Tag Archives: family

Book Learnin’

Sweet

School Supplies 

School supplies were kind of my jam back in the day.  In fact, even now whenever I enter serious business negotiations, I always lead with slowly splitting the Velcro seal on my Transformers Trapper Keeper in order to let the intimidation set in.  You other professionals can have your leather padfolios but I bet they don’t have a built-in pencil-case or a secret milk money pocket.

I always liked school supplies because the idea of organization is very appealing to me.  It is the execution of said organization that I find dreadfully boring and difficult to maintain.  The first day of school was always my most organized day of the year because my backpack was full of fresh pencils and unbent folders and all of my crayons were present and accounted for in a box with no frayed and torn edges.  Basically by day two, I had doodled on all of my folders, lost three crayons, spilled my glue and managed to crumple every important handout into one paper lump in the bottom of my Jansport.

The first day of school was also the day that my shoes were the cleanest which meant I was at the apex of my jumping and running abilities.  Maybe the first night or so I would get home and try to rub out the new scuffs with a wet paper towel but by the end of the week they looked like those Nikes that Forrest Gump ran across the country in.  Only they weren’t Nikes, they were Pro-Wings which were similar to Nikes only the swoosh went the other way, the colors weren’t as cool, and they cost about 20% of what Nikes did.

I loved the new school supplies because regardless of their looming destiny of being lost, broken, or crumpled, for that brief moment they were pristine and full of promise.  Not to overload the Tom Hanks references but I think he summed up the allure of new school supplies best when his character Joe Fox told Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils.”  Much like a bouquet of flowers, my pencils would wither and die in no time but for that moment they were perfect.  There is a little bit of magic in that first day of school as you feel your independence start to swell inside of you and realize that you will have a hand in charting your own course.  Even if it is only that you are in charge of your pencils and glue sticks, you are still the boss of something.

I don’t know if you remember the last time you had one of those little lumps form in the back of your throat but my daughter started first grade today, so for me it was this morning.  Regardless of their inevitable demise, the perfectness of brand new school supplies is totally sweet.

 

Weak

When The Fat Lady Sings 

Yep, you read that last part right.  Today the high in Atlanta  is 90 degrees and kids are headed back to school.  Where does the time go?  Sure, they get out at the beginning of May now but it still just doesn’t feel right.  While I will admit that the first day of school can be sweet, it pales in comparison to the weakness of the last day of summer vacation.  The last day of summer vacation is like the Sunday night blues times infinity.  You start to worry that they might have really been serious about that summer reading list but there is no use in starting now and you suddenly feel like you didn’t chew near enough gum during the summer and it is about to be forbidden.

You try to look on the bright side and consider your new kicks and school clothes but no matter what your mom says, you know that the little knight on the horse holding a flag  on your Knights of the Round Table shirt looks nothing like the real Polo logo.  At least you were able to avoid the Rose Art crayon incident of last year and you got your mom to spring for some Crayolas (not that anyone forgot your loser crayons).

You don’t even consider it at the time because you are excited about your new duds but somewhere around getting off the bus, you realize you are that kid that wore his back to school sweater and stiff dark blue Rustler jeans even though it is August and almost 100 degrees outside.  Your new supplies are nice but eventually you realize that your Trapper Keeper must have been last year’s model on clearance because it didn’t come with a glow in the dark protractor or vinyl mesh pocket on the inside.  Quickly any first day magic fades away and cold hard fact that summer is over washes over you.

I guess there are two kinds of people in the world, those that call it the night before the first day of school, and those that call it the last day of summer vacation.  For me, I was like  a sailor watching his final day of shore leave evaporate around him.  That day was always a last day and never a day before a first.  I suppose book learnin’ is still important so off to school they go but when the fat lady is entering the final chorus of your summer of freedom, it is totally weak.

 

 


Pizza Soup

Sweet

Family Tradition  

I have a propensity to blog about food a bit more often than other topics.  I guess that you are supposed to write what you know so it is likely that my mediocre ramblings about Christmas candy and  bread bowls is as good as it will get.  Sorry guys.  I think, though, that another reason I use food as a topic is because, like smells, food has a way of being nostalgic.  If you have read even just a few of my posts you probably know I am a perpetual kid so this kind of makes sense.

