Do You Remember?

Do you remember? The 21st night of September?

My wife loves that song. Her friends often look forward to singing it to her every year. I find it humorous and have written about it in the past: 21st Night of September . Today got me thinking about my wife and how she remembers the way I like things done. Specifically preparing food.

Now, I’m not saying that the way I like my food prepared is right, but it is how I like my food. It used to cause many discussions years ago, but now my wife just goes with it. Usually.

I’m a big texture and taste person when it comes to food. I don’t overly care if different food touches on a plate, so that’s not it. It’s more how the flavors mix. For example- when making a sandwich- the mustard side needs to be the side the meat is on, not the cheese. Cheese on mustard has a very different taste and texture compared to meat and mustard. Trust me.

Mr Noodles… the instructions on the packet are wrong. The noodles need to be placed in the water immediately and then brought to a boil. Once the noodles are soft, drain all the water. Then put the noodles in a bowl and add the flavor packet. This isn’t a soup we are making! It’s called Mr. Noodles not Mr. Soup.

Because of these preferences, I will admit that I am the one who usually ends up making the lunches. My wife will adhere to my choices when making something for me, which is nice, and has on occasion agreed with how I make foods. Like a dash of salt after goulash is served. It brings out the flavor immensely as you are about to eat.

However it’s not just food preferences I need to work on with her. I still need to get her to understand that the toilet paper flap goes over the roll, not behind it.

And with that, I am off to escape to work to avoid confrontation once she reads my blog.

Love you honey!

I Turn My Camera On

Today would have marked my father’s 80th Birthday. One of the few things I have kept of my father’s is his camera. It’s nothing special to anyone but me. Valued at $40 used on eBay. The Praktica is nothing more than a 35mm chunky camera.

The reason it’s special to me is that my father realized that when I was born- he did not own a camera. He went out and bought it within a couple of days of my birth. Partly because there was some uncertainty in my living beyond a short while. I had respiratory issues from birth. But that’s another story. This camera was purchased in 1976- the original receipts and warranty card are still in the carrying case.

I ended up using this camera in high school back in the mid-nineties for my photojournalism class. I took numerous black and white photos with it as well as colour pictures. Some of those ended up in the year book. Including my favorite which was a collage overlay of four photos together making up the front of the school. Not too easy to do when there was no preview screen and had to wait to get the images developed.

Now as our son enters grade 11- he has taken up photography as his art major. With it came a curiosity of my father’s old camera. In the first week of photo classes, he went through four rolls of film just taking black and white photos with it. Soon he will develop the pictures and see what he has created.

The one picture that my son wants to take with the camera is one I am impressed he thought of. It’s nothing outrageous, but rather one that brings the camera’s journey full circle. He plans to take some photos of my father’s tombstone- using the same camera that my father had bought to take pictures of me at birth. It’s quite convenient that the graveyard is merely steps away from the school grounds.

I’m not going to lie, at first I had a tough time allowing my son to use the camera. But he has been respectful and understanding of the sentimentality to me. He keeps it in the case and is very careful when handling it. As I said, there’s no monetary value to this item. But it means a lot to me as I wish my father could have seen the lovely grandkids that were produced. I would hope he would’ve been proud of me. But I didn’t become a good father to impress him. I became a good father to spite him.

Happy 80th Grampa. You missed an entire world, yet somehow you are still a big part of mine.

Down Time Before Bed

My day was filled with being busy at work, some basic chores and then time with family. I nearly forgot to write today’s blog. So I checked out of my life for a bit before writing this.

For the first time in ages I threw on some YouTube in bed. I watched Season Six Episode One of Rick and Morty. I was going to write my blog as the show was playing, but ended up getting too enthralled in the episode.

Nobody exists on purpose.

I love this show. My son and I even did a cosplay together over six years ago: Father Son Time. We share a bond of shows like this along with a vulgar humor.

Ironically, my son now fits those pants I wore for the costume and loves to wear them. I also found my flask from the cosplay the other day (still had booze in it…) In a couple of days my son and I will watch the few episodes that have been released. I plan to share a few good laughs and speculation on what’s to come or inter-dimensional paradoxes (or some other type nerdy sci-go shit).

To quote the great Rick Sanchez, and send you off for the night:

Wubba-lubba-dub-dub!

(which means I am in great pain)

Queen Elizabeth II

It is with great sadness that the world bids farewell to The Queen. She has been an icon for many generations. The world now mourns the loss of such a wonderful person.

