Which One Is Your Favorite Child?

So, those of you who have children, which one is your favorite?

Wow! What a loaded question…and a ridiculous one. Obviously asked by someone like me who has a single child, one who by default will always be my favorite without regard to any of her wonderful qualities or even of her less desirable ones.

But I do have eyes and ears, and I’m apt to have my favorites among the offspring of families who have multiple kids. Maybe it’s because one always speaks pleasantly to me whereas another doesn’t seem to notice me, even when I speak to him. Or maybe one has a talent I especially admire and enjoy, but the abilities of her siblings don’t t hold any special interest to me.

Maybe I even prefer one child over another because she’s safely made it through the worst part of adolescence and the other kids are either still just children or younger teens I’d be willing to loan the parents a cage for.  And I’ll admit it: a cute kid warms my heart more easily than an average-looking one.

I don’t see anything wrong with my having preferences among other people’s kids. The important thing is I recognize that most parents either don’t like one of their own kids better than another or wouldn’t admit it even under oath.

Believe it or not, I CAN relate to that fact. Especially if I change the question to this:

Roger, of the books and songs you’ve written, which is your favorite?

Hmm. My favorite of the over two hundred songs I’ve written during the last fifty-some years?  And the favorite of my twelve novels, four of which have been or are about to be published?

Wait! Those are my children you’re talking about! How can you expect me to have a favorite? Each one was my favorite–or at least the most important one–at the time of its “birth.”

Sure, I keep a separate binder of the songs I don’t have any interest in anymore but don’t want to forget about totally. And several of my novel manuscripts just don’t seem to be what publishers are currently looking for; so I can pretend to forget about them.

But they’re still my children. All of them.

My wife knits and crochets.  A friend makes the most amazing things out of wood. Could they name the one project they would be willing to label their absolute, all-time favorite? I seriously doubt it.

And what about you? If you have a creative skill, would you be able to say that one particular creation was not just your favorite, but will probably always be your favorite? How about leaving a comment?

Oh, and I promised last week to give the answer this week about what those little gadgets I was writing about are called:

Plastic Toggle Spring Stop Single Hole String Cord Locks

At least that’s what some of the ones on Amazon were called. My wife and I were shopping at Hobby Lobby yesterday and found a package of them totally unexpectedly. And the package was labeled more simply:  Cord Stop Plastic. What a hoot!

NOTE: Various people have complained about not being able to find or leave comments. Go all the way to the bottom of this post, beneath my “Best regards, Roger.” On the very bottom line of that last section just above the previous post you’ll see “Leave a Comment” if yours will be the first or “X Comments,” where  X denotes the number of existing comments.


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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,

Hell Is for Children

Strange blog post title if you’re not old enough to remember Pat Benatar’s song about child abuse. As much as I hated the subject matter, it always struck me as a powerful song. Music and lyrics. I would quote some of the words here, but quoting lyrics without the copyright owner’s permission is illegal, and obtaining permission can be both time consuming and expensive.

I honestly cannot conceive of anyone hitting or punishing a child in some other abusive way. And sexual abuse is even further from my ability to imagine. Those things weren’t part of my upbringing, and–if I knew anyone who’d been abused when I was younger–I didn’t know about it.

As an adult, I’ve met several people who admit they were the victims of child abuse. I really feel for them. Especially since I’ve read several novels in which children were abused.

I know one adult who has gone far beyond simply sharing the fact that he was sexually abused as a child. Cec (Cecil) Murphey, the man who did the actual writing of best-selling nonfiction book Ninety Minutes in Heaven, has written a book called When a Man You Love Was Abused. The target is women who want to help men overcome their continuing trauma about having been sexually abused as a child.

But child abuse takes many forms, at least one of which is disgustingly and legally accepted. Let me be specific.

My wife and I were walking at the mall the other day when we heard a small child start screaming her head off. Kathleen turned to look. A parent was holding the little girl down long enough for a woman to finish the ear piercing, and we were disgusted. Closer to angry.

We don’t know the background–or the conclusion. Maybe the little girl had wanted pierced ears and had now gotten cold feet. But she may have been too young to ask for pierced ears. We couldn’t see well enough to determine her age.

My daughter hated getting shots, but those were required for good health.

What was the justification for putting that one little girl through that kind of legal abuse?

Do you have an opinion on child abuse in general or the ear piercing of young children specifically? Please leave a comment.


I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”–check it out HERE. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

My new novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is out now. If you’re interested, please check it out at Amazon.

Best regards,


(National) Neighborhood Night Out

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After complaining about routine a few days ago, I thought I’d write about a wonderful routine breaker I enjoyed just a few nights ago. Of course, since it happens only once a year, its good effects won’t be long lasting.

My wife and I live in a mobile home park. As you know if you’ve been following me recently, ours is far nicer than a “trailer park” and shouldn’t be thought of that way.

We have well over a hundred homes in our community, and the management does a great job of promoting a sense of community.

Several nights ago was our sixth or seventh annual Neighborhood Night Out. Or is it “National Night Out”? Either way, the only thing I can  complain about is the fact that several smokers (very few people in the crowd were) smoked too close to me. I’m very allergic and still felt all clogged up the next day.

One thing that probably distinguishes our NNO from “block parties” elsewhere is the lack of alcohol.

It was a wonderful family event. Although everyone brings a covered dish–most of them with something inside–the park management gets contributions from a number of local businesses. So along with hamburgers and hotdogs we had pizza and subs.

Because of the number of Latino folks living here, a number of the dishes were quite a change from the normal fare.

The main attraction of the evening was the talent show. Several of us adults participated. I did a couple of my original songs, another fellow played a keyboard solo, and a couple did a line dance. All the more amazing because the lady wears a knee brace.

But the kids were what everyone was waiting for. They did a little bit of everything. Some sang along with recordings and some sang to what I assume were karaoke soundtracks. Some proved to be excellent little dancers, too, and you wouldn’t believe how nicely these children dressed up for their performances.

One of the older boys who didn’t appear to be a part of the actual talent stayed busy working as a stage hand, getting microphone stands in place and adjusted for the next act.

The manager of the park was applauded not just for all the work she and her husband had done, but for her statement that she and her family planned to live in the park forever. It says something good about a place when someone in her position says that and obviously means it. (She and her husband recently bought a bigger mobile home and are renting out their old one.)

One of the nice aspects of the Neighborhood Night Out is the support of the local law enforcement community. We always have five or six officers–plus McGruff, the poor lady dressed in the dog outfit. It’s a great way for people–especially kids–to be around policemen in a non-threatening atmosphere.

We also had a local politician this year.

I don’t know about anyone else, but it’s events like this that make me appreciate our special little community all the more. And to appreciate my neighbors all the more, too.

Do you have anything similar where you live? Is it similar to ours? Please share in a comment.


I’ll be back again on Wednesday.  If you’d like to receive my posts by email, just go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” isn’t my only blog. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on “As I Come Singing”check it out here. Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list here.

Best regards,