Covering Home: Lessons on the Art of Fathering from the Game of Baseball

Jack Petrash, Author Robins Lane Press $19.95 (114p) ISBN 978-0-87659-217-5
A teacher and baseball fanatic, Petrash has produced a small guidebook that will immediately become the kind of book passed on from friend to friend, from father to father, and from father to son or daughter. A meditation on ""how the lessons that baseball teaches us can be applied to fathering,"" this guide can be appreciated even by fathers who prefer other sports, for Petrash's work emphasizes the general values of sportsmanship and dedication. Rooted in a belief that, consciously or unconsciously, ""through repeated practice and repeated gaffes, fatherhood will enable us to develop admirable qualities such as self-sacrifice, restraint, perseverance, flexibility, and more,"" Petrash's book looks at different ways and rituals that can help fathers work on three distinct levels: ""active participation, emotional involvement, and conscious and thoughtful awareness."" His suggestions, often drawn from his own experiences, are cleverly organized under the chapters ""Understand the Pace of the Game and Manage Accordingly,"" ""Good Habits Last All Season Long"" and ""Keep Your Game Simple."" Avoiding any sort of touchy-feely banalities, Petrash emphasizes simple truths: that the hour when a father comes home from work is one of the most important times of the day and must not be wasted ""relaxing""; that it is ""especially on weekends that fathers can create traditions"" related to food, such as cooking breakfasts; that fathers need to work with mothers as co-trainers. Ultimately Petrash argues for fathers to be deeply involved in the lives of their children, ""alert, ready to act, and attuned to the situation so that we can intuitively sense, like a manager knowing the right moment."" There are many more detailed books on fatherhood that are essential for a dad's library, but none so precious as this small wonder. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.]
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Hardcover - 128 pages - 978-1-58904-007-6
Paperback - 128 pages - 978-1-58904-013-7
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