2019- The Year Devoted to Our Son

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.

Theory Thirteen

Today Theory Turns Thirteen.

Okay, enough alliteration. Our son is having another birthday. This time he is officially entering his teenage years. Over the past year I noticed something about his personality. He has been enjoying taking selfies with me.

This has made me really happy. He enjoys trying to be like me in many ways. Which I am flattered by, but it also has made me more self conscious about my actions and behavior. Our son has started to form a sense of humor similar to mine in many ways. But he also enjoys clowning around in his own style.

Our doofus of a son is a great kid. I hope he enjoys his day of silly antics and fun.

Happy Birthday Theory!

Ps. Here’s the card your mom was going to buy for you…

World JR Hockey

Yesterday my son and I attended his first ever hockey game. We went to the Rogers Arena in Vancouver to watch a match from the World Juniors. My boss at work was kind enough to give me a couple of tickets. So I took full advantage of my day off and my son being home for winter break to attend the game.

We were happy to show support to the Czech Republic as they played against Russia. I picked up a hockey scarf at the game so my son would have a souvenir to remember his first hockey game.

With one minute left in the game, the Czech team pulled out all the stops in an attempt to tie the game. Unfortunately, the last shot on goal didn’t make.

In the end, my son and I had a great experience together. We cheered, we oooed and we awwwwed with the crowd. We took selfies and videos. We even had good conversation during the drive to and from the game. All around, it was a great evening spent with my son.

Fortnite Paintball Party

I like our PS4. I mostly use it to watch movies. Same with my family. We have a few games for it that I have played from time to time. My wife is killer at “Dig Dug” classic. But I don’t game like I once did. That is now for a younger generation. Mostly my son. So I guess the PS4 is more his than anyone else’s. Just don’t let him know.

My 12 year old son plays the game “Fortnite” on the PS4. I’m okay with this. It’s a poplar game and he wants to keep up with his friends at school. Nothing worse than being the “NOOB” at any game. He is pretty good at it… I think. I have also allowed him to play “Call of Duty” and a few others of the same style. He knows that I’ll sit and watch him play. We finally bought him a headset so that I don’t hear him anymore when I’m not in the room.

Last night I dropped him off at a birthday party sleepover. The boys there were already playing Fortnite. My son marched in and smack talk was in full swing. The plan was for some gaming overnight and then in the morning off to try some paintball!

I’m excited for my son to try paintball for the first time. Nothing like the thrill of trying not to get shot by a marble sized pellet that explodes. I think he’s in for a world of hurt by the end of it. I was about his age when I first tried paintball. Come to think of it- that was the only time I tried paintball. Because I sucked.

We shall see how my son fares. Maybe he will be better at it than I was. My strategy was to use all my paintballs quickly and just keep firing. In first person shooter video games- I tend to “run’n’gun”. Not a good plan. I also do that in all of my nerf wars and water gun fights. I’m the target practice by the end it seems.

I can’t wait to hear about my son’s adventures. Hopefully he has a blast and doesn’t just get blasted away like his old man did.

A Dozen Years

My son is turning 12 today. That’s a dozen years of having a mini me around.

It’s uncanny how much he looks and acts like I did/do. Because of this, I can see how much my father got annoyed with me.

But I also love that my son looks up to me as a role model. Sometimes I need to see myself through his eyes in order to be a better father.

He is definitely a lot like I was as a child. A love of LEGO, playing outdoors, video games and movies are all things I enjoyed as well. I never knew how much I wanted a son until we had him. He is one of the greatest joys I have in my life.

Happy Birthday Theory!

Love, Dad.

Grilled Cheese

When I was about 11, I had my first grilled cheese sandwich. It was in a restaurant with my family during a road trip to go skiing at Big White in Kelowna BC. My father had arranged this trip with his Czech buddies and it was only one of two ski vacations we went on as an entire family.

We drove to a mountain chalet for a week long ski trip. All I can remember about the building was the indoor pool, playing arcade bowling, and a sign that read, “Das Hofbräuhaus“. These two trips were the only time my father willingly spent quality time with me.

In the morning, I had ski lessons. By afternoon, my father and I would go down the hill for a few runs. By dinner, I would be back at our room for a quick dinner, then off to swim and play in the small arcade. No adult supervision by the pool or in the arcade. These were simpler times where a boy could spend his quarters happily without restrictions.

After this wind down, my parents would head to the pub inside the chalet to hang out with my father’s friends. They’d stay out late, so before my parents returned, I would watch some HBO in hopes to catch a glimpse of a boob or two. But my strongest memory of this trip was still at the very beginning of it.

To get to our vacation destination, we left our home in my dad’s packed Hyundai Stellar. (I don’t think I have a picture of the car because my father hated it, but I found one online.) Within the first hour or so of our journey we stopped in Hope, BC at a truck stop to meet up with his friends in order to make a sort of convoy to the ski resort. This is where I had my first ever grilled cheese sandwich. There was even ham inside of it. I was in heaven.

