May 08

The Art of War and Parenting

If it can apply to business, why not parenting?

If it can apply to business, why not parenting?

Miss me? Moving really upends your life, doesn’t it? Anyhow, I’ve thought about writing a new post a thousand times, and every time the thought came I’d be overwhelmed with feelings of futility and writer’s block. I finally decided I needed to write something – anything. So…

While I was unpacking from the move, I came across some notes for a blog post drawn from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.  When I first read it, I highlighted a lot of quotes and marked the pages they were on. Later, after almost 6 years of parenting, I stumbled on the book again and flipped through it. As I skimmed the highlighted quotes, it occurred to me that there might be some wisdom that could be applied to parenting. I mean, if it can be applied to office politics, corporate strategy, and ...

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May 08

The Art of War and Parenting

If it can apply to business, why not parenting?

If it can apply to business, why not parenting?

Miss me? Moving really upends your life, doesn’t it? Anyhow, I’ve thought about writing a new post a thousand times, and every time the thought came I’d be overwhelmed with feelings of futility and writer’s block. I finally decided I needed to write something – anything. So…

While I was unpacking from the move, I came across some notes for a blog post drawn from Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War”.  When I first read it, I highlighted a lot of quotes and marked the pages they were on. Later, after almost 6 years of parenting, I stumbled on the book again and flipped through it. As I skimmed the highlighted quotes, it occurred to me that there might be some wisdom that could be applied to parenting. I mean, if it can be applied to office politics, corporate strategy, and ...

(Read the rest...)

Jan 12

Parenting Advice from St. Philip Neri

St. Philip Neri (1515 - 1595)

St. Philip Neri (1515 – 1595)

While packing to move (We bought a house! Yay!), I found my copy of “If God Be With Us: The Maxims of St. Philip Neri“. As I flipped through it, skimming through the daily bits of wisdom, I noticed a few that could be applied to parenting. Granted, the few recorded statements of Neri (of which most were burned at his request) chiefly concerned with fellow clergy or young men discerning that vocation. However, I think with just a little editorial license some of his advice can be applied by faithful parents.

  • Nulla dies sine linea. Do not let a day pass without some good during it.”
  • “He who wishes to be perfectly obeyed should give but few orders.”
  • “Let persons of the world sanctify themselves in their own houses, for neither the [royal] court, professions, or labor, are any hindrance to ...

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Dec 04

Beautiful Family

3/4 of my beautiful kids

3/4 of my beautiful kids

“I just wanted to tell you how beautiful your family is.”

Hearing that used to feel awkward. OK, well, I guess it still does. We’ve heard it so many times after mass, though, that we’ve kind of gotten used to it. Some folks are impressed by how well behaved our kids are. Others are just happy to see a larger-than-average young family attending mass faithfully.

I don’t mean any of this as a humblebrag. I really don’t. It just establishes a frame of reference for the strange experience we had coming home from Thanksgiving vacation.

We stopped at a Burger King for dinner on the way home from my in-laws’. I fed Ella and sat with the other kids while Amanda ordered our food. While she was gone, a couple older ladies stopped by our table on the way out. They told me how ...

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Nov 03

Fearing Death on All Souls Day

IMG_6242-002

Lily and her Pop-Pop

I was already feeling pretty emotional at the All Souls Day mass. Our parish mourned the deaths of parishioners in the past year by reading their names and having loved ones come up to the front of the altar to light prayer candles.

Watching anguished faces approach the candles was hard.

Recalling lost loved ones of years gone by was hard.

Contemplating my own mortality is always hard.

Contemplating my mortality with respect to how it will affect my children was very hard.

Trying to explain what the mass was all about to my precocious and curious older kids (6, 5, and 3.5) was awkwardly hard.

Talking to my kids about the deceased best friend from whom Alex got his middle name was really hard.

The hardest part of the ceremony, though, was when I accidentally made my 3.5 yo daughter think her grandfather was dead.

...

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