As the father of two young boys, I think about how to connect with them constantly.
The Chernoff family figured it out a long time ago -- 28 years, to be exact. That's when father Mike and his youngest son Mark started playing catch. They haven't stopped since.
That age-old father-son tradition sounds simple until you realize Mark is no longer the 6-year-old boy practicing baseball with his Dad. No, now he's a 34-year-old executive for the Cleveland Indians, and Mike is a vice president for sports radio superpower WFAN in New York. Yet they still play catch, once a month, without fail.
As Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports brilliantly explains, this had let to many months where the pair scrambles to get their game of catch -- which they've defined as a minimum of 25 throws apiece -- in the parking lot of an airport, or at 11 p.m. in front of a Whole Foods.
The tradition of playing catch is a neat one to keep alive. But, as anyone who's ever done it knows, playing catch with your father or son is about much more than just tossing a ball back and forth.
"Here's the beauty of it," Mike says. "One, this is our way to make sure that we see each other once a month. Two, in your conversations with your parents, when do you have these times to talk about nothing and have those random conversations if you don't live near each other?
"As soon as we start throwing a baseball, we just open up about everything and talk about life. It's this really amazing connection that we have. When you're playing catch, you just get into that mode of talking about nothing and everything at the same time."
Mark agrees, saying, "I don't want to say they're necessarily life-changing talks, but we certainly open up about a lot of stuff. It's just a good time and a relaxing time to talk while we're throwing the ball around. Sometimes these 25 throws turn into 250 throws or more."
If you're a son of a father, a father of a son or planning to be one some day, I encourage you to read this.