Our Best Stuff on Ron DeSantis, the Hunter Biden Investigations, and Turkey’s Election

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis holds a press conference in Lake Buena Vista. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images)

Hello and happy Mother’s Day. First off, I want to apologize for not sending the newsletter last weekend. Food poisoning got the best of me. It’s been a busy time in the Ohio bureau: Our oldest is home after enjoying a successful freshman year of college, and high school baseball just wrapped up this week for our middle son. 

So we’ve had some semblance of a normal weekend, which is especially nice given the holiday. As it happens, I’ve been thinking a lot about one of the more humbling aspects of motherhood. Now, parenting is humbling in more than one sense of the word and in a variety of ways over the years. When kids are a challenge, either from demands on your attention or behaviorally, they can expose your flaws: impatience, a short temper, stubbornness. But they can also inspire awe and admiration. Happily, my humbling has been the latter kind.

I’ve reached the point where my kids are doing things that I could never imagine myself doing. Our oldest leaves for Pittsburgh in a few weeks, where he’ll spend the summer in a Russian language immersion program. He’s in ROTC, and he’s interested in military intelligence for his career path, and, for better or worse, knowing Russian is a valuable skill. (I might have preferred he study French or Japanese or Tagalog, but …) Leaving aside that I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to sign up for military duty, I can’t imagine mastering a difficult language in a summer—or being committed enough to spend six hours a day in a classroom while the sun is shining. I admire his drive. And then there’s our middle son, a baseball pitcher. In this case, leaving aside the fact that I lack the coordination and athletic ability to succeed in any sport with a ball (I ran and swam), I simply don’t have the guts to stand on a mound and know that the fate of the game is in my hands on every pitch. That’s pressure. (As for our youngest, he knows way more Metallica lyrics than I ever did when Metallica and I were both in our primes, but I am confident that something grander will emerge.)

I say this not to brag, though I’m proud of them. These are traits they’ve developed on their own. Our oldest handled his college and scholarship applications entirely on his own, and he’s done all his own research for his career options and programs that will facilitate them. (Though he seems to have forgotten how to do his own laundry since arriving back home.) Our middle kid does have a pitching coach to help him with his form and mechanics, but he’s largely taught himself the different pitches in his repertoire, studying how different grips and releases make the ball move differently to fool batters. (I still have to ask whether he got that strikeout on his slider or his two-seam fastball, though I can usually ID the curveball.)

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