Scenes from Saturday + Piano Grit

We are currently in one of those valleys where piano has gotten more difficult and practices have gotten more laborious and more contentious. It’s ratcheted up the stress level in the household to the point where Michelle and I have to tag in and out during practice to keep our own sanity. You can’t fight frustration with frustration. 

I worry sometimes that the girls’ days are so packed that they don’t have enough time to fail before it’s on to the next thing.  There’s literally no time for the ‘hard’ thing. There’s no struggle because there is always a new activity.

So I am trying really hard to see these piano battles as an opportunity. It’s not easy. Seeing your child get frustrated, struggle and fail is tough, but I don’t know any other way to teach the girls about the importance of effort, deliberate practice and failure. Perseverance is very much a skill they are going to need.

Maybe piano won’t be her passion. It’s not really fair to expect an eight year old to know their passion, right?. Maybe she gives up on it, but right now, I don’t think a low point should be the end point.

She will learn this minuet if it kills us all. Continue Reading

My 10 Favorite U6 Soccer Drills/Activities

I just finished my first season as a pee-wee soccer coach. This was my second stint as a coach. I also coached Cecilia’s basketball team last winter and I learned some similar lessons about both myself and the kids. 

I think I’m going to really enjoy coaching, but my personality is probably better suited to older kids. At this younger age or with kids just starting an activity, having fun and enjoying the physical exercise is way more important than any strategy or technique.  Continue Reading

Scenes from Saturday + The Snow Queen

There are 3 ways that I know fall has truly arrived. 

First, I wage a daily game of chicken with myself on whether I can survive another day without turning on the heat. You need your fingers to type, but you don’t need to feel anything below the waist to take a conference call from home.

Second, I get chastising note for not sending the kids into school with anything more than a t-shirt. Not that they would ever think to put one on themselves. This might also take the form of concerned bus stop comments from neighbors, too. One or the other.

Third, the teacher’s conference sign up link is emailed out and four minutes later all the prime spots are gone. I am beginning to believe that I’m missing out on some early access benefits. If I volunteer now for Winter Carnival duties do I get a 24 hour head start and no convenience fee charges?

All three happened this week. It’s definitely fall. We definitely have a bad conference time.  Continue Reading

Recent Reads – Sept./Oct. ’17

I snuck a non-fiction title in there and a few genre benders, but it was mostly more thrillers and mysteries as I slowly try to get back into writing. No NaNoWriMo this year for me, but I am using the hype to get me excited to write again. I’m working on my annual October short story and using that kickstart my way back into a full length novel over the winter. I’m aiming for 1,000 words a day or about 6k per week, however I get there. In the downtime I’m reading as much as I can. 

Standouts for me this month were: Sourdough, a slim literary novel about a technology worker turned back. The Blinds, a high concept thriller executed with intelligence. The Hit, a commercial thriller from Baldacci’s backlist.

Continue Reading