Personally, I never followed along with the royal family. I do know my mother is more in tune with the Royal Family- being Scottish and all. I called my mother this evening and she gave me the rundown of what will be coming next for the Royal Family.

Chances are I will watch some of the service for the Queen. I did admire her wit and subtleties when it came to politics. Of course, almost each and every photo of her is a favorable one. With numerous smiles and iconic moments. My heart goes out to her family and the communities in which she watched over.

Long live the Queen.

Today Is Gonna Be A Great Day

“There’s a hundred and four days of summer vacation- ‘Til school comes along just to end it”

Summer is over, at least for our kids… There’s still a few days left before the official 1st day of Autumn. This evening was a chance for my wife and I to relax by floating on the pool. We enjoyed our last evening and our smiles couldn’t be bigger.

As our youngest heads into his second to last year of high school, we are slowly relieved of the extra duties we once had. Our middle is about to attend their first year of university as well. The journey into adulthood is well underway for our kids. Our eldest is already two years out of public school and summer vacation.

As I lounged around watching the sunset- it dawned on me that life is really what you make it. We have worked hard to get to this stage in life and hope that our children appreciate the effort we have put in for them. They each have a future ahead of them that I look forward to seeing. And each day is better than the last.

“This could possibly be the best day ever…
And the forecast says that tomorrow will likely be- A million and six times better.
So make every minute count-
Jump up, jump in and seize the day!
And let’s make sure that in every single possible way-
Today is gonna be a great day.”

Final Push Home

Yesterday was the last leg of our journey to return home from Disneyland. We woke up and had breakfast by 7am as we were all eager to get under way. Home was only a short 5 hour journey if traffic was good. Otherwise it could take about 6 1/2 hours. We needed to get through Tacoma and Seattle.

Of course, the teenagers were out cold AGAIN almost instantly. Yup, I kept taking pictures of this. My wife and I talked and listened to music up front and enjoyed the peace and quiet coming from the back.

I mentioned about having road nuggies the previous day. This time my son wanted to bring “racon” aka “road bacon”. He grabbed a to-go coffee cup and filled it packed tight with bacon from the hotel breakfast. A couple hours after leaving and our car smelled like the heavenly aroma of bacon.

The journey only took us a little over 5 hours to complete. Once we got home, our oldest was in the process of tidying up. They had opted to staycation at our home and look after the pets and house while we were out of town. They even made my wife and I a painting and left it in our bedroom for us.

Being home is a great feeling. I was surprised that it was far hotter than Disneyland. But I got to work quickly and had the pool cleaned and open for us to relax in after our two day drive home. I love the memories that we have made over the years doing these road trips. Maybe more will happen, but I have a feeling this may have been our last one for quite some time.

Next summer I do not plan on going anywhere as our home is pretty gosh darn awesome. For now, I’ll enjoy the next few days alone as my wife is taking our two youngest on yet another road trip to Calgary for a few day. Practically feels as though she is living in her car. But this sacrifice she is doing is for our son’s speed skating. He has a competition this weekend and it was imperative that he attends.

A bit of “me time” is on the agenda the next couple of days as my vacation time winds down. I’m sure I’ll be able to keep busy. Or at least catch up on some naps like the teens did.

Disneyland 2022: Day 3- Another Disney Day

We just finished our third day in a row at the Disneyland Park. We were there bright and early again. In fact, we were able to get to rope drop and be first in line.

Once the rope dropped, we hustled to Galaxy’s Edge and got onto Rise of the Resistance without stopping. That walk took us six minutes and was worth the rush.

Most of our day was casually hitting a few rides, meeting some characters and eating. Theory got a set of ears and had them embroidered. We got lucky and we arrived in Tomorrowland just after Space Mountain had broken down. As our son walked up to ask if they knew how long it would be down for- the ride reopened. Again, we walked right on to the ride. Once it was over, three of us walked right back on before the line grew once more.

The rest of the afternoon was shopping, followed by hours at Galaxy’s Edge. Our two kids decided that they wanted to build their own Lighsabers. Which was a pretty cool experience.

For day three, we had a pretty good time. Now onto our fourth and final day!

Last Leg Of The Journey

Our road trip today was a little over six hours. We stopped at In-N-Out again. I was told by the cashier that I was number 1. So I totally did a dad moment and said, “You know it.” Afterwards we were stuck in traffic heading through Los Angeles and spotted a couple billboards for Disneyland.