The best food related memories I have are not in the eating but in the preparing of food as a kid with my family.  The worst memories are things like always forgetting to shake my Yoo-Hoo and feeling sad when I had gotten every last bit of cheese off the red handi-snack stick.  I guess the emotional tie is as evident as ever in the term comfort food.

Preparing food always brought us together as a family.  We didn’t eat out very often and even when we did, I didn’t consider a restaurant fancy unless I got to choose biscuits or cornbread.  Most of the time mom would cook but when everyone pitched in, we made more than dinner.  We made memories.

I like that I get to experience that with my family now and if I had to name our tradition it would be called pizza soup.  You see, my wife’s family used to make pizza together,  before we had kids we would make it together, and now it is a full blown 2 on 2 pizza competition.  At the risk of some horrible pun, it is rather cheesy and like something you would expect to see on a poorly written sit-com.  That doesn’t matter though, at the end of each competition when the pizzas go into the oven we split up the remaining sauce, cheese, and toppings into tiny ramikens and enjoy our amuse bouche of pizza soup.  It isn’t really about the pizza or the dinner at all but about the laughter and the giggles and the occasional sauce smeared on daddy’s nose that make pizza soup totally sweet.

 

Weak

I Can Do That 

image via Ronco

I am a man.  As a man, I am impressed by very little.  Or at the very least, I can’t let on that I am impressed.  This personality trait often bubbles to the surface in the kitchen.  I like to think that I can handle my own in the kitchen and  at times I cook pretty well.   The problem is that sometimes I may talk a bit too big of a game.  I am not one to brag but every time I start to make hamburger helper I expect Bobby Flay to walk in and ask if I am ready for a throw down.  I like to cook and you can bank on the fact that anytime macaroni and cheese is made in our house, I will be eating the last 3 bites from the pot standing by the stove relishing in each lukewarm mouthful of salty regret.

Sometimes we watch cooking shows and I never shy away from saying that something doesn’t look that hard or that I could do it.  I remember saying something similar once about a show on food trucks.  The great part about making ridiculous assumptions about that kind of thing is that I will never actually try to start a food truck and as long as it looms in uncertainty I can claim victory.  In actuality, if I started a food truck it would probably be known as that weird guy trying to sell peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the trunk of his 97 Corolla.

I like to dream of being on a show like Top Chef and while I do have some background in restaurants and a few signature dishes, I think the reality might be something like this:

I proudly walk in with my Ron Popeil 6 star cutlery and wastes the first 3 minutes of the challenge arranging all of the knives in the butcher block that was a free gift because I ordered within the 20 minute window on the commercial.  Not phased by the equipment the other chefs are using, I set out to the pantry wondering where they have hidden all of the box dinners.  With time quickly ticking bye I overcome the panic, find my center, and go about my culinary business.  At the judges table, I step up and trying not to stare at Padma Lackshmi I announce, “today I have prepared for you cheese 3 ways.  grilled, toast, and mac’n.  Bon appetit.”

So maybe I over sell myself a bit and hide in the safety that some of my claims will never be tested but  you can’t blame a guy for dreaming.   Who knows, maybe making that cinnamon toast with chili powder that one time really was a fluke and I am better at this than I think.    I may make a serious pot of white chili but the hollow braggadocios claims of my kitchen prowess are totally weak.

 


Recharged

20120708-214727.jpg

Life has a funny way of getting the timing just perfect sometimes. I have not been writing as often and while most of that has been a result of a full plate at work, some of it was just a case of the blahs. I haven’t been sure what to write and maybe just needed a break.
Last week I got just that. After an amazing and relaxing week with friends and family I am feeling recharged. Vacations are definitely sweet. To make it even better, I got a pretty sweet surprise when I discovered that this blog was freshly pressed. I thought the timing of that was pretty cool and encouraging so thanks WP people. I wasn’t as responsive as I would liked to have been to all the new readers and will catch up very soon. Thanks so much for wasting a click to stop by and read. I truly appreciate the kind words and visits here.
I think I finally have all of the sand washed out of my business and I am enjoying the last few hours of my vacation before waking up and being a grown up in the morning.
I so appreciate all of you reading. I am blessed with the opportunity to recharge my batteries and I am looking forward to some good (well maybe not good but I will at least shoot for readable) Sweet and Weaks to come.
Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and resist the urge to burn down your workplace or call in sick.

