First Day(s) Of School/Work September 2022

Today was the first day of school for our youngest at age 16. He was returning to his high school for grade 11. He stayed at a friends house last night because today was only an hour or so long and more just a chance for everyone to meet up again.

Our middle attended their first day of post-secondary at the Simon Fraser University. Upon arrival, it to was a meet and greet type of day, but lasted about six hours or so. They had a chance to make some new friends, create group chats, and even went to the mall with these new friends after the first day ended.

My wife also began a new job today for a company called Jane. She is working remotely (from home) in a similar manner as she once did for Shopify. Her day went rather quickly.

But all three of them had great experiences on the first day of their new adventures. I was genuinely excited to hear about their first day encounters over dinner. I’m glad our middle made some new friends already and is really enthusiastic about the school. I was a bit worried prior to this moment. But I think my fears and anxiety trumped theirs. I’m also really proud of my wife for jumping into a new role after such an unexpected leave from her previous job. I know it wasn’t easy for her to go an apply for work when she didn’t foresee that moment coming. But she is back in the saddle again and moving forward with her career! Our son was just happy to be back with his high school buddies and his change in fine arts major is a chance for him to showcase other skills he has.

All in all a good first day was had in our household. How was your first day?

Reflecting On Being A Father

Today is Father’s Day- a time to celebrate dad. My kids are in their late teens, so it feels different these days than in the past. The two youngest wished me a Happy Father’s Day and my son made me a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast. I am aware that as they grow older, gift giving is not the same as it once was. Just being acknowledged these days is the best feeling. I still do my best to help guide them through life, even when it becomes difficult to handle their strong opinions and personalities.

Some previous gifts from my kids.

I have saved every hand made and store bought gifts that my kids have given me over the years. From cards to ceramics; paintings to pens- they had put forth effort in thinking about me as a father and shared them with me. Chances are my kids won’t read my blog, but if they do- they’ll know how important those trinkets and words still mean to me.

Facebook also shares memories with me on a regular basis. We had many good times as a family doing everything from the mundane to traveling to other countries. I love looking back on our time together and seeing how much they have all changed over the years. I’m always proud of what they have done and who they are becoming as adults.

My Father and I.

Sometimes I wish my father were around to see how amazing these kids are. I often wonder if he was proud of me before he passed away. I’ll never know. What I do know is that we had a tough time sharing feelings and I didn’t always have fond memories of him. Towards the end of his life, he and I were civil to one another. But I was already past trying to make amends. Maybe it could have happened over these last 20 years since he died, but all I can do is try and remember the good times.

As my kids grow older and move on with their lives, I hope to be able to have a healthy adult relationship with each of them. I really enjoyed their company as babies, toddlers, kids, and yes- even as teens. Being a father isn’t always easy. Sometimes you have to be the bad guy. But I hope that all of good memories will stay front and center as my kids continue to grow up.

I love them all immensely. I couldn’t be happier for the way they love me back- each in their own way. Even if we don’t always see eye to eye or have a perfect relationship- I’ll always be here for them. That’s what a Father does.

Pink vs Blue

There is often discussion, or rather Internet rage, about the fact that toy companies and clothing companies make “gender specific” items. Slapping pink on something, saying it’s for girls, and charging twice as much- is far too common. I have two girls and a son at home and it irks me to see this happen.
Why should Nerf or Lego make toys geared towards specific genders? The Lego in my house gets all mixed up anyways. Yellow Nerf guns shoot the same as pink ones. What jack up the price?


There shouldn’t be a huge price difference in clothing either. One of my son’s favorite hoodies is a hand me down girl’s hoodie. My eldest daughter loves her men’s hiking boots and my old pants. I have seen the quality difference in t-shirts with the exact same image printed. Men’s shirts are more durable by far. It’s crazy.

I encourage my children to like what ever they want. In the 15+ years of parenting, this seems to make them happy. But I also try and persuade them to think of quality and cost associated. Our children are now extremely savvy shoppers and are not taken in by the trendy market advertising. 

Trying to change big companies is an almost futile endeavor. Which is why we support small businesses or thrift shops whenever possible. My kids love it as well. But that’s just how my wife and I like to parent. Seems to be working for us and the kids.

Independence Day 2017

As we have done every year, we are watching ID4 as a family. Last year I mentioned the story of how I made my children believe that this film was a documentary based on real events: ID-4. This year I cannot help but feel that if I were to tell my children that now for the first time, they would almost believe it again. 


