Tag Archives: parenting

Football + Boys = Life Lessons

Football coach to a player: “Keep working to lead by your actions. Take every opportunity to show someone how to do things the right way. Leadership takes a strong belief in yourself, taking a risk by extending yourself and let your game do the talking.”

Our boys’ football seasons are about to wrap up so I’m in a bit of a reflective mood.  One of those boys will be wrapping up his high school season this week.  So I’m sentimental, too.

Here are some thoughts from some of his teammates on what they learned playing football:

Never give up when faced with adversity.

You can achieve anything if you work hard enough for it.

Success is never final, failure never fatal.  It’s courage that counts.

The meaning of team.

It’s all about heart.

What you put in it what you get out.

It looks like they each learned some important life lessons.

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Learn about your kids and the Internet on Parents as Partners

Please join us as we welcome Vanessa Van Petten – author, speaker, entrepreneur – Vanessa will be talking about the youth perspective on the Internet. Her mission is to help parents understand their teens online. Whether through her website OnTeensToday or through her books (including The Dirt E-Secrets of an Internet Kid), she offers down-to-earth honest tips and tricks for parent. 

Parents as Partners is an interactive webcast held biweekly at http://www.edtechtalk.com/live. Join us in the chat room, this evening Monday November 17 at 8 PM central.  

I’ll be looking for you in the chat room!

On the day you came home

Milwaukee Brewers

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been following 5th grade teacher Will Piper’s blog, “Life with the Pipers.” Co-written with his wife, Jeni, they describe it as “the journey of parents of monoamniotic twins and our quest to bring our family home.”

I selectively show it to my son, Will and Jeni’s former student, John. Last week’s bedtime reading was Will’s post, “Delusions of Grandeur.” In it, Will compares his visions of bringing daughter Hope home by Father’s Day to the anxious fans waiting for the Brewers’ decision last year to bring up Ryan Braun at the right time.

Bedtime reading and Will and Jeni’s reflections on their experiences as new parents got me thinking about one of my favorite books, “On the Day You Were Born,” by Debra Frasier.

In poetic language, illustrated with colorful paper collages, Frasier describes an entire planet completely present to the arrival of the newborn.

While you waited in darkness,/tiny knees curled to chin,/ the Earth and her creatures/ with the Sun and the Moon/ all moved in their places,/ each ready to greet you/ the very first moment/ of the very first day you arrived.

The book describes the gifts of migrating animals, spinning earth, pulling gravity, flaming sun, glowing moon, glittering star, rising tide, falling rain, growing trees, rushing air, and singing people for the arriving child. Here’s my favorite:

On the day you were born/ gravity’s strong pull/held you to the Earth/with a promise that you/would never float away . . .

I loved reading that line to each of my children, hoping they’d feel that even the earth loved them so much that gravity held them with a promise that they’d never float away.

The story wraps up with images of people, turning cartwheels, singing:

“Welcome to the spinning world,” the people sang, as they washed your new, tiny hands.

“Welcome to the green Earth,” the people sang, as they wrapped your wet slippery body.

The welcome continues for Will and Jeni’s girls. And now we can all join the “singing people” in Frasier’s book, as Hope is ready to come home tonight. And we can consider the closing line of the story, and all tell Hope:

. . . as they held you close they whispered into your open, curving ear, “We are so glad you’ve come!”

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Heard in the hallways, #1

Today, the fifth graders saw “the movie.” You know–THAT movie.

I, coincidentally, was in the hallway when the kids came out of their respective classrooms and got to witness the reaction first hand.

The boys poured down the hall first. They carried small red plastic packages. Most of them were giggling.

“We got deodorant!” “I wonder what flavor it is? Cherry?!” Hee hee hee. Run, run. Push, push. Poke, poke.

The girls came next. Their packages were blue-ish and about twice the size. Not much in the way of giggling. Shocked. Awed. Annoyed?

“Carrying THIS around is a little embarrassing.”

My son walked by just as the girls were coming out the door. Giggle met girl.

“We got de-ODOR-ant. We got de-ODOR-ant.” He’s going to ask her what she got, I think. Must intervene immediately.

“C’mon–let’s get going. What’s your homework?” I say.

“Mom, you know what J. P. said?”

“Tell me in the car.”

On the way out, I overhear Fifth Grade Girl ask Fifth Grade Boy, “We learned about you. Did you learn about us?”



Stay tuned, parents–this is about to get even more interesting!

Facebook for Moms, 101

I’m not 100% sure what prompted me to register, but on Sunday, I took the plunge and created a Facebook page. My first “wall post” was from infant Facebooker, Susan C., at 11:37 p.m. central.

“LOL You should go to bed, before you know it we will be twittering to one another. I joined tonight.”

I listed “trying out Web 2.0 with Susan C.” as one of my activities on my Facebook profile. The twitter reference (www.twitter.com) was a joke (I think). I do have a twitter account, in the spirit of trying out some of these ideas. And, as you see here, I’ve created a blog page.

I’m trying out Facebook, Twitter, Jott (www.jott.com), bloggling, feed readers, texting, webcasting and new things to come, I’m sure, because experience, in this instance, is by far the best teacher. Reading about other kids’ Facebook and MySpace pages was tedious and technical or scary and sensationalized. How will I ever know if jotting works or if I want a twitter network of people to “shout out to” during the day? Why does my son use texting instead of email and his cell phone?

(Reading a little helps. Try Anne Reed’s “A Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Social Networking Sites.” It’s readable and more general than the title suggests. Look in the right hand column of the blog.)

Social networking tools (that’s what these are collectively called) promise to enhance social interaction. Of course, some worry that it can also inhibit social interaction. Yesterday’s NYTimes took issue with the promise. “Compared with other forms of human interaction, online social networking is really not all that social.”

“People visit each other’s MySpace pages and Facebook profiles at various hours of the day, posting messages and sending e-mail back and forth across the digital void. It’s like an endless party where everybody shows up at a different time and slaps a yellow Post-it note on the refrigerator.”


That was my precise experience in the twenty-four hours I’d had a Facebook account. In addition to Susan C. I had Post-its from fellow hockey moms Christine K. and Nikki L. I read their posts to each other and learned that Notre Dame was going to the Frozen Four (and that Nikki’s son was disappointed he couldn’t play because of an injury). I heard from fellow MRA board members Reggie M. and Kim S. You can see that Reggie and I posted on each other’s walls about the upcoming State Supreme Court race (he supports Louis Butler). You’d also see a post from childhood friend, Mary Pat H., whose step-daughters set up a Facebook page for her a year ago.

Silicon Valley is bringing back ‘live’ socializing to social networking. I’m not one to question the product development folks in the Valley, but my first impulse is that I won’t have much use for 3-D virtual chat rooms in my virtual social life.

What I like about these tools is that I don’t have to schedule one more face-to-face interaction. Like most moms around me, I’m already juggling my own professional calendar as well as my three children’s and my husband’s time outside of work. I hate scheduling more than matching socks, which I put off until no one has any socks to wear.

Instead, Susan C. and I can have a “LOL” across time and space. Christine K. can tell me that my photos made her “homesick” four hours after I’ve posted them. For my busy friends and colleagues, it’s already turning out to be a nice way to keep in touch. Come join us!