And It was the Summer Of…

The Summer of... The Flash: SJ riding a bike.Seasons and times are remembered by events. The summer I learned to drive. The winter I started playing basketball. Junior year when I had my first girlfriend. With Labor Day in the mirror, it’s time to think what happening will mark the summer of 2015.

A few years ago, I tried to teach BR how to ride a bike. It was a struggle from the beginning. He was uninterested. His constant refrain of, “Why do I need to do this” as I led him around the block was exasperating. BR was on the verge of riding, but he was never willing to fall. His fear held him back. While riding a bike is not a required skill for a happy childhood, I felt, somehow, that I failed him. Maybe I should have pushed harder. Maybe, I should have been more delicate. Maybe I should have been more understanding.  Whatever the issue, the moment passed. It’s been two years since I even tried to get BR on a bike.

SJ loves his scooter. He also loves his bike. He didn’t mind that it had training wheels. Ms. MMK and I tried telling him he was getting too old and big and that it was time to take the training wheels off.

SJ was reluctant. He doesn’t like change. Continue reading

I Killed Summer

I Killed Summer

Photo Credit – S. Bernstein aka Ms. MMK

The alarm went off this morning just after six. And my daily routine began: morning service, breakfast, drive kids to camp, work, pick up kids, work, dinner, hang with kids, and work.

Oh, how could I forget – ensure kids have done their summer work.

Yup, that’s pretty much my daily routine.

You know what that reminds me of? The rest of the year!

Remember when Summer was different? Remember when summer could not come fast enough and it could not stay for long enough?

What filled your summer days?  My summer days changed over the years but all had an element of magic.

My boyhood Summers were full of languid days of stickball, baseball cards, and fireflies. Summer was simple.

Eventually, part time jobs – busboy, cashier, and stock boy – were part of my Summer. But so were swimming pools and late nights hanging out at friend’s houses. Summer was energy.

Then college ended and I traveled during the Summer going to the Middle East and Europe multiple times and there was time spent time out West.  Summer was exploration.

Graduate school years brought more Summers of part time jobs and exploring New York City. Summer was wonder.

Then came the publishing industry and the marketing departments of Architectural and Engineering firms. Summer nights were for friends, dates, and destinations. Summer was socialization.

Finally, there were over ten years as a teacher, and summer meant a part-time job for extra money (if there is such a thing for the middle class). Summer was recuperation.

That brings us back to the present.

I killed Summer. Summer is mundane. It’s the workday grind. It’s the worries of a new business. It’s the concern about bills. It’s the lack of time.

Is Summer done? Are July and August just like February and March save for sweat and brown grass? Turn off the heater, and turn on the air conditioner.

Well, my family and I will go on vacation (budget permitting), the kids are in camp, and bedtime is more flexible. And Summer work is not the same as homework. So, there is some easing of the grind.


I do miss the ease. I miss the feeling that Summer was one long day at the park. Possibilities existed, and if they arose, there was time to explore.

I know, I know. It’s responsibility and adulthood. Most people are in jobs that see little difference in terms of workload during the Summer. For me, however, this is a new phenomenon. I’m in my adjustment period. Don’t worry though – I’ll be fine.

It’s just I Killed Summer, and I miss it. Sighs.

P.S. Which way to the beach? Oh, never mind.

Favorite Summer Pictures

With fall officially starting this evening, it’s time to say goodbye to summer. I love the weather and the colors of fall. Yet when the summer is over, I always feel sad to see it go.

Summer is for fun. It’s for vacations and beaches and late nights. Everyone is young and alive in summer.

Well, this summer my family and I had two great vacations. Disney opened the summer and Ocean City closed the summer. In between our vacations was camp and baseball.

Below are my favorite pictures from summer. Feel free to tell me your favorite picture or to link up to your own favorite summer picture.

Family going to Magic Kingdom

Ms. MMK and SJ on the boat to the Magic Kingdom.

Children at Magic Kingdom

BR & SJ walking hand in hand through Adventure Land at the Magic Kingdom

MMK's at the Magic Kingdom.

The MMK’s with the Magic Kingdom in the background.

SJ  in sombrero staring out of airplane

SJ in his sombrero staring out the plane window on trip back home from Magic Kingdom.

Father and son at Yankee Stadium.

BR and I at Yankee Stadium. Jeter had 2 hits!

Family at Ocean City.

The family on our porch in Ocean City.

Child asleep on Ocean City Beach.

SJ at the Ocean City beach. Summer has worn him out!

Ahh, goodbye summer. See you in 9 months.

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 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.

Continue reading