Cheers,

Simon

P.S.
Not a bad picture with an iPhone eh? That was the sunset on our last night.


He Who Holds the Hose is King

Sweet

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy 

I would say this is a sign of a job well done.

Well maybe not easy with all of the SPF 401K and Citronella smoke flumes, not to mention the hideous sight of dudes in those big leather Velcro sandals; but even though the season presents a few obstacles to avoid, it is totally worth it.

Who doesn’t love cooking meat over an open flame and being barefoot 93% of the time?  We had some people over to the house last weekend and I had a hard time being a grown up.  That slip and slide was like some kind of tractor beam sucking me in.  We ate and drank and talked and drank and had a great time with friends.  I like to think that I am just the biggest of the kids but after seeing how fast my 30 minute investment in filling water balloons was squandered by greedy children with poor aim, I had to fight the urge to use the situation as their first lesson in supply and demand economics.

When a kid is waiting for you to fill a water balloon the anticipation is almost palpable.  It is like little snippets of Christmas eve standing right in front of you in dripping shorts and covered with grass clippings.  I don’t think it is a secret, but the two most important ingredients in water balloon fun are mischief and someone dry and unsuspecting.  That person is usually a grown up and you will often find them on a power trip as they escalate the water fight to the next level by manning the water hose.

The night was basically all of the good things about summer wrapped up in bacon and tossed in a deep fryer and then dipped in ketchup. (I was going to wax poetic there and say something like “dipped in giggles” or “dipped in the setting sun” but let’s be honest, ketchup stands alone.)  In short, it was awesome.

Summer also brings with it one of my favorite words: vacation.  I am looking forward to heading down to the beach next week so I can update my summer wardrobe.  Embarrassingly, I have been stuck in “past season” Corona wear for way to long and it is time to style up and get my boogie board on.  Summer is totally sweet.

 

Weak

All Good Things Must Come to an End 

“The Sad Clown” is a painting of Emmett Kelly by artist Barry Leighton-Jones
(because I guess you aren’t supposed to just say “image via the internets.”)

I am a pretty mild-mannered guy but there is a good 45 seconds every Sunday night that I seriously contemplate burning my office to the ground.  What is that?  I thought that I would have outgrown that by now.  I may not spend half of the night moping around like I did when I was a kid in school, but there is no escaping that separation anxiety and postpartum weekend depression can be just as real in your 30’s as it was when you were twelve.

I don’t think that grown-ups are supposed to admit that kind of stuff out loud since life is so much bigger than just waiting for the weekend to get here.  I enjoy my career, work hard at it and sometimes it doesn’t stop to observe the Sabbath.  In a lot of ways I am lucky to enjoy what I do and for it to be bigger than just punching a time clock everyday.  I am grateful for that but at the end of the day, the reality is no one has to pay you for what you do on the weekend because it is the stuff that we would do for free that yields the largest return on intangible investment.

One day my daughter might read this when she is twelve and push it right back into my face saying  “AH HA! I knew it.”  Sorry about that fellow grown-ups, I know that this was supposed to be our little secret.

Weekends are great and time with friends and family invaluable, but that little moment on the occasional Sunday night when you have to swallow the dread and carry on like a grown-up is totally weak.


Taking Off Your Training Wheels

Sweet

I Love You More Than Christmas 

image property of sweetandweak.com

You definitely didn’t come easy.  Or cheap for that matter.  One day when you are older, your mom and I will explain to you about the doctors visits and the treatments and why we still sometimes call you a miracle.  Tomorrow will mark six whole years that you have been in our life and six years that we have been clocked in for one of the best jobs life has to offer.

