Thursday, January 27, 2011


Rehearsal has been moved to the other end of town at the church's meeting hall
My son is walking as I direct him over his phone:

-"Hi, I am outside.."
-"Ok, now walk down the street and let me know when you reach the corner..."

Three minutes later...
-"I am at the corner.."
-"Ok now cross the street and let me know when you reach the barber shop..."

Two minutes later..
-"I am standing in front of the barber..."
-"Now turn the corner and walk towards the Mexican restaurant..."

One minute later...
-"I am standing in front..."
-"Ok now walk to the corner and cross the street..."

Half minute later...
-"Just let me know when you cross the street.."
-"I did already.."

After trying a few doors...
-"I see where the kids are entering the building.."
-"Ok, have fun!"
-"I will, see ya later Dad.."
-"Bye bye..."

Even in this age of online maps and GPS, its still nice to have a comforting voice to guide you along... 

Monday, January 24, 2011


I stop at the top of the stairs and look around. I am looking for the door marked "301" and almost walk right past it. I slowly push the half opened door all the way, and an unexpected bang sound fills the room as it bumps the chair hiding behind it. The space is somewhat dim, only half of the institutional lighting fixtures are glowing. There are already four people in the room in a sort of north, south, east and west formation, claiming their stake away from the front and the middle. I stop for a moment and scan my options, similar to picking seats on an airline, "Do I want to be near the door or near the window?" I decide to choose a lovely double red desk about three rows from the front, on the left side of the room, the door side. I realize at that moment that I always prefer the left side of the room, but the right side of the desk, (maybe it has something with being a lefty...). All I know is that it has been a very long time since I was in a classroom, starting a new course, and that I was just excited to be there.

I take off my coat and sit in the rounded plastic chair. I open my bag and take out the hanukah gift from my wife and son; a three ring binder, filled with lined paper, graph paper, and a few file folders. The room is starting to fill up now, one after another of people entering the classroom, for some its commonplace, and for some its been a long absent, I fall into the latter. The teacher motions towards the front of the room as he is ready to start the course. I open my binder to the first piece of lined paper, and start to take notes.   

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The fun "part"

I walk down the icy concrete sidewalk and pull on the oversized wooden door and enter the school. Even at 7:25pm, the school is alive. To the left you can immediately hear the bounce of basketballs as the girls junior varsity team is in the middle of practice in the blue gym. I am about to open the staircase door when I glance through the cafeteria window at the far end of the lobby. I see about twenty kids in groups of four at each table, while a few adults slowly walk around the room. Thinking back to my school days my first thought is these kids are in detention. All of a sudden laughter bellows out of the room so I take a closer look and see nestled in with all the giggling kids, my son sitting at one end of a table giggling right along, and realize what is going on.

I continued on my way, up the stairs to the main level, turn right and gather with all the other parents. We are all milling around like we are waiting for the morning train, checking our phones, greeting each other with nods and a quick, "Hows it going...". Some are just peeking through the auditorium doors to get a glimpse of the rehearsal. A few minutes later, I hear the kids from the cafeteria rumble up the stairs and blast through the stairway door. I position nearby so I can see my son come through the door, chattering away with three friends. As he struts closer, he holds up the script to my face and with pure excitement declares, "I got it, I am Tweedle Dum!"

Monday, January 17, 2011

Birthday cards never say it right...

Parenting can flourish in many different forms,
One parent, two parents, any number of norms.
But for me I mostly need my better half,
for I am just her chief of staff.
The wife, you see, helps my see the light,
and turns all my wrongs to right.
Notwithstanding that love is a two way road.
I too am there when she needs to unload.
She is my friend, my love, my passionate high.
My comfort zone is knowing she's nearby.
And for our son she is his spiritual guide,
she is patient and listens when things build inside.
And through January's cold and blistery days,
this day is special and it deserves its praise.

Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


"I want to thank everyone for coming out this evening, it will be an exciting next couple of weeks and we look forward to working with all of you." The head of the elementary school theater department is all business as she addresses the room. This year, after a little prodding, our son will be participating in the school's production of Alice in Wonderland. Over the next couple of weeks, all other after school activities are put on hold for rehearsal, culminating in a four performance weekend (let me stress before the actor's union comes protesting, there are two casts, each cast doing two performances.) I am excited for my son, as he has not wanted to do the play in past years but after finding out how much fun his friends have had being involved, became open to the draw of the stage. 

