One of my favorite things to do while growing up, and through college was to lay in a tent listening to the fire spark, and the wildlife. Working more hours than not I find it really important to improvise activities with the kids. Now our backyard isn’t like the nights spent camping in the Adirondacks of NY, but it’s pretty darn close. There’s no car to be loaded, traffic to be stuck in, or leaves needed for “emergency” TP. When our kids first asked to do this it seemed semi boring to me. However, no I get it. Our kids were used to Lachelle and I sitting by a fire while they were inside laying in their bed. Our Kids want like to be involved even after hours.
So sitting by the fire it made think about that concept. I believe everyone wants a level of involvement whether directly or indirectly, and depending on the situation the level of involvement will be different. It’s a solid reminder that when with others to keep in mind that we shouldnt exclude people from being involved simply because they don’t seem to be an active participant. I often find they may be soaking in the moment or trying to learn from those actively engaged in an activity. Especially with kids.
Point of the story….get creative to keep everyone involved!
Most that are close to me know I want to spend as much time with my family as possible. My wife works on Saturday nights catering, and that means it’s strictly the kids and I. When she first started working I used to think of it as 3 on 1. Now I think of it as 1 man blessed by 3. Today I took the kids to the beach to body surf. First off it is wild that my kids are old enough to do this without holding on to them, and secondly it’s great they aren’t old enough so they still randomly ask to hold my hand. I was searching for a natural sand castle shovel aka “sea clam shell” when my oldest daughter asked I would hold her hand while she tried to go deeper in the water. Part of me was taken back, because she still needs me for those moments. I know time is flying, and the more I see them growing the more I cherish those moments.
So what do I want to do on Father’s Day. Pretty simple I want to spend time with the man who taught what a father should be. My dad. I also want to spend the day doing whatever my kids want, and I’ll enjoy every minute of it.
Often times it’s easy to speak without thinking. Actually more so than not it’s easier to verbally vomit than to think before speaking. Likewise, it’s all easy to forget that our children are watching our every movement, what we say, and how we treat others. Tomorrow I turn 32, and I’m very excited about what’s in store. What I do know is that while celebrating my birthday today, and opening presents my oldest daughter taught me a lesson that dates back some 2,000 years ago when a woman took all that she had to buy perfume for Jesus. Some thought she was crazy, but she didn’t care.
Today while beginning to open presents Baylee couldn’t wait for me to open her card. As I opened her card I noticed two things. One the card was about me being a scary monster which made me smile because we play monsters in our house often (based on Disney’s Monster Inc not like a horror flick). Secondly I noticed in the card a dollar bill. To some that might seem meaningless, but not to me. The dollar she gave me was all that she has in monetary terms. I’ve spoken many times to my children about it being better to give than receive, and seeing this gift from my daughter reminded me of how important it is as parents to remember everything we do shapes the path for our children… EVERYTHING. Even when we’re tired we don’t have an excuse to say careless things. That dollar she gave me will never be spent, and forever will be a priceless reminder to me and all that will hear the story.
To everyone that read this far thanks, and to everyone in my life who’s been a great example thank you!
Those that know me know Christmas is my favorite holiday of the year. Runner up is Thanksgiving. I was having a nice discussion with my wife last night about how everyone has something to be thankful for even if their life has nothing but “tragedy”. This is a short post today to say thanks to everyone who has been instrumental in my life whether pushing me to learn how to ride a bike, graduate both sets of college, or to help me keep pushing forward after our family lost my brother. Whatever our situation is focus on not being a victim of life rather focus on turning woes in victories. Easier said than done……depends on your desire.
There are a few things that manage to get me teary eyed. For those that know me I like to keep positive all the time, and for better or worse I don’t let people see me cry. Including my wife. Today we set up Austins first “big bed”, and put away the race car bed; as well as, the only crib mattress we have ever owned for all our kids. I was folding laundry after setting up Austins new despicable me bed, and there was the crib sheet. For whatever reason it hit me as I tossed the crib sheet into our savers pile (second-hand clothing store) that it was about the last real item that was still being used in our house from the infant stage. Some people are in a hurry to skip that stage, and on days I was too; however, I knew it was passing fast and tried to savor every second. It was then that I remembered sitting next to my brother on the plane heading hike in Colorado. The start of our families journey (or at the time the start of his and my vacation). One of the fond memories of him on the plane was knowing weeks prior to the trip we kept talking about how we couldn’t wait to have a few days away from the kids to breath. Then as soon as were on the plane we had several hours of only talking about the babies we missed at home.
The point I’m hitting at is to not be in a rush. With a society moving a towards everything needing to be “faster” it will only require all of us to really slow down to focus on those that are most important to us.
The photo is of my brother with Baylee at the Roger Williams Zoo. I still can’t go to the spot where the photo was taken without catching my breath.
We’re often comforted with our own daily “life” routine to a point where we forget how blessed we truly are. Again I said in my last blog when I say “we” I’m throwing my name in that to. Follow my train of thought I promise there’s a positive spin.
One of life’s greatest firsts with my middle child occurred today as she sang in church with me while I played the guitar. The great thing about church is that its a place where imperfections are welcomed. As my close friend likes to say we are all “Perfectly Imperfect”. People today may have heard a few high notes out-of-place as my little kassy tried to keep up with her mother singing, and while smiling ear to ear as she sang I was reminded of the genuineness of our 4-year-old. A 4-year-old remembers a lot that has happened in their short time on life, but it’s not the “huge” worries we as adults harbor. Things a 4 yr old holds on tight to are experiences like someone shutting a TV off right as Dora was going to save a sea turtle or their marshmallow fell into the fire before they could slap it in between two graham crackers with chocolate (rightfully so I would get annoyed at that two). What if we as adults tried for one full day to put aside the “huge” worries, and just focus on the present. I’m not casting stones on this I’m actually going to try this out as well. There are some climatic event in life that can’t simply be put away for a day, and those that know why this blog started know I get (for those that haven’t read my first blog). Yet I want to begin controlling the outlook for the day putting aside the “huge” worries that can damper anyone’s mood or outlook. Now it doesn’t mean we wake up, and pretend big events of life didn’t occur. What I mean is for instance when thinking about my brother it will be about a joyful moment not the joyless moment when notifying family members of him passing. To start this off I am going to keep a song in mind. A song that tonight I had my kids throw their hands to, and dance in the kitchen. The song is KEEP YOUR HEAD UP by Andy Grammer. The words I like are the following:
The glow that the sun gives
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
This is just a journey
Drop your worries
You’re gonna turn out fine.
Oh, you’ll turn out fine.
But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh.
As fast as the day ends so does our time on this earth so why not try downgrading the “huge” worries of an event that is out of our control with an outlook of hope and determination keeping our heads up……that is in our to control. A friend of ours smiles all the time,and its evident in her two girls and husband that she has purposed to keep her head up. I recently learned that she had lost both of her parents to cancer. It’d be easy for her to throw in the towel, but its evident she’s purposed otherwise (Thanks for the example to the unnamed person)
One last thought…………
Those around us need us to keep our heads up or how else will they know how to make funny faces.