Dad’s Clues

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

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.

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

Angela's CluesAfter 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.

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

 

..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 ]

 

 

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids

After a few short years, I finally approached “the thought of” weeding out my tech drawers.

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.

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

“So, did I tell you about the pot today?” asked our 5th grader at dinner.

Angela and I did the confirmative look at each other to assure that we correctly heard what we had unquestionably just heard from our child. I then carefully crafted, probably my most nonchalant & emotion-less, “No. What happened?”

What followed was an innocent story about a creative, pottery piece in art class.

 

We often complicate things as parents or assume the worst.

Sometimes a pot is just a pot and a 5th grader should just be a 5th grader.

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

So, why am I up far too late on this Saturday night before Easter Sunday?   Especially since I just might have beaten this cold bug which had me popping C’s like they were candy & sipping more tea than a small Indian village for over a week?  Well, all’s been going well these days.  Grades, friends, health, caping the toothpaste, etc.  That is, until my 8 year old hits us with her latest idea.

She’s loving the Easter bunny..she’s game for another year of hunting for that basket filled with treats and toys.  HOWEVER, Angela & I were told that we apparently need a little more proof!  “Proof” wasn’t verbatim, but there’s no question that that’s what she was getting at.

Here’s how it went down:

“So, when we put out the carrot and water for the Easter bunny, how about we setup a camera” said my daughter.

“Why would you want to do that?”

“I don’t know. It would just be nice to get a picture.”

So here I am, in need of my pillow, calling upon the Adobe gods to give me one last filter to make this believable.  Then off to my camera I’ll send it (& more importantly, off to my bed) for tomorrow’s early deliberation.  Why don’t I just send her off to college now while I’m at it?!  I’m not going down without a fight!!

 

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Stuff We Love

I’ve been doing yoga on and off for about ten years now and aside from balance, inner peace and sweatpants that properly fit, I’ve grown to understand one thing from my practice:

A man must come prepared to do what he needs to do regardless of being the only dude in a female filled room

I’ll admit that my 1st time I pulled a u-turn upon entering the yoga studio and my 2nd time I honestly checked my shirt to see if it read “philanderer” as I stumbled into this zen coffee klatsch. Over the years I’ve grown to love it and honestly appreciate this non-machismo energy.

But then a female friend passed it onto me…

BROGA

Yoga for men

I’ve grown to enjoy the way it was. Hell, I’ve even gained acceptance by being asked to spot during Shirsasanas every now and then. But does this “Broga” mean I’m out of the club now?

I can’t grunt, groan and talk about the big game while on my pilgrimage to nirvana! As much as we moan about you gals from time to time I like the “taking care of me” part and non-selfless questions like “what do I need?” that your gender has taught me to ask myself.

I bet they don’t even use foam mats in Broga!

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

AngelasClues.comIn this age of instant information, what if an app existed that could tell with 99% accuracy what your child will be as a 35yr old adult? Just enter your child’s information and it outputs the career, happiness level and relationship status of their 35yr old selves? However, whatever you do between now and then will not change the information at all.

How valuable would this information be to you?  How would it affect the way in which you parent?

Would you narrow your vision of them..begin to tip the scale..supplying, perhaps prematurely, more of what that 35yr old will need and less of what they don’t?

 

Angela and I finally saw Emma Caulfield (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) in TiMER over the weekend. In the indie film, people are able to get a clock implanted on their wrist which counts down, to the second, to the time they meet their true love. Not only does this leave all the guesswork behind but the time leading up to that final day can be approached quite differently.

While the search for a “soul mate” concept is interesting from such a perspective, the movie made me think about my job as a parent. Knowing who our kids are today, do we unconsciously label them? Sometimes I feel that I feed the inner thespian in my oldest and malnourish her athletic ability or I strengthen the mathematician in my youngest, with lesser regard for that right side of her brain.We all try to be well rounded as parents, supplying our kids with the palette and let them paint the way they see fit. But are we 100% unbiased or unobtrusive? Do we let our mistakes growing up affect our parenting decisions? Would we rather our kids take the road less traveled because we neglected to choose such a direction for ourselves?

If this fictitious app ever did exist, the world would be far too focused and..well, vanilla. I’m glad it doesn’t though because we can continue exposing our kids to diverse material with the hope that it helps bring them happiness and fulfillment.

As a parent, have you felt the need to get out of your child’s way at one time or another? If so, what areas have been particularly challenging?

 

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Parenting

22 years ago at 5am’ish on March 17th, I hosted a party with my college roommates in our off-campus apartment. In our defense, the local dive/pub opened up far too late at 6:30 am to serve up their $.17 beers every Saint Patrick’s Day.  So that year we felt the need to start the festivities a tad earlier. It ended up with me getting drenched with a trash can filled to the brim with ungodly water and dashing through the lovely establishment with my overflowing trash can awaiting retribution.

Quite absurd, but nonetheless fun and I came out unscathed.

Today, I get frustrated from time to time when my daughter sits on the kitchen counter or decides against wearing a jacket when it’s below 30 degrees outside. Hypocritical of me to make such choices when I was young but today, giving my daughters a hard time for behavior nowhere near as bad as mine.

Perhaps today, on St. Paddy’s Day, I’ll let things slide a bit more…just a lil’ bit.

 

An Old Irish Blessing

May love & laughter light your days,
& warm your heart & home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,

wherever you may roam.
May peace & plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you & yours!

by: Greg | Filed under Dad's Clues, Kids, Parenting

My youngest daughter loves to climb. So on Saturday I took her to a professional rock climbing gym. Ten minutes later, with her acrophobic Dad safely planted on terra firma, Ella was at least five stories high, unafraid of her growing distance from the ground and that’s where it struck me..

she’s on her own. I can’t entirely protect her anymore, if I ever truly could. But isn’t that my job…

…to protect?

While she’s only eight, my baby’s getting older. She’s beaten me in chess and can leave me winded behind her in a race. So, I guess I taught her how to fish as opposed to having just given her a fish.

It still pangs me though.

How did this happen so fast? With our first child, I guess I didn’t notice how quickly time was flying by because we had another rising up right behind her. Angela told me that I’d eventually get it. I do now.

But I wanted to move onto the next stage of  life. Now…not so sure. Both of my girls are climbing high and I couldn’t be prouder of them. I’m just concerned that if all I’ve ever been is  the lead climber for all these years, can I comfortably make the switch to indifferently watch them fall from time to time?

I hope so.

I’m sure I’m not alone here. Any similar thoughts & if so, what’s helped you happily move ahead?