My three youngest children — ages 11, 8, and 8 — all played Little League baseball this summer. I enjoyed watching them play, as it took me back to my own childhood when I would spend the better part of each summer day playing baseball.
Every time each of my children would come to bat, the opposing team and coaches would invariably yell: “Good hitter! Everyone back up!”
No one ever did that for me when I played.
I hereby acknowledge that my children are better than me — in this regard, at least. To me, this is the primary responsibility of a parent: to advance humanity by ensuring that your children are better than you.
Jordy Mercer of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit this 2-run homerun that was the margin of victory in the Pirates’ 3-1 win over the Washington Nationals at PNC Park. That’s my eldest son reaching in vain for the ball, and that’s Bryce Harper of the Nationals with his glove up against my son’s chest. The ball landed behind my son, but he made a nice effort. That’s my other son, in orange, also making a nice effort.
After dinner tonight, I overheard the following conversation between my two sons:
8-year-old: What are you doing in art class?
11-year-old: I’m drawing a self-portrait.
8-year-old: A self-portrait of who?
I have five children, and they mostly look alike — except for my 8-year-old son, who has slightly different features and a more husky body composition. He has a twin sister, so we consider him the bonus baby.
One day, I happened to watch him getting dressed for school. To put on his pants, he laid down on the floor and pushed his legs through the pants simultaneously.
This proves he is special. Unlike most men, he DOES NOT put his pants on one leg at a time.
My 8-year-old son completed his first soccer season, and received — along with all the rest of his teammates — a generic medal attached to a ribbon, to wear around his neck.
He showed it to his parents with pride, telling us, excitedly:
“I got a medal! And it’s made of metal!”
We prefer to eat dinner as a family, all seven of us sitting around the dining room table and talking about our day.
Unfortunately, with so many mouths, it’s often difficult to find an opportunity to speak.
Once, when my 13-year-old daughter was speaking, someone else began speaking over her. Frustrated, she said:
“I’m sorry that the middle of my sentence interrupted the beginning of yours.”
I was drilling my 5-year-old son last night, teaching him opposites in preparation for kindergarten later this year.
Me (just to confuse): Sam.
Sam is his brother’s name. He thought for a few seconds, then replied…
Him: NOT SAM!
My five-year-old son asked his mother: “How do you spell ‘whoa?'” (Or did he mean “woe?”)
His mother explains: “Well, there are two ways to spell it, depending on its use. Can you use it in a sentence?”
My son thinks for a few seconds.
Then he replies: “Whoa.”
My ten-year-old daughter wrote the following note to Santa last night, and left it next to a glass of milk and a plate of cookies.
I was wondering if you knew where my little packet of gold dust that my mom found in the chimney at our old house. I couldn’t find it tonight and I really like it.
I was also wondering if I was on the good list.
Please write back.
See you next year! (Even though I can’t ever see you!)
She then drew three faces: someone named Pedro (with a sombrero), Santa, and a “random smiley face.”
My 4-year-old twin son was watching golf with his grandfather when he ran to tell me something.
“Dad, can you buy us a little golf set? Can you get one for me, and then a littler one for Charlotte [his twin sister]?”
“Why does she need a littler one?” I asked him.
“I’m a big kid now,” he explained, “but Charlotte’s still a twin.”