Tag Archives: Aaron

Aaron’s Web Gem: Unassisted Double Play

5-3-2008 002

Aaron is having a pretty good season.

Last week playing first base, he earned an unassisted double play. There was a boy on first and he was standing partway toward second. The batter hit a grounder to Aaron and he scooped it up and tagged (collided with really) the boy heading to second. After he made the tag, I watched his eyes get big and he raced over to first. At first, I didn’t get what was going on. Then I realized he was trying to for the double play.

He got to first base just a beat before the runner. I yelled so hard I embarrassed myself. His coach was so impressed he gave him two tickets to the Mariner’s game for Friday night.

Aaron took his mom.

Tagged , , ,

Yard Work is Hard Work

4-26-2008 004

I taught Aaron how to mow the lawn two weeks ago. He was excited. That was two weeks ago. This week his excitement seems somewhat diminished, but now I’m excited. It’s much easier to get the lawn done with his help. I’m paying him five bucks (a five dollar buck, as he calls it) for the front and the back (roughly 2000 square feet).

If you’re paying your child more, please just keep it to yourself. 

Tagged , , , ,

Getting to Home Plate

Aaron is a talented baseball player, but this year his ability caused him problems. He couldn’t get onto the team he’s been playing on for the last five years because the coaches felt the teams would disproportionately matched. He was disappointed. I took him to his first practice on the new team. He didn’t know any of the other kids, but the coaches knew his name and seemed excited to have him. At home he moped and complained. This went on for a week or two. Holly and I were considering letting him sit out a year and then it all changed, almost overnight.

I came home from work one night and found him in the living room practicing his wind up. He seemed excited. He told me that on his new team if he was on third base and the pitcher accidentally stepped off the rubber he could steal home. I asked if that was a new rule for this year (each year the league adds new elements to the game, like stealing bases or allowing the kids to pitch). He said it wasn’t. In fact, the kids have been able to steal home like this for a few years, but his old coach considered it poor sportsmanship and wouldn’t let the boys do it. 

But Aaron has no compunction with getting to home plate this way and apparently neither does the new coach. This is what I love about Aaron. He finds himself in a new situation and finds a way to make the best of it.

I have been struggling to get my memoir moving forward. The last chapter I wrote was almost a year ago. Since then I have switched jobs, taken on sweeping life style changes, and even lost 30 lbs. I’ve poked around with submitting my work (and I feel good about that) and I’ve been toying with essays from different parts of my life, but I have to find a way to get to home plate with this manuscript.

Tagged ,

When Opposing Teams Pray

1-12-2008 019 (portrait crop)

Hard to say if Aaron is looking for celestial intervention, but his opponent clearly has his hands clasped together. If one is praying for the ball to drop, the other is not.

Being omnipotent has to be a tough job.

I posted a few more pictures of Aaron playing basketball earlier today.

Tagged ,


9-4-2007 065

Aaron in command of the ATV’s throttle and me wishing I were somewhere else. On our recent vacation, my whole family visited my older brother Tom, who owns 40 acres somewhere in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. The ATVs are very popular with the nephews. I had a blast with them, too.

At one point in the afternoon Aaron came over to me and said, “Guess what I want for Christmas, Dad?” I caught my brother Tony snickering so I knew what Aaron was going to ask for.

“An ATV?” I asked him. “You ask your Uncle Tony for that!”

Tagged ,

City of Brotherly Love



When we go back east to visit my folks, we like to show the kids a different city. Last week it was Philadelphia.

After I finished taking the shot above, I looked up and saw a young man chatting with Holly and the kids. When I got closer, I realized he was asking for money. 

I rarely give money on the street, but I didn’t want to cut him off, so I waited for him to finish his story. It was a pitiful story and he ended it with a plea for a few dollars. Before I could decline, Aaron chirped, “Sure!” and started rummaging through all his pockets. That’s what I love so much about Aaron: empathetic to a fault.

Both Holly and I just looked at him. The panhandler looked at him. There was a pregnant pause. Aaron looked up at us looking at him and said, “Isn’t anyone else going to give this guy some money?”

Tagged , ,

Potter Mania Sweeps the House


It started with the release of the latest movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and has been building steadily ever since. I suppose the climax was midnight Friday night at our local bookstore, waiting to pick up our copy of, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Right now Aaron and Kennedy are both wearing white Oxford shirts and ties they’ve scrounged from somewhere in my closet. For weeks now they’ve been waving around bits of wood, shouting out spells at one another. Yesterday morning, I got Aaron to bring me coffee in bed by waving my index finger and saying, “Accio Coffee!”

