March 25

Four hours, and then some.

That’s how long it took for Walker to do his math, with me sitting beside him the whole time.

It’s been a challenge getting Walker back on track after Papap’s heart attack. The stress of that event and the subsequent weeks of rapid decline coincided with a growth spurt which has left Walker with the mind of a tween whose ADHD meds are struggling to keep pace with the latest surge of testosterone and a body which is growing longer every day. He flops on the sofa and doesn’t even realize that his legs now hang over the armrest. He’s essentially become a boy-shaped bundle of squirrels and squeaking hinges.

Most days this week I’ve woken to Walker standing in my room. On Monday it was purely because his mom had taken his phone the day before and he wanted it back. Tuesday he just wanted to flop on the bed and pet Dom, who has taken to sleeping with me all night. Thursday I lay abed doing emails and writing. When I emerged, Walker commented that it was weird for him to get breakfast without having to hear us adults clomping around the house. “I could read my webcomics in peace!”

Then yesterday both kids came and flopped. Just to hang out for a few minutes before breakfast and homework.

Today… this was a day of intense homework, which was capped off by Walker giggling for half an hour as I wrestled to understand how he was getting the same answer through intuitive leaps that I was through precise step-by-step algebra. It was especially baffling because I had just spent over four hours helping him puzzle through simplification drills.

He ended up passing the quiz and, far more importantly, pushed through his writing challenges to fill five sheets of paper with mostly legible math notes.

And so when Walker asked if I wanted to watch a movie after dinner, which I was finally shoving into my face at nearly nine in the evening, I looked at Alli with torment in my eyes.

“Your sheets are in the dryer. Go put them on your bed,” she told him. “And what movie do you have in mind?”

“The Velveteen Rabbit. I found the disc. I want to see it again.”

Why do tweens have to be so awkward and adorable? Here I am just wanting to bury my face in a pillow until I stop seeing equations, and the boy wants to hang out and watch a children’s movie. This won’t be happening much longer and I missed out on the first 12 years of the kids’ lives.

And so, of course, I ended up sitting on a sofa with Walker, a bowl of popcorn between us, watching possible the most awkwardly animated film of all time. But he loved it. At first for the memories, then for the realization that he could now see how bad the animation is, and finally as an oh so superior almost teenager snarking at his younger self for loving such an odd movie.

The kids are growing up. I don’t like it, but I’m glad I could be here for some of their childhood before it all fades away.

Even if I sometimes have to do math for hours on end.


  • Health: Ha. Does it count that I use a standing desk?
  • Writing: This blog and fighting with my server to make Let’s Encrypt work correctly.
  • Mindset: Numb from math, but very happy.

Your Daily Serving of Interesting

Dungeon Alchemist has recently released V1.0 of the product and it’s quite interesting. While certainly not the one RPG mapping app to rule them all, it’s got some cool features and I have used it to whip up maps on short notice twice this week.

I’m excited to see the next Doctor Strange movie. Hopefully theaters will feel safe again by this summer.

Turns out that Oneida Silverware was founded by members of a deeply abusive religious cult, whose descendants continued to own the company until 2006.

Until Next Time

Thanks for reading. I hope to make this a daily habit, at least until I get back into writing enough fiction or producing enough videos that I don’t need this journal to force me into taking half an hour to practice my craft every day. Please consider reading one of my books, subscribing to my YouTube channel, or following me on Facebook and Twitter if you enjoy these posts.

Take care of yourself and those you love.