Being a Dad…the best role I've ever had.

Archive for September, 2016

It’s the little things that matter

Sometimes, the most wonderful thoughts can be triggered by the smallest of things.  Even when you’ve had a long, tiring day, one little thing can make you forget all of it.  Such a thing happened to me.

Before I go one, lets go back in time a bit.

In 2013, two life changing events happened to me: I lost my job of 16 years and, my wife gave birth to my second child.

Alexander was born six months before I got laid off.  During those six months, I missed out on a lot, you know, the early, early infant stuff…rolling over, trying to crawl, etc.

Then, as the middle of summer approached, I got word that I was being laid off, you know, my position was terminated. That’s a smoke screen statement, but that’s another story.

Anyway, being laid off with benefits was a blessing: I got to spend a lot of time with my family, my newborn especially.  Watching him develop over the nine months or so before I got another job was just awesome.  The smiling, the joy, the wonder. It was truly a special time.  Then…

Work.

I got a job that was an hour and twenty minutes from home.  I got up at the crack of dawn and was home at sundown.  I missed a lot.  By the time I would get home, my step son was going to bed and Alexander was played out for the day. My wife would be beat. But, it was work and we needed it.  Badly.

Less than a year later, though, I got a local job. More money, less wear and tear on the car, but, more importantly, it took, maybe, 20 to 25 minutes to get to work or come home. Less time if the traffic was light.   I got to see more of my family. And Alexander.

Now, by this point, Xander is walking and talking and into everything.  The terrible two’s. He turned three in 2016 and…got even more devilish. But, that’s OK. For all of the screaming he does, getting into things, throwing…well, he has his cutesy, sweet moments too.

Coming home from work is a treat.  I get the biggest, best greeting from him. He is genuinely happy to see me.  All of the negatives melt away when he runs up to me, throws his arms around me and yells ‘Dadddeeeeee!’  And, the icing on the cake…I get nice kiss from my beautiful wife.

During his more calm moments, he wants to sit with me, play a game with me, share in his love of all things Spongebob (what is it about that cartoon? My 19 year old grew up on it, as did my eight year old step son and, now, Xander…) and the occasional book reading.

So, that moment I started out talking about?  Well, tonight, I was sitting on the couch, my back hurting and trying to get my head around a couple of things when Xander crawls up on my lap. He had my wife’s phone, watching YouTube.  He finds these videos of some idiot unwrapping toy filled things or videos of games, usually Minecraft. He thinks they are so funny.  He found one of a train based game.  He says ‘Daddy, I want to play this game’.  I told him I would see if I could find and put it on his Tablet (yes, my three year old has his own tablet, an Ellipse from Verizon…kidified.) He says ‘OK, fanks.’ He gives me a one handed hug and goes back to the video.  Then, he stops. Puts the phone down. Looks at me, pauses…then gives me a raspberry!  He giggled and giggled and giggled.  Picks up the phone and continues to watch the video. Well, I’m dying inside…I could not hold back and laughed out loud.  He looks at me, smiles, and then gave me a big hug.

That look on his face…it was priceless.  Not only did it make me feel like the world’s greatest dad, but it made me realize that this is what it is about.  While jobs make our lives work, it is the kids that are most important.  These little moments are fleeting and I sure hope I don’t miss them. Ever.

Advertisements

A Missed Opportunity with my Dad

I’m going to share a father-son story, only, this time, I was the son.

For my entire life, I have always loved science fiction and, especially, Star Trek. And, as of the date of this post, that show is fifty years old and, today, September 8, 2016, is exactly the fiftieth anniversary of its first airing on the NBC television network. Even the day is the same…Thursday.

Well, I’m not old enough to have watched it in its first run, so I watched it on the local TV stations that aired it in syndication in the early 1970’s.  I watched intently.  I always imagined myself as Captain Kirk and went around with my ‘Star Trek Utility Belt’ and battled Klingons and Romulans, well, mostly Klingons…they were the cool enemy.

As I got older, my dad felt the character of Harcourt Fenton Mudd was more appropriate for me and he called me Mudd.  I didn’t care, I liked Harry Mudd and was ecstatic that the character was in three episodes (two in the original show and one animated episode…and, to my delight, he makes a cameo in a Deep Space Nine episode that incorporated The Trouble with Tribbles.) So, throughout my young life, I was known as Mudd.  There were times that I hated it, but, mostly, I just embraced my inner Mudd. You should too, there’s a little Harry Mudd in us all.

Well, in the mid-1970’s, there were these rumors of a new Star Trek TV show.  I was a TV Guide fanatic and read intently all of the rumors there and any where I could.  And, then, one day, it was true!

Paramount decided it was going to start what was, at the time, a fourth commercial TV network and Star Trek was going to be the flagship show.  I was so excited.That excitement, though, was short lived.  Paramount soon decided to scrap not only the network, but the show too!  There was some good news, though…they were going to make a big budget movie!  And, best of all, they got all of the main actors back, including Nimoy, who, at the time, hated everything related to Star Trek. Or, so it was said.

Well, fast forward a long year or so and the movie premiered.  My Dad had promised to take me to see it.  Well, at the time, my father had re-married and moved about fifty miles north of Richmond, to Fredericksburg.  I didn’t see him much during that time, maybe two weekends a month. Logistics more than anything else, was the problem.  Sometimes, it was my step mother who picked me up as my Dad worked evenings and I was still in school.

