Monday, April 28, 2014

Beezin, A Real Buzz Kill

This morning, I sat down to work and found an interesting story in one of my marketing newsletters. Burt's Bees, the natural beauty products company, is launching a very innovative digital advertising campaign. Once someone opts in, the company's promotional messages will pop up in the person's online calendar. The program will run for eight weeks to demonstrate that the new Burt's Bees Brightening Face Care line "can brighten your skin's appearance in eight short weeks." Oh, and then they'll give you a $3 coupon.

I had some thoughts about this.

First of all, I'm not a conspiracy-theory nutcase. I'm not really worried about big data or big brother or even the NSA. But, I still don't want to cede control of my calendar to a health and beauty products manufacturer. My calendar is my business. Period.

Second, like so many other working moms, I'm over-committed. I have plenty of electronic reminders that go off already. Conference calls and yoga classes, high school pick-ups, doctor's appointments and meetings. Invariably, when these reminders go off, I'm already running late for whatever I'm being reminded about. I don't need to get a reminder about a beauty product. I don't want to get a reminder about a beauty product. In fact, if I did happen to get a reminder about a beauty product I would no doubt express my frustration in words that were anything but beautiful.

Third, how much does Burt's Bees think my time is worth? Eight weeks of marketing and then I get a lousy $3 off? Sheesh.

Last, and most germane to readers of Lovin' the Alien, didn't I just see Burt's Bees in the press in connection with yet another stupid teenage trend?

It's called "beezin," and it's cheap and simple. Basically, you take a tube of Burt's Bees lip balm and rather than apply it to the aforementioned lip, you apply it to your eyelids. The result is a chilling tingle, followed by a sense of euphoria.

Say what?

Beezin legend has it that the fad started accidentally at Colby College in Maine, where students were trying to soothe dry skin around their eyes. The Briarcliff Bulletin highly recommended it in January: "It really just makes your eyes tingle a little bit, but it’s just fun to do to change up the school day.” And The Gothamist described the experience as "Riding in a convertible through a mint field in January."

Apparently, young people everywhere were beezin their eyes out. Not really, of course. But — alas — all good things must come to an end. 

In the past couple of days, doctors have stepped forward and issued stern warnings about the dangers of beezin. (I guess you could really beeze your eyes out if you're not careful.) Apparently, we have a lot of blood vessels in our eyes. When we beeze, the lip balm goes directly into our blood stream. This can cause inflammation, infection, loss of sight or ... death.

(Cue the ominous "bump, bump, bump, bum" music here.)

Serious? I would guess that most of us have accidentally gotten worse things than mint lip balm into our eyes. Nevertheless, the news media has gone a bit overboard with the whole beezin thing. Here's a typical headline:

Beezin fad growing among teens despite risk of blindness

And, there are some pretty funny parody videos out there too.

Okay, kids. Creativity's great and all, but please resist using household products in (new and different) ways for which they were not intended. Lip balm = balm for lips. Get it? Got it? Good.

Then again, I'm a concerned mother and I probably shouldn't make light of this. It could be sweeping the country and poisoning our youth even as I type. After all there's a whole Facebook page dedicated to it.

It has 74 members. 

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Teenage, Revisited

My daughter is a bright young woman. She holds her own in AP World History and Honors French. She understands about the birds and the bees, how babies are born and grow from toddler to child to teen to adult. She doesn't believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny anymore. 

She certainly doesn't think her mother sprung from the head of Zeus fully formed.

She knows I was once sixteen.

She just doesn't believe I was once sixteen. 

Not in her heart of hearts. Not really. Why else would I constantly hear "Everything's different now." And, my personal favorite, "You just don't get it." 

I myself forget sometimes. Weeks or even months will go by when I'm completely absorbed by the trappings of my midlife life. I work and run errands, do household chores. I have aches and pains. I have bills — oy vey, do I have bills (I'm writing this less than a fortnight after Income Tax Day). It's as though I've been 52 forever.

Then, someone will post a "Throwback Thursday" picture on Facebook. Or, an email from an old friend will find its way to my inbox. I'll catch a favorite song on the soft rock radio station. Or, some long lost fad will suddenly become cool again.

Then, bam, I'm sixteen.

In the past two weeks, I've had a string of "sixteen again" moments.

