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A Special Salute to a Fellow Fatherhood Blogger…

October 26, 2012 3 comments

One of the things that’s happened by me entering the realm of blogging, and specifically fatherhood blogging, is that I’ve sought out other blogs. I have the “reader” section of WordPress set to grab all blog posts categorized with “fatherhood”, and I’ve signed up to follow a number of fatherhood blogs. I’ve enjoyed this just as much as writing my own blog…I’ve gotten to connect with some good folks and learn some things along the way as well.

I think we all have our little twists to how we do it, but in general many of the fatherhood blogs are similar in nature. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Part of connecting with other fathers is to see how they describe and react to situations we all go through as fathers/parents – the toilet training stories, going to the ballgame, the funny things our kids say, and the shenanigans they pull. Then there are the ones that are more geared toward advocacy and calls to action and although my blog is not one like that, I enjoy and respect the ones that are.

One of the blogs I’ve come across is different than the others, and incredibly compelling. Through his blog Adventures of a Single Dad, Chad tells his intriguing story. You should read his own words for the full effect, but the Cliff Notes version of Chad’s story is this – Chad tragically lost his fiance and mother of his daughter Cydney to cancer shortly after Cydney was born. Rather than be supportive of him and his daughter, his fiance’s family decided to play hardball and strongarm custody of his daughter away from him. After too long and hard a battle, sanity finally prevailed and Chad won custody of his daughter. He is now a single dad raising beautiful a soon-to-be two year old daughter.

Chad’s blog is a great follow because he does well at maintaining a balance to his blog, intertwining content about his story, his experiences being a single parent, and some of the typical stuff you might find on any fatherhood blog. He also does a great job portraying Cydney’s personality through words, pictures, and even the occasional video. If you follow his blog and stay with it, you’ll enjoy getting to know her.

One of the things I’ve stayed away from on my own blog, but have seen on other fatherhood blogs, is the phenomenon of fathers often getting the short end of the stick when custody battles ensue. Chad deals with this issue really well, describing his experiences with the system openly and honestly. In the end, I get the sense that he’s incredibly become at peace with everything that has happened to him. I get the sense that he doesn’t forget the past, but he doesn’t let the past hold him back from moving forward in the best way he can for his daughter. She’s lucky to have him as her dad.

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Categories: fatherhood

Touch-A-Truck

October 20, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m pretty sure today was the most exciting day of my son’s life.  We just had his second birthday party a few weekends ago, which I know he enjoyed thoroughly.  We’ve had special visits from grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, etc.  We’ve been on airplanes, to baseball games, basketball games, playgrounds, swimming pools, and other assorted festivals with music and activities.  But today took the cake.

The “Touch A Truck” event is exactly what it sounds like.  In a section of an under-populated mall’s parking lot they brought in every type of moving vehicle imaginable – fire engines, buses, a crane, a cement mixer, mail trucks, stretch hummer limos, old fashioned cars, motorcycles, luxury motor-coaches, etc.  Even a garbage truck made it onto the scene.  Every truck was open to be sat in, climbed on, horn blown, etc.  Real live uniformed personnel accompanied each vehicle – firefighters, policemen, EMTs, truckers,  bus drivers, etc.  Better yet, the admission money all went to a worthy charity.

This morning we told him we’d be going to see some trucks and buses, but I’m pretty sure he had no idea what to expect until he saw it for himself.  When we parked and got out of the car, his eyes got wide and his entire face and body began to rev up with excitement.  I had to try and contain this as much as I could until we got through the line to pay.  Once we did that I put him down and let him enjoy his wonderland.  He chose to see the buses first, which won’t be a surprise to anyone who has read this, and then he moved on to the firetrucks and other assorted vehicles.

The ONLY thing stopping this from being pure perfection from his standpoint was that, because all of the vehicle cabins were accessible to all the kids, horns and sirens were going off on a regular basis, and my son isn’t great with loud noises.  He overcame this and had a good time, but as the end of our hour and fifteen minute visit to Touch a Truck was coming to an end, he was getting more tired and I could tell the noises were bothering him more than they had been in the beginning.