That’s because there is far too much “Fake News” going around.  And that scares me. My example may seem far fetched, but is it?What if our history books get rewritten?  Or legitimate news articles get buried and erased from existence?  At what point will we as a species completely forget what is real or the truth? Stories handed down from generation to generation and then forgotten or lost. There’s nothing stopping this.

And so we watch on social media.  We watch and interact with one another.  We eat it up. And we yearn for the next story. We spark up conversations about hot topics and buzz words.  Have you heard the term “Flex for the gram”?  That’s what we all do on social media.  We portray the perfection of our lives that we want shown. We don’t share realism.  We share what we think others want to see.  We share our own “fake news”.  I’m guilty of this. I know I am.  I’ve also shared some unfunny and darker stories, but I’ve kept much of it private. I love sharing the adventures of my family.


Tonight as people celebrate Independence Day, my family and I are just hanging out.  A quick dinner in the backyard and the movie on in the theater room. Family time as we start the summer break. Watching this film is our tradition. Laughing at it and pointing out the flaws is so much fun.  On a side note- President Whitmore would be a better man to run the USA at this point in time… if he were real.

My Wife and Our Children

As my children grow older, I tend to leave them to figure things out on their own.  Sometimes giving them guidance with nothing but a few words. Like the other day for example. I simply asked what they are planning for Mother’s Day.

The three of them are too old to be doing crafts at school.  And I’m at a point where it’s not my place to decide what they should do for their mother either.  I checked with them again yesterday to see how things were going and they had their plans in motion. So this morning, my wife was treated to breakfast in bed and handmade cards.

The breakfast was a cheese and tomato omelette created by our oldest daughter.  As a dessert, the two youngest made a milkshake and brought it to their mom. But the cards were the best.  One of the kids found an old picture of their mother from when she was in grade six and put it in the card.  Another practiced her calligraphy skills and wrote a simple, but elegant card. The third pasted pictures of all three kids and some old pompoms from our wedding day on her card.  

All of it was sentimental and very lovely.  Our children don’t need as much coaxing as they once did.  They all showed how much they care in their own ways. My wife started her day off wonderfully thanks to her three kids.

Raise it right

Being a parent is difficult.  We are often sharing advice with friends about raising children.  We are all on the same path- hoping our kids learn to be a productive functioning members of society.  This journey is a difficult one.  No matter what stage of parenting you are at, there is always someone you turn to in order to figure out what to you should do.  

From the first sense of “I better do everything I can to just keep this living creature alive” to “these monsters will be the death of me” to “I can’t wait until they move out”- raising kids is a crazy game.  Plenty of other parents out there are doing their best, just like us.


Doing the right thing when raising kids isn’t always easy.  We try and show them the pathway to a good life but of course, they don’t always listen.  I know I didn’t listen to my parents when I was a teen.  But it’s my mistakes that I want my children to avoid.  

However, mistakes are inevitable.  It’s a good learning experience for everyone.  As long as we grow and try to change our behavior to improve ourselves, then mistakes are good.


I have friends looking at mine and my wife’s parenting style.  Sometimes we are doing the right thing, other times, we are guessing just like the rest of you.  This weekend I had breakfast, lunch and dinner dates with friends.  We spoke of our lives and inevitably we began talking about our children.  I have noticed that the struggles are similar in many ways.  We all love our kids but they make us crazy when they don’t listen.

As much as it pains me when my kids are hurt, I pick them up, brush them off and let them try again.  Watching them break rules is aggravating when you have to dole out punishments.  We can’t always be the good guy.

I’m proud of all of the accomplishments our children have done.  When they succeed, I feel like we’ve done something right as parents.  

At the end of the day I just hope that when our children look back on their lives, they appreciate what we did to guide them.

Exaggeration 

One of my favorite parts about being a parent is the way my children exaggerate their feelings.  Ok, that’s an exaggeration.  But I oftentimes hear these phrases:

“My life is totally over.”

“You’re the worst parent ever.”

“I’ve been waiting forever.”

“I didn’t do anything.”

“I always do the cleaning!”

“I only wore this once this week.”

“I took a shower.”


Mind you, this isn’t daily.  It seems to be when they’re having a bad day.  Le Sigh.  At this point with my parenting skill set, I have learned to ignore most of these comments.  However, if I’m feeling sassy, I’ll fire back with sarcasm.  It’s my gods given right as a parent to fire back with wit in times of frustration.

