On Monday night, when our internet, phone and television service went dark, I quickly ran through my arsenal of fix-it tricks. I turned off wi-fi and turned it back on. I unplugged the cable box, then plugged it in again. I ignored the problem. Nothing worked. “Well, I guess we’re Amish now,” I joked, but everyone was too busy feverishly attempting to refresh their internet to laugh. I realized from the panic on their faces

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Last Saturday afternoon, after much hype, my youngest son attended a friend’s 5th birthday party. It was a karate party and the children on the mat, all darting legs, arms and earnestness were adorable to watch. My son, who had been looking forward to the party all week, had become convinced that he would emerge from the hour a full-fledged ninja. He had spent the days leading up to the party slinking around the family

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