I didn’t mention much about my Father’s Day this year. Mostly I was feeling kinda down. I also had to work the night shift that day, so my family left me alone to sleep. However, they didn’t forget about me.
Our two youngest (ages 13 & 15) each made a card for me. They wrote what they felt and it made me happy. My son gave me a gift card and my daughter made a painting for me.
My oldest daughter didn’t do anything like that for me. She brought me a cup of coffee in bed and briskly wished me a “Happy Father’s Day” before rushing off to her job. I still appreciated the sentiment because I am doing my best to treat her as an adult. So her and I talk respectfully to one another.
I know my kids love me. They know I love them as well. I put them before anyone or anything else.
Lately I’ve been enjoying walking. Years ago, I used to walk everywhere. Most of my jobs in the past had me on my feet where I walked a lot.
When I was a projectionist looking after 19 auditoriums- I was spending eight hours a day going back and forth between them.
Working at Home Depot was a bit rougher on my feet since it was a concrete floor. But when it was slow, I wandered around to learn as much DIY as I could.
Chuck E Cheese also had me on my feet keeping track of customers and running food. Plus the occasional dance routine…
Then came CN. Where I would walk miles and miles outdoors every shift. This was by far the best exercise I ever received. Until I started working in the office. Then I became stagnant. That has been the past few years now.
I’ve been missing walking. So my wife is encouraging me daily to get back at it. It has started with walks around the block or parking at the far end of a mall parking lot. Now we are trying to wander through trails and enjoy nature instead of asphalt. I’m starting to enjoy meeting birds on my walks as well.
I make the most of my vacations. My days off are full of fun times and experiences. I came back to work after ten days off this past vacation to find an abundance of emails.
That was probably the hardest part of coming back to work. I enjoy the job itself, but there is often excessive emails that I need to sift through to find what I need to do my job.
Coming back to work and I’m already thinking towards my next vacation. Planning ahead is tough when you’re not sure how much you could spend.
I’d like to try and not go into debt to enjoy some time away from home. Pinching pennies and returning empty bottles for refunds may be how I pay for our next bit of fun. Back to working in order to afford my vacations I guess. Like a vicious circle.
My father had a tendency to speak Czech with his buddies when his family was around. My father did this because we, his immediate family, couldn’t speak Czech. He never wanted us to know it. My father kept secrets. Read about my unknown half sister Here.
My father taught us only one Czech phrase. A phrase to say at the start of a meal. Dobra Chut’ meaning Good Appetite. I have never taught my children this phrase. Maybe I’m bitter towards my father. Perhaps I can share this phrase and create good memories of their grandfather whom they’ve never met. My children want to see the good in the world, and I want that as well.
But I did pick up on some Czech. As a child you get curious as to what is going on in your world. I discovered a few things from my father’s friends older kids. They were surprised that I didn’t know Czech. But I knew some. Mainly because I stole my father’s old English to Czech dictionary.
He used a few phrases quite often which made it easy to find words. I began to become quite proficient in trying new phonic spellings to decipher what he was saying. Most was gibberish. But on occasion I heard about his feelings for his family. His disgust. His disdain. His regret. Being a child and receiving pity from people you barely knew was difficult. A part of me wanted to return to being naive. I wasn’t exactly the son he wanted. But I overcame his words, overcame his feelings of contempt- I survived and thrived.
My father used a phrase often when greeting his friend. At one point my father told me it meant “Hello Smiley.” But the literal phrase would have defined my father more than his friend.
To the feelings my father left me with when he died in 2000, I say “Na shledanou.”
It feels like this year is heavily devoted to our son Theory. We have already done two trips for speed skating competitions and have two more weeks out of town planned this summer for him to get some more practice.
He stole my tutu.
If you’ve been following along this week, you’ll also notice I was a parent chaperone at his Grade Seven camp. I was really happy that he wanted me to do this. It also made me feel good to find out his friends were excited that I was going as well. In fact, one kid asked that his father not volunteer to come because the boy wanted to be in our cabin.
My father never would’ve considered doing that. Let alone take time to ensure his kids experienced successes. My wife and I put a lot of effort into making sure our kids get the best education and experiences.
I have a fantastic relationship with my son. I can be both his parent and his friend. The fact that he happily hangs out with me while out in public is great. I hope to keep this up through his teenage years.