Since the meeting was strictly for the parents, I walked over to the school for the 7pm meeting. The meeting laid out the overall plan and the background of the production, but more importantly laid out the expectation of the parents to take this as seriously as the production company does. "Rule number one, you must make sure your child is here for every rehearsal, no excuses.." The Drama Head goes through the rules, covering other tidbits like they are not babysitters and no switching casts because your kid doesn't like so-in-so, stuff that parents seem to chime in about. After locking down the volunteer portion of the meeting by convincing the moms that getting together to unpack and sort costumes was a bonding experience and the dads like to conquer building the sets because they can use all those tools they got for Christmas, the meeting ended with the standard theater folk rally of "We look forward to working with the kids and putting on a great show!"

After the meeting we lined up in the back of the cafeteria to receive a cd of the music and a lyrics sheet to bring home for the kids to familiarize themselves with before the first rehearsal. I get home and show my son the lyrics and load the music on his ipod. He glances over the sheet with a bit of excitement, and the feeling that maybe this theater thing will be really fun. Now I need to charge my drill, set building here I come... 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

An awesome descent...

I can barely keep my eyes open as the shards of ice are like daggers hitting my face. I am gaining speed on the icy hill and at the precise moment, yell "Let go, let go!" My son just a hair ahead of me, lets go of the reins of my sled causing our lines to widen and create space between us. I lean right and seem to enter another gear as the hill downgrades another five degrees. My son, on the other hand, makes a bee line towards the ramp. We are both yelling at the top of our lungs as I watch my son hit the ramp and catch air. He is spiraling in the air and the sled is lost under him. He hits the icy ground like a thud and goes into a spin-slide. I resume my piloting, leaning and skidding past trees, benches and fences. I finally hit a grassy patch which slows me, then bump into a rock, causing the sled to plow and crack. I release my hands and disengage from the sled, spin around and land on my stomach, facing the wrong way.

I look up, wiping the snow out of my eyes and see my son, laying on his back, laughing. "That was awesome!" he screams and I yell back, "I was flying!" I run back up to where he was laying. "Are you ready to go again?" I say. "Absolutely!" he replies and jumps to his feet. He grabs his sled and we climb our way back up the hill. After our ascent, we look down the sleek hill and mentally plan our paths. He lays down the sled and gingerly positions himself inside. I place my sled down slightly behind and to the right and sit down. "Ready, Set, Go!" We release our boots from the snow and begin our descent...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow Job

Ring Ring
Me: "Hello, What are you guys doing?"
Home: "Just lying around playing a few games"

Ring Ring
Me: "Hello, What are you guys doing now?"
Home: "We are deciding what movie to watch..."

Ring Ring
Me: "I will be home soon, what are you guys doing?"
Home: "Watching a movie..."

Ring Ring
Me: "Hello..."
Home: "Dad, where are you? You should be home already?"
Me: "I am getting off the train now, will home in a few minutes.."

Unlocking door...
Me: "Hi I am home!"
Home: "Good, let's eat, we're hungry.."

Oh the joy of the snow day...

Monday, January 3, 2011


"Bunch.", "Peel!", "Bananas!" These are the words coming from the new craze taking place in our household. The game is called Bananagrams. The rules are simple, pick a set amount of tiles from the "bunch" and create as many words as possible in a sort of scrabble pattern, except there is no board. As you use up your letters, you "peel" one off the "bunch" at a time until there are no more tiles to choose from, and the first person with no tiles left is the winner. No points, no turns, just a free association of thoughts compiled into your own crossword puzzle. Its also a great way for my son to practice spelling within a game setting. He is pretty good at connecting the words together, while his reasoning for some distinct spelling choices are creative and inventive.

"Peel", my wife exclaims as we all add a tile to our pile. I glance over at my son, working swiftly and resourcefully, peeling away the strain of learning and leaving only fun.