Our daughter crawled into our bed last night with uncontrollable tears. Damn math!
After years of practice, I’m pretty good at the pillow wedge (strategically placing a rolled up pillow between me & one of my kids to absorb an involuntary thrust of an elbow or a foot as we lay quietly asleep) but I thought those days were long gone.
I guess with Angela’s birthday approaching this week, my 9 year old was thinking about what her life will be like when she’s her Mom’s age. Since that will be her age now + X amount of years, it naturally got her thinking about Angela & myself at our present age + X
You see where she’s going with this, right?
I’m telling you, tears..uncontrollable.
Especially as a Dad..a guy. We’ve got to fix the problem..most everything can be fixed..should be.
But while verbally stumbling in an awkward attempt to find the right thing to say, I took a cue from my wife.
Sometimes there’s nothing that can be said to fix, you can only hold onto them so they know they’re loved.
My daughter proudly showed me a little, balsa wood purse that she made at school on Friday. It had 2 tiny, decoupage buttons, a stubby wooden latch and a brown, imperfect shoestring handle which, when viewed from the top, formed a face.
“I like her smile” I said to my daughter.
“What smile? ” unconcerned about what her arrangement formed when viewed from another angle.
Even though her crafted smile was not intentional, it was there.
There’s something about creativity that allows one to feel content or whole. But when many exit childhood, they often lose this emotional connection because they have drastically slowed down their creativity.
This is not to say that everyone needs to be creative or artistic. BUT if we go about our day without enjoying the work, which is often the case when one’s only concern is the end return/product, we are not much different than machines.
Machines have no need to smile..we do.
I think we can all agree on that
[For more info on creative projects go to PBS]
On a typical January day up North, one of our many SUPER talented contributors to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood went shopping at Home Depot with his son. And while typical of many that work in preschool TV, he was naturally dressed in a cape.
To be perfectly fair, his son rarely goes out without his cape & upon realizing that his Dad was without, he simply asked,
“Daddy, where’s YOUR cape?” Hence, the matching cape (sans “F”).
The duo’s photo was taken by none other than Mom, and shortly after she posted the photo for friends, it went viral in no time at all. Far be it from us to disclose the secret identities of the fearless crusaders but let this be a lesson to all mortals:
• Super Dad did what he did solely for the enjoyment of his child
• His only incentive was Boy Wonder’s happiness
Take time out of your week to not act your age with your kid, because before you know it, they’ll stop asking you to wear a cape in Home Depot.
And to our Super Talented B–, “Sincere thanks for all you bring to Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood & simply for the record, You ARE the man!!”
Is Your Babysitter a Thief?
As my daughter & I spun faster and faster on this metal, corkscrew-ish playground contraption, we chuckled at each others’ inability to control the speed nor eject ourselves from the ride. Our laughter erupted into uncontrollable hilarity. And for a brief second, I stepped outside myself to capture a mental snapshot of that incredibly beautiful image of her happiness, for what I hope will last forever.
She has the deepest, big brown eyes which were looking into me and overflowing with life and pleasure and love. To know that it was something I had done or shared with her to create such joy, caused my eyes to do more than well up.
That’s it..there’s no greater feeling.
Even though I knew this moment was fleeting, I had to get off before I threw up. So I essentially did some fall/jump combination and landed gracelessly on the ground, with my daughter’s butt immediately smacking me right upside my head. Laughter erupted again..transformed into the hiccups for her..resulting in further cackling from us while rolling on the ground holding our stomachs, from a case of laughter induced cramps.
Selfishly, it’s difficult for me to know that someone (aside from my family or close friends) could share similar, intimate moments with my daughter. But some time ago, when I learned that our sitter (of a few years) had been stealing from us, I was insensed.
I spent many years hating her. Not because of the money. That was the easy part..the known part.
The big tough man, I would pretend to be, almost cried when I threw her out of our house. Why? Because I allowed such a stranger the opportunity to spend such time with my child..to say nothing of what my child might have learned from her.
Eventually, my hate turned to pity. And now I’m grateful that the experience forced me to see clearer & straighten out a few priorities.
[info: Babysitter Background checks]
Who knew that Dads Take Your Child to School Day was in fact, today? Or that there was actually a day set aside for it?
Last year 9,000 New York dads/significant male caregivers participated.
That being the case, get involved whenever you can & however you can!
Click HERE for more information on this cause
Tom Cruise..Katie..Surie..I honestly have 0 idea what the whole story is about, who it’s about (well perhaps who), nor is it any of my business, but my unfortunate glance beyond the CVS register definitely made me cringe today.
Surrounding that rag, were shots of all different types of people on magazines that were essentially all the same. Each one apparently had ALL of the answers that, unbeknownst to me, I needed! BUT the one with the cover photo of a Dad swimming with his daughter begged us all to ponder, WHERE’s the Mom?
Why, pray tell, is a daughter with..with..get this one..her Dad?!
Should we also inquire “Where’s the Dad?” if the child was simply swimming with the Mom, the Nanny, the Teacher, the Sitter, the Grandma, the AuPair, the Coach (see where I’m going with this?)..
32% of fathers took care of their kids at least 1 day p/wk in 2010 so why is there a need to time travel backwards on this parenting issue?
If you can shed some light on this please leave a comment below.
After reading the ABC News piece, Is Dad the New Mom? The Rise of Stay-At-Home Fathers, it gave me comfort to see that the number of “stay-at-home fathers in the US has tripled in the past 10 years”. While I enjoy taking the road less traveled, I do find comfort knowing that my kids live in an evolving world.
However, with such a positive piece on stay at home dads, the article’s title takes the reader back into the caves. I’m sorry, “Is Dad the New Mom”?! I get the quick parallel but I can’t help but wonder if the authors, Sharyn Alfonsi and Claire Pedersen, were men, would they have gone there simply for high SEO numbers?
After all, most SAHDs will tell you, there are a few things that trump mere numbers.
..my youngest daughter said to me when I picked her up from school.
She just found out that one of her best friends is moving in a few weeks.
While it’s sad, it’s the second time this has happened to her in two years. That’s two times too much for any 8yr old.
It breaks my heart to see such a happy little girl wrestle with such feelings.
We talked about love & loss.
We talked about how her friend’s family will be much happier there.
We talked about how great it is to know people all over the country and the fun we have when we travel to meet them.
We talked about video chatting and using technology to keep in touch with our distant friends.
But mostly we talked about how nice it is that she can lean on those that live under our roof.
She stopped holding them in
…but woke up this morning with a smile.
[ Feel free to send suggestions that have helped your child manage the "loss" of a friend ]
There are many that kvetch or become slightly confused about today’s onslaught of software & hardware choices. But was it much different back in the “Do I get the SE or the SE/30 with 32mb” days?
Today, a large portion of my desire to stay technologically current is so that my kids won’t surpass me. That day is undoubtedly around the corner and it’s also when I’ll be referring to myself as “your old man” to them.
It’s true that technology seems to move a little quicker today but while the jargon has changed it’s no more confusing than the days of the floppy.
After all, choice is good.