by Matt Mooney

Blonde hair poured over the top of the purple, floral-covered backpack that swallowed up most the rest of her, until her legs peeked out from the skirt she had laid out with precision the night before.

This would be her outfit for the first day of kindergarten.

She has chosen her own clothes since sometime around two.  Ginny long ago decided to pick her battles and clothes didn’t make the list.  We felt a bit a sheepish in her Punky Brewster stage but she has developed quite the eye for fashion over three years of fine-tuning.

You see the way I can think on one aspect of this little girl?  One thing I like about her.  She picks out her own clothes!

And the world expects me to just drop her off from 7:45 to 3:00 at some place filled with common kids and teachers I’ve never met?  I don’t trust my friends.  How the $%z^* did it become okay to hand off your offspring into the arms of someone you met last week at a school picnic?  I didn’t even meet her.  Ginny did.  And she is a horrible judge of people.  She trusts everyone and wants to bake them cookies.  I’m not there.  I’m not getting’ there.  And though most people see it the other way around, I think this distrust of everything called a person is what makes me such a wonderful gift to my wife and my family.

 “be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”  (Matt. 10:6)

 I slithered all over that school yesterday:   shook hands with principal, smiled and feigned joy at volunteering with the PTO president, eyeballed the janitor, lingered and looked at the teacher awkwardly long.

We were the last people to leave the breakfast they hosted.  Ginny looked bewildered to see me work the room like a vote-seeker.  I typically hone in on one person in big groups- too tired to care about people I’ll never see again.   But Leverett Elementary school is gonna know me.

Call me “Hazel’s dad.”
Not Matt and certainly not Mr. Mooney.
Use the moniker that associates me with her in your feeble mind.

I’m a newly-minted watchdog dad.  Whatever allows me to be on campus without getting arrested….I’ll do it.

Cause I played a part in making her.  I’ve built my whole life around trying to be home at lunch with her.  I’ve scheduled appointments at just the time where I could stop in and watch her gymnastics class.  She is mine and I am not ready for her to be a Leverett Lion.

But she is ready.  And so I let her go.

I am looking forward to Friday.


in the midst

Tomorrow my beloved and our three amigos will pile into Big Red and we will point that bad boy north; our annual summer voyage to Petoskey, Michigan takes about 14.5 hours according to the Google. But Google is a liar; we hustle to do it in double time. Ginny will bring out the crafts, games [...]

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Guest Post:: Atlas Girl (Emily Wierenga)

If someone sat me down and pointed the barrel near my vicinity and asked me what was my favorite genre of books….then, and only then, I would offer up “memoir” in a muffled tone. Thereafter, I would stand up and kick his butt with some Ozark ninja moves that I learned only from being on [...]

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when it gets hard and you are who you hate

I am kicking Ginny out of our house for 2.5 days come Tuesday.  She deserves more.  But this currently seems tantamount to cresting Everest- so we’ll celebrate instead of mourn the fact that 2.5 days is a gold medal moment.  I am the very dad that scoffed at fathers who acted like they were super [...]

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books, clubs & imaginary conversations

When you take long breaks from blogging, you have stuff to pass on to the world- the one you actively ignored for a while.  Sorry ’bout that.  My soul thanks you for your grace. 1.)  I am working on a children’s book.   Admittedly, this is sort of like saying, “I am working on a [...]

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on chasing, tickling and not writing

It has been a while.  I know your life must have seemed incomplete without my typed- up musings.  I see that you have found a way through my absence.  As have I.  My last blog post ranted on the cyclical nature of blogging and the whole phenomenon of the fear of being quiet.  So, I [...]

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