The End of the Holiday Season

Goodbye Holiday SeasonAnd then it ended. The holiday season, that is. Goodbye holiday season.

The Jewish calendar is loaded with holidays in September and October. There are four holidays in successive weeks including three that have two straight days where work is forbidden. Sounds awesome – right? It’s like a long weekend every week. Well, it is pretty awesome.

Over this holiday season, I’ve eaten SO MUCH good food. Ms. MMK is a great cook, and the food this year was excellent. Don’t ask me to name favorites. I forget that sort of thing – yes, no Top Chef in me.

There is a lot of family time over the holidays. Those days when you are not concerned with – say it quickly because you have no time – workschoolhomework are to be appreciated. Quality time!

On top of all that, I think I secured my life for a year. Yes, one of the holidays – Yom Kippur – is focused on securing another year. We ask for a year of health, happiness, and prosperity. May it be such a year for my family (and yours)!

And now the holidays are over. The awesomeness has passed. We’re back in the everyday grind. No more worrying about juggling schedules and falling behind at work. This can be comforting – a time to establish routine (such as weekly blog posts).  After all, don’t most of us love routine? Time to make the donuts.

For me, the post-holiday period can be difficult. While I also like routine and feel a comfort in establishing one, I can’t help but wonder now what? Who turned off the lights? Hi ho, hi ho – it’s off to work we go. The only thing on the horizon is winter. Cold dark winter. This time of the year can feel empty, depressing.

Over the past few months, I’ve read a number of self-helpish sort of books. Currently, I’m in the middle of Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers. The book was published in 1987, and Jeffers went on to a write a number of similar books. One point that is emphasized in the book is that we all feel fear. The goal is not to necessarily get over fear but to recognize it and not let it paralyze you. She also emphasizes taking responsibility and seeing the good in all experiences.

ADVICE TO SELF (Feel free to use it as it benefits you Mr. and Mrs. Reader): With the end of the warm comforting embrace of the holiday season, it is time to move forward. Take the memories – drop the few pounds – and hold on to them. Let them inspire you. Now, make this time of year special as well. Be patient with the children and enjoy their quirks, laughs, and growth. Be appreciative, respectful, and loving towards Ms. MMK, and recognize the challenges she goes through.

Take the joys and the growth from the holiday season and make it last. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward. Embrace the routine, and see the positives. Great things lie ahead.

Pic is courtesy of 7 Themes

What Are We Raising? Say it Ain’t So!

What does their future hold?Some children seem to come out of the womb knowing what they want to do in life. You know the type – working on their resume when they’re 10.

BR is one of those types. While he’s 11 and is sure to undergo many changes (He hasn’t even noticed girls let along had his heart broken), BR has his mind set in terms of a profession

He wants to be a statistician.

And it makes complete sense. BR has two passions baseball and numbers. His hero is baseball statistical guru Bill James. He studies baseball numbers – ALL THE TIME. He practically danced in the library when he pulled the New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract – 1000 pages of baseball numbers. By the way, he wanted to write about Bill James’ birthdate for his important day in history project.

Anyway, I see BR working in the analytics department for some MLB team. I could also see him in a behind the scenes type role on ESPN or other sports related network. He’d give the hosts numbers that they would use on the show/program/game. Pure professional satisfaction.

SJ will be 9 next month.  And he doesn’t know what he wants to do the rest of his life. Come on kid – get some direction. Slacker!

He does know that he wants to make money – lots of money. Of course, at this point he has no concept of what a lot of money is –“Wait, you both make more than 200 a year?” Call us Rockefeller!

The other day SJ and I were hanging out, and he asked me, “What professions make a lot of money?” I mentioned a few (I also made sure to add that you can make a lot of money in any job, especially if you are following your passion and working hard).”  SJ considered the list. Ultimately, he asked about LEGO Minifigures – his passion. He wasn’t pleased when I told him selling his LEGO Minifigures would probably not bring him great wealth.

Recently SJ lost two teeth.  While he’s past believing in the tooth fairy, he still likes getting money for his teeth.

This time, SJ left a note for the tooth fairy – a request if you will. Well, at least he said please.

Oh, who am I kidding? This note was straight out of Woody Allen’s, Take the Money and Run. Yup, I think I might be raising a bank robber. And just like the protagonist in Allen’s movie, Virgil Starkwell, SJ’s writing might confound bank tellers. However, I have to say it is one of his neater works, and I wish he would try that hard on his homework.  Anyway, the note certainly confounded me when I first found it and then left me laughing till my sides hurt.

Are We Raising a Bank Robber?

SJ – my not future bank robber – left this note for the tooth fairy.

“But please, please,” I pray “Don’t let my boy grow up to be a bank robber.”

I guess SJ didn’t come out of the womb knowing what he wanted to do in life.

Pictures of Summer

School Ends and Summer BeginsToday is the last full day of summer. I know – it doesn’t feel that way to me either.

The beginning of summer is heralded. Excitement, possibility, and joy. Yet, the end of summer passes and no one notices. I chalk it up to Labor Day. The unofficial end to summer feels like the true end. Once Labor Day passes, it might as well be fall.

As the thought of summer ending came upon me, I thought about what my family and I had done this season. While the summer included the FLASH! and a dash of dog reading sprinkled with pizza, there was much more.

Continue reading

And It was the Summer Of…

The Summer of... The Flash: SJ riding a bike.Seasons and times are remembered by events. The summer I learned to drive. The winter I started playing basketball. Junior year when I had my first girlfriend. With Labor Day in the mirror, it’s time to think what happening will mark the summer of 2015.

A few years ago, I tried to teach BR how to ride a bike. It was a struggle from the beginning. He was uninterested. His constant refrain of, “Why do I need to do this” as I led him around the block was exasperating. BR was on the verge of riding, but he was never willing to fall. His fear held him back. While riding a bike is not a required skill for a happy childhood, I felt, somehow, that I failed him. Maybe I should have pushed harder. Maybe, I should have been more delicate. Maybe I should have been more understanding.  Whatever the issue, the moment passed. It’s been two years since I even tried to get BR on a bike.

SJ loves his scooter. He also loves his bike. He didn’t mind that it had training wheels. Ms. MMK and I tried telling him he was getting too old and big and that it was time to take the training wheels off.

SJ was reluctant. He doesn’t like change. Continue reading