I think writing and writers can come in all shapes, sizes, genres, and varieties. I don’t think there is any one book or workshop or group that is going to magically help you become a better writer. I do believe two things about writing. First, it is a craft and needs to be practiced. Second, to be a writer, you need to have a love of reading.
I sometimes worry that I’m becoming a cranky old man. First, let me say the kids had a good time at the aquarium. Second, my biggest takeaway was still the sticker shock at the ticket window. This is not uncommon recently. That entree costs what? Gas costs how much? You spent what on groceries?
We visited the New England Aquarium on a cold day over the February school break. I think if we visited when it was warmer and were able to go to the outside exhibits or exit and walk around the harbor area and return, it might have helped feel like we were able to get more value out of the trip. It’s centrally located, just a short walk from the Freedom Trail, Quincy Market and Boston Italian North End.
Boston’s Chinatown may not get the publicity or attention of its bigger city siblings like New York or San Francisco and, while it’s not that big, it can more than hold its own, I think, especially for food.
If you have adventurous eaters, it can also be a great place to take the kids for some cheap eats and some exposure to other cultures (sometimes a little difficult. Even if they don’t like it, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. And it might expand their pallets beyond chicken nuggets and mac ’n cheese.
Here are three places to eat in Boston’s Chinatown that we’ve recently taken the kids to that they’ve enjoyed.
Like each Olympiad, as we tucked the girls in on Christmas night, they declared it the best Christmas ever. Quick pause for a parent high-five!
I woke up the next morning to find them downstairs, surrounded by their new presents, fervently cutting up styrofoam and cardboard. I started to ask what they were doing cutting up my good styrofoam and not playing with any of their new presents, but stopped. They were clearly having fun.
There are so many expectations these days of both parents and kids that simple, spontaneous joy often feels like the first thing to go. So, I embraced vacation Dad, listened to the course grind of the scissors, and started the coffee.
Cecilia and Ally have spent many weekend mornings cheering me, or Michelle, on at various finishing lines. They have gone to the Boston Marathon almost every year they’ve been alive. They have been unofficial timers and participants at Thursday track workouts. They are quite used to me referring to Desi, Shalane, and Meb as if they are my personal friends. They are still young enough to think that most other parents get up and run in the dark.
So they really didn’t bat an eye as I’ve been enthusiastically talking about my “friend” Eluid Kipchoge after he destroyed the marathon world record two weeks ago. I was reminded in this article just why he remains a good role model for the girls and how many running lessons translate to good parenting lessons, too:
Overcome challenges – do not let that tricky math problem get the best of you
Keep calm and carry on – no one plays a new piano song right the first time, frustration isn’t going to help anyone
Planning is key – flash cards, piano, reading: a well-documented routine keeps everyone (i.e., Dad) happy
Be humble – even if you do get on the podium, Dad is still making dinner and walking the dog
Maybe one day the girls will grow up to write a musical about runners!
The anticipation had been building for a couple weeks. We showed them YouTube videos, read them the synopsis (we’ve found this really helps cut down on “whispered” questions during performances), had long dinner conversations about Oz, showed them more YouTube videos (we were a little worried about some parts for Ally so we used exposure therapy – it worked) and of course had the official cast recording playing 24/7. At least with these songs, I can easily sidestep the urge to explain how bad a president Hoover was to them.
Seeing a four year old break down Popular with dance moves is actually kind of impressive. Even if she is missing the point of the lyrics.
Saturday, the day had finally arrived and it all culminated in Ally appearing in our room at 5 a.m., all ready to go.
We (Michelle) have created musical fanatics. Yes, we are recording the Tony’s tonight for them. Yes, I will be watching the US/Mexico game in the basement.
If you live near Boston you have a spot for Patriot’s Day. Our spot for the past ten years has been just past mile 10 outside Natick town center.
The girls and I spent 3 hours there today cheering the wheelchair athletes, the professional athletes, the disabled athletes and all the other types of athletes out there today running their dream.
Maybe some day I’ll be at mile 10 cheering one of my girls. You never know.
Here are some photos that capture the day and the mood at the greatest race in the world. Continue reading