First, my best friend from high school showed up with her teenage daughter. They live in London, but visit the States often. The daughter, my namesake, wants to come to university here and major in drama. What a perfect reason to play hooky from work! (My own daughter had school and job commitments, but got a play-by-play later at dinner.)

We toured two schools (my friend's alma mater and mine), visited the theatre departments, spoke with current students. The whole experience would have made me feel very (very, very) old, except that while we were busy looking at colleges, we were even busier remembering high school. So many stories. So many whatever happened to you-know-who's. We were happy reliving our glory days, but I'm sure the never ending memories were a bit tedious for our younger companion. She was a very good sport about it all. And, for a time, I felt like I was sixteen again.

My next back-to-the-future moment (there were many of them really) happened in New York. We went down for a long weekend with our friends and their two teenagers. As the only native in the bunch, I was the official tour guide. We hit many of the most important sites: the 9/11 Memorial, the High Line, Fifth Avenue, Greenwich Village, Times Square. But, my narrative also included highlights from my teens.

"Here's where the 'dollah, dollah joint man' used to stand."

The "dollah, dollah joint man" stood in one particular corner of the bandshell at the end of the Central Park mall, near Bethesda Fountain. As you probably figured out already, he sold joints for ... a "dollah." In 1978, I was far from a stoner. But, no matter. Everyone knew the "dollah, dollah joint man." And now, my daughter, her two teenage friends and their parents do too. What a wonderful legacy I've passed on, n'est-ce pas? Nevetheless, for a few minutes there, I was sixteen again.

My third and final trip back to teenland happened yesterday. I had a long lunch with another middle-aged woman. Or so it must have seemed to other people at the sandwich shop/cannoli bakery we went to. For me, I was having lunch with my closest companion, a teenager like myself, who aspired to a life on the stage. We were fast, fast friends many moons ago when we were both members of a renowned children's theatre company. We went on tour together, performing at the Kennedy Center in DC and at the University of Toronto. We rehearsed four days a week after school and did two matinees every Saturday and Sunday. When we weren't rehearsing or performing, we could often be found in my bedroom listening to the Broadway cast recording of Evita. Over and over and over. The whole way home from lunch, I sang "Don't Cry For Me Argentina." I was sixteen again.

But, what if I could go back? What if I had a hot tub time machine or a souped up DeLorean? Would I want to go back if I could?

Watching my own sixteen year old, I know full well that I wouldn't want to go through all that again. The angst and acne, the friends and frenemies. The frustration of feeling like a grownup but not having the freedom to do anything about it.

No, I may have knee issues and mom jeans, but I'll stay put.

It's only in the rearview mirror that the teen years look so good. 

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Relief Is The Word

As you may have read, my life changed dramatically recently

My teenage daughter — after dedicating herself to six months of study and practice with a purpose and commitment I have never witnessed before — aced her road test. My daughter, my baby, my child, is now officially allowed to drive.


The very first day, she came home, beaming, with her interim license (really, just her learner's permit with the word PASS scrawled across it in ballpoint pen), then immediately "borrowed" a car to go and see her horse.

She was ecstatic.

You might think, based on her enthusiasm, that we had kept the two of them apart. You might think I had never made the thirty-minute trip with her day after day (after day), year after year (after year). You would be wrong.

Here's what people told me ...

"Oh, just wait. You're going to love all the freedom!"

"Wow, what will you do with all that time?"

"Congratulations! You must be so happy."

So happy? More like, so not there yet. (Or, so anxious. Does that work for you? Yes, I'm so anxious.)

To give my daughter credit where it's due, she is a careful and conscientious driver (according to her father, aunt, instructors and registry inspector — I myself wouldn't know). And, she's been incredibly understanding about her mother's current agitated state. Each day she lets me know when she's leaving home (I'm often there, in an office on the third floor), then sends a brief text when she arrives:


Pure, unadulterated relief. Never was a word more welcome!

Only once in the four weeks since she got her license has she forgotten. Thirty minutes came and went. Then thirty-five. Then forty. (Can you tell I was watching a clock? 'Biting my nails too.) At about fifty-five minutes, I gave up pretending to be a cooler, calmer, more collected mother. I was worried about calling her phone; if she was stuck in traffic somewhere, I didn't want it ringing and distracting her. So, I called the stable. No answer. Then, I called her trainer's cell and left a message.

