How Star Wars Teaches Fatherhood: A Sunday Morning Musing

Star Wars is one of my all-time favorite movies. Actually, the trilogy is phenomenal. Aside from the Light Sabres, Death Star, and Chewbacca, Star Wars teaches two good lessons in parenting.

A Sibling Rivalry? Not So Much

The first lesson is to never underestimate the power of siblings. Luke and Lea ultimately discovered their familial link with a little help from the Force. If my wife and I have a second child, we will be aware of the possibility of the children joining forces against us. Especially if they want a dog.

Luke, I am your father

The classic line symbolizes more than Vader’s attempt to sway Skywalker to the Dark Side. The Sith Lord‘s admission is an expression of love for his son. Vader you old softy. If we think about what happens in the story, Vader becomes the undoing of the Emperor to save Luke.

This is our second lesson: that is what dad’s do, we protect our kids. Father’s take note, just because you may possess the ability to use the Force to your advantage, your kids are your kids.

These are simple and obvious lessons, but for me, that is the beauty of the Star Wars story. Regardless of time and space, and galaxies, family is family. No Death Star can put a stop to that.

Thank you for reading. Comments and feedback are always welcome and encouraged.



Life After the Inflatable Pool: A Sunday Morning Musing

In my last post, Life In the Inflatable Family pool, my wife and I learned life is different now that we are older. After Little A didn’t want anything to do with the pool, it was time to deflate and pack away for this year.

It is with sadness I report in the end, the pool ended up in the garbage.

Inflatable pools are filled with air, not water. What do I mean? As we went to lift the pool to drain the water, we found it harder to move than expected. Somehow, water filled the two bottom inflatable rings. This was only learned after much aggravation, ( and a frustrated daddy Kung-Fu kick to an inflatable ring). Oh, and mommy seeing the water.

If you’ve tried to move the Blob before, you understand our difficulty.

The End

Ultimately, I had to slice the two rings open to expel the water. I was disappointed at the thought of cutting the pool. I’m not sure what it symbolized to me subconsciously. Maybe a failing in my parenting abilities? I digress.

Little A of course, wasn’t phased by the situation. In fact, I think he’s secretly pleased. Mommy was more frustrated at my Bruce Lee impersonation. I’m just glad I can re-grow the grass that started to burn underneath the pool.

In the end, life moves on. So the lesson we learned while sitting in the pool holds true. Enjoy the little moments and be weary of inflatable pools.

I hope you enjoyed this post. As always comments are welcome and encouraged!

Life In the Inflatable Family Pool

My wife and I purchased an inflatable pool with the hope Little A would like to take a dip. Unfortunately, when proceeding to lower him in, he simultaneously raises his legs and begins to cry.

He wants nothing to do with the pool.

We’ve tried several times with no luck. I only filled it with maybe two inches of water. The same result each time. While one of us lowers him in to what he believes is the Atlantic Ocean, he looks at the other parent and cries.

So, what do any self-respecting parents do? We went for a swim ourselves. The pool is 110-inches so it’s more a family size pool and not conducive to actually swimming. Nothing spectacular to say the least.

While sitting in our inflatable pool, bathing suits and all, my wife and I looked at each other and realized, this just wasn’t what we hoped it would be. Pools, at least in the back yard, really are more for the kids. I’m sure we looked just as ridiculous as we felt, but there is a point to this: enjoy it.

It was a small moment in life where mommy and daddy got to enjoy a ridiculous but humorous few minutes together. Instead of taking some time to stop and smell the roses, we stopped and sat in the inflatable pool.

Life is surely too short to not enjoy these moments together. It helps to foster the relationship which in turn makes a happier home for the little one. This was a win-win situation to me.

As for Little A and the pool, there’s always next summer.

I hope you enjoyed this post. As always comments are welcome and encouraged!

You Want What For Your Birthday?

I’ve found there are moments when parents question their decision to have kids. Mostly in the wee hours of the morning, the two-hour drive to the in-laws, or the wonder world of Walmart. I suspect these moments are fleeting. Fortunately for the kids, mommy and daddy love them and wouldn’t trade them for the world.

It was in one of these moments, when my beautiful wife looked at me with the all too familiar look of exasperation, and I blurted out, “maybe for my next birthday, I’ll get that procedure to prevent having more.”

I, of course, was completely joking.

With a straight face, and even more serious tone, she responded, “my birthday is sooner.”

I’m going to speak to the husbands and fathers out there: this was a moment of realization about my marriage and life that I honestly didn’t know how to take. Therefore my response was to laugh and change the subject. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Needless to say, since that day we’ve both come to our senses. I will never mention the subject again. I think my wife is somewhat concerned as to what my reaction will be if she mentions it again. So, she’ll just make the appointment for me.

As for Little A, he laughed, shook his head no, and then gave flight to the baby monitor.

How To Watch A Movie On Netflix With a One-Year-Old

Image representing Netflix as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

How do you watch a movie on Netflix with a one-year-old? You don’t really. At least not one that you want to actually watch. I will use my wife as an example. Sorry honey.