Well, it was, finally, time for the movie to open in Fredericksburg and my Dad said we would go.  Well, during that week, he went and saw the damned movie without me! I didn’t know until my step mother picked me up.  She got me early that Friday-I got out of school by three and she was waiting for me.

On that long drive – long to me – to Fredericksburg, we stopped in Ashland to see my Dad. That’s when he dropped the bomb on me.  He had to work that night and I would have to go to the move BY MYSELF!  I had been so looking forward to  not only seeing the movie, but seeing it with my Dad.  He was the only person who ‘got’ my love of all things Trek.  My step mother hated it, so she wasn’t going to go.  Which, I suppose, was OK, though I would have been excited to go with her.  My Dad gave me some money for the movie, popcorn and a soda, ten bucks, I think.

Oh man, was I hurt. When he told he had seen it, though, that was the worst.  I felt betrayed. Betrayed by my Dad.  I could not believe he would do that. To ME!

The rest of the drive to Fredericksburg was quiet. My poor step mother tried to make conversation, but I was having nothing to do with it.  Brooding, moping, whatever.

We got to my Dad’s house and I took my bags in, got some water and then she took me to the Four Mile Fork Theater-which is a car dealership now, I think. She dropped me and said she would be back in two and a half hours. I thanked her and, cautiously went in the theater and got my ticket.

This was also the first time I had gone to a movie by myself.  Now, I was not only upset about my Dad, but was a bit anxious to be there alone.

I got my popcorn and soda and sat down. Mid way up the theater and in the middle. I wanted optimal viewing and sound. The movie, supposedly, had this awesome soundtrack.  It did.

When the lights went down, and the curtains opened, I stopped being mad. I stopped feeling alone.  I started to feel that sense of excitement and wonder well up again. The feeling I had had for a long time.  After the previews were done (no ads back then, just a couple of preview and then…) that Paramount logo popped up. The crowd went nuts.  I remember that long intro music and, then, that first scene.  You could have kicked me between my legs and I would not have noticed.  For the next two-plus hours, I was enthralled.  Man, Admiral Kirk sure seemed nervous and that twit Decker…who the hell was this guy anyway? It took me awhile to connect him with the Doomsday Device Commodore Decker.  Oh, and the bald chick? Yeah, being a teenager, well, lets just say I REALLY dug her. Oddly enough, though, Mr. Spock made me hate him at first.  It wasn’t until V’Ger injured him that I started to like him again. He was more of an arrogant ass than normal. And, the others, they were just there, I didn’t give a crap about them.

When then end finished, I was pumped and disappointed, at the same time.  Pumped over the movie being so big in scale and, yet, not very fulfilling. Disappointed because I didn’t get share it with my Dad.

I don’t know why he chose not to see it with me, we saw the next two together. We saw the Star Wars movies together.  I never asked him why.  I had gone to bed not long after the movie.  I didn’t want to see him that night.  I talked his ear off the next day about the movie, but, that night, I didn’t want to have anything to do with him.

He never said he was sorry, or even mentioned it again.

I finally stopped being mad about it. And it seems so petty today, but, when I was 14, it was a pretty big deal to me.  An experience I wanted to share, with person I looked up to the most.  Something we both shared a love for, yet, he chose to work instead.  This is something I swore I would never do if I ever had children. And, for the most part, I have put my kids ahead of my job. There have been a few times where I absolutely had to work and either miss or be late for something, but that has been rare. And, sometimes, I catch myself putting myself ahead of them.  I try, very hard, to not do that, but, I too, fail. One of the things I never thought about, until I had children of my own, was why he chose to work.  It is very possible that it was one of those ‘absolute’ moments I spoke about. I am going to go with that.

The father-son dynamic is very important.  Fathers should experience all the ‘firsts’ they can, with their sons. (Ok, daughters too.) They are moments you will NEVER get a chance to relive.  Even with multiple children, what one may value, another may not give a crap about.

I still wish we could have seen the movie together though.  Maybe I’m not completely over that.

Le Blog BlookUp

Imprimez et transformez vos contenus digitaux, blogs et réseaux sociaux, en magnifiques livres papier sur blookup.com

Selected Essays and Squibs by Joseph Suglia

The Web log of Dr. Joseph Suglia

Totally Inspired Mind

Where Positive Minds Congregate and Beautiful Souls Shine

basia zarzycka

My life, my work, my shop.

Παρασχος παρασχος

βιογραφικό σημείωμα

breadboardtronics

Easy and simple electronics and arduino projects!

olduino

An arduino for the first of us

Sparrowgrass

A blog that got hijacked by a horse

ultimatemindsettoday

A great WordPress.com site

MCU on Eclipse

Everything on Eclipse, Microcontrollers and Software

My House 15

Beauty homes & Garden

Logical Quotes

Logical and Inspirational quotes

agree to facts

uncover the true reality

Otaku HuntikFan1017- Lucasville Ohio's Coolest Elite Otaku Dude!

@2017 Otaku HuntikFan1017, All Rights Reversed.

Tompedia.in

Lets write awesome content

mind.body.games

Food for the gamers soul