Not The Beautiful Sunday I Imagined

Do you see his head?”

“I don’t see his head.”

“Now, do you see his head?”

No, you did not miss the message where I tell you we are expecting. We ain’t!

My family and I were at Bounce U. and SJ, my younger son, had struggled and ultimately made it to the top of a particularly challenging web-climber. Once he got to the top of the web-climber, he struggled over to the slide and came down. I had cringed when I saw him struggling to reach the top of the web-climber. The employee at Bounce U. had to help him and the other kids were growing impatient.

However, when SJ got to the slide, he had a big grin on his face. It was met by the smiles my wife and I had. When he reached the bottom of the slide, he jumped back up, whooped, and ran back over for another turn. As SJ ran by, I felt his head, and he was sweating from his earlier effort. I was thrilled by his determination.

BR and I were in a bouncer together. It had a basketball hoop and different size balls. Instead of shooting, BR and I ended up throwing the balls at each other. Well, we did until I finally tackled BR. We were play fighting and laughing.

My family and I were having a great time. Yet, part of me was sad.

It was a beautiful Sunday morning – sunny, light wind, and 65 degrees. If you inhaled deep enough, you could smell the smells of baseball.  The mowed grass, rawhide baseball, and the wood of a bat.

When I imagined being a father, it was always boys who perpetuated my dream. After all, I am one of 4 boys, and I have 6 nephews and only two nieces.  In fact, when I called my oldest brother to tell him my wife had a boy, he said, “Yeah, I know.”  He figured it was a foregone conclusion.

In my imagination, my son and I were always doing something athletic whether it was baseball, basketball, football, etc. We would toss the ball back and forth and bond at the same time. Maybe, I would coach his little league team or simply offer helpful tips on how to improve. I would fight the urge to be an over involved parent at his games. Either way, I would revel in his success and support him during the more challenging times.

Picture Courtesy of Google.comFather and Son playing baseball.

Picture Courtesy of
Father and Son playing baseball.

I never even considered that my children would not enjoy playing sports. Neither of my boys is especially athletic or overly interested. Yes, they will periodically, after prodding, play sports. However, they quickly tire of it. When they periodically want to play sports, I am happy to join them. If they ask for instruction, I give it. When they sit inside on a beautiful day or refuse to accept assistance, I try to shut my mouth and bite my lip. I have learned not to push. I’m not a Tiger Dad.

My boys don’t love playing sports, and I have to be okay with that. However, it makes me a little sad. Some might say my reaction is wrong, and they may be right. Yet, I had a vision, and I wish it had come true.

Growing Beyond Me

You ever wonder, wait, and hope for your kids to achieve a particular milestone? Then once they reach the milestone you realize you’re not so sure that you really want them there. Ultimately, you are left wondering what’s next.

Well earlier today, I did a guest post for my blogger friend Tatiana over at where I explored this topic of children moving on and how it brings both happiness and sadness. To read the article, click the link.


The Parent I Was Never Going To Be

Today, I am fortunate to have another guest post. My guest is Joyce, from Relax and Float Downstream. I’ve been following Joyce’s blog for months now. Her topics range greatly though there is typically a Southern flavor to her posts. I find a certain humility and honesty in her writing and appreciate these qualities very much. She calls ‘em like she sees ‘em.

In real life, Joyce is a Connecticut native who has lived many years in Florida.  She is a forty-something married mother of two, university advisor, and jazz geek.  In her free time she enjoys cooking complicated dishes, watching old movies, and exercising.

Here’s Joyce on the parent she is as compared to the parent she thought she was going to be.

A little over seven years ago, I was not a parent.  My childless status did little to disabuse me of some notions I had regarding parenthood.  In fact, some might argue, my childlessness encouraged grandiose absurdities pertaining to appropriate parenting.  It’s just that way, isn’t it?  You simply can’t know until you’re in it, and then when you are, no words you can say can adequately relate the experience to those on the other side.

I’ve been thinking lately of my most laughable pre-parenting assertions as much as the interceding seven parent years will allow me to access that part of my brain.  (Parent years, you know, are like dog years, but more accelerated.  I now have a mind like Swiss cheese.)

The pacifier, for instance.  I had witnessed too many children, many in my own family, going about their day with a plug in their mouths.  Don’t get them started on it, I reasoned, and they won’t ever need it.  Popping a pacifier in your baby’s mouth is lazy parenting, I thought.

I was nearly allowed to get away with this line of reasoning as Nolan, my first child, had no use whatsoever for any pacifier that was ever offered to him (by other people, of course.)  It was later, after I had Mia, that I came to understand why a parent might possibly feel compelled to offer their child a pacifier.  At two weeks of age, this easy-going angel began crying profusely every evening and no amount of walking, rocking, or nursing would bring her peace.  Those cries could only be soothed by, you guessed it, a pacifier.

Picture courtesy of GoogleCalm Baby

Picture courtesy of Google
           Calm Baby

I’m told the most effective method for weaning from the pacifier is to cut a small hole in the tip, rendering the thing ineffective for sucking.  I did that once, and handed it to my trusting daughter who promptly spat it out.  “Oh no,” she cried in despair, “my paci is broken!”    And turned to me to fix it.  Which I did, by giving her a new paci.  My new goal is to have her weaned by the time she turns three.

Three years of age happens to be the goal we had set for potty training our son.  And potty training our son is another one of those things I was certain that I had in the bag.  You just commit to teaching them, I thought, and they are trained.  It’s simple.  Ha!

My son resisted every attempt to teach him to use the toilet for two years.  When we left him pants- and diaper-free for easier access, he tinkled all over the house like a puppy.  It was our great fortune that he became fully potty trained when he was nearly four years old, mere months before our baby arrived.  I learned that training does not happen on the parent’s schedule, but the child’s.

Another notion that went out the window was my opposition to video games for young children. Instead, I attempt to convince myself and others that the quick reflexes of my son, the Super Mario champion, are a direct result of his devotion to gaming.  And healthy meals, too…let’s forget that I ever believed that the majority of meals my children would consume would be healthy, considering the times that their main course has consisted of Velveeta mac-n-cheese.  And letting a child sleep with us?  I am no longer opposed to this, as I wake up each morning with an additional guest in my bed.

Many things I thought I knew do not fit in my world now.  What’s up is down and what’s down is up.  I’ve never lived by the seat of my pants so much in all my life, and I have decided to like it.  For every video game or frozen pizza dinner, we have an outing at the library or a soccer game in the yard.  We may watch a lot of cartoons, but we also have read many story books.  The best I can do for now is to try to inject enough of the good to outweigh the not-so-good, and to believe that all will balance out in the end.  Which may not be good enough for some, but it’s good enough for us – and we are the only ones I’m trying to please.




Thanks For Hosting

Just a quick note.  Recently, my blogger friend Penney was gracious enough to be a guest here on Me Myself and Kids. She wrote about the impact the Connecticut Tragedy has had on her (

Today I am honored to be Penney’s guest over at her blog Authentic Life Journeys. I go off a bit on jobs SJ will never have. I hope it will provide you a couple of laughs. Check out My Son’s Future Calling: Guest Post for Authentic Life Journeys