The other day, my wife queued up Playing for Keeps with Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel. Dennis Quaid was there too. Back to my story, the run time for the movie is 1 hour and 45 minutes. I believe she finished watching the film in 3 hours.

The hope was to view the film, in its entirety, while Little A napped. Unfortunately, Little A knew mommy wanted to do something for herself. Little A would go to his crib, stay quiet for a short time, then up again. The beauty of Netflix is you can stop and restart as often as you like.

Approximately five interruptions (I stopped counting after three), and my wife finished the movie. This is a note to all you new parents and expecting ones, enjoy your own time now. It’s not all bad, you will come to realize the time spent with your kids is far more valuable than catching up on your television shows or even reading a book. You’ll have plenty of time for those things later.

As for the movie Playing for Keeps, I asked my wife and she was just glad we didn’t pay actuall dollars to go see it.

One Grunt and My Son’s Turning Into A True Man, According To My Wife

Little A is truly developing a personality. His various grunts and noises are rather amusing. Baby talk doesn’t work on the guy anymore, which is good, but his responses are what makes us laugh. It’s time to work on the language skills.

According to my wife, he’s turning into a man because he doesn’t respond clearly. Usually we’ll get a grunt and a twist of the head. For example, I asked him where his ball was, and he looked at me, then motioned his head towards the ball while giving a “uh” sound.

I refuse to debate with my wife if this is typical male behavior, as I know that is an argument I won’t win. But, I will say, this dad is proud of his little man. Shh…don’t tell the wife.

Of course, I will continue to make sure he uses his words and proper associations. Not to mention using “uh” as a response won’t get him very far in life. For the time being, I’m going to enjoy his one-grunt responses and associated gestures. Once he actually starts talking, it’s all down hill from there.


The Positives of Being Positive

Do you know someone who is negative? Nothing makes them happy. You could tell them they just won millions in a lottery and they respond, “yeah, I’m going to get $30 million instead of $50 million due to taxes.”

There are many people out there who take the silver lining to every situation and cut it to shreds, then cover it with dirt. Negativity is one of my least favorite traits I see in others and myself.

I’m guilty of being negative too. We all are. But some people are predisposed to being constantly negative. I believe those individuals are less healthy than the rest of us. Over the past few weeks it seems more and more negativity is around me. I don’t know why this is.

Is it society? Is it the news? Is it the economy? Or, is it simply people just don’t realize how good life actually is? Everything that we hear about the world around us, regardless of the source, is biased in some form. Everything is perspective. I’m not sure why, but perspectives lately are more dire than in recent memory.

Here’s where I relate my diatribe to parenting: negativity is bad for the children. So don’t be negative parents. This doesn’t mean we don’t teach our children the realities of life, we must. The world can be a harsh place. However, constant negativity does nothing to make the world a better place. Not to mention, staying positive is a good leadership trait and as parents we are the ultimate leaders.

I hope, for my son’s sake, there won’t be as much negativity around as he grows.

Sunday Morning Musings: What’s In A Birthday?

English: Frederick Daniel Hardy - The First Bi...

English: Frederick Daniel Hardy – The First Birthday Party Oil painting on canvas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Little A just turned one. Yes one. When others would say how fast time flies, I never paid much attention. I was wrong, time does fly.

This past year was amazing. But what’s in a birthday? Little A is getting not one, but four parties. Thanks to family….situations, and geography, four parties is actually easier.

That’s multiple sets of first birthday party supplies, and four special first birthday balloons. Which, since three parties are down, those three balloons are still floating in our living room. Helium is amazing.

I’ve also realized the first birthday party is more for mommy and daddy. The little guy has no clue. Although I think he’s starting to question why we keep trying to feed him cake every weekend.

We have one more party to go and in some ways I will be glad when it’s over. But I’m trying to take as much of this in as I can. The little one will be one only once. Time does fly when you’re having fun.

Happy birthday Little A.

Love, Daddy.

Like Love, Bullying Starts In the Home Too

If you don’t believe bullying is a problem, then maybe you are the bully. I recently witnessed someone attempt to be funny by insulting others. Needless to say, it was a memorable moment, but for all the wrong reasons.

There was nothing funny about it. The individual succeeded in denigrating others. What this person thought was funny, really wasn’t funny. It was hurtful, offensive, and quite honestly disgusting.

So what does this have to do with bullying? Simple, the same mindset that led to this speech is the same mindset that teaches children to bully other children.

Love starts in the home, but so does bullying. We as parents are educators. Our children mimic everything we do. They learn from our words and if we as adults say it’s OK to make fun of someone based on their health, mental or emotional state, weight, or economic status, then not only are we fools, but we are setting our children up for failure.

Growing up I faced my fair share of insults and bullies. I was fortunate to have loving parents who supported me. I had awesome friends and I learned to ignore the pompous-asses of the world.

I’ve also learned if you need to insult someone to be funny, face it, your not funny. Children need to be taught what’s right and what’s wrong. Humiliating someone is wrong.

Bullying, like everything else, begins at home. I fear the individual above will never realize their problem. Humility is a virtue, humiliation is just wrong.