Parenting: The Grand Experiment

Last night, for the first time…maybe ever (and I’m not proud of that)…I shed my arrogant façade and was open to hearing what someone else had to say about a topic I feel like I know something about: parenting. The occasion was a parenting workshop entitled “Goldilocks Parenting.” Of course I was intrigued by the…

Supplemental Education

Just when I was about to come down hard on my oldest son for his slipping grades, we got to the root of the problem, which I wonder if it is a problem at all. Except for the first quarter of the school year, his grades have somewhat ping-ponged. The final grades for each quarter…

Next Stop

I’ve been throwing away my past, lately. Discarding relics of my youth to make room for all of the recent memories, and rapidly approaching material from my children. The act has been bittersweet, but I’ve known for a long time that these days were coming.

Winning Moments

The holiday season is that wonderful time of the year when you get to spend more time with your family. Family time means all sorts of things from quiet moments to laughing fits. But as happens in most families, this family time rarely crescendos in scenes that someone would find in an Ozzie and Harriet TV show from the 50s, more like a vignette from the Simpsons.

Our youngest boy is now in second grade. Given his prowess at manipulating simple numbers, we figured a game of Monopoly was in order, so a day before Thanksgiving, while we were still visiting the in-laws, we christened a new game.

Our youngest was the most excited about the prospect. He tore the plastic off of the game, and started setting it up in his own way, since he really had no idea what he was doing. He was also too impatient to read the game’s directions, for which he had the reading skills, but he was hampered by the manic energy of a seven year old who wanted nothing more than to be the car in the game.

Surrogates

I had this great piece I was writing for the past few weeks that started over an email I had received from a disgruntled member of the swim team for which I’m the director. The reason I spent so much time

Something Special

The season for one of the two baseball teams I’ve been coaching came to a close on Saturday. Not because of any big loss or anything. The team was a coach pitch baseball team for which the season simply came to an end. This team brought me a lot of anxiety this year; it also taught me a lot about parents and kids.

Two weeks before the season was to start I received a call from one of the volunteers from the league asking if I would be the head coach. I had been a head coach the year before, at the same time that I was the head coach of my oldest son’s Little League team, and I had vowed that I would never try to balance those two roles ever again. With that last year’s experience under my belt I had told the local Little League, and this coach pitch league that I could be an assistant coach, but that I did not have the ability to take on the head coaching duties.

This is the Life

I've got to say I've got it made. I've got a great life. Two great kids (at least today I think they're great), a wonderful life partner who is also my wife and best friend, and I pretty much get to do what I've always loved doing: observing, talking, getting to know people. Of course there is a lot of self-interest behind the motivation of what I love to do; it's not purely altruistic. As one of my closest friends ribs me, "everyone loves Arj." Yeah, I'm a sucker for affirmations that I'm OK, and that people like me.

Friendship

Last night I returned from a vacation — at least that's what people who were not with me called it.