You were pretty tiny on that first day and none of the clothes we brought to the hospital even fit you.  Now you had one of the top cubby holes in kindergarten because you were one of the few that were tall enough to  reach it.  Preemie clothes and top shelf cubbies may be the physical bookends of your life right now but it seems like you are adding a new story everyday and I am so proud of what you already have in your collection.  If your life were a bookshelf, most of it would be empty shelves right now and when I think about the kind of little girl you are growing up to be, it makes me excited to have a front row seat as you fill it up with the stories of your life.

I took the training wheels off you bike on Memorial Day weekend and as I slowed down my jog and let go of your seat you peddled  away from me on your own, leaving me standing in the street full of pride and a lump in my throat.  I couldn’t help but think of that moment as a metaphor for the rest of your life.  As a parent, we can only take you so far in every experience until we have to let you go so you can fully experience the joy of being submersed into life with the realization that your floaties have been left behind and you are treading water on your own.

All of that may sound silly because you are still only 6 years old and the list of things you can do without us still pales in comparison to the list of things you need us for.  From this point forward though, only one of those lists can grow.  I cannot put into words the unabashed joy that you have brought into our life.  Six years ago, everything in my world became more because you were in it.

Right now you still probably think I am the coolest and funniest guy in the world but I know that won’t last forever.  I cherish it though, and even though my arms tire faster from picking you up and swinging you around, I want to keep doing it until your smiles diminish or my other rotator cuff tears, whichever comes first I guess.  If my hugs ever feel a bit tighter than normal sometimes it is because I am trying to get them to soak in extra deep.

I am so proud of the stories you have written so far and so excited about the chapters and volumes that you will get to add to your little life.  You are a smart and beautiful little girl and have that kind of personality that makes all of the places you wander to, better while you are there.  You love to laugh maybe more than anything and I know we will always share that as a special bond.  You make me proud to be your dad and excited for all of the experiences that life has on tap for us to share together.

I used to think I wanted to stop you from growing and keep you little forever but if I had been given one glimpse of who you are now, those feelings would have been replaced with the excitement of getting here.  I watch how you learn and respond to things around you and the love and protection you show for your family (especially your little sister) and I couldn’t be more proud.  You are putting your imprint on my life just as definitively as I am putting mine on yours.  In fact, thanks to you I would be willing to go toe to toe with anyone on “Good Luck Charlie” trivia.

These next several stories are going to be so much fun and I can’t wait to live them out together.  You still have a long way to go before leaving me behind with a lump in my throat is more than just a metaphor.  We are going to have a great time filling your pages with memories and I hope one day you look back and one of the best ones was the day you turned six years old.

I love you more than anything in the world, even Christmas.

Happy Birthday

**Writing an emotional and kinda sappy letter to your daughter and letting strangers read it and making someone tear up is totally sweet.

 

Weak

The Birthday Momatition 

image via Pinterest

I know that I am a pretty plugged in dad when it comes to parenting stuff but keep me out of the whole competition or momatition.  Not everyone is guilty by any means, but I see it on social media and recognize the subtle pressure that builds when you spend 5 days constructing a chocolate fountain out of Legos for your son’s birthday or hire a calligraphist to write the invitations on scrolled up pieces of birch bark because this year’s theme is “the camping party.”

We did a few birthdays at our house and while lots of time, effort, and money were put into them, we never got to the point of having a dump truck full of sand turn our backyard into a beach party.  That is because we aren’t crazy.  Our daughter, on the other hand, has only wanted to have her birthday at Chuck E. Cheese for about as long as she could talk.

While we haven’t been to germ-fest USA for a Chuck E. Cheese party yet, the whole birthday party somewhere that isn’t your house is the best idea ever.  I mean, there are still streamer remnants hanging from the unfinished ceiling of our garage from when our daughter turned 4.  Getting to leave all of that behind when you head home is awesome.

You may be a little put off that the goodie bags are actual bags instead of re-purposed mason jars and that the birthday cake came from a store and is probably choc-full of gluten (whatever that is) but the difference between the two types of parties really lies in the fact that the next day both kids are a year older but only one set of parents will spend the rest of the weekend cleaning up.

