Friday, June 20, 2008

The sweetest new dad story

Last night, I had drinks with a colleague and we wondered out loud what the impact of having a baby was going to have on our young, brilliant, and outspoken President (of our company). My colleague looked at me and said that he was changed in the first hour with his baby daughter – who is now five.

Because his wife was induced and the process was exhausting, she needed to sleep after the baby was born. So Jordan sat holding his new daughter and described the sunrise and Kenmore Field (he’s a Sox fan and they could see it from the hospital window). As he spoke to her, he noticed she had long fingernails. So he sat her in his lap and calmly cut her nails while talking to her. Her very first manicure was from her Dad.

His revelation – that this was the most amazing experience in the world and he wished he had met the love of his life, his wife and mother of his child twenty years earlier so he could have had more and more of it. It is an unmatched experience of true love.

My boy discovers summer and needs sleep

This is the first week of summer in California and the boys have discovered that camp is a lot more fun than school. This week, it’s soccer camp. For Jammer, that’s 9-3 – six hours of soccer camp. Running, kicking, drills and games for 5 hours (time for water, food and bathroom breaks). And we’re still doing jujitsu on Monday and Wednesday, piano on Tuesday and swimming on Thursday.

Taylor is going from 9 – 10:30 and literally cries when he has to leave. Benjamin even held him and told Karlla that Taylor was welcome to stay. It’s great when Jammer wants to share his experiences with Taylor. Taylor loves it too. You cannot teach big brothering, but it’s great to cultivate what’s there naturally.

The smiles are huge and at 7:15 at night, the two boys literally collapse into bed until 6:30 the next morning. Wonder if Camp Galileo will be as exhausting next week!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Benevolent Big Brothering

Benjamin is an athletic, competitive kid. He's played little-league this spring for the first time and enjoys being on the field or at bat - and his only complaint is that the league isn't competitive this year - no scoring, no outs. Because it's not competitive, he doesn't really get the point and sometimes doesn't want to play. Interesting how young they figure out that if you don't keep score, the game is probably not a whole lot of fun. Great for learning skills - but that's called practice. We're big fans of practice, but the reward is a game.

On this Saturday, Benjamin's team was down 3-4 players - left with only 7 kids. Benjamin asked his coach if his younger brother, Taylor, could join the team for the game. Taylor naturally had his glove and was ready to play. The coach welcomed him and Taylor enthusiastically joined the team. In the first inning, he fielded a grounder that was fast and off to the left - it was a diving stop. His at bats, from a pitch, headed for the outfield (although there were plenty of strikes, had we been counting). In the third inning, he caught a fly ball. Parents and coaches were pretty amazed at the ball-play instincts of this four-year old.

We realize Taylor is a gifted athlete and we're glad he enjoys the game so much. What's amazing is that Benjamin realizes that Taylor is a gifted athlete and invited him to play knowing that he would garner much of the attention during the game. Benjamin was proud of his brother and while sometimes he's envious of Taylor's natural gift, we were very proud of Benjamin for welcoming him, sharing in his gifts and playing ball well himself.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Breaking the Bank

No matter how many ways I try to coach and cajole my kids with the wisdom of my years, nothing trumps personal experience. Benjamin is still a lego and K'Nex fanatic. Ariel likes to climb. And Taylor likes sports and money. He outgrew his baby "money bunny" and for his graduation present, we helped him find the perfect bank for his allowance savings. Great site - banks, banks, banks gave him a bounty of choices. He chose the baseball on a pedestal.

Every day for three days - "did my bank come yet?". On Wednesday, it arrived. It really was beautiful - about 5 inches in diameter and a perfect tribute to Taylor's two passions. He wanted to touch it, hold it and fill it with his allowance savings. He wanted to toss it - like a ball. Naturally, I was specific that this was a bad idea.

On Thursday, we had friends who are moving into the Bay Area over with their three boys. Mostly, they played outside. But after dinner, they played in the boys room. As we parents enjoyed the end our dinner, we heard a crash and a wail. Taylor had slipped on his brother's bed and dropped his bank. Which shattered. It took a few minutes to learn if the wail was physical pain or mental anguish. Turns out it was mental anguish. We clearly had the saddest four and a half year old in the area. He wanted to run to the computer and order a new bank. But that's not much of a lesson.

So - we asked him if he would contribute to buying his replacement bank with money from his allowance. He agreed to underwrite his replacement. We won't ask him for more than 10-20%, but hopefully when the second bank arrives it will be gently placed on the mantle and touched only for the purpose of adding or subtracting funds. Looks like a ball...doesn't act like one.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Proud of Pre-K Graduation?

We decided that our Nov 2003 son would start Kindergarden this fall - and be the youngest in his class. So, last week, he graduated Pre-K.

And I am really proud of him. You'd never know that he's young - he's articulate, bring and mischevious. This weekend, while waiting for my elder son to return home on the train from a Giants game, another Mom was mentioning that first grade hadn't challenged her son. Of course, her son has an October birthday and is almost 51 weeks older than my eldest - and in the same class. He's not going to be challenged until Junior High School because he's so old to grade. We know we're forcing the kids to reach up - but we think they can handle it. So far so good.

Congrats Taylor and good luck in Kindergarten. You're going to do great!