Category Archives: dads

Big Little Lessons From Dad

 

My Dad has taught me many big lessons over the years. For instance, do what you love. I’m not sure he ever uttered the four words out loud, but when I told him I wanted to pursue a career in dance after I finished college, and I told him I wanted to get a graduate degree in choreography, he brought me to my auditions.

Speaking of college, my dad also taught me that a college education is a gift. Just get it done in four years. This always felt like a reasonable expectation, even more so now that I’m a parent. He also demonstrated time and again the value of keeping family traditions alive and not sweating the small stuff. Perhaps most importantly, all the times he said “no” taught me gratitude.

Not every lesson my dad has imparted to me has been grand and all-encompassing. Some have been slight and specific, but even the smallest ones have had a big impact on my daily life.

Go to the dentist twice a year. I hate it, but I do it.

Read your local newspaper. It took until 9/11 for this one to take hold. Now, I’m such a news nerd that I listen to talk radio in the car.

Always have $20 in your wallet. Luckily, I know where my kids keep their cash. (Please don’t leave sanctimonious comments. I always pay them back.)

Get gas when you have a quarter of a tank left. No one’s perfect.

Get to the airport early. If my husband ever leaves me, my insistence on getting to the airport two hours before a flight will be the reason.

Keep your car registration current. This one is rather specific, but I speak from personal experience when I tell you it’s worth double-checking.

Buy more Halloween candy than you need. And be smart about it. Don’t buy Laffy Taffy on sale. Buy the candy you want to eat when you get fewer trick-or-treaters than anticipated.

Thank you, Dad, for all the big little lessons. Keep ‘em coming. And yes, I need to put gas in the car.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in my life, near, far, and forever in my heart.

 

 

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Cliffhanger

I need to update you on a bunch of random stuff, including the casserole, Father’s Day, my financial, um, situation, the garden, and summer goals.

As it turns out, my casserole leftovers were quite yummy.  It tasted so much better than the night I cooked it.  In other words, it got better with age…

…just like Mike.  Happy Fathers Day!  We started the day with cards and pictures:

Dylan made this picture of a spider web for Mike  – yes, a spider web – at camp:

Then omelets with hot Italian pork sausage, baby spinach and mozzarella (Mike’s request), turkey bacon, Morning Star veggie sausage patties, and croissants (Dylan’s request):

Made by Yours Truly!  I may need some casserole practice, but I’m damn good with eggs.

Then Mike went straight to his computer to do computery things.  (For comparison’s sake, on Mother’s Day, I went to the mall and bought a pair of expensive shoes.)  About Mike’s role as a dad, I can say this:  He works his butt off to provide for his family (and he’s a gifted paper airplane maker to boot), and Dylan, Riley and I couldn’t be more fortunate and proud.

Later in the afternoon, I took the boys to Target to give Mike some space and to buy a zillion and one things, including Mike’s Father’s Day presents from the boys.  Apparently, Mike requested a really awesome Beyblade with sharp edges and a Star Wars Snowspeeder.

“Daddy’s gonna love this,” said Dylan.

I’m gonna love this,” said Riley.

(Editor’s note:  I wasn’t going to buy any toys – as if these kids need any more – but Daddy insisted.  He did.)

We ended the day at our favorite local bar & grill to celebrate with three generations of current and future dads:

Cheers to Grandpa Tom…and to Uncle Ken and Grandpa Barry who we’ll see in San Francisco in ONE MONTH!

On to less celebratory topics…

My spending:  I added up my household expenses for the week and, well, I don’t really want to talk about it.  Just know that I’ll be adding it all up on a weekly basis for a while.  Back in my Weight Watchers days, keeping the food journal was always the deciding factor in whether or not it was a successful week.  I’m hoping the same will be true here.

Now let’s talk about the garden, another slightly depressing topic.  On Saturday, we completed “Take Two” of our garden project.  Not “Phase Two” (the herb and vegetable garden); rather, “Take Two.”  Almost all of the flowers I planted a few weeks ago died.  Green Mama, I am not.  Mike planted new flowers yesterday afternoon without gloating too much (just a little bit) about how all of the flowers he originally planted survived and all of the flowers I originally planted died.  Boo.

Good luck, Take Two:

We (Mike) also planted a beautiful yellow Bromeliad plant Dylan’s teacher gave me at the end of the school year as a thank you for being the classroom’s healthy snack coordinator.

Supposedly, these plants are hard to kill.  We’ll see.  Mike planted it, so I’m hopeful.

A quick “Summer Goals” update:  I bought a “Captain Underpants” chapter book for Dylan.  After initially rejecting the book because it was “black and white on the inside” and asking me to bring it back to the store and buy a toy instead, which made me a very Angry Mama, Dylan let me read a few chapters before bed last night and He. Loved. It.  By the way, there’s a lot of poop, fart, and wedgie humor in this book, which is fun, but we made a deal to only do “poop, fart, and wedgie talk” at home when we’re reading the book (just like how we only pee on trees in our backyard).  We even did a pinky shake to ensure compliance.

Finally, here’s the “Who shot J.R.?” cliffhanger:  I have less than 72 hours to pack for a four-day family trip to Legoland.  Yikes!  Those of you who know my history of packing anxiety are well aware of what a frighteningly short period of time I’ve left myself to get my s–t together.  (New readers can catch up here:  “Everything AND The Kitchen Sink” and “Mastering the art of…”)  Will I get it done?  Without blowing my budget?  Or losing my mind?  Is this all just a dream?  Speaking of which, last night I dreamed I was pregnant again!

To be continued…

p.s. The pregnancy dream isn’t the cliffhanger.  That really was a dream.

Anyone watching the new “Dallas” on TNT? 

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All The London Buildings

Whenever Mike goes away on business, he brings home a special surprise for the boys.  This time the destination was London, and the boys requested snow globes with “all the London buildings.”  Okee-dokie.

Big brother.  Big snow globe:

Little brother.  Little snow globe:

According to Mike, the snowglobes were easy to find.  The problem was that upon returning to the United States (in Newark) and going through customs, Mike had to exit and then re-enter the security area to fly home to Ft. Lauderdale.  With two snow globes.  Filled with liquid.  In his carry-on bag.  TSA officials deemed the liquid-filled snow globes with “all the London buildings” suspicious, and gave Mike a choice – dump them or check them.   Geesh.

To dump them would have been a tragedy of massive proportions.  To check them would have meant he had to check his backpack, which held all kinds of important, un-checkable things. It also would have cost him $35. Damn airlines!

In the end, the love between a father and his sons proved stronger than the convenience of contact lens solution after a long overseas flight. Mike checked his carry-on bag, and the looks on Dylan and Riley’s faces when they saw their snowglobes with “all the London buildings” made it worth the hassle.

Editor’s note A: I offered Mike the opportunity to tell his story as a guest blogger, but he declined.  Actually, he laughed and then he declined.

Editor’s Note B:  No one is more excited about the boys’ new snow globe collection than me.   I have grand plans for our owls and snow globes!  I could kick myself for not buying that owl snow globe from West Elm when I had the chance.  (Yes, I just checked online, and it’s no longer available.  Maybe I can find one on eBay…)


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