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Weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s

Weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s

A few months ago I wrote this post but never hit the publish button. With that being said, it’s interesting looking back at the post realizing my thought haven’t changed. It shows my consistency.

Weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s

I had the kids for the weekend. It was amazing. Not everything went to plan but that’s what made it great.

Settling in my childhood home on Friday night, my mother showed me news article announcing a youth basketball clinic in Keney Park. Although I hadn’t been to the park in years, I thought it would be great to go back.

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Should We Move?

Should We Move?

For the past few weeks we (the boss and I) have been considering moving. We like our home, love our neighbors and enjoy our community. With that being said, we are looking to use our living space as best we can.

Expanding Backwards

Our property backs up to conservation land and the “mature” forest look from our deck is beautiful all year long. There are no neighbors behind us, due to conservation laws, but that also limits expansion and construction ideas. Land within 35 feet of the conservation must remain undisturbed. For us that means we can’t go backwards.

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I am a Teacher Because

I am a Teacher Because

I am a Teacher Because

I am a teacher because my mother was a teacher. She doesn’t talk much about being a teacher other than to say she was given the worst of the worst students. People had given up on her students but my mother decided she was going to make them learn. When I have tough days (we all have tough days in our profession), my mother tells the story to me. She tells me about the kids she had that couldn’t read, write, or do math. But the headmaster of the school gave the new teacher (my mother) the most challenging students anyways. She sent them home with the assignment to collect 100 of something. She taught them how to add, subtract and multiply. Hearing that story on tough days reminds me anyone can make a difference, not matter how inconsequential you think your actions are. I am a teacher because my mother believed in everyone.

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Fatherhood and Teaching

Fatherhood and Teaching

My first real interaction with Chris came a few weeks into our freshmen year of high school.  We were in a pickup game during after school intramurals and I had the ball at the three point line.  Chris was guarding me.  I was very aware of who he was – this was the 13-year-old who could already dunk!  As any proud former 8th grade all-star would do, I decided to see what he was all about.  I made a move and drove right by him! 

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Making the Best of a Situation

Making the Best of a Situation

I tell lots of stories. One of the stories I don’t think I’ve ever told stretches back to the last birthday party I had in 3rd grade.

Having a birthday in December meant I had just changed schools that previous fall. Beginning the school year at a catholic school in a neighboring town, I didn’t think to invite many kids from my previous town (and school). However, I did invite my best friend, Ari. He was known to have a good time and get a little out of control like myself. He always managed to keep it together just a little bit more than myself, so he made for a good governor.

3rd Grade Birthday Party

At my 3rd grade birthday party, I asked my dad to have it at an ice rink. Ari, was the only friend I invited from my old school. Everyone else was from the new school I was attending.

After a few laps of skating the rink, I found I wasn’t having much fun. Something inside was telling me that the party wasn’t exactly what I wanted. The skating rink seemed something like my new friends from the parochial school would be interested in. My old friends wouldn’t know what to make of it. Internally, I felt I wasn’t really into it.

It didn’t matter, I convinced myself to keep up the facade. No matter what, I had to make believe I was having a good time. Otherwise my father wouldn’t let me hear the end of it.

Within a few minutes my best friend Ari came up to me and said, “This isn’t fun!” I knew he was right. But I wanted to impress my new friends. I kept on skating around the rink and hoped Ari would act more like them. I pretended I had a headache. Ari did silly things to get me to laugh.

Hindsight is 20/20

As much as I wanted to laugh and have a good time with him, I didn’t bother. By the end of the day, I just hung out by myself. My new friends from the parochial school loved Ari and I was miserable. The party hadn’t turned out how I wanted it to. Ari was the star of the show. People wanted to hang out with him. I was supposed to be the big deal but no one seemed to notice.

As I look back on the situation with 20/20 vision I realize now I shouldn’t have compromised who I was. At the time I knew it too. I didn’t trust myself enough to be happy being myself (who I was inside). I thought assimilating to the new culture was more import. Since then, every day I kicked myself for leaving Ari left out in the wind trying to make me laugh by have a good time.

Now, I am an adult and I hope my children don’t make the same mistake I made as a child. I pray they will be themselves no matter who is in front of them. I hope and pray they will unapologetically be themselves. As dad, I’ll clean up the pieces proudly so my children grow to be themselves.

 

Wake up America!

Wake up America!

I never thought I’d live to see the day when I’d see a man gunned down on television. I never thought I’d see their killer walk free months later to restart their life after a not guilty verdict. This has become so common I can’t imagine what my children will grow up seeing when they are my age.

They told me, “Trust the system.” But the system isn’t working for everyone.

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Strong Fathers, Strong Memories by Luke Granato

Strong Fathers, Strong Memories by Luke Granato

This is My Boy, I Got This by Luke Granato

My son, Samson (known to all as “Sonny”) has given me countless little occasions that qualify as “welcome to dad-hood” instances.  Changing the first diaper in the hospital, the first bleary-eyed early morning feeding, getting puked on, getting smiled at, eliciting laughter, first mini-hoop dunk…the list can go on and on.  I have enjoyed all of these experiences with my son and each one has brought me to a new level of dad-ness.  It was not until nine months into Sonny’s life, however, that I had my first, “This is my boy, I got this,” moment.

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Strong Fathers, Strong Memories – By Seth Golder

Strong Fathers, Strong Memories – By Seth Golder

Reflections of Fatherhood by Seth Golder

Doing Riley’s bedtime is one of the best times I get to spend with her. During the weekdays I don’t get to see much of her; I am practically out the door when she wakes up and have at best three hours with her by the time I get home. And to be completely honest, that last hour is usually a marathon of walking around with her, bouncing her and watching Word Party on Netflix to keep her up to an hour that will let her sleep through the night.

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