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Just back from a very nice seminar in Colorado for Free Thoughts, Free Kids of Colorado Springs. In two weeks I’m off again to New Haven and Westport, Connecticut for four events in two days, then Brooklyn on the 28th, Portland and Seattle three weeks later, and Minneapolis a week after that.

The events themselves are energizing and worthwhile, but the travel is beginning to wear on me a tad, especially being away from the family. Not to mention the irony of being an absent father so I can teach about parenting. I’ve promised Becca and the kids I’m taking July off and have already turned down three event requests for that month. I might also bail on June and August.

And possibly 2010. (Heh.)


This time I left on the afternoon of my b-day, and when I unpacked in Denver, I found an envelope down inside the suitcase. On the outside was written

To: 46 year old Daddy
From: Delaney

Inside, my first grader had folded up a piece of paper into eighths. On the outside was written

I love you!

I unfolded once to reveal a smiley face, and again to reveal a heart with a peace sign in it. Inside, the paper said


I am so proud!
You are making alot of progeress!
Since you are doing thise,
I packed some money so you can buy a suvaner.

love you,

P.S. Happy birthday!

A dollar and 35 cents fell out of the envelope.

Anybody wonder why I hate to leave home?

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.