Fatherhood: May 9th, 2018

Here’s a few of the things I have learned about my daughter in the few weeks since she turned two.

1: If you stub your toe and exclaim “Shit”, your two year old will constantly repeat said word at inappropriate moments, making you feel like the worst parent ever.

2: You can spend longer than ten minutes “dumping” imaginary buckets of water in the sink or bathtub.

3: Farting is just as funny to a two year old girl as it is to males of all ages.

4: Falling asleep requires clutching one of Daddy’s earlobes in between your fingers. When the Kung fu grip starts to relax, it’s time to place toddler in her bed and RUN!

5: Lastly, (for now) if you have a sore back and move stiffly in the presence of your toddler, they will parade in front of you exaggerating your motion.

Bonus: Even bald Daddies can have their hair styled by a two year old.

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Spell a Day – Feb 8th 2016

Today Gentle Readers, is the official Chinese New Year. 2016 is the year of the Red Fire Monkey.¬† This is a time of increased energy and “fire” to fuel your endeavors. According to Chinese astrology this is a good year for pursuing your dreams and taking bold steps to reach your goals, success is out there and yours for the taking this year.

I think about the events upcoming in my life this year and hope I can tap into this energy on a regular basis. I have a new baby coming in a little over two months (if it stays where it is supposed to for full term birth). A child born in the year of a Red Fire Monkey is going to be something of a challenge, if this astrology is to be believed. Once my little boy or girl is born I guess the real journey will begin.

Being born in the year of the Dog, I am destined to be a great mentor and companion to Monkey. Oddly, my son was born in 2004, which makes him a Monkey too. I hope this means that my new child and I will be able to share a close bond as well.

As the time for me to become a father for the second time approaches, I find myself turning to the lessons I learned from my absentee father. Mainly what NOT to do. I will never let my children feel abandoned by me. I will never try to force them into instruments to inflate my own ego. That is not what children are for. They are blessings to bring joy into your life.

So, go forth into this new time fueled by the energy of the Fire Monkey. Until next time Gentle Readers.

Spell a Day – Feb 5th 2016

Forgiveness of self. Sometimes one of the hardest things to do in our life is forgive ourselves for decisions we made. If I have learned anything from my day job of dispatching, is that sometimes, you just have the make the best decision you can at the time, with the tools and knowledge you have at your disposal. Hindsight is always going to reveal a new plan of action, but that plan may not have been something to consider without the benefit of hindsight.  Have any of you made decisions that you came to regret later? Perhaps there is a toxic relationship (lover, friend, coworker, or relative) that you harbor guilt, anger, and/or resentment towards yourself over. Time to let go of that negativity in your life. Even if you cannot salvage the relationship in anyway (and you may not really want to) you cannot continue to beat yourself up over it. You are only harming yourself.

I use the example of my biological father. Now “sperm donor” as he has been called by my older sister and I because of his never really acting like a father figure, is a narcissistic sociopath. (Thank you Criminal Minds). Everything, every act/every word/every event, is designed to inflate his ego and self importance. Throughout my life he has popped in and I thought for sure this time would be different, that we would have a healthy father/son relationship. Each time I was crushed one way or another when he let me down. I think that is part of why I struggle sometimes to interact with my son. I am not wired very well in that respect. I have taken cues from my father in law and brother in law who are great with their kids and tried to learn to do better. I think I learn something new all the time.

I held onto a lot of anger and resentment for my father and later my stepfather that I think I have finally begun to let go of. I am far from perfect, and never will be, but at least it doesn’t send me into any sort of blind rage like it used to. I hope my children never have cause to think of me in the same light as I have pictured the ‘father figures’ I grew up watching.

Do you harbor any of these feelings of guilt, anger, or resentment from a relationship gone sour? Let it go Gentle Readers and enter the next phase of your life with a lighter heart.

Spell a Day – Jan 18th 2016

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Today is all about hearth and home. In the not too distant past, this would have been the combination fireplace and cookstove for the household. A place where a family would gather for light and warmth, and to share their evening meal. In modern times there is such fast food and vegging in front of the television that we may have forgotten the importance of a strong hearth. The hearth, or kitchen in modern homes, provides nourishment not only for the body, but for the soul. It is a place where parents make cookies with little children any time of the year. Memories are made accented by good food and good conversation. As we move along this fast paced technological ride of modern life, we mustn’t forget the past and what the hearth meant to our ancestors.

Some of my fondest memories in the kitchen are with my grandmother growing up. She showed me how to make cookies from scratch at Christmas time. I learned to take a base tomato spaghetti sauce and turn it into something much more delicious by adding a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that from the spice rack. The conversations about life, teaching me what I needed to know for when I grew up and moved out on my own. I will always be thankful for the kitchen for these lessons.

The kitchen is a place of bringing together in the home. Don’t forget to bake those treats and let your kids lick the spoon or beaters when you are done. They will thank you for it later. Make good memories Gentle Readers. Feel free to share any memories or stories in the comments as I would love to hear from you. Until next time.