Tag: #life

The Adversity That Will Shape You

When I was four years old, my mother bought me an old red bicycle at a garage sale. I didn’t know how to ride a bicycle, but I wanted to learn so I could ride with the kids in my neighborhood. As you probably guessed, I hit the ground several times while learning to ride. A couple of those times…

Truth, Justice, and the American Way

You know what really confuses me about the hyper-conservative people in political discussions? I get really confused when they say that something is “un-American.” Then, when I ask them what “American” is, they have a hard time going beyond catchwords and catchphrases like “democracy” and “rule of law.” Of course, they are usually also usings these words and phrases as…

The Parent Ren, Part VII: The Pathogens Strike Back

I remember being a child and having Strep throat in the summer a couple of times. It was miserable. It was so bad that I could not wait to go see the doctor and have my grandmother give me a shot of penicillin. (I spent most summers with my grandparents in the ancestral hometown in Mexico.) She would bundle me…

The Risks We Like To Take

With every passing day, the chances that I will die continue to approach certainty. It’s a slow approach to that 100% chance, but it’s happening. All I can do is slow down that acceleration to oblivion (and beyond?) by doing certain things and not doing others. For example, I have to go for a jog/swim/run/bike ride more often, eat more…

Nothing More American Than Civil Disobedience

In many other countries around the world, Colin Kaepernick would be in prison, or exiled to another country, or dead. His very public demonstrations against the authorities would have earned him at least jail in the Russian Federation. In the United States, the worst thing that has happened to him is that he is out of a job (for now).…

The Parent Ren, Part IV: The Big Bad World Out There

There was a tremendous earthquake in Mexico City today, 32 years to the day of the big one in 1985. (Seriously, what are the odds?) There is also a category 5 hurricane heading to Puerto Rico. In Myanmar, the army is systematically killing Muslims as the survivors of the “cleansing” are making their way to Bangladesh by the thousands. The…

The Parent Ren, Part III: Sleep? What Sleep?

Everybody who knows anything about raising a child from birth warned me about the lack of sleep. They were not joking when they said that sleep would become a big commodity in our lives. In fact, my wife and I kind of dreaded what was to come from the very first night we spent with our baby. As a newborn,…

Trying Not to Be a One-Issue Voter

When I first moved to Pennsylvania from Texas, a lot of the people I met up here were surprised to find out that I was a Republican. Several of them told me that they were surprised because I was Hispanic and, in their experience, people of color were not Republicans. Although I tried to tell them that I was closer…

The Parent Ren, Part II: Patience

A friend of mine pointed out to me that I had written a blog post referencing “The Child” back in 2012. In fact, my wife and I talked about The Child as far back as I can remember being with her. (That’s something I didn’t do with other girlfriends, by the way.) We started off joking about what a “weirdo”…

The Parent Ren, Part I: Clean As You Go

When I was a teenager, there was a lot of pressure for me to finish high school and get a job. The pressure didn’t come from either of my parents, actually. It came from my uncles and cousins. In our culture, education was one of those things that you did because you had to and not because you wanted to.…