The kids started reading the series just this year.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

Kennedy Is From Venus, Aaron Is From Mars

5-11-2007 063

Kennedy has a much different approach to athletics than Aaron does. Here she is on the right, chatting up her defender in last night’s basketball game.

Aaron is a serious competitor. He plays so many sports our family tends to follow him around in the evenings, all throughout the year. Kennedy feels (understandably) slighted. Becoming involved in the local youth theater has helped, but this year Kennedy decided to try girl’s basketball. At her game last night I was thinking about how different she is from her brother.

Where Aaron is out to crush his opponents, Kennedy always tries to make friends with hers. At the break, Kennedy told Holly that this little girl had been a fish in the latest Youth Theater production, Thumbalina. Gushing with delight, Kennedy pointed out that she and her new friend were wearing the same number.

Tagged ,

The Great Summer Fort Project

5-8-2007 001

I am exhausted, but wiser.

I spent the weekend working on a fort I promised my daughter. I am terrible at these kinds of projects, so I rarely take them on. I don’t even own many tools. So why am I building a fort?

Here is how it happened: Last year I built a shed, which is really just a corrugated roof attached to the side of my house. Although it was a low stakes project, building it made me feel bold. In a weak moment, I promised Kennedy that we would build a fort this summer for her and Aaron. I immediately forgot all about it, but not Kennedy. Over the winter she occasionally reminded me. 

This past weekend, the rubber met the road.

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

April Fool

1-27-2006 001

“Let’s get the kids,” I whispered to Holly in the kitchen. “For April Fools.”

Her eyes lit up. “What should we do?”

This was the challenge. Until I started to surf the Web this morning, I hadn’t even remembered it was the first of April. I was totally unprepared. Whatever we did, the kids were not expecting it. Although they are nine and perfectly capable of playing jokes on their parents, it was 10 A.M. and neither had made even a feeble attempt.

“I can fall down, stick out my tongue, and thrash around like I’m dying. Then I can jump up and yell April Fools.”

Holly looked at me like I lost my mind.

“We can promise them ice cream, and when they get good and excited tell them April Fools,” I said.

“That’ll impress them.”

I was joking. Okay, half-joking. It’s not easy coming up with a good April Fools joke at the last minute, but I love the idea of nailing the kids. As far as I’m concerned, this is what good parenting is all about.

Going into the living room, I sipped my coffee and waited for something to come to me. I hadn’t been waiting ten minutes, when Holly came into the room and announced we had to give our brand new dog back to its previous owners. I resisted the urge to giggle even as I felt mildly appalled: Dad flopping about on the floor in an epileptic fit seemed less cruel than the specter of losing Pace, our beloved new dog. We just got him in November and he’s really acclimated to our family. I love him, but the kids adore him. Aaron looked at his feet, his face grimly set. Kennedy had her wounded look on and was ready to burst into tears.

“April Fools,” Holly chirped.

I started to laugh.

Aaron and Kennedy both kept their faces neutral, letting the news sink in. The Great April Fools Challenge 2007 had begun.

“I got you so bad,” Holly said to Aaron. “You too,” she said to Kennedy.

They both denied it, but now there was a new look in their eye: revenge.

Later that afternoon, Holly and I were walking Pace and Aaron phoned. Holly answered and listened for a few seconds before sighing deeply with much disgust. I could only hear her side of the conversation, but it was enough.

“The juice spilled?”

In the fridge.

“Did it go all over?”

Pace and I started to silently creep to the other side of the sidewalk. Holly looked about ready to explode. But then she laughed.

“Oh, Aaron. You totally got me,” she said.

They laughed for a bit. The great thing about Aaron is that he is old enough to pull off a awesome April Fools joke like that, but not sophisticated enough to understand that it won’t work again. He immediately asked Holly to pass the phone to me.

“Are you gonna get him?” Holly asked. She looked at me and chuckled. “Maybe you should give it a few more minutes, buddy,” she advised.

When we got home, Aaron pulled the exact same prank on me. I probably should have fell to the floor, stuck out my tongue, and then thrashed around a bit, but instead I just tried my best to look suitably shocked.

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: