Signing off on my final column, and still laughing at my kids

After more than seven years and somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 columns, I feel it’s time for me to turn my attention elsewhere and focus on other work and expanded ideas. This will be my last column, and I wanted to use this space to thank all of you for so many years of reading, for the emails you’ve sent and the stories you’ve shared about your own children or your own childhood as we stood side by side questioning the number of cereal options at Kroger.READ MORE


Kids must find their own way to the right path

Talk turned, as it generally will, to the folly and flaws in raising children. The women sitting on a Midtown porch last week had children in ages that ran from toddler to my oldest, a senior in high school, and talk ran to the transition from the indiscretions of a child to those of a teenager; how the innocent fibs of the child become the lies of the teen.READ MORE

Richard J. Alley, author of Five Night Stand

Shootings, driving provide plenty to worry about

When my oldest son turned 15, we went to the empty parking lot of the Liberty Bowl to allow him to become comfortable and confident behind the wheel of a car. Weeks later, when we both felt the time was right, he eased the car onto the city road, taking back streets to get the feel of driving in traffic. He studied the driving manual and took a test at a government facility to obtain a driver’s permit. Many more months of him driving with me or his mother would follow before he went back to that government facility to take a road test with a trained professional. At 17, he is subject by law to a restricted driving arrangement for another year.READ MORE

Kids in New Orleans

Family vacation takes us back to the future

Road trips bring out the kid in me. Even in the captain’s chair, I’m transported back to the 1970s and family trips to Destin, Florida. The backseat was cramped, the windows were rolled down to circulate air, the radio signal went in and out with the curves of the road, and my sisters and I dreamed that if we only had a television, all of our travel problems would be solved.



Managing birthdays and inflated expectations

It shows up before noon, spread out on the front lawn like an oversized, rubber area rug. I look to the darkening sky and am told I have to help. None of the heavy lifting, mind you. I’m put into service locating an accessible electrical outlet to plug in the motorized thing that causes the inflation. This is why I can’t be entrusted with anything mechanical. This is why the man in charge tells me: “Stand back.”READ MORE