Tag: Growing Up

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Getting Around in Thailand: The Night Bus


You haven’t lived until you’ve boarded a bus at sunset and trundled through the night to arrive at your destination just after sunrise. Those hot towels the attendant distributes with tongs at 6 a.m. make it worth the long hours, the bleariness, and the cheap comedies played on the television up front.

No, really. These were special trips.

Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Unexpected Trouble


As a child, did you ever do something you thought was innocuous, or at least only semi-problematic, and then find out your parents were surprisingly steamed about it? I ran up against this unexpected trouble more than once.

One incident was when I was nine years old at boarding school in northern Thailand. My friend C. dared me to eat a worm. Well, she wasn’t really my friend at the time. She was my rival. We were around the same age, and she was a newcomer from the States, with a collection of novel American toys. Plus she had olive skin, dark hair, and large, expressive green eyes. She liked the boy I’d had a crush on for years and despite her unusual looks, I had dibs on him. My jealousy weighed on me unpleasantly. She and I were always vying for first place in stupid scenarios: Who would win in arm wrestling? Who could climb a mountain? We both sensed when the other was showing off and were mutually annoyed. I affected a slight babyish accent that rubbed her the wrong way; she wanted everyone to know her affinity for animals and talked to lizards with a high-pitched lilt I couldn’t stand.

Member Post


I’ve commented elsewhere that part of the modernist condition is for people to remain in perpetual youth, and I admit I’ve probably focused more from a man’s perspective. There is an impulse today validated through the culture that men should remain boys, or at least resist the transition to manhood for as long as possible. […]

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Member Post


I just finished Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean and the End of the Lane” for the second time. And I am left wishing that I could un-remember it as the protagonist does in the story. This is just about as high-praise as I can give. I want to forget the whole thing so that I can […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Crik


They would never allow it today. Any parent who tried would lose their kids, and possibly end up in prison. Unsupervised kids running wild in the wilderness, a place where the laws of kid-dom prevailed, untrammeled by the feet of parents? But it was a simpler, more innocent time, so it was the most natural thing in the world that we would spend half our lives at the Crik.

We all called it that, regardless of how we would pronounce the word. The settlement patterns in Ohio had created a mini Mason-Dixon line, that ran right through my home town. The third of the kids who spoke with a southern accent, with a sound like Kentucky-lite, called it the Crik, because that’s how they pronounced creek. And for the rest of us, the sort of kid-osmosis that guarantees that each succeeding generation of kids know the words to “Great Big Gobs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts” similarly guaranteed that every one of us knew that the proper pronunciation in this case was Crik, even though in every other case it was creek.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Indescribable Agony of a Job Done Well


MovingFrom the moment your children are born the goal is relatively simple: Take this helpless, hopeless, crying, eating, sleeping, pooping machine and turn them into a responsible adult capable of taking care of themselves.

It takes a long time for children to get to that point. The screaming, the battles of will, the throwing up, and the trips to the emergency room make it seem like it will never happen. Until it does.

Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. The Places that Haunt Us


2011_Endangered_Grace_Towns_Hamilton_HouseThere should be no reason for this house to appear so often and so vividly in my dreams, but even now, 20 years after I moved out, it calls to me. Often I return to it at night in sleep, stealing my way in while the owners are away, and wandering the halls looking for something I’ve left behind. There is a secret buried there, hidden in the walls or left in a nook in the garage or basement, and I need to find it and get out before the owners return. Sometimes my sister is there with me and we search together, occasionally I bring my wife along and hope I don’t turn up anything embarrassing.

I let myself into the old foursquare house through the side door (only guests use the great front door that opens into the massive front hall and central staircase), and poke my head into the garage. I can smell the must and motor oil, and there are a few bikes scattered about. I wander into the kitchen and check the freezer that I used to raid for frozen Twinkies, then the stacks of unread magazines by the microwave. I push the swinging door from the butler’s pantry into the grand dining room, expecting to hear my father laughing over some joke, but the room is dark and silent.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Member Post


A year ago last March my wife and I had a baby boy. Within three months he was in the First Grade and by August he was competing with his robotics team at the state competition. In December he entered his last semester as a Senior and graduated tonight. Ok, that time line may or […]

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