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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.

 

To My Wife on our 7th Wedding Anniversary

To My Wife on our 7th Wedding Anniversary

Hey Beautiful,

Happy anniversary. At times it’s hard to believe we have been married for seven years. The time has truly flown by. We have accomplished so much and there is still much more left for us to do.

There are time when it seems like we’ve been married even longer than seven years. After all, we’ve known each other for 14 years. That is almost half my life we’ve known each other.

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My Main Man Turned 4

My Main Man Turned 4

A few weeks ago my main man turned four years old. With him growing up so fast, it has become more and more difficult to remember all accomplished in a year. Creating this video of events helps everyone relive his past year. Don’t be surprised to see he’s interested in many of the same things as last year. There will be a few new interests too (mainly in the music). 

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King George is in the House

King George is in the House

Over the past 4 years I’ve packed on a few lbs. This has happened for many different reasons: lack of time to work out, lack of interest in working out, poor eating habits, lack of sleep, it’s Wednesday, etc. The reason for my constant weight gain has been King George III. I’ll explain.

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My Youngest is the Only Child for the Weekend

My Youngest is the Only Child for the Weekend

With big brother out of town, my youngest is the only child. This doesn’t happen to often but we are going to enjoy the time.

My son is incredibly fortunate to have a godmother that wants to take him hiking over the weekend. Securing the carseat felt normal. Giving goodbye hugs in front of the house I began wondering how his camping trip would turn out. But watching them drive away in the distance made me wonder when did I become so emotional. I couldn’t help but wonder what he would do if he woke up scared in the middle of the night. Quickly I realized I needed to let go and have fun with My Precious who was waving frantically in my arms.  

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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 Memories, Strong Memories by Ari Barnett

Strong Memories, Strong Memories by Ari Barnett

Man Time by Ari Barnett

My favorite fathers experience with my son, who is known throughout our extended family as “King Anthony”, occurs every Sunday between the months of September and January.  It is on those days, that my wife hibernates to the bedroom, dusts off her DVR with a week’s worth of missed programming, and lets King Anthony and I enjoy what has become known as ‘Man Time’ in our house.

Man time consists of not only watching various football games (thanks Direct TV Sunday NFL ticket) all day. It also includes tracking player statistics, stuffing our faces (me with buffalo wings, him with Similac), and learning the fundamentals of the game.  ‘Man Time’ is very special to me because I remember when I was little. My father would set me in front of the TV and we would partake in the same Barnett ritual. I believe that is how I grew up to love the game of football from such an early age.

‘Man Time’ usually ends around 6:00pm when my wife calls us from downstairs for dinner.  Once the calls go unanswered she eventually comes upstairs to find her two boys passed out sound asleep in front of the TV.  Mommy usually gets a good laugh out of this and snaps off a few pictures.  It’s ok though.  Anthony and I are good sports about it.  This our tradition.  Every week during football season.  Man time.  My favorite memories of my son and I.