It’s taken almost all of my 45 years to slowly get comfortable with the idea that most of writing and being creative is about figuring it out on the page.
The mistake I used to make (and sometimes still do) was thinking that I had to have everything sorted before I started writing or trying to solve a problem. Over time, I’ve learned it’s usually the other way around: putting something, almost anything, down on the page gives me an idea, which leads to another idea, or thought, which gives me more ideas. You get the idea.
That’s one lesson I’d love the girls to learn in less than 45 years. Just start. Don’t worry about being wrong or falling on your face. The fastest way to a good idea or the right idea is often a series of mistakes or false starts.
The girls are both becoming more self-aware. Middle school will do that to you. Why is everyone looking at me? Hint: they probably aren’t. They are worried why you are looking at them. It’s a navel-gazing comparison circle that is hard to escape. Some people never do.
I’m not sure I can teach the girls this, but it’s not going to stop me from preaching about it. Huffs, and puffs, and eye rolls be damned. How you compare to other people is far less important than how you compare to yourself. You are going to be happier and probably more successful by giving your best effort than somebody who is obsessed with only coming in first place or top of their class or who never seriously tries.
Now, I can say that, but getting a kid to understand their own potential and what seriously trying actually is might be another story.
It was a harrowing trip but we made it into New York City yesterday and enjoyed the Whitney, browsing The Strand, warm bowls of ramen, and seeing Moulin Rouge on Broadway.
Okay, none of that happened. The birthday getaway weekend did not go according to plan, but the girls brought the energy, there was cake, a nap, and I stayed in my pajamas all day. A pretty good birthday nonetheless.
I watch a lot of Jeopardy. It is my relaxing cup of tea at the end of the day. Never cottoned to the Wheel but something immediately clicked with its sister show. Maybe it was the resemblance to flash cards.
A lot of other people have been watching lately with the big runs by Matt Amodio and Amy Schneider. Including my kids. At first, I think it was just the allure of the television being on during a weeknight, but now they genuinely want to watch.
Most people think to be good on Jeopardy that you need to be smart. Or, really good on the buzzer. Or, have fast recall. Those all certainly help but I think the biggest key to Jeopardy success is to be curious.
We don’t have control over what kind of brain our kids were born with. But what we can influence whether they’re curious. We can encourage the ask questions and seek answers. We can cultivate this instinct until it becomes part of their personality.
And, of course, like a lot of parenting, we can demonstrate it by doing it. It’s a two way street. Explore what they are curious about but also have them engage with you and what you’re curious about. A curious Dad is both a good parent and a smart parent.
If you are looking for legit, wood-fired Neapolitan pies without driving into Boston, de LaPosta pizzeria in Newton is a new pizzeria that might satisfy your craving. Opened in late November 2021 on Washington Street, it is owned and operated by Mario LaPosta, a former chef at Batali’s now shuttered Babbo in the Seaport. Continue Reading