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Posts from the ‘Family’ Category

Our First Night Out

Last Saturday there was a country music concert at Klokkergarden, the only hotel on Rødøy. We got two of Kristin’s students to babysit for us and headed out for our first night out since we came here. We went to our neighbor’s house for a beer, and waited for the hotel shuttle. Read more

Reversal of Marital Roles

The biggest change since we came to the island was the reversal of roles between Kristin and I. It is bigger than the isolation, the climate, the scenery, the people. When we lived in Boston, I worked and Kristin for the most part took care of the children. Now, these roles, plus a few more, are flipped. Read more

Daddy Day

During my first week on the island, I instituted Daddy Days for Marcus and Nora, who are 6 and 4 respectively. On Tuesdays, I pick up Marcus early from school and spend the afternoon with him alone. And I do the same for Nora on Wednesdays. The rules are simple: Read more

Marcus’s Birthday

A third of the children on the island came to Marcus’s birthday party yesterday. There’re 28 school aged children on the island. Marcus is in first grade, which is equivalent age-wise to kindergarden in the US. There’re 10 students from grade 1 to 4, and they’re in the same “home room”. All of them came. Read more

How Do Children Adapt to Change?

When we were going back and forth about living on a remote island for year, the biggest question was, “How will Marcus and Nora adapt?”

I thought often about a haunting conversation with a stranger many years ago, pre-children. Kristin and I sat next to a man at a bar in Saugatuck, Michigan. The man told us about his family with two small children sailing around the world for several years. Read more

The Seven Year Itch

A few years ago, my friend Joe sent me a link to a video featuring an accomplished graphic designer, Stefan Sagmeister, who closes down his firm every seven years to take a year off. His rationale is simple and seductive: rather than working for 40 years and retire for 15 years before we die, why don’t we take 5 years from retirement and intersperse them throughout the 40 working years? The idea of taking a year off gnawed at me ever since I watched that video. Read more

The Cold Feet

The night before we left for Europe, Kristin and I sat in our home office exhausted. We had been packing our personal stuff in boxes and carrying them down to the basement so our tenants can move in later. Up and down. Up and down. We had also just renovated the office for our tenants. The sagging ceiling was lifted up, and walls were freshly painted. It was the neatest and cleanest room in the house.

We looked at each other and knew what both of us were thinking: “Why are we doing this?” Read more