Using something as peasant like as the mail to deliver invitations and not creating our own wrapping paper with our handy stamp kit may not make us famous on Pinterest but not having to deal with the glue gun burns or the 27 trips to and from the craft store is a pretty good trade-off.  Kid’s birthday parties are awesome but when they get turned into a momatition it is totally weak.


Life in The Last Minute

Sweet

Being Sucked in Until The Credits Roll 

How sweet is that moment when you get your last kid to bed and the last toy either cleaned up or kicked to the corner?  The great nightly sigh of relief that I sometimes feel should be accompanied by a roaring crowd or at least a steady golf clap for another one in the books, another job well done.  We love our kids but that nightly respite from activity is a calmness worth basking in.

Last night, after a long day at work with the kids down and the wife lost in her Kindle, I nestled into the friendly confines of my couch’s butt groove and took part in America’s true past time, channel surfing.  Flipping between the NBA playoffs and anything else that struck my fancy, I stumbled upon an old movie called U.S Marshals.  It is the kind of movie that is right in my wheelhouse of enjoyment and from the minute I heard Tommy Lee Jones say things like “zoom in on the man by the door” and “Ok, put it on the big screen and clean up the image”, I knew what I was doing with the next 45 minutes.  I never get to say stuff like “hold him on the line while we triangulate the cell tower and pinpoint his location”  in my line of work and getting to say that stuff is rad.

I enjoyed finishing the movie and thought about how awesome it is when you come across an old movie that you like.  When you catch it in the middle it doesn’t seem like such a time investment and the serendipitous nature of your discovery is rewarding.  There are some movies that I know  that no matter what point in the story it is in, I will be locked in until the credits.  My sure things are The Empire Strikes Back, You’ve Got Mail, and any action espionage flick that has a lot of courier font being typed up on the screen saying stuff like ” Langley, 15:00 hours.”  I have probably seen the last 10 minutes of You’ve Got Mail a hundred times.  I am waiting for the day my daughter asks “Why didn’t Kathleen Kelly just track Joe Fox’s IP address and then find him on Facebook or something?”  Wasn’t the innocent technology naiveté of the 90’s comfy?

There is no doubt about it, when you have a bit of free time and your channel flips to Luke landing in the Dagobah System, it is totally sweet.

Weak

Why Do Today What You Can Put Off Until The Excruciating Last Second? 

The Problem with letting myself get absorbed into the thrilling plot twists of a movie like “Sharktopus” is that more often than not, my free time is really just a byproduct of my own laziness and denial.  I have a tendency to push responsibility to the back burner sometimes in the name of enjoyment and gratification.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I once started a science fair project during third period of the day that it was due.  In college I would often pull all nighters or sometimes even decide I wanted to sleep and set my alarm for 3:30 in the morning to get up and start writing a paper that was due in 5 hours.  I guess some people base jump or rock climb, but for me, the most intense adrenaline boosts seem to come when a deadline is on the horizon and rapidly approaching.

I get that this isn’t the best way to operate and the longer you wait to complete a task increases the odds for failure.  I am not sure if I missed a page in the “being a grownup” handbook but the whole concept of getting something done early so you don’t have to stress about it has never really taken hold.  I can absolutely see the benefits of doing stuff early but I think that I have convinced myself that the stress and sometimes panic fuels me to create my best work.  (That sounds like even more of a cop-out now that I have written it.)

I need to improve in that area of my life and my first step is probably addressing my general organizational skills which sadly, still look pretty much like the bottom of my tenth grade locker.

Writing this blog has been fun and I would love to continue by trying to think of more almost funny material or recycle old jokes that I haven’t put here yet but I have a huge proposal that I have known about for a month and it really needs to be finished by the close of business today.  Guess it is time to get started.  The last-minute may be exciting but waiting that long all of the time is totally weak.


Drawing The Line at Painted Toesies

Sweet

Daddy’s Home! 

Hearing two little high-pitched voices squeal those words as I walk up the stairs makes it all worth it.  When people say there is something special about a daddy’s girl they are right.  Two beautiful little bundles of blue eyes and curls that I still can’t believe I had a part in creating.  Daughters have a way of stealing your heart in an instant and making you work for the rest of your life to ensure that they never give it back.

