Sunday, June 15, 2014

A day worth celebrating

I’ve been called a lot of things in my day, but no name, title or moniker has ever brought me more fulfillment or joy than one, “father.”

Having been raised in a single parent household, I had plenty of time growing up to think about what kind of father I wanted to be if I ever got my turn at bat.  I wanted to be the dad who teaches my kids right and wrong, who lovingly (and patiently) helps them with their math homework, makes them laugh, inspires them to be brave, encourages them to be their best, to reach their dreams and to know that, no matter what, they could come to me with their problems, joys or concerns and that, no matter what, I would ALWAYS be there for them.

And so it was that while most of my friends dreamt about becoming professional athletes, I fantasized about becoming a great dad.  Interestingly, because of my disability, I figured that my chances of getting married and having children were probably as far fetched as watching my buddies make it to the pros.

Then I met Casey and my whole world changed.

Not only did my sweetheart agree to marry me (a miracle in and of itself!), but she bestowed me with the miraculous gift of fatherhood (not once, but twice!).

And while it’s been my experience that usually in life, the dream of something hoped for typically supersedes the actual joy I’ve felt after having attained it, fatherhood has been a completely different story.

Nothing, and I mean nothing, is better than this!

I get to read them books, play games (like stick-tag), go out for walks, run errands, watch movies, laugh at silly tv shows, play dress up (no pictures, please), preach, teach, love, care and make them feel like the most important people in the world.

And that’s just stuff we do on a random Tuesday!

So as I think about Father’s Day and my girls and my life and what it all means, all I can do is smile.  After all, what could be better?

Well... the word “grandpa” has a certain ring to it!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Patriot's Day

Last week had some pretty good highlights.  I saw the new X-Men movie, ate a delicious burger fresh off the grill and got a killer deal on corn at Safeway (who doesn’t love a bargain?).  But even better than those biggies was getting to check out the Patriot’s Day celebration hosted by Ms. Massey’s first grade class at Waynewood Elementary.

A classroom full of kids singing patriotic songs, teaching us old fogies about American history and honoring our servicemen and women – I’ll take it!

Check out these hits:

Thanks to the leadership and organizational talents of Sammy’s teacher, Ms. Massey, the kids in our community are learning all about what it means to be a good citizen.  They’re being taught to be kind to others, provide service and respect the sacrifices made by the members of our civic and military branches.


In a day when our founding fathers get trashed by pundits, when politics have caused many to become jaded and of our kids are too often raised with a sense of entitlement it is refreshing to beyond measure to see our public schools, with their dedicated teachers, administrators and staff stepping up to get it right.

As parents, Casey and I have the primary responsibility for teaching our girls good values and ensuring they appreciate the blessing that it is to be Americans, but having that reinforced by their school underscores our effort and builds on the work we’re doing at home.

And in a touching display of love, when asked to highlight her favorite patriot, Sammy chose me!

What can I say?  God bless America.