Recalibrating expectations

What basic best practices benchmarks do you use to decide if your day belongs in the + or - column? This was not a stellar day in the preschool classroom. Still, I can honestly place it in the Hello, Win Column:

  • Blood on the rug? I expected my adolescent sons to problem-solve and negotiate most situations themselves with out phoning me at work. I had a job to do, and they did, too. Their job was to avoid creating situations that could lead to permanent carpet stains and loss of damage deposits!

  • Trip to the emergency room? As a play-date and birthday party mom, I rated any gathering of small children that didn't require tetanus shots, ice packs, insurance ID cards, or stitches as a success.

  • Details at six? A day of parenting or teaching when I don't show up on the video footage from the local station is a good day.

  • Bon App├ętit? Anything I cook without alarming the smoke detector.

"Hello, Win Column" was the signature phrase of longtime Texas Rangers broadcaster Mark Holtz. It is also the name of a fund to host cancer patients and their families at Rangers games.

A stellar day does include some bird-watching. A Steller's Jay is darker than a blue jay, but has a similar crest and loud, harsh call. It lives in the western mountain regions of North America. The Steller's Jay is named after Georg Steller, a German naturalist who accompanied the Vitus Bering expedition to Alaska sponsored by Catherine the Great in the 1740's.

© 2008 Nancy L. Ruder

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