I dreamed for years of owning a Harley Davidson motorcycle. I’d spend hours and hours flipping through a catalogue trying to figure which “Hog” I’d buy and which leather saddlebags I’d drape over it. My desire would peak whenever I happened by two Harleys passing one another in opposite directions on the road because their riders would inevitably nod or wave to each other as they zipped by. There’s a special connection, an unspoken Harley brotherhood, and – brother – I wanted to join. My life did not take a path where I could throttle that Harley throne. Instead, I walk the New York City … [Read more...]
For the first time in 11 years, I read the novel, Things Fall Apart. As an English teacher, I honestly feel that each time you read a book, you see different things. Although it has always been a challenging read due to the spousal abuse, this time, I read this book in the mindset of a parent and husband. The protagonist Okonkwo is not the most liked of characters and a poor father at best. This is due in large part to his being influenced by his relationship with his father. In addition, his father is not much of a role model. Everything Okonkwo does is in response to how little he thought … [Read more...]
‘Twas the first day of May, and my wife Elaine and my mother sat casually feeding our daughter Sienna eggplant rollatini in a pizzeria down the block from our apartment when out of nowhere the scariest creature on the planet zoomed by Sienna’s head.
No, I’m not talking about a rat or a killer bee or a king cobra. No great white shark decided to make a side trip from the ocean to have a slice of pizza. I’m not even talking about that insidious varmint known as Elmo. I’m referring to an ordinary housefly.
I have always been a vocal proponent of public schooling. My wife and I view public school as part of the social contract that binds our country together. We actively participate in our kids’ education and I am currently the PTA president and in the past I have been VP and treasurer. While I think the teachers and administration at my children’s school are fantastic, at the moment, I feel like throwing my hands up in the air and, in a sense, waving them like I just don’t care. They are involved and care about the students, but the regulations, Common Core and testing along with the … [Read more...]
I am not Matthew McConaghey. I am not my own idol. You might be surprised who my idol is. My idol is my 3-year-old daughter. How could a 3-year-old be an idol of someone who is almost 40 years her senior? How could someone who can't care for herself inspire me? Oh, let me count the ways. She expresses love, a lot. My daughter truly has unconditional love for me and her mother. She tells us this without prodding or training. She loves me and expresses this often. We don't do this nearly enough as a society, and it has certainly inspired me to show my love to my wife and child as … [Read more...]
Yesterday I stopped by CVS and went through their seasonal clearance items, and came home with something I thought my 2-year-old daughter would be bananas over – a yellow plastic cylinder like the base of a flashlight with clear egg-shaped top made to look like a bee. When you press a button, the insides of the egg spin causing lights to flash and the whole thing to buzz and quiver. The toy cost 62 cents or approximately what it cost to make.
Sienna squealed with glee and I smiled because I’d made my daughter happy.
Our 4-year-old daughter recently found love at the Montessori snack table.
My wife and I found her crush on this young boy endearing and heartbreaking. Even for puppy love, our girl approached it with a great deal of thought, effort, and mostly all of her heart. Her innocent questions to us about why mommy and daddy got married (love and friendship) led her into a declaration of marital intent with this poor unsuspecting young boy.
The boy responded to her proposal by insisting that not only was he not … [Read more...]
Ham's brutally honest and revealing storytelling in Laughter, Tears, and Braids that makes this book so memorable.
One of the situations anyone who has a spouse or partner fears most is the loss of said spouse or partner. This situation is exasperated when there are children involved. This is what unfortunately happened to Bruce Ham.
In his harrowing, yet inspirational book, Laughter, Tears, and Braids: A Father's Journey Through Losing His Wife to Cancer, Ham shares just how challenging losing one's spouse at a young age can be. It … [Read more...]
One of the big lessons I’ve learned being a stay-at-home dad, which I am sure applies to all parents, is when a question is asked, use the shortest most informative answer possible. I do find it very difficult at times to explain things to my kids. I tend to ramble on. I need to pause, think about my answer, so I can communicate it more effectively. I have found at times, I get tongue tied while explaining things to my sons. By the time I do get to the point, it is normally two or three minutes later and both my boys have already moved. It doesn’t help that I am, and always have been, … [Read more...]
Are you a new or expectant dad who is suddenly finding it expensive raising kids? As Bruce Willis said in Die Hard, “Welcome to the party, pal.” You really have to find ways to keep the costs to a minimum because food, entertainment and clothing in particular can take a big bite out of your wallets. Here are some ways to pinch pennies when there are barely any pennies to pinch: Hand-me-down those clothes Forget about the stigma. That myth went out years ago. Young kids outgrow clothes quickly: some pieces may be worn only once or twice before they no longer fit. Why waste your money on … [Read more...]