A minute later, my phone rang and a sheepish teen said "Sorry, Mom." Whether she was really sorry (and no matter how sorry she may or may not have been), we haven't had a repeat incident. I don't think she's in a hurry to be embarrassed during a lesson again.

It makes me wonder how long I can enforce the call-me-when-you-get-there (here) rule. A year? Two? Until she finishes high school? Until she finishes college? Until I finish, period.

A woman in my Zumba class wears a hoodie sweatshirt that reads "You can do anything for twenty seconds." (It refers to some brutal cross-training fitness class that I will never never never take.)

Every time my daughter gets behind the wheel and heads to the stable, I say a little prayer. I push thoughts of breakdowns and fender benders out of my mind and distract myself with work or chores or a rerun of Dance Moms. I'm nervous. But, I'm also brave.

I tell myself, "I can handle anything for thirty minutes." And I can.

But after that? I'm making a call.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teens and Texts

This past weekend, we went down to New York with another family: a dad, a mom and two teenage girls. 

The dad has been my husband's best friend since they were in sixth grade or so. The mom is also a good friend, who won me over early on. She came to a New Year's Eve party and met her then boyfriend's (now husband's) friends for the first time. When she excused herself to go to the powder room, she said "Okay, you can all talk about me now." 

After so many years, I feel as though the two girls are an extra set of nieces. One is about a year and a half older than my daughter. The other, about six months younger. With the oldest of the three girls graduating in just a couple of months, we figured this might be their last trip together.

The weekend was a success by anyone's measure. We walked all over Manhattan, had fantastic food, saw a wonderful Broadway show. Rather than reserve multiple hotel rooms, we rented a two-bedroom apartment on the Upper Westside. Each adult couple had their own room. The three girls crashed together on fold-out couches in the combination living/dining room.

An important proviso as we looked for and found a place was — of course — WiFi. I didn't actually stop and count, but between the seven of us, we had six smart phones and at least four laptops. When we weren't seeing the sights or painting the town red, the girls were online. In fact, even when we were, in theory, seeing and painting, the girls were online. It was not uncommon to see one or two or all three of them texting while we walked down the street. 

I'd like to think that they were narrating a travelogue of sorts, that they were keeping their less fortunate friends abreast of their adventures.

Yeah, right.

Did they write about the High Line or Chelsea Markets? Greenwich Village or the 9/11 Memorial?

Um, probably not.

Did they tell their BFFs back home about the rat sightings in the subways (two of them, I'm sorry to report)? Did they take and share pictures of Central Park's Great Lawn, the Delacorte Theatre, Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Fountain, the Mall or the Carousel?

I doubt it.

Did they talk about Fifth Avenue's annual Easter Bonnet Parade? Or meeting the lead actor in a hit new musical? Or seeing the real Times Square ball? Any of the important stuff we did?


Truth is, most of the texts I've encountered over the past few years have been strikingly unimportant. Sure, there's the occasional homework question or "whose-mom-can-pick-us-up-after-the-movie" logistic. But, most of the time, texts seem fairly random, quite succinct, and abysmally misspelled.

Granted, I'm not the target audience.

Nevertheless, it seemed a shame to me that any of the girls would miss even a single shop window, architectural element or colorful character. I would also have liked to hear them talk more amongst themselves. Then again, they certainly yucked it up each evening after the parents went to bed. 

And, who knows, maybe some of the texts they were texting were being texted to each other.

It could happen.

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Monday, April 14, 2014


Has there ever been a more stubborn earworm? 

You know what an earworm is, I assume. Trust me, even if you don't, you do. According to Urban Dictionary, it's "a song that sticks in your mind, and will not leave no matter how much you try." It can be anything from a TV spot jingle to a Top 40. Typically, the best remedy for an earworm is to replace it with another, different one.

And so on, and so on, and so on.

Right now, moms all over the world are probably struggling to let go of "Let It Go" from Frozen. For me, I keep hearing a different tune: "Happy." 

Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do

When it comes to Pharrell Williams' utterly infectious song, I was a few months behind the curve (what else is new these days?). One of the art directors I work with sent a link to the video for "Happy," not because he loved the lyrics or the tune, but because it was an interesting example of social media and viral marketing (something our agency does for clients — although we haven't had the opportunity to do anything quite this cool). 