We made it to the hotel without issue. My wife and I went out to get a few snacks for the parks and the kids were too excited to remain at the hotel. So they took off to Downtown Disney and wandered the stores. We met up with them at the first store and the played around getting some photos and grabbed a cheap dinner. My wife wanted a re-created photo of the kids at the gate waiting to enter. (Albeit we do have a substitute teenager in place of our oldest.)

Our evening ended back at the hotel. We stood on the balcony and watched the fireworks that exploded from the park. Our energy levels and dopamine was kicking in and getting to sleep was tough. But we did it.

The excitement of our first day is about to commence. Now onto a post- Covid lockdown adventure in Disneyland. Did I mention that I’m super excited about Galaxy’s Edge? Yeah. I kinda love Star Wars…. Squeee!!! I’m the biggest kid of them all right now.

More adventures to follow over the next few days.

My Little Sister

It’s my little sister’s birthday today. Sadly, I have not had the opportunity to visit with her for about a year. Life gets a bit hectic and making plans have also been thwarted by scheduling conflicts. Here in BC, those ferries are unreliable as well these days.

I did give her a call today on the phone. We had a pretty good conversation about growing up, becoming parents, and hoping that things get better. Not that anything is truly bad, but things can always be better.

She will always be known as “Joe’s Sister” in our circle of friends. Her personality is much larger than being known as that. I look back fondly on our memories growing up. We always had each other, through good times and bad.

So thank you for being my sister Nikki! Love you always- as only an older brother can (including insults!) Happy Birthday.

Fun Lies To Children

Having small kids is filled with telling them lies. Many of the lies are done in order to calm or control the kids in some way. I know many parents who have told the same lies I have told.

The Three Big Lies

Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy are the three main lies we have told to our children. These fibs led to some good behavior and some magical moments as they grew up. It is always fun to be the character behind the curtain and make their dreams come true. A few gifts, some candy, a dollar or two. But I have a couple of other lies I have told over the years that I found amusing.

ID4

Telling our children at a young age that the move Independence Day was based on true events brought me joy. I wrote about it here: ID 4. Watching the film every year is one of my guilty pleasures. The kids also enjoy the film, so no harm no foul in telling them that lie.

However, my favorite lie was telling my kids that when the ice cream truck was playing music- it meant they were out of ice cream. That worked for a very long time. Each of them just grew to accept that we weren’t going to buy a frozen treat. Our youngest was the last to discover the truth. One day our son was over at a neighbor’s house and those parents went and bought ice cream from The Ice Cream Man.

I saw him getting a treat as I was leaving for work that day. Not sure if it was guilt in his face for being caught, or the look was the fact that he realized that I was always lying about the music. At least now if the truck comes to the neighborhood, our teenagers have their own money to spend if they choose to.

Is there any lies you have told kids in order to humor yourself, save money or perhaps your sanity? Let me know in the comments.

Finally A Cheap Breakfast

With everything going on in the world, it’s nice to find a deal locally. Food prices are high, gas prices are fluctuating, but sometimes a place just goes against the norm and delivers.

Our downstairs tenants mentioned they went for breakfast yesterday at a local restaurant called “The Henry”. They told us that there is a $4.99 breakfast. Two eggs, hash browns, toast and a choice of bacon or sausage. For five bucks, it was worth a shot.

Honestly, the breakfast was pretty darn good. The service was also good. However, the coffee was not something I would buy again next time. Yes, there will be a next time.

So if you live in Langley or Surrey- definitely make your way to The Henry in Cloverdale for some cheap eats. It’s located on the street just south from the old Clova cinema. Some of my old friends may remember the location as an old strip club (just sayin’). My how times have changed.

I digress. It was a good Sunday brunch. Now to relax.

I’m a Fan of Fans

Since today is a scorcher of a day, I just want to say how much I love fans. We have a fan in every bedroom (I installed the kid’s ones last summer) and one in our stairway leading from the main floor to the upstairs. These fans help to circulate the cool air created by our heat pump.

Hiding the heat pump

We do have central air conditioning that is pushed into our home from the heat pump outside. Last summer we had our home at a chilling 19°. But after getting it serviced a few weeks back- the technician recommended keeping the temperature at 23°-25° when the summer heat is in full force. That’s because even just a couple of degrees lower from outside will make all the difference for the comfort level inside. It will also help to keep the heat pump lasting longer and giving it a better lifespan. I still like using our fans though.

