### Fathering as investment

I just read an absolutely amazing post my one of my favorite bloggers Ta-Nahisi Coates (pronounced tah-nuh-hah-see). It's about Barack Obama's white grand parents, their unheralded heroism, and parenthood. Even if you don't support Obama, this is a truly inspiring piece that goes way beyond politics (read the full post here). Here's an exerpt:
"Barack Obama's grandmother is gravely ill. My temptation yesterday was to say nothing. And then, this morning, I came across this picture at Andrew's [blog]. I've reflected a lot--personally--on Obama's campaign and the values of parenting. I often think about how his Dad left him, and never knew that his son would be within days of the presidency of the greatest power in history. Think about this--what else could a father want? My own Dad often says that too many black men see child-rearing as "responsibility" and not "personal investment." They forget about the joy that children bring, and instead focus on the bills, or on stupid, petty beefs with women. As my own son creeps past eight, I've been reminded of that."
After reading this post, I was holding Marcus and rocking him to sleep for the night. There are other things to get caught up on: my lack of free time, how hard it is to get a 3-month-old baby to fall asleep, how I just want to sit down and veg out, how hard it is to have a conversation with my wife with a 3-year-old constantly vying for her attention. But as I stood there with my son in my arms, instead of focusing on all that, I just focused on the dividends of joy paid out daily by my investments in Owen and Marcus. Sure, I'd have more free time--and more freedom, in some sense--if I didn't have kids. But I don't really see how I could be more happy.

erinjohn said…
this really made me smile today. i'm so grateful for you & all you do :)
mama mia said…
love this posting and love that photo
blissful_e said…
What a precious photo!

Something Ben likes to say is that children bring a lot of joy. It's fun that your experience fathering brings you to the same conclusion.

### On the Height of J.J. Barea

Dallas Mavericks point guard J.J. Barea standing between two very tall people (from: Picassa user photoasisphoto).

Congrats to the Dallas Mavericks, who beat the Miami Heat tonight in game six to win the NBA championship.

Okay, with that out of the way, just how tall is the busy-footed Maverick point guard J.J. Barea? He's listed as 6-foot on NBA.com, but no one, not even the sports casters, believes that he can possibly be that tall. He looks like a super-fast Hobbit out there. But could that just be relative scaling, with him standing next to a bunch of extremely tall people? People on Yahoo! Answers think so---I know because I've been Google searching "J.J. Barea Height" for the past 15 minutes.

So I decided to find a photo and settle the issue once and for all.

I then used the basketball as my metric. Wikipedia states that an NBA basketball is 29.5 inches in circumfe…

### Finding Blissful Clarity by Tuning Out

It's been a minute since I've posted here. My last post was back in April, so it has actually been something like 193,000 minutes, but I like how the kids say "it's been a minute," so I'll stick with that.
As I've said before, I use this space to work out the truths in my life. Writing is a valuable way of taking the non-linear jumble of thoughts in my head and linearizing them by putting them down on the page. In short, writing helps me figure things out. However, logical thinking is not the only way of knowing the world. Another way is to recognize, listen to, and trust one's emotions. Yes, emotions are important for figuring things out.
Back in April, when I last posted here, my emotions were largely characterized by fear, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and despair. I say largely, because this is what I was feeling on large scales; the world outside of my immediate influence. On smaller scales, where my wife, children and friends reside, I…

### The Force is strong with this one...

Last night we were reviewing multiplication tables with Owen. The family fired off doublets of numbers and Owen confidently multiplied away. In the middle of the review Owen stopped and said, "I noticed something. 2 times 2 is 4. If you subtract 1 it's 3. That's equal to taking 2 and adding 1, and then taking 2 and subtracting 1, and multiplying. So 1 times 3 is 2 times 2 minus 1."

I have to admit, that I didn't quite get it at first. I asked him to repeat with another number and he did with six: "6 times 6 is 36. 36 minus 1 is 35. That's the same as 6-1 times 6+1, which is 35."

Ummmmm....wait. Huh? Lemme see...oh. OH! WOW! Owen figured out

x^2 - 1 = (x - 1) (x +1)

So $6 \times 8 = 7 \times 7 - 1 = (7-1) (7+1) = 48$. That's actually pretty handy!

You can see it in the image above. Look at the elements perpendicular to the diagonal. There's 48 bracketing 49, 35 bracketing 36, etc... After a bit more thought we…