It’s the kind of relationship I wish I had with my father.
This place never stops. So much so, that I don’t have any pictures today. I ended up making videos of the kids’ activities instead.
On Thursday we started our day with three hours of “High Ropes”. The kids tested their fears of heights through a series of obstacle courses set up in the trees. After the first try, many of the kids become confident and began to speed up. It also turned into a bit of a competition to see who could complete it fastest.
After lunch we were kayaking for about an hour. It ended up being cut short due to the conditions of the water, so our camp leader opted for an hour and a half hike. This was a good endurance challenge since it was a tough climb to get to the summit.
After dinner was Skit Night where each of the cabin groups had to perform. The parents and teachers also did one where we made fun of the behaviors of the kids. The boys in my cabin volunteered to go first. In the end, they also won the competition! Which they were surprised by but took the win nonetheless.
It was a great way to end our week at Camp Jubilee.
Day 3 of Camp Jubilee was our cabin’s turn to set the table for breakfast. All the kids in my cabin didn’t want to be late so they were up 45 minutes early just to make sure.
They set up quickly and enjoyed being first to get breakfast. I was lucky enough to be in their group, so I received first breakfast as well. Not much time after our meal to get ready because we were off to do our first activity of the day.
We went canoeing for about thirty minutes to get to a place called “Twin Islands”. The ride there had us singing songs and racing the other group. Once we got to our destination we had an opportunity to swim in a small lagoon and hike around the hills. Our ride back was just as energetic. We were racing for lunch!
After lunch was “Orienteering” and “Team Building”. Because of our extraneous exercising at the first half of the day and the heat- the kids were too exhausted to put any effort in. That was okay. They tried- halfheartedly at least. Our next and final day will be a busy and active day as well.
All I can say is that theses kids sleep well every night.
We finished our Monday night with some board games in our Yurt. It was a great way to calm everyone down after our first day. Tuesday had us up early at 8:30am getting breakfast. The parents had a few moments to enjoy the morning before the kids activated.
After we had breakfast, we were off immediately to do some Beach Exploration. The kids looked for marine life on the shore- discovering a multitude of tiny crabs. They worked together to gather them up and then release them. Jellyfish and sea stars were spotted in the water near our dock as well.
After that, we were off to rock climbing. Where each of the kids took an opportunity to scale a slope. Many of these kids overcame their fears. It was fantastic. I was encouraged to try it as well. It was tremendously fun as the kids encouraged one another to go up and back down. We did both these activities in the three hours before lunch.
After lunch, we were off again to do slingshots followed by shelter building. Luckily enough, everything was in the shade. It was hot! We are expecting an increase in temperature today.
The trip up to camp was calm and uneventful. We took a 35 minute bus ride to the dock where we were greeted by the captain of our vessel. A short 45 minute ride took us up to Camp Jubilee.
Once we got to camp, we unloaded our stuff to go in a heat room. Later, we set up in our Yurt. The boys I’m with are stoked about having the Yurt.
Our first day at camp was great. We did archery and low ropes. As well as some great free time to explore the beach and play around. So far the kids have been having a ton of fun just laughing and running around. I’m even joining in with the activities.
Back to the fun, I’m only taking a few minutes each day to explore my technology.
Today we are departing for Camp Jubilee with my son, Theory, and his class. I’m lucky to have been chosen as one of the parent chaperones. My son and six of his friends are all in a cabin with me. They got to choose a cabin name and design a t-shirt. The fact that these kids go to a Fine Arts school shows in the logo they designed.
Our cabin is called “The Infinity Stones“. I even get a T-shirt! As the cabin leader, my wife suggested we get the kids some items that promotes their design. Each of the boys is a different “stone” so my son and I picked up some precious rocks to give each kid. I also got them some slap bands in their respective colours that light up. Along with a notebook and gel pen- I think these kids are going to enjoy their gifts.
I’m looking forward to hanging out doing the activities with the kids. Every afternoon we have some down time, which means I’ll quickly write a blog post and share our adventures. I forgot to mention- the kids aren’t allowed technology, so I’ll have to sneak away and use my phone. Parents are allowed phones- mostly for picture taking though. I plan on keeping mine in Airplane Mode most of the time.
Wish me luck! Hopefully I come home in one piece with my sanity still in tact. I hope you enjoy the adventures I’ll be sharing.