Thursday, August 14, 2014

Posting Today at Petit Four and Hot Tamales



I'm posting today at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales (PF&HT), talking about the death of Saturday morning cartoons. I hope you'll join me. Click here to taken to PF&HT website.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Stealing One More Year




My older son turned 17 recently.

It was a family celebration. We took him to a restaurant where he could enjoy a rack of ribs and got him his favorite cake. He also saw The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He’s now deciding how to spend his birthday money. Apparently, there’s an X-box game or two in his future.

He’s currently a sophomore, so he has two years of high school left. It’s going to go by quickly. I don’t know if I’m ready for it.

But it hit me recently that it could have easily been one year left.

When we moved here from Oregon, my older son was in the third grade. However, we moved during the school year. At the time, schools where we lived in Oregon began the school year about a month later than schools where we currently live in Georgia. It was more than a month between the time the kids left Oregon and the time we moved into a house in Georgia.

We enrolled our older son the day after we moved in. The schools were already focused on CRCT prep, tests he really had no hope of passing. After thinking about it, we figured he’d lost at least three months of school.

So we held him back a year.

It was an easy decision. Our son was young for his grade level anyway. Plus he had a learning disability. Re-taking third grade provided him time to mature.

For the longest time, my son complained about it. He often told people he should be one grade higher. We finally got it through to him that it was for the best and that he should move on. He has responded by excelling in school.

When his final two years of high school are over, I know he’ll attend college. I don’t know where he’ll go.

However, when my wife and I made the decision to hold him back, I know that neither of us was thinking about keeping him around one more year.

But it’s good to have him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Prayer Breakfast


It was around 5:30 a.m. on a school day. My son placed his oatmeal on the kitchen table and sat down, placing a spoon next to breakfast as he did. He then bowed his head, said a quiet prayer, and began eating.

I punched the button on the coffee maker, smiling as I did so. Where did he learn that? Part of me knew. We try to have at least one meal together every day as a family. It’s not always easy. Sometimes, due to team practices in the evening, the boys and I are eating while my wife is still cooking. Still, for that evening meal, we say the blessing as a family before chowing down.

Still, kids behave differently when they’re alone, as opposed to when a family is together. You hope they ingest the lessons you’ve taught them. Pride swells within you when you see that they have.

Granted, my teenager could have been thinking Dad’s here, so I need to pray. At the same time, he didn’t glance at me before he did it. It looked natural, as if he did it even on those mornings when I’m pushing to get myself ready for work and I only see him off to the bus but don’t see him eat. I can never be sure.

I can only pray myself.

And trust to God.

Clip art from www.watton.org
 

 

 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Dragging Dad Into the Modern Age



My family has a problem with my choice in music.

I have satellite radio in my car. When I’m alone, I listen to stations that offer 70s, 80s, and things that were on vinyl or cassette at one time (or that spindle looking thing that Edison used). I also listen to the news. However, when we’re driving somewhere as family, my wife and kids prefer modern stations with current hits. If I try to play my music, they gag. They beg for at least music from the 90s and then press for music produced within the last year or so.

The one who pushes it the most is my 12-y.o. He seems to know every song played on either the current music stations or on Disney radio. I wonder where he hears these things. Apparently, he has a number of these tunes downloaded to his iPod. (I’ve got to check that thing more often.) He particularly likes Imagine Dragons but enjoys all of the modern singers. When I drive him to baseball practice, he wants to listen to the current hits station, just to get himself prepped. Because I really believe it helps him, I oblige.

I really believed I would get sick of these songs at one point. However, after taking him to numerous events in the last few months, I have to admit that some of them are starting to grow on me, if only because I can’t get them out of my head, or have heard them ad nauseum. My 12-y.o. even sensed this, asking me a week ago if there were any of these songs that I liked.

I finally admitted to liking one. Dark Horse by Katy Perry.

My 12-y.o. found reason to barf. Of all the songs on the current hits station, this was the one song he wished was banned. His problem with it? It’s a stupid love song. He then thought about it a little longer, admitting the song would be good entrance music for a baseball player, if not for the stupid lyrics.

However, he’s now starting to notice girls.

I doubt he’ll think the lyrics stupid for long.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Posting Today at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales


I'm posting today at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales (PF&HT), talking about the things one saves when cleaning out a basement. Would like to hear from you. A $10 Amazon gift card is up for grabs on that post. Click here to be taken to the PF&HT blog.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Wing And A Prayer




My 12-y.o. son has his right arm in a sling.

My wife and I think he hurt it a couple of weeks ago. His baseball team scrimmaged another team and he pitched straight through an entire line-up without a break. My son throws pretty hard. It was a cold night. We iced his arm afterwards like we always do. My son said he felt fine.

The truth was, he didn’t.

He would occasionally admit to soreness. We would use ice and rest. Then he would say he felt fine.

The truth was, he just wanted to play baseball.

He had a tournament last week, playing four games in two days. He did great at the plate but couldn’t get anything on his fastball. By Sunday evening, after the tournament was over, he finally admitted his arm had been hurting all this time. He mentioned it as it hurt to swing a bat, too.

I took him the doctor the next day. He was diagnosed with acute inflammation of his shoulder and elbow. Thankfully, nothing was broken or torn. Still, we shut him down to give him time to heal. The doctor suggested about a week.

I’m mad at myself about it. There’s part of me that should have realized he was taxing himself during the scrimmage. Though I wasn’t keeping a tally, I knew his pitch count was high. And the coach from the other team that was calling balls and strikes stopped any pretense of fairness halfway through the line-up, meaning my son was giving it everything he had and having non-swings called a ball. However, I said nothing. For the weeks that followed, neither did my son.

On Sunday, we’ll see if there’s still any pain. If there’s no pain, we can start doing rehab exercises. Maybe even soft tosses. He has a game on Monday. I can’t see him being ready to play, even if there’s no pain. The injury is minor and I pray he’s not hurt more seriously. Still, I want to make sure he’s okay before he goes back on the field. It’s scary to think of it getting worse.

Even scarier was when the x-ray technician told me how often kids come into the office with the same injury.

I’ve since learned there are things like little leaguer’s elbow and little leaguer’s shoulder. Recuperation can take a couple of months. We aren’t at that point yet.

I hope we don’t get to it.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Posting Today at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales



I'm posting today at Petit Fours and Hot Tamales (PF&HT), talking about the latest point in my writing life, trying to understand what it means. I hope you'll join me. Click here to taken to PF&HT blog.