The conversation started over breakfast, a thread to a tangent passed with pepper and more coffee, but it stuck like syrup in a mustache (it happens). Eventually it moved from a stranger-coveted empty table in an increasingly busy restaurant to another prolonged standstill in the parking lot, two family members dancing a tango of societal and political opinion while everyone else kicked leaves and waited for car doors to open. Then it continued in the front seat for another 20 minutes, me in the back with a 5-year-old on my right. His toy made a loud, electronic shriek, apparently forever, … [Read more...]
I know where it is. I see it pretty frequently, but, unless you knew it was there, you’d probably miss it. I picked it up, rescued it really, from the lawn mower a couple of years back and put it in a fairly strange place. It was hiding in the tall grass, all the way back in the yard, just this side of the home-run fence. It was what we always called a “game ball” to differentiate it from a “practice ball.” Game balls come off the bat hotter than the smooshy practice balls, so it was worthy of a rescue. If you’ve ever been around wooden fences, you know that sometimes the posts begin to … [Read more...]
Although my book is intended mainly for the entertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.
-- Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom SawyerFor years I had the pleasure of teaching The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. I loved following Tom and his adventures and witnessing his foray into young adulthood. The simplicity that … [Read more...]
There is this ball that I have sitting in my office. To many, it looks like just any other baseball. On most days it just sits there, without someone even looking at it. There is no signature on it, and I have yet to fill out the placard on the baseball stand. But I treasure that ball. I wouldn’t say it’s Babe Ruth-esque special, but I’d still be upset if William took the ball to the sandlot one day. The story behind that ball dates back to 1996. A good year for me as a young boy. My local high school baseball team won the state baseball championship, and it seems that anytime something … [Read more...]
Remember when you learned about a baby’s “growth chart”? The first time the pediatrician measures your tiny child’s weight, length and head circumference can be stressful. It can also be confusing because it’s one of the few times when the 50th percentile — or perfectly average growth relative to other babies of the same age — is the most desirable score. Our firstborn had colic, so my wife and I developed an intense relationship with our pediatrician. Fortunately, he had a great sense of humor. During one of our “growth chart” appointments, we expressed concern that our daughter’s head was … [Read more...]