondescript street lamp that holds the stature of myth in our family.

I speak of The Green Light.

The Green Light, so named and mythologized by my daughter at two years of age, cast a peculiar green shade from its vantage point at the end of our street. I’m sure that with a little while of dedicated Googling I could determine the reason this light cast such a verdant hue, though as you’ll see I’m not so interested in the light itself as what it represents and how it came to embed itself in the young imagination of a family just getting its feet underneath itself.

My daughter discovered it. Of course, it was always there, flicking on automatically at dusk and shutting itself off at dawn. But neither my wife nor I ever paid it any attention until it had captured our daughter’s imagination a way that very little else had before it.

My daughter G was captivated by it, and how different it was from the more pedestrian (ahem) light in front of our own home. She noticed it, in the way that a two-year-old notices things: with the realization that something out of the ordinary can transport us into a different world altogether.

“It’s The Green Light!” G would exclaim as we drove home, or left the front door, each time like a bolt of recognition that a long-lost friend had made the visit from far away.

We would drive past our house and drive ’round the cul de sac to visit it, sometimes multiple times, to satisfy G’s desire to see it. If the weather cooperated, when I got home from work we would walk together to pay it a visit. On more than one occasion, G would hug the stone lamppost. And on every occasion we would flirt with a tantrum at the prospect of being forced to leave its presence. The light had a personality, a life beyond our visits, and was the topic of toddler conversations and imaginings.

Who cares?

It was the first instance we witnessed of my daughter noticing something in the outside world and internalizing it into her vision of the universe. It was different, and so was special, and had nothing to do with her parents.

I desperately wished I had thought to document some of the tales that G told us about The Green Light; the specifics of the stories are lost. But if you ask G today, she still remembers it (as “part of the Old House").

It has worked its way back into my consciousness—in part because my son is now approaching that magical age of discovery, and in part because I’ve spent a great deal of time lately thinking about where we anchor our creative energies.

This lamppost in a far north Chicago suburb became a totem for a little imagination, the source of focus for a mind teeming with ideas and hungry for explanations.

A mind not all that different from the more grown-up ones that you and I try daily to “manage” or “control” or “organize.”

We each tend to cluster our creative energies on something, and usually the brightest or shiniest or most immediately appealing.

We need a beacon.

For my daughter, it used to be The Green Light (and is now replaced by her various “kids” and fairies and art projects). For you or I, it might be our Work, or a Blog, or a Person. It may be a healthy focus, or it may not be so positive right now. But I think there must be value in recognizing It for what It is and looking deeper into how it informs your worldview.

And of course we can’t miss the symbolism of a Green Light meaning “GO,” can we?

So what’s your Green Light, and where is it telling you to go?