Having two daughters probably means two weddings and two first dates and that I will spend 2020 to 2028 with a daughter in high school.  Those things are daunting for sure but there is still a lot of time between now and then and it gets to be filled with giggles and tickles and dress up and tea parties.  I don’t bat an eye when given the opportunity to toss a pink feather boa over my shoulder and lift my pinkie for a spot of tea.  I try to keep them well-rounded with an occasional light saber battle but when having two daughters means wearing a tiara and competing in a beauty pageant,  I join in without question.

I do it because I love them in a way that I could have never understood before they were here.  I do it because their smiles and giggles feed my soul and also because Doc McStuffins is actually a pretty good show and I need to find out what happens even when they wander off and I am left watching it alone.   I have painted a bedroom purple, another bedroom pink, and then repainted the purple one pink.  I have a “wing” of our house adorned in pastel and fairy dust.  It may sound silly but even when I feel as if I may drown in a sea of pink and sparkle, nothing makes me feel more like “the man” like having two little girls who love their daddy.  You see, to them, I am the man.  When they seek protection or provision or even occasionally a prince charming or a knight in shining armor, their search ends with me.  There is magic in that.

When we found out our second was a girl I told my wife that I finally understood why God had made me so good with women.  She didn’t find it near as hilarious as I did but I like to think that He knew I would embrace the frilly and the sparkle and recognize how special girls are.

They really do grow up faster than you are prepared for and I love seeing them grow into themselves.  I get excited about the women they will become and realize how I get to be a part of that, a part of them.  There isn’t much that I wouldn’t do for those two girls.  To keep them safe or to just to see them smile.  I am a full contact dad of daughters but even I have my limit.  Though the begging seems to amplify, there will be no painting of daddy’s toesies and no lip stick.

Last night I held our youngest and rocked with her as she fell asleep.  At 19 months her feet now hit my legs and she seems to spill out of the lap that not too long ago enveloped her.  I listened to the rhythm of her breathing and soaked in the moment.  I sat there for a long time and hoped that this Sunday evening would root itself deep enough into my soul that I will still be able to find it 20 years from now.

Daughters are totally sweet.

Weak

Sometimes I Just Need More Lasers 

So yeah, I play with the girl toys because all of the emotional mumbo jumbo I just wrote about is true but sometimes dad just wants to blow stuff up.  I still want to play with their cozy critters, only I want to turn them into lunch for a hungry Jedi Knight that hunts them down.

When you play toys with your kids, it takes you back to your own childhood.  The thing is, when I was a kid, Star Wars, GI Joe, and The Dukes of Hazzard were my jam and I never had much use for Barbie, Polly Pocket, or Cabbage Patch Kids.  While nothing in the world can change my love for my girls, sometimes I just need to wander down the boy side of the toy section to see what kind of rocket packed monster killing super agents are lining the shelves today.

I loved my toys when I was a kid and sometimes it bums me out when I am putting stuff together on Christmas morning and realize none of this shizz came with a grappling hook.  My girls never like it when I make Barbie’s corvette careen off an embankment and crash into a twisted pile of flaming steel.  No one ever wants to make Strawberry Shortcake a secret agent or My Little Ponies Dinosaur snacks.

This is an area where my wife is truly awesome.  Last Christmas she gave me light sabers.  She knows that I won’t get to vicariously enjoy the girl’s fighter jets or transformers.  She also knows that I spent most Decembers as a kid with a Sears Wish Book in my lap drawing circle after circle around the greatest toy man has ever known.  The U.S.S. FLAGG G.I. Joe aircraft carrier complete with towing fuel vehicle, admiral’s launch, and working electronic sound system.  I might as well have been circling a picture of one of the Egyptian pyramids because there was no way I was getting either.  I remember seeing the aircraft carrier in a store and marveling that it seemed to take up the bottom shelf of the entire aisle.  I remember it was over $100.00 which might as well have been a million.  I coped with its elusiveness because it seemed like no one actually got the aircraft carrier.  That is, until one day you find yourself in Pete Mooney’s basement  taking in its glory firsthand and realizing it truly was the greatest thing you had ever seen.