"Happy" is featured in the animated movie Despicable Me 2, so it was already familiar to my teenage daughter and millions of other underage fans. When singer/songwriter/producer/man-about-town/wearer-of-tall-hats Pharrell Williams released it again for his studio album G I R L, the rest of us caught up.

The music video that accompanied "Happy" was celebrated as "the world's first 24 hour music video." It's really worth a look, even though you're likely to develop your own earworm in the process. The four-minute song is played over and over in an endless loop. There is footage of regular (happy) people dancing, (happy) celebrities, and every hour on the hour, (happy) Pharrell himself. It's 24 hours or 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds of ... happy.

And, that's just the official video. If you Google "Happy Parody," you'll get 53.5 million hits. Everything from little kids and pets (lots of happy puppies, apparently), to senior citizens, office coworkers and sports teams. The song is already in commercials and was featured a few weeks ago on the 100th episode of Glee.

My Zumba class added "Happy" to its routines recently as well. It seems like a very simple song, yes? No. There's a little stutter step in the beat which makes the choreography muchos confusing. Of course, feeling even mildly irritated when the song "Happy" comes on makes me feel like a big mean middle-aged mama. 

It makes me feel ... well ... crappy.

Because I feel crappy
Clap along if you have work deadlines looming soon
Because I feel crappy
Clap along if you wish your daughter'd clean her room
Because I feel crappy
Clap along if your jeans are lookin' awfully tight on you
Because I feel crappy
Clap along if you can't get "Happy" out of your head too

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

"Where Are The Parents?" Right Here, Doing The Best We Can

I'm always on the lookout for Lovin' the Alien story ideas. So, I've set up alerts to notify me when news items include the word "teen." 

Sometimes there are lots of stories; sometimes none. Sometimes they're relevant; sometimes not. 

This morning was a doozy.

Apparently, as reported in more than 80 stories on Google news, some 100 teens have been implicated in a sexting operation in Virgina. Actually, I don't think "operation" is really the right word. It's more like a movement, a wave or phenomenon. As far as I can tell, there wasn't any money being made. It was all just kids being kids — albeit naked kids being naked kids on the Internet, naked. (Did I mention they were naked?) The girls involved ranged from 14 to 17 years of age and, according to the police, all of the pictures ("although explicit") appeared to be consensual.

For the record, posting naked pictures of underage girls is considered distribution of child pornography. Just saying.

The police are actually being pretty cool. They are working to get to the bottom of all this but they aren't pressing charges. Still, it's worrisome that the "consensual" event was as complex as it was — with an organized website containing 1,000 nude photos and with participants spanning 6 Virginia counties.

Here's where it gets interesting. Teens aren't the only ones who can't resist social media. Virtually every story about this event generated a rash of reader comments. Before the opinions devolved into accusations against the NSA and conspiracy theories about living in a police state, most were from outraged citizens who blamed ... the parents.

Here are some choice words for those of us who chose to reproduce:

Sickening. Where are the parents?

Parents, you have no one to blame but yourselves.

Teens doing stupid things is the domain of parents not police.

Clearly the parents weren't paying attention.

Parental Involvement Deficit Disorder?

Oh lord, parents watch your kids and be alert. 

It seems to me the problem is in this world of latchkey kids, the parents are unaware of what their kids are up to. 

This is a perfect example of the kind of parenting that goes on in this society.

We're going to have to agree to disagree. I would also wager that most of these vocal — and, oy vey, so judgmental —  commentators are not parents themselves. They underestimate the challenges of raising a teen in the digital world. By about a million miles.

Did these kids do something stupid? Yes, obviously. Did we do stupid things when we were teenagers too? 

Yes, obviously.

I have a teenage daughter who has access to pretty much every digital device and channel currently available. She has an iPhone; we have an iPad. She has multiple digital cameras. She has a laptop (at any given time there are at least three and sometimes four of them in the house). We have a digital DVD player that enables Internet access through our widescreen TV. Really. (Cool, huh?)

