“How Will You Measure Your Life?”

This TEDxBoston talk from Clayton Christensen is incredible. In it, he talks about why not just nations, but companies, families and individuals fail and how, so often, we measure precisely the wrong things in order to succeed, whether we want to be good businesspeople, citizens or, most importantly, parents. How will you, and ultimately God, measure the “successes” in your life?
I was humbled, particularly, by his insights on investing in your children.

“It’s actually really important that you succeed at what you’re succeeding at, but that isn’t going to be the measure of your life. God doesn’t count, he doesn’t aggregate.”
Watch all 20 minutes of it.

Pre-K Jargon File

About a year ago, my wife and I were in the midst of watching the classic Stephen Fry/Hugh Laurie-helmed Jeeves and Wooster and we were allowing our kids to watch it along with us. We had been watching episodes each evening and the kids were keeping up well, though one night my at-the-time 2-year-old daughter fell ill. We put her to bed and watched our normal episode or two with our eldest.
The next morning, our daughter arose and demanded she be shown “Jesus Monster”. We scratched our heads in puzzlement until we realized that she was, in fact, asking to see the episode she had missed out on the previous night. In the spirit of the ever-valuable, ever-geeky Jargon File, I decided to catalog the various amusing and/or endearing malapropisms that my children have churned out over the years.
What follows is by no means comprehensive, but merely a sampling of the ones I have been able to jot down, catalog or otherwise remember.
Continue reading “Pre-K Jargon File”

Whopping, Hearty Congratulations Are In Order

My best buddy Brad and his wife just gave birth to their first child, Kate Emerson, yesterday evening. Momma and baby are doing well by all accounts. I have no firsthand accounts of Brad’s behavior, but I’m willing to bet he’s tickled pink.
Drop by and leave him your compliments.


Numero Dos
That’s right, ladies and gents: Numero Dos is on the way, and boy ain’t he/she a beaut? (We’re going to be surprised as to the sex as we were with Will).
Baby is healthy, although the ultrasound tech said they’re a little on the small side. They said the same thing about Will, and look how he turned out…CORRECTION: On the small side for us. Which means they’re still big. *grin*
In any event: yay! Now we’ve just got to agree on some names.

My Son: An Orator Of Singular Talent

Daniel Webster.
Will has been getting increasingly verbal in the past couple of months, but unfortunately, it’s of a peculiar sort. He has said “kitty”, “cup”, “ball”, “truck” and a host of other words, but each and every one only once.
The words he drops are largely contextual — it’s clear that he understands what he’s saying and that he is referring to specific people, objects or concepts, but he gets an almost-embarrassed look on his face when we prompt him to repeat himself. This look quickly morphs into one that says “Nope, I’ve done it once and proved to myself that I can, so I’ll wait until I can speak in full sentences before I repeat myself.”
It’s not that he’s not intelligent. He is clearly gaining a love for reading books (he sat for a full half hour “reading” Malcolm X’s biography the other day — there aren’t even any pictures!) and he understands us fully. He conceptualizes well and he hears us just fine, so it’s not a hearing problem.
I’m not worried, really, although it is a bit concerning.

Greater Love Hath No Child Than To Give Up His Fears For His Toys

I do apologize for the horrendous paraphrasing of John 15:13 in the title, but I do believe it’s fairly apt.
Here’s the skinny:
Part the First: William is absolutely terrified of vacuum cleaners in any incarnation – he despises our Dyson and can’t stand the Dust Buster and always has issues with my parents’ model. Whenever we start one of them up, his face is overcome with a look of sheer and utter debilitating fear and he will either flee in horror, begin bawling uncontrollably or simply shake and quiver, frozen in place by the terror. This, of course, makes cleaning the house interesting, as we must either vacuum 1) after he’s in bed 2) while he’s napping or 3) when one of us is out and about on errands with Will in tow.
Part the Second: While visiting my parents this past weekend, my mother brought out my younger sister’s old Cabbage Patch doll and presented it to Will “so he can practice” (I’ll let that one scoot right past without comment or further thought – for now) and Will took an immediate liking to it. He first examined it for the presence of a belly button, as is his wont, and then proceeded to sling it over his shoulder and tromp about with a purposeful look on his face. That doll has been about as close a constant companion as toys go with Will (he’s got a bit of a short attention span when it comes to such things) and he has managed to elicit sly smiles and muffled “Awwww!”s from my wife and myself at several points in the intervening days.
Part the Third: My wife, needing to clean up for the mommy/baby playgroup she hosts every few weeks, pulled the vacuum out and, out of necessity, began to run it while Will was not only still awake but in the same room. According to her, Will initially froze in place but quickly noticed that the Cabbage Patch doll was sitting on a chair mere feet from that hideous vacuum beast! and thus he felt compelled to execute a Daring And Life-Threatening Rescue Raid. He toddler-sprinted across the room, scooped the doll up in his arms, sprinted back across the room and threw himself down on top of the doll in an attempt to shield “her” from the dreaded beast. Upon my wife retelling this story, my heart just about burst with pride, laughter and love for the little guy.
Fatherhood is a blast, I tell you whut.