Monday, February 4, 2013

By David Saltzer, Senior Writer

How do you know if you are raising your children right? It’s a difficult question, one that every parent struggles with from the moment of childbirth.

Last year, my eldest, Michael, entered Kindergarten. When he started school, he could recognize all of his letters, which as a parent, made me proud, but he could not write all of them.

The first letter that he could recognize was a capital “A” because every time we drove by Angels Stadium he would shout out “I see the Big ‘A’ daddy”. It was the first landmark and the first letter that he knew. From birth, I have raised him to be an Angels fan, like his daddy, and every “A” was an “A” for Angels.

One of the requirements for Kindergarteners is that they are able to write their names. It’s an important skill—one can’t go far in life without knowing how to write one’s name.

As Michael learned to write his name, he always wrote it uniquely. Instead of Michael, he wrote MichAel. This left my wife and me perplexed. At first we thought it was because he was learning to write both his upper and lower case letters and that he was using them interchangeably. His name wasn’t the only word where he mixed capital and lower case letters.

But, as the year went on, the way he wrote his name never changed, even though he stopped making that mistake with other words. He even mastered using capital letters at the start of sentences. And yet, he always wrote his name as MichAel.

Try as we could, my wife and I could not break this habit in him. By the end of the year, this was becoming a concern for my wife and me. We were wondering if he was having trouble with his name or on the correct use of the upper and lower case “a”. No matter what we did, he always kept writing his name as MichAel.

Finally, for his birthday in April, I took Michael to an Angels game—his first game of the season. As we drove to the stadium, I expected to hear Michael shout out that he saw the Big “A” from the freeway like usual. However, this time, as I took him to the ballpark, he said something different. Instead of yelling “I see the Big ‘A’ daddy!” he shouted out “I see the Big ‘A’ Daddy, and it’s just like the one in my name!”

And then it all made sense. My son is an Angel.

I think I’m raising him right.
Love to hear what you think!

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