I'm not listing all of this to brag about how fortunate we are (very) or how much we spend on electronics (a lot). But to point out that it would be pretty much impossible to lock and password protect every piece of equipment. Even if we did choose to live "off the grid," she could get online at school, at the library or at a friend's house. 

My daughter is careful about what she posts, but she's certainly come across inappropriate pictures, not to mention language. I'm actually not too concerned about her own online behavior. If I was, I would certainly be more vigilant. But, even then, I couldn't police her every movement. 

The parents had their heads in the sand.

No, my friend, they probably didn't. They were probably juggling a full-time job with running a household and parenting a high schooler. They were probably immersed in helping with homework, driving to games, paying bills, putting food on the table. Sexting is something to worry about, of course. But, it isn't the only thing. 

Most of us are wide awake and doing the best we can.

Maybe you're the one who needs to open your eyes before you open your mouth.

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Glee: Singing, Dancing, Shark-Jumping

When it comes to Glee, my now teen daughter and I were early adopters.

Actually, one of the art directors I work with was even more ahead of the curve (in Glee's case, once it hit, it wasn't so much a curve as a wave or really a tsunami). He saw the pilot months before the series premiered. He predicted that we'd love it.

He was right.

The old Glee was so fresh, so different, so wrong in all the right ways. It was irreverent and offensive. One of the things I always appreciated was that none of the kids was all good — or all bad, for that matter. Whether it was the queen bee cheerleader or the dumb jock or the awkward overachiever, the juvenile delinquent, the gay kid just coming out or the disabled guy — what was really cool was that they were so obviously stereotypes that then broke their own stereotypes. They were lovable but not very nice. They could be downright cruel to each other. They were utterly self-absorbed.

Basically, they were teenagers.

And then, of course, like millions of other former drama majors, how could I resist the sheer talent served up on my television every week? Glee made it cool to sing and dance.  Back in 2010, CNN reported that a Harris poll had determined  31% more students were interested in school music activities because of the show. Whether you're a gleek or not, you have to admit that the series had a positive effect on kids' interest in the arts.

Of course, there were sour notes over the years and more this year than any other. The Becky character, a McKinley High student with Down syndrome, has become particularly uncomfortable to watch. For some reason, she now says whatever's on her mind, full voice, and what's always on her mind is SEX. It's as though she's developed some cinematic version of Tourette's. I don't know if the producers are trying to breakdown a myth that mentally handicapped people are childlike. But, the adult content coming out of her mouth just makes her unattractive — whether she's living with a disability or not.

After investing in a rash of new kids when half the show choir graduated, Glee has suddenly abandoned them. When Kurt moved to New York, the show didn't just replace him with another gay kid; they went all out with a teen transvestite. The "Unique" (née Wade) story was interesting for an episode or maybe two. The writers don't seem to know what to do with her (him) now. 

Breaking Glee's tradition of multifaceted characters, Riley or Miley or Marley (it's telling that I can't  even remember her name) is one-dimensionally nice. She flirted with an eating disorder and broke up with a boyfriend. Compare this to the over-the-top adventures of the original kids and you're in for a letdown. The last few episodes, all she's done is sway in the background. And, you know, we don't really miss her.

The New York storyline is more fun (maybe because it features the strongest characters from the original seasons). But even in the Big Apple, certain plot twists have taken utterly unbelievable to a whole new level. Rachel has beaten the odds (trust me, the odds were astronomically against her) and landed the lead in a revival of Funny Girl. Her aspiring actress/waitress/rival roommate walks in off the street and wins the role of Fanny Brice's understudy.

I come from a theatrical family. Trust me. This would not, could not ever happen. Never. Never. Never. Santana would not have been permitted in the building, much less be allowed to march down that aisle singing "Don't Rain on My Parade." Never. Never. Never.

Clue phone, it's for you. Broadway shows do not cast walk-in nobodies from Lima, Ohio. Sorry.

And, even if you suspend all belief and buy the whole high school frenemies become cut-throat theatre rivals plot, it brought a really ugly edge to the show. Even when the glee club kids were at their nastiest, they always stood up for each other when it mattered. In the few episodes before Santana resigned (yeah, like that's believable too), the feud between Rachel and Santana felt inappropriately vicious.