When we returned home from our trip, I vowed to learn how to make a perfect grilled cheese. I had never cooked before, so this was exciting for me. Years and years of frying up bread and cheese followed. I have now mastered the art of the grilled cheese. I have made numerous variations of them, all with near perfect results. It has gotten to a point that my family would ask for a sandwich if I was making one. But soon it shall be no longer.

Over the past few weeks, our 11 year old son has been doing his best to make grilled cheese sandwiches. He has asked for advice and tips as he slowly creates his near-perfect meal. Even though he has tried to argue some of my points, he would use them and realize that dad was right.

If my father was still around today, he’d probably never have guessed that the time he spent with me would come down to a simple sandwich. A sandwich that his grandson now excitedly creates almost daily. I don’t think my son knows where my obsession came from, but he is following suit.

All of this stems from one trip, one stop, and one happy memory. Thanks dad for that.

My son- The Future Olympian

As parents, most of us strive to make our children’s lives better than our own.  We get them into good preschools and hope they make lots of friends (but only the good ones with parents that are as like-minded as ourselves).  Then we push to get them into the right classroom with the right teacher, and sometimes even a better school.  We enter our children into after school programs, music lessons, sporting activities, and buy them electronics so they aren’t left behind by society.  We do all of this because we think it’s the right thing to do.

066

You have to start somewhere.  Learning how to balance on his speed skates.

 

And it is- for the most part.  As they get older, they start to push back.  Their schedules dominate your own social life.  Suddenly, years go by and you wonder to yourself if you are doing the right thing.  Giving up is so much easier than arguing or forcing yourself to drive out of town.  Suddenly, a moment hits you like a ton of bricks.

 

_JAN4071

First place all the way.

There is your child superseding your expectations.  All those arguments, all those hours, all coming to fruition as they lead the pack.  You jump up and realize their potential is still there as you cheer them on.  Now, more than ever you want to boost your child up and help them reach for their goals.  All those future hours and arguments don’t matter, because at this exact moment, they are number one in your eyes.  Nothing will take that away from them, or you for that matter.

My son, the future Olympian.  I still have dreams for him and I hope he strives for the same goal.  The choice in the end is his.  I am proud of how far he’s gotten in just five years.  I don’t know where he will be in five years, but I’m willing to put forth the effort and support him in his decisions.

_JAN4084

How he’s grown over 5 years.

Father knows best?

Last night I flipped out at two of my children right before bed.  It’s not a great feeling, and I went and talked to them a few minutes later and apologized.  I can usually control my frustration and pause for a moment before speaking to them about their actions.  It’s strange how it eats away at me if I yell at them.  I’m thankful, and I’m sure they are as well, that this isn’t how I interact with them regularly.

The 1950’s were a simpler time.

Being a father is freaking tough.  I’m not saying being a mother is easy either.  But I only know my role, sort of.  I’m doing the best I can as each day goes on.  The guidance I have to refer to is my father, tv sitcom fathers (I wish I was living in Silver Spoons when I was a kid), and all my friends who are fathers trying their best at this game as well.

  

  

Here’s what I’ve learned so far from this fatherhood thing:

  • Being a father is more than just donating sperm to fertilize an egg.
  • Being a father isn’t just about being a best friend to your children, but it can be part of it.
  • Being a father means having to be there, or listen to their problems, even when you really don’t want to.
  • Being a father isn’t an easy road to navigate, there are many hurdles.
  • Being a father is the greatest experience I have ever had.

Why you little…

Not only is being a father hard work, it isn’t for everyone.  I’ve caught myself going into full rage frustration with my face getting red, my teeth grinding, and the vein in the center of my forehead about to burst… All because one of my children didn’t turn off their iPad when I asked for the fifth time in two minutes.  With me waiting so they could come and dry some dishes, and they respond with attitude as if I’m ruining their life!  What about my life?  I didn’t dream that in my late 30’s I’d be doing dishes on a Saturday night hoping to be in bed by ten.  Just so that in the morning I can be on their cases again the next day, hunting them down to do homework.  I hate that when I raise my voice, I hear my father’s anger come through in me.  If he were alive today, he’d probably smile smuggly, knowing I did pretty much the same thing to him when I was a child.

I am doing my best to make a good life for my children.  I’d like to protect them from the mistakes I made growing up.  I want them to be fully functioning contributing members of society when they grow up.  Being a father is also fantastic.  I see my children accomplish more than I could have anticipated.  I love bragging about my children.  They sometimes bring me gifts and are always on the lookout for something dad would like.  

I often see a bit of myself come out in my son’s behavior.  I hope that through his eyes, he sees a man doing his best with what he has.  My daughters both test my patience and can pull on my heartstrings and manipulate me easily.  That being said, I do hope that my daughters see what a man should be by how I treat my wife and how I treat them.  

I hope one day they each of my kids have kids of their own, so that I can smile smuggly as the circle of life continues.