I appreciate that my wife realizes that after time all of the sparkle starts to take a toll on old dad.  It is nice to pepper in the occasional sword fight or pirate scenario into play time because take it from me, your daughters think that having their American Girl Doll taken hostage by an evil doctor plotting to rule the world is totally weak.


If Time is Cyclical, at What Point does Late Become Early? (or: I wish I had posted this before Mothers Day)

Sweet

Say Hello to Your Mother for Me  

It would have been neat if I had put together some great touching blog post that would have made my wife and mom tear up and exclaim that my words were more precious to them than any gift they had ever received.  I guess in a perfect world those heartfelt words of adoration would have also populated paper and screen before Mother’s Day was over.  To be honest though, I was lucky that I wasn’t asking the clerk at 7-11 if they carried greeting cards on Saturday night.

What I would have written though, if I hadn’t spent 25 minutes Saturday night looking for scissors and scotch tape (because she is the only one that knows where we keep that stuff ) would have been a simple thank you.

I would have thanked the moms for rescuing their kids from dripping banana splits even if it did mean having to take her clothes off in the garage (and not in a good way).  I would have thanked moms for notes in school lunches and clean rooms when we got back from summer camp.  I would have also thanked them for remembering to get extra napkins and being the one that signs permission slips and makes sure our kid doesn’t show up at school dressed for pajama day when it is really hat day.

I try to do my fair share to create a solid foundation for our family but let’s be honest, if we are going for a house metaphor, mom is obviously the nails.  Mom’s are the heart, moms are the love.

I would also thank the moms for the prayers and the worries.  I didn’t see it as much as a kid because I was too busy being the source of said prayers and worries but I see it now.  That stuff matters, it matters a lot.

I would tell moms that while we seem pretty good at taking for granted all of the behind the scenes stuff they take care of, we know there is a lot and we are grateful that they are always behind us picking up what slipped from our carry and reminding us to watch our step.

I don’t know if it is the hardest job in the world but I do know that it is the most important.  Yep, if I had made the time, I would have written those things and then I would have also told them that I loved them.  I would thank them for letting me live wrapped up in their love, and offer mine in return.

I should have written those things and a bunch of other things to tell moms how special they are.  I would have also thanked moms for staying and waiting even when I was running late.  Even if it was a whole day late.

This blog thing I started a few months ago wouldn’t be very complete if I missed the chance to mention that moms are totally sweet.

(One more, I would have also thanked them for suggesting I start writing a blog and then reading and laughing and telling me good job in a way that only a wife/mom can do)

Happy Mother’s Day (early or late, you decide)

 

Weak

Breakfast in Bed with a Side Order of Terror  

It really is a cute idea and I can remember being excited as a kid helping dad and sister make breakfast in bed while mom pretended she didn’t hear us dropping stuff and fighting in order to keep the surprise alive.

Lets be honest though, I think mothers and fathers can agree that breakfast in bed is simply way more trouble than it is worth.  Especially since you can now google image a luxurious Eggs Benedict with fresh-cut fruit and steaming hot coffee and paste it right into your Facebook status.  (At least I assume doing something like that would be easy.)  Breakfast in bed means a couple of things.  First off, mom or dad is a prisoner in the bedroom until the big reveal.  Also, nobody ever writes: congratulations on getting to change the sheets tonight before bed because of all the crumbs and spills, on the inside of a card.  Lastly, kids aren’t good at cooking so you let them help with the creative stuff like cards and flowers while you oversee the mechanics of toast burning.

I do love the Americana of the whole thing though, and the big reveal is certainly fun.  Sometimes though, even in your best dad effort to create a meal and presentation worthy of Pinterest with fresh-cut flowers from the backyard and everything, you don’t notice the spider.  Yes, that happened.   That’s right, the flowers came from outside.  Guess what also lives outside?  Ding Ding, spiders!  Spiders give my wife a major case of the heebie jeebies, so you can only imagine how overjoyed she was to make her discovery while she was holding a cup of hot coffee and her legs were pinned down under a tray of breakfast complete with crystal vase full of flowers and water.  Fun times right there.

