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Steven Kalas

The Parent Esteem Apocalypse is upon us

In my younger days, I promised myself I would not become The Bemoaning Curmudgeon. You know, the middle-age/late middle-age geezer tossed into a crisis of values (or at least nostalgic protest) every time some new technological advance steps onstage to provoke a cultural shift in our expectations of self and each other.

History deserves honest retelling

I've just returned from my youngest son's Rite of Passage, something his brothers also went through at his age. It's a curriculum I've developed — teachings, rituals and ceremonies — for turning boys into men.

You have got to laugh or cry

Like any veteran flier of Southwest Airlines, I was ready. Exactly 24 hours before my flight, I checked in. If you tarry a moment longer, you'll be condemned to the dreaded "C" group, mooing last onto a plane with only middle seats left in the back where you get to cuddle with the forearms and shoulders of strangers for a couple of hours and then lose a day and a half trying to exit the airplane.

Friendship can continue after love ends

My son has a friend. Every evidence points to a sincere, mutual, warm and caring friendship. They stay in touch. They support each other. They are informed about the other's comings and goings, the ups and downs of dating, their respective journeys of education and vocation.

Hero or abuser? Neither

Baltimore Mom becomes icon of our collective frustration regarding permissive and absent parents. She is a prototypical mother in whom terror, outrage and shame collide.