Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

In and out of the strike zone: the mindful presence of parenting

Second to football, I really miss playing baseball. I only played it as a child from the minor leagues through early high school, and then many years later was a player-coach for a co-ed softball team, where we stunk up the field with more fun than you can shake a Lupus-booger-covered finger at (Bad News Bears reference).

Ironically though I'm not really a sports fan as an adult male. Love sports, not a sports fan. But when I read great stories about a down-and-out pitcher like Jonathan Sanchez who throws the Giants' first no-hitter in 33 years, it's pretty dang exciting and I want to be a fan.

Really guys, I do.

As of this posting, the Giants are only 6.5 games in back of the Dodgers, not bad for a motley crew that wasn't supposed to mop the on deck circle with anyone this season.

So many lovers of the game have written about it metaphorically, how the game mimics life; so much nothing and then "pitch-whack-run-slide" and it's a ballgame.

I've been a busy little "bea" the past two weeks with the SHRM conference and then our fun-filled-family 4th extravaganza in Carson City and Lake Tahoe.

But when we got back, my Comcast high-speed Internet connection pitched me a change-up and then a slider.

It frickin' killed me basically. It's my lifeline to work and play and when it's down I'm crippled. And here's where I'm going with this post: I wasn't proud of how I reacted to it, particularly in front of Beatrice.

Yes, she's only 9 1/2 months old, but as she sat there playing with her toys, Daddy K tried to fix it after spending two hours on the phone with Comcast. Then he laid on the living room floor, punched it repeatedly, sweating and cursing like an Oakland Raiders fan.

I like to talk about myself in the third person for the prouder moments. Hey, everybody needs to vent a little, but every parent needs to keep themselves in check.

Especially parents for the sake of their perceptive modeling children. The same kids who hear their father say the "f-word" and start dancing madly around the house like a happy fan after a three-run homer, repeating it over and over again.

We have a conscience. We are the role models. We have a higher power. We are the parents. We are personally responsible. We have spiritual guidance to keep us focused in the present on being present and reacting more appropriately for situations out of our control.

Let's use the baseball metaphor here however weak it may end up being (sigh). Each and every moment has a strike zone and you're in the batter's box.

Inside the strike zone - if things are in your control, and you can remain in the moment and stay focused, then you can connect bat to ball and get a base hit or even hit the ball out of the park. Otherwise if you strike out, then at least you can go down swinging with family pride.

Outside the strike zone - if things are out of your control, and you can remain in the moment and stay focused, then you can take your base and wait it out, whether the ball equals four balls or it hits you. Otherwise if you charge the mound and clear the benches, then that's what the family is going to remember for years to come.

In parenting as in life, it's not just whether you win or lose - which I would argue certainly has it's place - it's how you play the game.

Go Giants!


  1. I have tried to keep control, but haven't always been successful. My girls have seen and heard things from me I wish they hadn't. But, it has taught them I'm human, with all the feelings that come with being human. I think they know that I can understand their negative as well as positive feeling and actions. Maybe that makes me a better parent. I don't know.
    As for sports, read my Mommentary commentary (get it LOL) over at Dad-Blogs.
    I hope you enjoyed your family reunion.

  2. You sucked me in with the baseball talk. I need to heed your advice. I know better, but sometimes I lose my cool. I don't want to give my son that type of example.