Dad’s dispatch

Riley Hunt enjoys the snow with his grandparents' mini goldendoodle, Charlie. Photo Credit Angela Jacques

Winter of discontent

Batten the hatches! You don’t need weather to experience a cold front—just a child in his pre-preteen years Winter is coming. In fact, it’s been festering within my walls since the summer. One of the subtle truths I’ve learned about […]

Jon Willing and his son Miles prepare to zip down the hill at Carlington Park in Ottawa. Photo credit Nicole WillingJon Willing and his son Miles prepare to zip down the hill at Carlington Park in Ottawa. Photo credit Nicole Willing

Winter chic

Outdoor family fun has Jon Willing rethinking his cold-weather wardrobe     I might get a second pair of snow pants this winter.  Oh, I’m sorry. Are snow pants uncool? Somewhere around middle school, snow pants became a fashion faux […]

Miles Willing’s first day of junior kindergarten in Sept. 2022, and his last day of JK in June 2023. Photo Courtesy Jon Willing

The kindergarten field journal

If someone in your home is starting school this fall, worry not My gosh, the sand. It will be everywhere. And just when you think every clump has been shaken out of your kid’s sneakers, an avalanche of tiny grains […]

Longer summer days mean Miles Willing can try out more activities. Photo Credit Nicole Willing

Summer squeeze

Getting every last drop out of a fleeting season requires a complex formula There are few reasons why our son’s bedtime would be extended, even in the stretched sunny days of summer. Once the elusive bedtime routine is finally nailed […]

Jon Willing pulls his son Miles home on a sled at the end of a school day. Photo Credit Jon Willing

Dad bod

Fatherhood has both inspired and encouraged this dad’s very practical, very strategic fitness routine It was around Elgin Street when I gleefully realized my knees weren’t going to buckle after all. I had trudged three long downtown blocks on the […]

Jon Willing, in the Algonquin Times newsroom, reads an edition of the college newspaper produced by his journalism students. Photo credit: S. Gunner

New beginnings

Columnist Jon Willing recently traded a high-profile reporting career for one in academia. The biggest winners? His family A middle-age, late-career job change can be a gamble.   You have built years of seniority and achieved a level of expertise […]

Nicole and Miles Willing gather donations at Christmas last year. Photo Credit: Jon Willing

Sharing is caring

  The last page of a Sesame Street book shows Cookie Monster and Elmo splitting a snack and telling us, “Sharing is caring.”   It has become a line often repeated in our home as we teach our three-year-old son, […]

The author's son, Miles Willing, tosses a newspaper into the recycling bin. Photo credit J. WIlling

It’s not easy being green

Minimizing your footprint is difficult with a preschooler at home     I was thinking about my family’s environmental footprint recently, specifically about food waste, as I mindlessly peeled about 10 large potatoes for a three-person meal. I was going […]