I am a real Christmas tree person.
I have nothing against artificial trees or the people who employ their use during Christmas. In fact, some members of my very own family have switched to artificial trees, and I have yet to judge them for it publicly.
It’s not the kind of phone call you like to get. When I answered, I heard, “Is this Parker Gibbons’ dad?”
I had the typical parent reaction when I heard this, which was to assume that my son had either found a cure for cancer, saved a teacher from a bear attack or successfully created a perpetual motion machine.
My son stood at the window, staring out from the kitchen at the backyard of the only house he’d ever called home.
He’s 11, and will show you how tough of a kid he is at any turn. But even the toughest kid has his soft side. I approached him. “You OK?”
I read an article recently about a study in which researchers analyzed the brains of teenagers. In this experiment, they had the kids listen to a 30-second clip of their mother criticizing them. Here is a sample of one of the critiques: “One thing that bothers me about you is that you get upset over minor issues. I could tell you to take your shoes from downstairs. You’ll get mad that you have to pick them up and actually walk upstairs and put them in your room.”