Sometimes the banter continues until the children crack a smile.  Other times silence from both parties will end with a hug and an apology.  My kids are great people.  They’re trying to learn their place on this planet and where they fit in.  I can’t always get angry at them.  Sometimes there is a deeper hidden reason for the frustration.  You just have to get past what they’re saying and listen to how they’re speaking.


It’s harder now as they get older to decipher the exaggerations from the lies.  Teens have a good way of telling you something over and over until they believe it.  I really don’t believe this statement: “I don’t have any homework.”  


Parenting is a crazy game with no rules.  You just hope that your kids survive until adulthood and leave the house with all of their digits and brain cells.  You also hope that by that time you still have your brain cells and sanity.


Adults think I’m cool.

Going to toot my own horn a bit today…

Toot-toot

It has been brought to my attention numerous times that my wife and I are pretty cool parents.  I’m sure our children don’t always agree…  But at the last Comicon we were at, I think it may be true.  

This is what cool looks like.


Since before the birth of our first child, we knew that we would try and be unique parents without being drastically over the top.  So our first born was named Random.  She has grown into her name quite nicely with everyone asking where we came up with it.  It’s the name of the girl from book five of the trilogy “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”.  The last two remaining humans in the universe have a child, and she is named Random.  Kind of an Adam & Eve story. (Side note: My wife and I dressed as Adam & Eve for a Halloween party we had before we had children.)

Two years later, our second daughter was born.  Much discussion of her name to try and compliment her sister was had.  We came upon the name Darwin as a way to express our belief in evolution vs creationism.  People can use names from the bible, why couldn’t we name our children after famous scientists?  To this day- everyone who meets her, loves her.

Our son was born a couple of years after her… So we named him Theory.  It finished our naming combination for our children.  He is also a very talkative and curious young man, oftentimes surprising people with his knowledge.  That’s the rundown of our children’s names.  


Back to Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo- our two youngest were in a cosplay contest.  My wife sewed their costumes and I helped make a shield and accessories.  (Making props and costumes is something that I enjoy doing and I’m getting better as time goes on.)  Our kids went on stage and were immediately cheered by the audience.  The kids loved it.  The host approached to interview them and asked their names.  My daughter answered saying her name is Darwin and her brother is Theory.  The crowd cheered again.  The host said that they have the coolest parents ever for both making their costumes and naming them.  My kids were filled with joy.

Strangers think my wife and I are cool and have cool kids.  I couldn’t agree more.

Respect and parenting

My wife recently said to me that she doesn’t want our son hanging out at a certain house because of the lack of respect shown to the mother of the house.  I am in complete agreement.  As a parent of two girls and one boy, I have found it important that my children treat everyone equally.  They are allowed to have a difference of opinion, but need to be respectful of other people’s opinions and ways of life.  My children are taught that they have choices and how they act reflects upon who they are in the eyes of the world.  

It is always difficult to teach kids respect. Often times they are learning from the world around them.  The kids in the playgrounds, their cousins, teachers, coaches, television, and movies often influence their minds.  It can be overwhelming growing up and witnessing the opposite of what your parents tell you is right from wrong.  My wife and I try and have adult discussions with our children when something comes up.  We’ve talked about religion, volunteering, acts of kindness, bullying, sexual orientation, racism, sexism, hate, lies, fears, death… Pretty much anything the kids have asked us about, we haven’t shied away from discussing and that has proven challenging.

No one said being a parent is easy.  It starts when they’re born and you’re just making sure they’re fed, clean, & safe.  It becomes more challenging as they get older and their world becomes bigger.  Soon you’re seeing that not all parents and their children are the kinds of people you want to be around.  

As much as I want to tell someone how to parent in the style that I’d approve of, it’s not my place to do so.  It’s not my place to tell people to believe or not believe in a god.  Nor is it my place to tell someone to vaccinate their kids.  Those are choices that parents make based on how they were raised.  I am mindful that not everyone shares my parenting style.  My wife and I sometimes butt heads as well on certain topics.  One of the things we agree upon though, is that men and women should be treated as equals.  

In our household, everyone does their share.  Chores aren’t divided into his or hers responsibility.  Games and movies aren’t strictly segregated for boys or girls.  Treating each with respect is paramount.  Making sure our children are courteous and kind, all the while understanding that not everyone in this world behaves the same, is challenging to say the least.  We’re doing our part to bring out the best in our children, even if it means we have to tell them they can’t hang out with certain people.