My favorite fan is the one in our bedroom. If I had my way, it would be on every time I went to bed- every day of the year. I like the gentle breeze and soft whir as it spins. It reminds me of my teenage years when I had a cheap ceiling fan in my bedroom. I would lay on the bed talking to girls on the phone, just mesmerized by the blades as they spun… as well as being mesmerized by the girls I was talking with. Let’s just say both made me cool.

Do you use air conditioning in your home? Or perhaps it’s windows open and a fan in the window drawing the hot air out of the house. I remember having to do that in our first home that my wife and I bought. How we longed for comfort and AC back then.

Stay cool and hydrated my friends. I’m also a fan of you staying healthy!

Golfing… As Predicted

Our son began his first job three weeks ago. He is currently a groundskeeper at Surrey Golf Club. Check out my write up about his first week here: 1st Work Week. As I anticipated, he wants to take up golfing now.

He has found about 75-100 golf balls so far at his work. He came home yesterday and wanted to practice his swing. So I did my best to teach him. He hit about 30 or so golf balls and nailed maybe 5 of them comfortably.

My father attempted to teach me how to golf a couple of times throughout my childhood. Unfortunately, he wasn’t patient with me. I think around age 13 he gave up. To be fair, so did I. But I did listen and remember his teachings. I was able to pass the wisdom onto Theory. As much as I wish I could continue to teach my son how to swing a club, if he wants to learn it would be more beneficial for him to take lessons.

Taking from my own past experiences- both in teaching and being taught- learning from a parent isn’t always the best. Expectations can be too high, anxiety kicks in and then finally disobedience to the lesson being taught. Which causes a bit of animosity between parent and child.

I do have a feeling our son will enjoy golf. He is very keen on learning more and loves his job tremendously. The job has been great for him so far. He likes it so much, some days he goes in up to an hour earlier than scheduled. That means being at work at 4am!

Best of luck Theory in becoming a better golfer. Grandpa would’ve been proud.

Deck Number Four

Over the course of two afternoons, I built a deck for my wife. Originally I was going to build it next year. But the “janky” deck I had put down a couple months ago was more of a hazard than a help for my wife. Plywood just wouldn’t cut it.

As I mentioned, this is the fourth wooden deck I have built on my own in my lifetime. The first one I made about 17 years ago for my mother. She had all the supplies delivered to her home and I built it over the course of about three days. First day was cementing the posts and leveling the frame. After that it was pretty straightforward. I started a tradition of building decks and listening to classical music really loud. Specifically the Fantasia 2000 soundtrack. I listen to it every time I build a deck. Something about classical music helps me to problem solve and get creative when building.

Tree Deck

The next deck I built was in the trees at our last home. That deck was made 14 years ago. It was a 20’ x 14’ and sat on two 12” boards between four trees. I used branches from around the yard as railing spindles. It was built very solid and is still standing.

Front Porch

The next deck I did was built 2 years ago. Again, I built it in our last home in the front yard. This time around I was teaching our son how to use power tools. Read about it here: Part 1 and the conclusion: Part 2. We always wanted a front porch and used it all the time. I was a bit sad that I took so long to get that one built. But it added curb appeal when we sold.

This last deck was built on a small outcrop of boulders. What was essentially useless space with a couple plants in pots has now become a full gardener’s paradise. This deck is 22’ by 5’ so I decided to run the boards lengthwise to give it a larger look. My wife is happy and we put the plants back immediately so they could start to get the best sun.

Next year I will be building another deck. This time it will be in the lower part of the garden. I left a space open at the end of our newest deck in order to build some stairs to get there. We will be able to grow more vegetables down there than we currently have. Plus it will be safer to get down to the lower garden.

Need a deck built? Give me a shout. I’m pretty darn good at it if I do say so myself.

Dom Turns Twenty

Our oldest child turns twenty today. Chances are they won’t see anyone in the family today. Which is a first. But that’s okay. We knew one day they would grow up and move on.

Our little girl was born in 2002 and named Random. But over the years they have discovered who they are and have chosen to go by the name Dom instead. Don has become their own person and can make adult decisions. With those decisions, I may not like them- but I will respect them. Since they are an adult, they also need to live with their choices and learn to grow, change and embrace their ever changing world.

Over the years it was rare to get any photos of them. But even with cosplay, and smiles- they often made it difficult to get a good picture. And as much as I have always been proud of their accomplishments- they never wanted me to express my joy in public. I was apparently an embarrassment to them.

