Monday, April 20, 2009

Tie your shoes if you can

My son is almost ten and still struggles to tie his shoes.
I blame myself.
In his toddler years his mother and I would purchase Velcro sneakers.
We did this for ease and speed.
We wanted to avoid the messy hassle of knots and the potential danger of tripping on wayward laces, at least that's how we rationalized our decision.
Sort of like fast food clothing.

As he got older, he'd get help tying his shoes once, often triple-knots, then he would simply keep them tied, and slip them on and off.

This method took its toll on the back of the sneaker, often shortening its life.

But the result of taking shortcuts all these years is that my son doesn't really know how to tie his shoes.

The other day I knelt down to show him.
The rabbit goes around the tree and into the hole, etc.
He mimicked what I had done, but with limited success.
We tried again, and this time something clicked inside him.
His third try, better than the second.
He wanted to continue to try, but we were running behind getting to baseball practice.
Seems we're always running behind.

But which came first?
The demands of our fast-paced culture, or buying those Velcro sneakers in order to keep up?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rejection Arrived

I should be used to it by now. But it still stings. With slightly less than two weeks until they announce the winner of the Delacorte contest my dreaded SASE arrived minutes ago.

Form letter.

Usual spiel.

I suppose I should take solace in the fact that there were more than 600 manuscripts and mine lasted until near the end. I'd love to know why it didn't make the final cut, but they don't tell you.

Back to writing....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Treasure Chest

Patrick and Wayne, two seniors in my English class, have been placing trinkets and baubles in a treasure chest located in my classroom.

At first I simply viewed their covert operation as a means to attract attention or strike up conversations with girls.

But I'm wrong. Dead wrong.

They're on a mission. But their exact purpose still eludes me.

The other day I took a peek inside the treasure chest. Items ranged from a cupcake hermetically sealed in Tupperware to a mummified clementine. There are old graded quizzes, scavenged scraps of student notes, a brown paper bag, and some sort of linear measuring device. There appears to be no pattern or theme to what has been collected.

I closed the chest, sealing the pungent citrus aroma inside.

I carefully placed the treasure chest back atop the bookshelf.

Days from now I'll probably arrive at Bacon and my room will be sealed in strips of tape labeled "Do not cross." Through the window, I will see a workman in a Haz-Mat suit gingerly approaching the treasure chest with large metal tongs. Another worker will clutch a large red plastic bag with the word Bio-Hazard emblazoned on the side.

Trucks from CNN will encircle the building, etc.

Patrick and Wayne assert that the treasure chest poses no health hazard. That in fact their endeavor is school-related and possesses purpose and plan.

For now, I'll take their word for it.

But part of me is afraid.

Very afraid.

Friday, April 3, 2009



But there's always today.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Well, It's Suddenly April

I'm proud of myself for skipping the month of March. I secretly vowed not to post an entry once during the month. You don't know the resolve and fortitude it took to drive me away from the keyboard. I considered having my son hide the keyboard so I wouldn't be tempted to type. It's really my superstitious nature that's kept me away from the blog. You see, if I acknowledge my angst over not hearing about the submission of my manuscript, I'll have condemned it to failure.


Ignore it and everything will be fine?

Not buying it, eh?

Okay, okay.

Face the fear...

Still no rejection letter in the mailbox.

There. I wrote it. Published it. Now my faithful two followers of this blog will see it (insert shout out to Jake and Hillary here).

Of course, just acknowledging the fact that I haven't received a rejection letter has put the double-whammy on me, so it's just now being delivered.

Wait for it, wait for it. Yep. That's it. The mail lady is driving away now.

The letter is sitting in the black metal box, the one missing the latch on top, as I type this now. It's probably wrinkled. Yes, a wrinkled SASE. Hopefully it has dirt smudged on it too. I like envelopes that have aged or show wear and tear from travel. It's a hell of a trip from New York to Brooklyn, CT.


Can't wait to drive home and pull in the driveway. Take that nonchalant walk to the 'ol mailbox. Squint my eyes and edge the box open.

No worries...


Anyone wanna get the mail for me?