She may have done a good job pretending she had no idea what we were up to but in the end we got to see the difference between fake surprise and real surprise.

Spiders are totally weak.

 

 


Happy Cinco de we have kids and holidays like this are now irrelevant.

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Twelve Dollar Popcorn

Sweet

Checking the Rule Book 

OK dad, you can’t step on the floor because it is lava but it is OK to step on the rug because it is magic and you can throw pillows on the ground and walk on them.  Also, you are the trapper…..wait, no.  I am the trapper and you are the tickler but you can’t tickle me if I have you trapped.  Ok, so I will hide this plastic Easter egg and you close your eyes and count to 1 million.  Then you have to find the egg but keep your eyes closed and I will tell you if you are hot or cold.  AND NO LEG TICKLING!  Also, you can’t tickle my armpits.  Only my tummy and I get to keep this pillow shield in front of me.  Wait hold on (runs to room and returns with crayons and paper)  first though, we need to make our badges.

If you are a parent this might sound familiar.  If you aren’t, think back really hard and you might remember playing this type of game when you were little.  I smiled last night as my oldest daughter took the rule making to the next level and almost got downright bossy about it.  I remembered being a kid expertly stacking smiles on top of joy on top of anticipation as I prepared for my next adventure.  Planning, setup, and rule making / explaining, often holding more fun than the game itself.

Floors made of lava and alligators are totally sweet.

Weak

Thanks for the Effort Dad 

image via pinterest

I can’t seem to turn around these days without hearing the latest feats of some crazed over-achieving supermom talking about carpool and soccer practice and the seven layer rainbow cupcakes they made last night for their kid’s entire school.  You know the ones, can’t have a 2 minute conversation without mentioning Pinterest and the 1001 things they can’t wait to do with mason jars.  I suspect that we are subjected to each detail of their crafting triumphs but always spared the detail of their failed attempts.

While I may not have a 12 course gourmet meal bubbling away in a crock pot at home, dads are out there trying to make an effort too.  Sometimes, we don’t always get it right the first time, but unlike our pinterest mom counterparts, we aren’t afraid to share the story of the not quite perfect moment.

A couple of weeks ago in an effort to create some dad magic of my own.  I bought my daughter a banana split.  To go.  I imagine there are moms that just read that and shuddered.  You should have seen my wife’s face as we walked back to the car where she and our napping little one waited.  Look, it came in a plastic thing and you should have seen my daughter light up when I said yes to her request.  Sometimes I am so blinded by the glory of the moment I fail to consider the details.  Halfway home the treat had been passed to mom and my daughter was complaining about how sticky she was.  By the time we got home there was a river of ice cream in my wife’s lap and every time the car turned it seemed like another levee broke and the mess amplified.  There were a couple of tears, a yell or two, finally some laughter and embarrassment.  In fact, upon arriving home, there was such a mess that clothes were removed in the garage and the once glorious treat that had been reduced to a sticky mess machine was tossed in the trash.  Seats were wiped down and chins and elbows cleaned off and then we had a Popsicle from the freezer.  Finally a recipe that didn’t come from Pinterest, too bad it turned out to be a recipe for disaster.

I am not saying that all of my efforts turn out this poorly.  I consider myself a bit of a veteran dad now and I don’t even wince at the twelve dollar popcorn they sell at the circus.  But man is it fun seeing new dads swallow that reality for the first time.  I know I probably should have made the banana split at home with all organic ingredients and served them up in re-purposed mason jars but I am pretty OK with how it turned out and not even afraid to share the story.

So  remember all you dads out there, sometimes the glory is worth getting blinded for and we appreciate the effort.  Also, here is a little free tip.  If you ever decide to surprise your kids and tell them you are taking them to Disney on Ice, you better get that “on ice” part out pretty quick.  That was totally weak.

(Note: After writing this and looking around the web for pictures, Pinterest had banana splits in mason jars, so much for it being a joke.  Unreal)


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