A few months ago, they choose not to speak to me anymore. Which is hurtful, yet I must respect their wishes. I’m not quite sure where I went wrong- as I always thought I was supportive and gave them everything they needed. Even now, as they requested space away from me- I am giving it. Perhaps one day they will talk with me like an adult and I can see more of their vantage point as to how they grew up. Until then, I’ll continue to cheer them on in the background- because I love them with all my heart.

Have a Happy Birthday Dom. May your world be filled with joy everyday.

Love always,

Dad

Twenty One

My wife and I are celebrating our 21st Anniversary today. And in true fashion- it is a hot day just like it was on our wedding day. So we are spending it poolside in our own little oasis.

We have come a long way together. The lifestyle we have created is the sort of thing that dreams are made of. I’m lucky and glad that we met all those years ago and how quickly things moved. I couldn’t imagine a life with anyone else and I’m really happy that we hit the road running.

I’m looking forward to our next set of adventures as we continue to grow and love one another.

Happy Anniversary Honey! I love you with all my heart.

Loving Weekend

This Sunday my wife and I celebrate our 21st Anniversary. Leading up to it, we are doing a bit of extra cleaning and preparation. But, my wife and I are also taking some time to relax before. This evening we hit the pool.

My wife and I have been going strong for a little over 22 years. This anniversary party will be subdued compared to previous years. As we get older, recovering after a “Raging Party” can be challenging. But we will still plan to have a lot of fun.

The sun has come out today and should be gathering around us for the weekend as well. I filled up a couple of floaties for us and our friends to enjoy this weekend. We have asked for some people to bring a sharing plate of food. As well, we don’t have anything fancy for dinner tomorrow- just hotdogs and chips for a quick snack in the evening.

I love to open up our doors for people to come and let loose or just relax. No stress this weekend. Just fun and laughs. We love each other and want to share our love with our friends.

Home Cooked Memories

Taking pictures of a meal might seem a little bit facetious and cringe worthy at times. But I appreciate that I shared them years ago, because it has inspired me to make the same or very similar meals again.

Years ago, we made a “Surf n’ Turf” dinner. Steak, pasta, and crab. We are outdoors on our back deck- which was always something that my wife and I have done. The blue plates have been put aside for a few years now, same with those old placemats. So I know this picture is a few years old.

Last night we had almost the same meal. A steak with pasta and crab. The only change was instead of an Alfredo sauce, we had sautéed spinach with garlic butter. Again though, we are outside on our back deck to enjoy the meal. This time instead of trees and dusk settling in on us, we were watching the clouds roll on by.

I love to cook and try creating new meals. Sometimes classics are equally as amazing. Once you make a perfect steak- you always want to try and recreate that moment. Taking a picture of some of our other meals has inspired me to make them more often. Homemade breads are popular in our household, yet we don’t make them very often.

Do you take pictures of your meals? I’m glad I do. Especially when you don’t know what to have for dinner. Boom- inspiration.

More ID4

“Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. “Mankind.” That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can’t be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it’s fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom… Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution… but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

~President Whitmore

This has to be one of my favorite monologues from a movie in modern cinema. I have another favorite from the movie “Four Rooms” but that’s for another day. The quote from President Whitmore is from the film Independence Day.

ID-4 is one of my favorite films that I must watch EVERY SINGLE YEAR! I’m not American, but the cheesy and campiness of the film is fantastically put together with action and comedy throughout. We watch it as Our Canadian Tradion on July 4th. After I finish work tonight, we shall be engaged in the watching of said film once more. I can recite so many of the lines from the film that I could practically do it in my sleep. I’m pretty sure my kids can do the same.

Hopefully they will pass on the tradition of watching the film as the years go on.

Do you watch this film regularly like we do? Let me know your favorite scene in the comments!

Milestones Memories

Over the years, I have been there for all of my kids and the milestones they are meant to hit. There are so many important landmarks in life that it just feels right to be a part of each one.

As June quickly reaches an end, so does the school year. All three of our teenagers have hit important landmark events that I have been proud of. And as a parent, it’s always a good feeling to see how proud your kids are of each goal they have achieved.

Watching my memories on Facebook return each June with highlights of these moments hits the heartstrings a bit more than usual for me each day this week it seems. Especially for our oldest.

Reminiscing about each achievement our oldest hit over the years really stings me in my emotions. From a Preschool Graduation to a Grade 7 farewell Graduation to finishing Grade 12 during Covid lockdown… on each of these moments I was there for them and cheered with pride.

