SHE IS but 11, yet as R. stood on stage, her hair fixed just so, wearing a short-sleeve button-up shirt and a frilly black skirt, and running the bow across the strings of her violin with skill and poise, she looked much, much older.
Q. typically is the one we see as acting above her age. Because she’s scary-smart and loves to hang out with her big sister, she seems like a tween trapped in a 6-year-old’s body. R., though, the personification of sweetness, with a heart as big as the sky, is impossible to conceive of as less than two years away from being a teenager.
But at last week’s violin recital, dressed as she was, playing as she did, R. began — just barely, mind you — to come into focus as the young woman who’s not too far away. As much as I want to stave it off, it was a beautiful sight. | DL
YOU FINISH your list yet?
If not, you don’t have much time. It is the 31st, after all. If you don’t figure out how to be a better you in the next 15 hours or so, you’ll have to spend the next year as the current, subpar you.
Then again, if you’re like me, you can make it easy by recycling past years’ resolutions. My annual late-December self-reflection tends to yield the same goals: Continue reading
YOU THOUGHT you were noble because you gave up a Sunday afternoon to watch your kid play soccer?
You’re a piker.
Noble parenting is deciding to adopt not one, not two, but three kids.
Who are a pair of 15-year-old twins and a 12-year-old.
And live in Uganda.
And whom you’ve never met.
A LITTLE over a year ago, as I walked R. to the car following soccer practice, she said to me, “Sorry about this, Dad, but I think my sport is soccer, not softball.”
It was beyond sweet for R. to consider her baseball-loving father’s feelings in making this declaration. Of course, I told her that it was fine and that all I wanted was for her to be happy playing. If that happiness came from playing soccer, so be it.
My problem was that I knew little about the game beyond the soul-crushing boredom caused by six hours of play resulting in a 0-0 tie. I played organized baseball as a kid and more games of pickup football, basketball, and street hockey than I can remember. As an adult I got into tennis and even golf. Soccer? That was one of them furner sports. Continue reading
THE GIRLS had a choice yesterday: Help Mrs. D. with a massive cleaning of the house inside, or join me outside for the final leaf raking of the year. They bopped back and forth a few times before settling with me in the front yard, where the year’s most ironic statements were made.
R: “I’m going to start a leaf-raking business!”
Q: “Me, too!” Continue reading
TWO PEOPLE took pity on me at the Barnes & Noble in Plymouth Meeting yesterday afternoon.
One was a teacher, the other a bookstore staffer. What earned me their benevolence was the completely useless discussion I was having with Q. over what I would buy her.
I was arguing for books that reflected her status as a kindergartener who’s reading at a second-grade level. She dug in her heels over a princess sticker book.
Each woman, the teacher and the bookseller, tried engaging Q. over what she likes to read and suggesting various kids’ series and chapter books. Each was met, as I had been, with folded arms, a dark scowl, and pouting lips. Continue reading
THEY’RE CALLING for a man’s job here in Philadelphia, and chances are they’re going to get it.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid long has been the subject of fans’ frustration over his perceived arrogance and failure to bring a Super Bowl to town. “Fire Andy” is not a novel chant at the Linc this season.
But now, amidst a six-game losing streak, catastrophic mismanagement of his coaching staff, mediocre drafting, awful personnel decisions, and continued in-game gaffes, the Eagles’ failures are real, not imagined, and Reid’s fingerprints are smeared all over them.
And so the “Fire Andy” drumbeat has been taken up by the local media. The storyline now is “when,” not “if.”