Thursday, March 26 2015 22:06

Every day, care™: Spring Break or Spring Training? Time to Play Ball…

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THE ROCK FATHER is participating in The Every day, care™ Project from Whirlpool® as part of a sponsored campaign for Socialstars.#EveryDayCare

Funny thing happened when I looked at a school calendar on the fridge earlier this month while the whole family was gathered around the table for dinner… I realized that we have an official “Spring Break” now. While Spring Break has always been there, it’s a new thing for us since Addie is in kindergarten. This is the first year of “big girl school,” so it seemed like the concept just crept up on me with no real fanfare. Since I work from home and still have Little Finn here as well, I think we should celebrate by doing something… I’m just not sure what.

It’s nearly the start of baseball season, with Spring Training having been in-progress for over a month already. While our yard is nothing but muck right now with some remnants of the harsh winter left behind as chunks of dirty ice where the bigger piles of snow once were, the ballparks in Chicago proper will certainly be beaming with lush green grass at the start of April. Perhaps our Spring Break could in a way be a “Spring Training” of sorts here at Rock Father HQ?

Last year, I found myself in the unlikely position of being a baseball coach. Well, not just a coach, but the coach of Addie’s Pee Wee Baseball team. My little girl wanted to play ball, so we signed her up to play in a local, seven-team league. After it was revealed at the season kick-off meeting that several teams were lacking coaches, I left the meeting with Addie not just as her Daddy, but as “Coach James.”

Addie and Coach Rock Father

With the ball field as my “office” for two nights and a morning each week, a love of playing ball as a kid was rekindled as I watched Addie hold her own as the sole girl on a team that was 13 strong. In the meantime, Little Finley was watching from the sidelines, awaiting her chance to play - something she’d get a taste of after each game and practice as she ran the bases with big sister.

Finley and Addie - The Rock Daughters

My wife and I both had some doubts about how it would all go at the start, but the entire experience was a great one for all involved… and Addie’s been missing it, and she’s told us that. I, too have been missing it.

Sadly, the league we were a part of last year has been shelved for this season, and the offer to play elsewhere went out to everyone involved - but we haven’t jumped on-board just yet. The place that would like to absorb the families from last year seems a little too extreme for the younger kids - perhaps a little too into the “winning” aspect of baseball as opposed to playing for fun.

Addie plays ball...

The best part of being a coach was being just another step closer to Addie’s development as a team player (something we need to work on) and a person. It’s something that I hope to be able to do for Finn when she’s old enough to play as well.

For now, I think we’ll get out the gear and play a little bit of ball in the backyard for Spring Break, and although we may not be able to get our baseball skills fully up-to-speed, the girls and I will be spending time together, and then we can focus some of our other skills… our gardening skills. The tulips we planted two seasons ago are starting to emerge once more. No matter what we do, together we will grow.

Learning and Growing

Whirlpool® has launched The Every day, care™ Project to showcase how small, simple acts of care can make a huge impact on our World. From packing lunches and getting the kids off to school, to having the house cleaned up and the laundry done, the little things can make a big difference. Visit The Every day, care™ website and see how simple acts of care have the power to change the world.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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