Until Tuesday this week. Our oldest had a convocation to receive a diploma for two years of post secondary at BCIT. I’m really proud of them, but for reasons- I did not attend this ceremony. It’s the first big moment I was not allowed to be at. Respectfully it was out of love that I did not attend. They requested that I would not be present at it. As an adult, I must respect their wishes- but it stings and they knew it would.

I will still continue to share my love for each of my children and their achievements. Even when I cannot be there in person. As a piece of my heart longs for the simplicity of a preschool graduation once more, I know that life gets complicated and can be messy.

Yet those milestone memories bring me joy, even if it hurts.

First Day Of Summer

It sure hasn’t been feeling like summer has wanted to start this year. All the rain and grey skies have made it feel as though we were in a second January. A “June-uary” as I have heard it called.

But today is the first day of summer! The Summer solstice is upon us. The longest amount of daylight to be had for the year. With it brings the hopeful warm weather.

The second half of this week it will finally feel as though we are hitting the temperatures we are meant to enjoy. I look forward to hanging out with friends in the backyard and cooling off in the pool with an ice cold beverage. Afternoon siestas are also a favorite of mine. Especially done outdoors with the warmth of the day blowing in as I fall asleep in the shade.

Are you looking forward to summer finally arriving? Remember to Wear Sunscreen.

One Year…

What a difference a year can make. For us, we have lived in our current home for one year now.

Castle Havelka

It was difficult to leave our other home. We had created some many memories while living there. We also did numerous changes on a regular basis to the house and yard. Yet somehow, it never felt as if it would end. Moving was the only way we could start with a clean slate and figure out what we really want in a home.

Kingdom Havelka

I never thought owning a pool would be high up on the list of what we wanted in a home. Yet now I can’t think to live somewhere without a pool. Trading the trees for open views has greatly helped with feeling better and happy thoughts. We are taking in more sunshine than ever before. My wife even commented on my glow the other day. I feel rejuvenated on a regular basis.

As summer approaches tomorrow, I continue to look forward to spending time outside. Relaxing by the pool. Watching sunsets. Sharing quality time with friends. Food and drink beside the pool…

I loved our previous home for the memories we created, but I love the one we are in because of the memories to come. In one year a lot has happened already. If we do another 15-20 years here, who knows what else this home will have in store.

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.

Darwin Did It!

Last night’s Graduation Ceremony was five hours long. Because it was a Fine Arts Graduation- it was run a bit differently than most. First the students were broken up by majors and called alphabetically by these. Dance, Drama, Music, Photography, Visual Arts, and finally- Writing (Darwin’s major). Between each category, the Grade 11’s for each of the majors put on a short performance as a thank you.

Darwin was one of the last to be called up to receive their diploma. Once all the pomp and circumstance was over- the kids got to mingle with friends, family and teachers in the lobby. I was taken aback by the amount of congratulations that were offered up to the parents as well. But looking back over the years- it’s kind of understandable. Like many parents- we’ve been through a lot as well!

Even though the ceremony is behind us, there is still more to come over the next week. A Grad Dinner and Dance, an After-Grad party and the final day of school. Then a summer of freedom (sort of…) to enjoy the last bit of youthful follies.

Again, my wife and I are extremely proud of our Straight A student. As a middle child, we know that they put more pressure on themselves even when we told them to take it easy. But the results are something that Darwin is proud of! And we couldn’t be happier.

Grad 2022

This evening we will be attending our middle teenager’s graduation ceremony. We are excited for this moment as it’s a major milestone. Years of schooling is behind Darwin and an entire life of adulthood lies ahead.

Of course we took some pre-graduation photos! The clouds were out, but no rain so we took the opportunity to take some pictures in our backyard.

Darwin wanted to wear something cute and meaningful to them under the gown. A Sanrio skirt and cute shoes were a perfect choice.

My wife and I each got a photo with the star of the day. We will be taking many more pictures throughout the evening. Be assured that as a proud parent- I will be sharing them today and tomorrow!

Seeing the tassel with the year on it makes this moment that much more real. All of the memories of Darwin’s successes and accomplishments have come flooding in to my mind. My heart has been welling up and I’m going to blame tonight’s tears on allergies.

Way to go Darwin! We are so proud of everything you have done and who you have become. Today is your day- cherish this moment and all of your memories of the road that brought you here.

Love always, mom and dad.