Monday, June 27, 2011


We don't make it easy on our kids. We say we are, and we mean to, but we don't. We do what we feel is best, and then we try to protect our kids from the fallout that occurs, but we definitely don't make it easy.

Last night, one of those kids graduated from elementary school. Our middlest, who we always thought would have the easiest adjustment to life in Israel, actually had the hardest time getting used to this place.

When we first arrived he was stymied by the language, and always seemed to be a step behind socially. He struggled in school, and though he has read thousands of pages in English books, he has rarely picked up a hebrew book for pleasure, and then, always under duress.

But he persevered. He watched TV in hebrew, and paid attention in class, and get fighting to gain proficiency in hebrew and in school. We worked with his teachers, deciding which classes were worth his effort, and which classes he didn't need to pay attention to. And after two years of ignoring history, geography, and the other lesser subjects, he was ready to jump all the way in.

His hebrew is flawless, his grades at the top of his class. He served on the student council, ran for an elected position and won, edited the school paper and his year book and sang in the school choir. Last night, at graduation, he sang and played guitar, performed in the class production, and proudly walked across the stage to get his diploma.

True, he isn't the most popular kid in his class, but he has a few close friends, both English and Hebrew speakers. He enjoys nature and origami and playing guitar and helping others and, of course, sitting quietly in a corner in the house and reading books.

He was the one who always made me wonder if we made the wrong decision to move. If he had stayed in Detroit, with his friends from birth, in an English environment, who knows how his second, third and fourth grades would have turned out.

But we didn't. And we didn't make it easy on him.

So he did it all anyway.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Three years ago, sitting in a coaches meeting, I told the other coaches if I could keep the kids together, my team would win the league championship in 2011.

Well, 2011 came, and the kids were still somewhat together. We had pitching, hitting, and most days, a decent defense.

We played hard through all 12 games of the season, finishing with an 8-3-1 record, good for fourth place and a shot at the championship.

Our first test came against our rivals, the Piranhas, who play in our city. This was the third time we were meeting. Early in the season we fought to a 3-3 tie, and in the final game of the regular season, one bad inning doomed us to a 6-2 loss.

No big deal I told the kids, before the game. We proved that we could play with the Piranhas, and had nothing to fear. Nothing, I would learn, except for our defense. And lack of hitting. And poor baserunning.

In a game where everything that could go wrong did, we began the game with a leadoff double, and stranded him at third. It went downhill from there. Our normally reliable defense fell apart, with our first baseman and second baseman misplaying key ground balls, and our first baseman and short stop dropping pop ups. Before we new it, the game was over, and we were heading to the third place game, losing 7-1.

There were some highlights. But none that overshadowed the loss, and not worth mentioning here. In the end, we lost our chance, and with it, the bold prediction I made in the 2008 preseason meeting was flushed away.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Air Time 81

Better than calf roping, the torah dance and playoffs, plus disappointment at the spelling bee, bad purim spiel ideas and more. Your reading Air Time, so stick around.

Chalk this one up to tasteless purim humor. We never stop pitching ideas at the shul. I’ve tried bouncing this one around, and keep getting it back in my face. We have many more members than seats at the BKA, and many members will need to sit downstairs in the second minyan over the high holidays. But who will sit downstairs. And who will make that decision.

So here’s the pitch. We have a table at the front of the shul. Above the table is a banner saying prayer sets you free. Members approach the table, and are sent to the right or left. Now, I know holocaust jokes are taboo, but this could be really funny, especially with the right people manning the table and sending people to the left or right.

But no, I was told. Rejected. At least until all survivors have died. And then, we can reconsider.

Watching the rodeo tonight with Veev while we waited for her cake to bake. But when the announcer said there was bareback bull riding and barrel racing, she said should wasn’t going to watch any two bit rodeo without calf roping.

I wrote it on facebook and I’ll say it again here. If you’re a bull rider, and you want to look retarded, put on a hockey helmut before you ride that bull. You’ll fool the world into thinking you can’t feed yourself and spend most of the day drooling.

We spent tonight at the shul. Five new torahs, a new building, and a video with me saying it’s a beautiful makom tfilla but its more than that. Nailed the line. Even the Hebrew part. Might even be Oscarworthy. And the we grabbed some food. And then we went to a private afterparty. And had more food.

Neccessary. If this was spelled correctly my middlest might still be alive in the spelling bee. But unfortunately for him, there’s only one C in it. So he was out, and just like that, his elementary school spelling bee eligibility is all over. Nice while it lasted.

My baseball team made the playoffs, winning a hard fought 9-3 battle against one of our rivals. Next up, a battle for Modiin, and then, three days later, playoffs start with the same Modiin rivalry. I think its going to be a heck of a couple of games.
That’s it for now, You’ve been reading Air Time