Delight 22: Herschel’s Naps

I’ve been putting off writing this one but know that this delight has an expiration date which will be coming soon.

I don’t know about you but with our 4 kids, napping and bedtime in general always came with a bit of resistance. In some cases more than others. A few of our kids grew out of naps at a very early age as well. As someone who has always advocated for and delighted in them, it’s frustrating to see most kids fight them. But not Herschel.

Herschel is as sweet a boy as they come. He kisses his little brother on the forehead, blows kisses when he leaves and regularly hugs his big sister. That’s not to say he’s not a typical 2-year-old boy. He also yells, loves his hammer and likes to roughhouse with his Papa. (Don’t worry, for all you wondering about it, I also roughhouse with my granddaughter)

But Herschel’s nap times are pure delight. I offer whenever I get the chance to put him down for his nap. He always needs a soft doll, he’s partial to baby Jesus but others can work in a pinch, then you rock him as if he were a

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Delight 22: Peyton and Eli

Football is the only sport where I’ll watch any game even if my team isn’t playing. I’ve been a big fan of Monday Night Football since the 70’s when I discovered it as a kid. The production value, the fact that it was on during primetime and the announcers made it must see TV for me. Over the years MNF has lost much of its lustre and even now, Sunday Night Football is generally seen as the main event for NFL fans.

So while I don’t make MNF must see TV, unless it’s a particularly engaging matchup, I’ll watch. This week was the first Monday night game and I didn’t even bother to record it. I checked the score and since it was somewhat close I thought I’d watch the last quarter. It was being shown on 3 different TSN channels which gets the ESPN feeds. I assumed they were all the same but realized they weren’t. There was the standard broadcast but there was also an alternative that featured Peyton and Eli Manning, watching remotely and Russell Wilson was joining them. It took me a few minutes to realize this was not a insert from the main feed but … Read the rest

Delight 21: Finding Golf Balls

I’m slowly but surely continuing my efforts to think and write about delight. It kind of surprise me how little I’ve shared about 2 things that in general bring me a large portion of my overall delight, that is my grandkids and golf. Again, referencing my initial post, delight is about specificity and so in that regard, grandkids and golf are far too broad. I will dive deeper into both in the future but today’s delight is something that’s always been a source of delight: finding golf balls.

I remember one summer when I was maybe 11 or 12, I must have mentioned I was bored and so my Dad told me I should go to the golf course and look for golf balls. This was a year or two before I began playing regularly and my Dad said there was a tournament on the weekend and there would be lots of balls in the bushes. I went with a friend and came home with a pillowcase full of balls. It essentially was Halloween. That started a unique relationship with golf balls. I’ve never bought a golf ball in my life. My garage has buckets full of them, hundreds, … Read the rest

Delight 19: Data

I can’t believe I’m actually saying this but I do love data.

It shouldn’t really surprise me. As a kid, I fell in love with sports, particularly baseball because of statistics. Baseball is a sport that loves numbers and data, click over here to play online. Well before cyber metrics came along, baseball fans followed home runs, batting averages, strikeouts, stolen bases and other individual races as much as they followed the pennant race.

Same with football and hockey for me. I remember in grade 5 being asked my favourite book and I said “ Pro Football’s Street and Smith Official Yearbook 1975” Mrs. Cram was not impressed. I would memorize stats and could tell you Fran Tarkenton’s throwing percentage and Chuck Foreman’s yards per carry.

Fast forward to adulthood and teaching and data were equated to tests and other measures. While this practice of “data-driven” instruction was taking root, I intuitively felt at odds. Without having the language or research I knew teaching was a human experience and there was a danger in trying to quantify learning. The work of Alfie Kohn in particular started me on the path of de-emphasizing grades and data. This has remained a … Read the rest

Delight 18: Grass

Not that kind of grass. Grass represents summer which as a Canadian is something I feel we savor more than those who have never or rarely experienced -40F/C temperatures.

Grass, for me was first associated with baseball. John Fogerty’s opening line of Centerfield says it well:

Well, a-beat the drum and hold the phone

The sun came out today

We’re born again, there’s new grass on the field

Baseball diamonds are special places. Even the word “diamond” adds a bit of delight to what is essential a pasture. I remember seeing major league ball parks where the groundskeeper would etch a logo into the outfield.

It’s totally unnecessary, superfluous and yet brings delight to those watching and playing. My love affair with grass shifted to golf courses. As I began playing more golf as a teenager, I also worked on a golf course and learned a little about growing grass, types of grasses and how to maintain them. I can tell you about Bent, Bermuda, Rye, Poa Annua, Kentucky bluegrass and various other strands. The experience of walking on these carpet-like surfaces is in itself delightful. The softness, the smoothness and the smell are all part of a visceral experience … Read the rest