Bruises all too common

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I thought this week I would take a step away from ranting and raving about issues and talk about life in general. Last week, James, our oldest, turned 13.

My visual appearance is likely to change over the next few years. As we horse around, he tends to get the upper hand more and more. As a result, my tactics have had to change from fair to a bit underhanded. I would assume that other parents go through similar situations. Instead of the typical headlock, I now have to throw in a bit of finger twisting or wrist turning (An old trick my dad taught me. I think it's some kind of police move).

But you know, kids always have horseplay on their mind, and in James' case, it sometimes comes a bit unexpectedly. Like when I am waiting for the coffee to quit dripping, prior to any caffeine in my system, and the old monkey bump finds its way to my shoulder. I haven't had bruises like this since the days of Gil Shaw, doing the same thing when we both went to school at SMS. It's kind of a right of passage when you are in seventh or eighth grade, and I guess it continues to be a right of passage when you have a teen-age son.

The nice thing is, brains will typically triumph over determination. Despite my years in age (38), my brain is still working (Karen may disagree). So my tactics are getting even more underhanded, and I am learning to enlist the help of Lynnae, our daughter, in my plots. Our favorite is flushing the toilets when James is in the shower. Or even better: the cup of cold water over the shower curtain in the morning.

Unfortunately, this works both ways, which forces the entire family to booby trap the bathroom door. A glass on the counter next to the door works well, and when you hear it hit the floor, it becomes apparent that an attack is imminent.

So the next time you see me shooting photos or at a Little League game, share some of your tactics. Lynnae and I need all the help we can get.

And for those of you out there that are likely to call and complain that I didn't write about some important issue, remember that no issue is more important than family.

Jim McKiernan

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