This afternoon I took off from work a little early, so I could take my daughter to soccer practice. She plays what experts refer to as “swarm soccer,” the variety played by 5- and 6-year old children in which they all run after the ball, no matter where it is. Things like formations and passing come later.
These kinds of events are always an interesting experience for me. I’m often the only man, and the only parent whose husband hasn’t made partner yet. Most of the other parents seem to know each other, and a certain number are busy making plans for dinner (“Left Bank or Le Pot au Feu?”), or commiserating over the problems of having so many practices, classes etc. to shuttle the kids around to; the rest spend the entire practice talking on their cell phones.
I spent the practice reading another chapter of Leonardo’s Laptop, and felt a little guilty about it: I’m sure I’m violating some unwritten No Work rule. At the same time, I’m the only one there who’s not applying to child-raising all the organizational skill I once devoted to studying economics at Duke, or on that last big marketing campaign at Oracle. So either way you look at it, I’m a bad parent.