I Choose My Family

Family at the Magic Kingdom

My family and I at the Magic Kingdom

I consider myself a good son. Despite living two hours away, I see my mother monthly. I talk to her a couple of times a week. When I do see or talk to my mother, I am polite, respectful, etc. Therefore, my actions this weekend should be no surprise.

We had arranged for my mother to come for a visit this past weekend. My family and I had not seen her in a few weeks. The boys really enjoy seeing their bubbe (Yiddish for grandmother), and I want to foster that relationship.

When my mother comes for a visit, she, Ms. MMK, and I often watch a movie together. We eat snacks – popcorn or ice cream – and relax after the children have gone to bed. As part of my preparation for my mother’s most recent visit, I checked out my queue on Netflix. I skimmed through the titles trying to pick a movie which I thought would appeal to my mother. After consulting with Ms. MMK, I moved August Osage County to the top of the queue.

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My Children Have Changed Me

Children out of bed early.My children have made me a different person. Not so different that you would not recognize me if you haven’t seen me in years.  I’m still the same height, about the same weight, and my hair is still black. Well, my hair is another story. I also still enjoy the same hobbies:  sports, writing, reading, and music.

Yet, my boys have changed me. Profoundly.  I don’t mean in the love and protection area either. Though there is an article on wired.com about a study which showed that there are “brain changes associated with fatherhood.”  Yes, it’s true: I’ve changed in those ways as well.

But this is not about those types of changes.

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A Moment Without Impact

Child's Non Impact MomentSome moments have a long term impact. Blissfully, many do not.

July 14 marked three years since I started blogging. I went back and looked at some of my early posts and came across one about BR playing Kickball.

Here’s a few lines from the post:

“They said he was the worst kick ball player ever.”
“What?”
“BR said,” my wife continues as we are lying in bed “that the kids said he is the worst kickball player ever.”
“Who said it,” I replied angrily. I wanted to yell at all the kids or even worse. I buzzed my wife, to give me more details about BR and what occurred.
“He didn’t say names. He just said a bunch of kids.”
“Yes, he is unhappy about it.”
“No, he didn’t say anything back at them.”
“I don’t know why he didn’t say anything back at him.”
“I told him next time someone says something mean to him, he should use his voice and tell them to stop just like
Flat Stanley did.”
“He is anxious for Tuesday.”
“Because on Tuesday, he is going to be the captain of the team.”

Now, I am worried about Tuesday.  I don’t want him to embarrass himself, feel bad about the situation, or be over anxious.

I went on to note my wish that my children would have acquired my sports acumen as it was a huge asset in helping me get deal with my own shyness. I also explained the challenges my children face and promised that I would work with and support BR.

Why bring this up now?

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I Miss the Tree

Tree Stump

The remains of the tree.

It’s always hard to return home from vacation. There’s mail to sort through. Suitcases to be unpacked. Laundry to be washed.  Upon returning home from Disney World last week, my family and I discovered something that made our landing back to reality more difficult.

The tree was gone. Yes, the tree that straddled our property was now a stump. Just after we moved in – 7 years ago – the tree directly in front of our house was removed.  Now, there were two trees gone.

I miss the trees.

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