Thursday, April 7, 2011

If not Tiger Mom, Who?

Amy Chua -- not my taste in parenting -- see yesterday's rant.

But last year, renowned poet Robert Pinsky was coming to town. I knew that Pinsky worked at the same University with and was friends with Leslie Epstein -- the brilliant novelist, who happens to be the son and nephew of co-writers of Casablanca and father to Red Sox manager -- the curse-breaking Theo Epstein -- and father to Anya Epstein, who is a television writer and producer and -- so I've heard -- a force of nature.

Yes, Pinsky's a fantastic poet and, sure, I wanted to talk poetry with him, but the REAL reason I sidled up to him at the faculty dinner was to ask him about the parenting philosophy of Leslie Epstein.

Here's the story I heard. Theo was interested in baseball, and Leslie told him to go deep. If he loved baseball, dive in, learn everything about it, become the leading expert. And he did -- at an incredibly young age, redefining how the game could be played.

This is what I tell my own kids:

I've avoided work my whole life; I just became a workaholic to do it.

Here's how that breaks down.

If you're doing what you love, it's not work.

But how do you get to do the thing that you love for a living?

Go deep. Learn everything you can. Become an expert.

And if you can, redefine how the game is played.