One thing I was concerned about was our exit plan, but my son got so drained that he willingly left when he was done.  Even he knew his limits and an hour and fifteen minutes of pure intense joy was enough for him today.

Apparently these types of events are gaining in popularity, as I know of another one in town tomorrow.  If you have a little one, you should definitely check into your town’s activity calendar to see if one will be near you soon.

Categories: fatherhood

two.

October 8, 2012 1 comment

My son’s second birthday is tomorrow. Two years into parenthood, which I now can’t think of life without. This was also the year when, at some point, I stopped having a baby and began to have a little boy.

We had his birthday party on Saturday. I feel like the first year birthday party is really more for the parents than it is the kid, a celebration of the fact we survived our first year as parents with health and sanity intact. In addition to family, we invited our adult friends – our people. We spent the bulk of the money on a specialty cake shaped like a turtle (our nickname for him) and matching “smash cake”. Other than the photo-op of him smashing the cake, the day wasn’t much different than any other gathering we might have had in the past.

Now, for age two, lots has changed. Whether or not my son understood the concept of what a birthday is or not I don’t know, but he definitely understood that Saturday was his special day. Because we have a budding music lover, we hired someone from “Music Together” to do an interactive music/play activity for him and his friends. Unlike last year when we invited our friends (regardless if they have kids or not), this year we invited my son’s friends – his toddler class at school as well as all the kids from my wife’s working moms meetup group. We know the meetup families pretty well and had some family and closer friends of ours come as well…but we didn’t know most of the school families at all. It was kind of weird to have the parents we didn’t know there, but my son thought it was the coolest thing in the world that his school friends were at his house. The music activity was incredible. I’m pretty sure there were some kids and parents who didn’t like it as much, but my son loved the entire thing from beginning to end. He also got a special treat in that she played “The Wheels on the Bus” without even knowing that’s his favorite song ever. She also had a great way of having everyone sing happy birthday to him.

After the music session and food, the unfamiliar families left and some family and closer friends stayed for phase two, somewhat of an afterparty. My friend B came through with some fresh brats and seasonal brews. My son and some of the other kids played with some of his new toys with some excellent supervision by the older kids, who even volunteered to do bedtime and did it successfully.. We put on the grill, broke out some beverages, and put on some college football…a great night to end an incredible day.

Categories: fatherhood

2nd childhood

October 1, 2012 1 comment

I have a career where I do a lot of work with kids, so in a way I haven’t really let go of childhood completely since I am constantly around it. However, having a son has fully started a second childhood. It’s just with an adult flair, and the experience is less about my own and more about vicariously experiencing things via my son.

My son is almost two and therefore is discovering his love for things that go. I wrote a previous post about his love for busses, which are still #1 with him. But firetrucks are slowly making their way up into the top 3, and along with the firetrucks come firefighters.

We have taken my son to see firetrucks up close before, but last Sunday was a great experience. We were at the local supermarket, as we typically are on Sunday morning, and so was a crew of firefighters from the local fire station. We parked near the firetruck and my wife went in to start shopping while I took my son to see the firetruck up close. One guy from the crew stayed back with the truck, and when he saw us coming he got out from where he was sitting and let my son sit in the passenger side seat. Then, all of a sudden, the computer monitor flashed an alert and the firefighter’s walkie talkie started to broadcast some message in fireman code. He told us that the three guys in the store would be coming out soon and they would have to go respond to something. I took little man off the seat so he could get back in, and carried him a few steps back; far enough away that we wouldn’t be in the way of them but still close enough to see what would happen. Sure enough, three other firefighters came rushing out of the store toward the engine. They saw us standing there and figured out that we were obviously watching them, so on their way to the engine one of them held his hand up to give my son a high five. Guess who else got a high five from the fireman. Now, my official reason for putting my own hand up and getting a high five from the fireman was so that if I did it then my son would know what to do and follow suit, as he did. But my son knows about high fives so that wasn’t necessary, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also caught up in the moment…second childhood indeed…

Categories: fatherhood