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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 3, 2014 / 5 Tammuz, 5774

Summer, the season of a suburban parent's life

By Chris Erskine




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I'm a sucker for summer, when our best memories are made.

On the first day of the season, we drove off west for some sort of baseball solstice in one of those impossibly perfect American suburbs where the kids have too much hair (as if loomed) and all the moms have been enhanced.

Baseball is 1% action and 99% idle thought, and it occurs to me during one of those interminable two-hour gaps between batters that kids play baseball today for all the right reasons — not for fun or friendship — but as if someone's life hangs in the balance, as if there's some sort of ransom to be paid.

Of course, I support this. My own kid, 47 pounds of grit, freckles and Band-Aid residue, was born to play pro ball. We gave him his first bat when he was still in the womb — my idea. Took some convincing on my part, but once I got my stubborn wife to sign off, the toughest part was choosing the right bat. Alloy or composite? Big barrel or standard?

I let her pick the color.

Anyway, that paid off, because now our son is batting 11th in an 11-man lineup, and we're rising at 5 a.m. on summer's first Saturday in support of his big league career, which seems as inevitable as rain on a Portland parade.

Nature or nurture? Well, we believe in both. The little guy was born to greatness, and we'll insist that he reach for the stars. Either that, or the whole thing with the womb bat will prove to have been just a stupid waste of time.

As always, it was a full day on the ball field. We got battered by our first opponent, then smothered by the second, yet there were teachable moments throughout, such as discovering that the tri-tip sandwich at the snack bar was the size of a Mazda.

The same way Bach layered in violins, that's how they layered in the beef, charred strips of perfectly roasted California sirloin. In such a way, the sting of life's little disappointments can quickly be forgotten.

Ah, baseball, the ultimate metaphor — bad hops, lousy luck and the occasional miracle. Could anything be worse?

First there's the game itself — the foul tips off your ankle, the ground balls crazy off your knee. Then there's the parents, the passive-aggressive agents of any youth league. And don't forget our boys of summer, who have received relentless poundings from bigger boys from bigger cities. After two months of this, they are dusty, they are sad.

Me, I think all parents see their child as a little better than he or she actually is. Parenthood is a tricky prism, and we're all a little nearsighted about our own kids. Children shouldn't be human trophies.

In any case, athletic greatness was probably decided at the moment of conception. But go ahead, push your kid. See how that works out for you. In 25 years of this, I've seen only one of my kids' teammates go on to a pro career, and he washed out after a couple of years — after his arm fell clear off his body.

"Summer has filled her veins with light and her heart is washed with noon," wrote British poet Cecil Day-Lewis.

And youth sports can scorch our parental souls.

Sunday was more of the same, baseball balmed by tri-tip, then a beery World Cup soccer match, followed by a sundown concert in the little park near home.

As is usually the case, the free concert in the park begins with the wives and husbands integrated around a table. Then the moms go off to one end and the dads to the other, presumably to talk more freely, or at least in a similar dialect.

The more I deal with women, the less I understand them. Besides, the guys are less likely to talk about just the kids, the way the women do, though inevitably everything has to come back around to the children, this being a suburb's most important cash crop.

"After he pulled his tooth, I went in the bathroom and it was like the Crimea," my buddy Andy says of his son's attempt at self-dentistry.

So there's a summer weekend — baseball, picnics, bloodshed. It's the rituals I love, not the outcomes.

After all, how many summers do you get? Seventy? A hundred? Where once there seemed so many, there now seem so few.

They're sweeter when they're properly played.

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Previously:


One year after that college graduation speech, a degree of reality
Fifth-grader craves rare treat of idle time
Ripe and middle-aged to perfection
Popcorn as an accessory
O rental car! O rental car! Wherefore ru?
And so we begin
One man's quest for a bestseller, and a gopher
If we could only get them to use their ego for good
Begone, books!
‘Fast Times: The Sequel’
Sinatra would have called a plumber
Seedlings and saplings
A real bear amid the Cubs
In the first grade, life bubbles over
Take my one-liners, please
Just point the way and we'll march
An enchanted diorama in the 'burbs
America's next top Mama
Fires and gas leaks aside, we're just swell
Woozy on the lido deck of life
He's tickled to visit the doctor
A treat that could eat you
Making sense of March Madness
Save the queen, from Biden's motorcade
His daughter's becoming an adult, but is that a good thing?
Thin mints and fungo bats
You must be this tall to enter the ark


© 2014, Los Angeles Times Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

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