Glee has changed certainly. Several elements of the show wrapped up last week: there was a rushed graduation, the school finally (really) cut the New Directions program, Will and Emma are having a baby and I think he's leaving McKinley. We've officially transitioned from Ohio to the Empire State. Now, with a tight group of original cast members making their way in New York City, Glee is beginning to feel like Friends — potential criticism that the creators headed off at the pass by giving Tina a recent dream sequence about it.

So with all of this bitchin' and moanin', why do we still watch?

I can't speak for the teenager. But, for me, this is one of our few old mother-daughter traditions that hasn't fallen by the wayside quite yet. Those wacky gleeks can sing and dance (and jump sharks) as long as they like. As long as my daughter is willing to sit through it all with me, I'll be there.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

Let's Get Physical

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

When Title IX was passed into law back in 1972, it was a major win for the feminist movement. Although, technically, it applies to everything from law school acceptance to science curricula to scout meetings, the main focus has always been sports. Once Title IX was mandated, schools had to scramble to create equal opportunities for girls.

Today, when I look at my daughter's high school and its athletics program, it's hard to believe how far we've come in just forty years. In our relatively small town, girls can choose from: Cross-Country, Field Hockey, Golf, Soccer, Cheerleading, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Swimming, Gymnastics, Indoor and Outdoor Track, Skiing, Wrestling, Baseball, Lacrosse, Tennis and Sailing.

Phew! I'm out of breath just thinking about it.

The benefits of organized sports for teens of either gender are plentiful. Student athletes develop close, collaborative friendships. They learn how to handle pressure, to work as a team, to deal with success (and failure). They're busy; they have less time to "hang out" and get in trouble.

For girls, the list gets even longer. At an age when appearance and popularity can mean everything, girls who participate in sports can feel better about themselves through physical activity, dedication and accomplishment. Because most sports help girls build lean muscle, participating can (should) help them avoid eating disorders and yo-yo dieting. (I say "should" because we've all heard stories about athletes who take dieting to extreme.) Strong becomes more important than thin. And, in this era of mean girls, being on a team may help facilitate friendships and avoid bullying.

I was never much of an athlete myself (although I did a lot of dancing and took many an aerobics class). Nevertheless, when my daughter started high school I wanted her to do ... well ... something. Her earlier seasons in girls softball were less than spectacular, but there were so many more options available. She agreed and focused on Cross-Country (she's always been a fast runner, and — way more importantly — some friends were doing it). 

I figured that one sport and one after school club (French, peut d'être?), along with her part-time job and the hundred million hours she spends working at the stable and training for equestrian events, and we would be welcomed with a full scholarship to the college of her choice.

I figured wrong.

Not about college (we're not quite there yet), but about one sport. In fact, it was over before it even began. She signed up for Cross-Country as she wrapped up her last year at middle school. The captain of the team would get in touch over the summer so they could start training. Well, that happened as expected, but the training turned out to be pretty much all summer and six days a week. Between camp and family vacations and riding her horse, my daughter didn't have the bandwidth to run.

September, when high school officially started, we took a look at the other options. Every organized sport practiced every weekday after school and competed every weekend. This was hardcore; no dilettantes need apply. With her lifelong commitment to riding (not to mention our enormous investment in the horse and all that comes with it), there was simply no way my daughter could participate. Even the so-called "Volleyball Club" quickly evolved into a highly competitive, time-intensive, official (if injury-ridden) team.

I was disappointed. My daughter? Not so much.

Still, I wish there was a way for her to get physical and enjoy some of the benefits of sports, to somehow participate without such a full-on commitment. In fact, I'd argue that encouraging a more balanced athletic program would better serve our kids. Yes, these long hours of practice keep them off the streets and out of the malls. But, they also keep them from their homework. Too many moms I know, too often bemoan the fact that their student athletes are still up at 2:00 a.m. studying. That can't be very healthy.

That said, wouldn't it be great if our kids grew up active, enjoying physical activity in a moderate, real-life way? Someday, when they're salespeople or doctors or teachers or lawyers or engineers or baristas, maybe they'll know how to get and stay healthy, manage stress and enjoy their free time.

After all, how many of our kids are really going to win athletic scholarships? A few, maybe. How many will go on to be professional or champion athletes? None, maybe. 

Not even maybe. None, most likely.

If you enjoyed this post, I invite you to order a copy of my new book Lovin' the Alien at