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The Apple and the Tree

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By Jody Mace Lately, my two kids, Charlie and Kyla, have a new way of communicating with each other. They talk with each other via these handheld electronic gadgets called MiniMaxes. For instance, one types in “Hi” and the other one might enter “Hi” back. And so on. This lessens the need, apparently, for conversation. Except when they type at the same time, and then they yell at each other for interrupting. They can play games on these gadgets as well. Particularly odd is their electronic version of Rock/Paper/Scissors, as if the folding and unfolding of their hands into fists had become so tiresome that they needed a technological workaround. One night they decided to play Tic-Tac-Toe. They sat across the room from each other silently, and in turn entered Xs and Os. I thought this was a good moment to talk about the old days. “Back when I was your age,” I told my children, “I played Tic-Tac-Toe as Read more …

Mad About Sports

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By Kate Haas My four-year-old son stands on our neighbor’s lawn, holding a purple plastic baseball bat over his shoulder, his eyes alight with excitement. As far as I know, he has never picked up a bat before. “Throw me the ball, Mama!” Nate calls. Reluctantly, I put down my book, get up from the porch and pluck the whiffleball from the grass. I toss it in his direction; he swings and misses. Confusion clouds his eyes. “Keep your eye on—” I stop. This phrase cannot possibly be emerging from my mouth. I try again. “I mean, uh, just keep watching the ball, and swing the bat when it comes near you,” I manage. It feels like an awkward attempt at a foreign language. I toss the ball again. Thwack! It sails over to the next yard. He does it again the next time, and the next. He hits that ball with the bat all afternoon. I am no judge Read more …