Posted in Uncategorized

You Gonna Try For a Boy Now???

“You gonna try for a boy now?”

“Aww, I know you guys really wanted a boy.”

“I was praying for a boy for you guys.”

“Well, maybe they’ll act tomboyish and you can still do boy stuff with her.”

“I feel so bad for you, what are you going to do with all those girls?!”

Things like these are what they type.  Things like these are what makes me want to tell people how I really feel.  If you know me well, however, you know I’ll never do that.

Non-confrontational.  Peaceful.  Endearing.  These are a few traits I would like to think I embody.  With these traits I cannot allow myself to succumb to the pressures of society and respond individually to each and every comment pasted on the comment section of a YouTube video.  In fact, since my wife started our YouTube channel seven years ago I have yet to respond even one time to a comment.

I almost feel like responding to those comments gives people an inside look at me.  Parts of me still want to be private.  Parts of me want to be super liked.  Parts of me wish I was famous.  Parts of me wish things were different.  See, responding to these comments would let people see my vulnerabilities, and let them see I’m human.

I do have feelings.  I am a very emotional guy.  I cry.  Not every day, but I’m definitely a guy that tears up when something hits home to me.  Empathetic.  That’s what I am.

That’s who I strive to be, at least.

So, in trying my best to let people see how I feel about having a fifth daughter, the answer is really simple.  I write blogs on occasion, and this is the one where I answer these pressing questions.

I have been blessed beyond anything I’d ever imagined for myself by having children.  Really.  When my first daughter was in her mom’s belly, it was literally all I could think about.  I was so freaking nervous!  I had just turned 21 when she was born.  Two and a half years later, her sister was born.  Those couple of years in between was a very difficult time for me.  Their mom and I fought over the weirdest stuff, and we even separated for a while.  Having children with someone you thought you’d be with forever, and then not being with them forever is hard on a person.  It’s hard on both parents.

My ideal life had already started to crumble and I had two children under the age of four.  Following the divorce from my oldest two daughter’s mother, I floated by like a balloon being tossed back and forth from the wind.  It was like I had no real direction, and every time I looked down to find a good landing spot for my life the wind tossed me a different direction.

It was 2006 that I met my current wife.  I had no idea just how much she would change my life.  When I talk about changing my life, keep in mind I hadn’t even landed from my balloon ride yet.  The start of our relationship was not perfect by any means.  I had been a loner, for the most part.  I had dated.  I dated a lot of different types of people.  Not one of them really made me want to be with them.

When I met my wife, I thought she’d be good practice for getting back into a relationship.  I actually cared about her.  I told her I loved her.  She reciprocated with the same words.  Within barely more than one year of knowing each other, she got pregnant.  I was ecstatic.  She was the nervous one this time.  It was old hat to me, and I did my best to reassure her that everything would be OK.

You know what, though?  Everything was not OK.  She had a blighted ovum.  We lost our baby before we ever got a chance to see their face.

Shortly after that, we split up.  There was a lot of depression in both of our lives at that time.  We wondered why things like that happen.  We tried to tell ourselves that something must have been wrong with the baby, and that’s why the baby didn’t survive.  We tried to tell ourselves that everything happens for a reason.  We worked on ourselves, and found our way back to each other a couple months later.

Shortly after that, we tried again.

*Side note–She denies the “trying part.”  Trust me, “I” was trying.  🙂

I don’t know if I thought having a baby with her would make “us” better, but I definitely thought it would make “me” better.  When my third daughter was born it brought us closer together than we had ever been.  It made me appreciate my fatherhood even more.  Since I have joint custody of my older two daughters, I had been splitting time with their mother.  Like I said I had been a loner.  It really did feel like that every single time they left to go back home to their mother’s house.  At least with this birth, I would have a chance to be there for every single milestone.  I didn’t want to miss a thing.

13 1/2 months later, my fourth daughter was born.  She had to stay in the NICU.  It was scary.  Having her made me realize how much of a chance we take every time a life is born into this world.  It’s not just how much of a chance we take with all the outside stuff that happens in society, on the streets, and in their life in general.  No, it’s a real chance physically HAVING that baby.  Trained medical professionals or not, having a baby is scary and beautiful at the same time.

These past five years since my last daughter was born, has been quite the learning experience for me.  I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I’ve learned what matters to me is not always what matters to others.  That’s OK.  We are all individuals, we find our own happiness  One thing I’ve discovered about myself is that I really LOVE having daughters.  They bring out the sensitive side in me, yet they understand the silly side of me.  They have taught me some pretty sweet dance moves, and they have tolerated my inability to do hair.  I have stocked my car with Midol, tampons, and pads, and I have lent my shoulders to cry on.  I have given advice, and taken some as well.  I have learned more about life from them than anything or anyone else has ever taught me.

As far as this new addition coming to my family goes, I think it is safe to say she will be the last child for me.  It wasn’t a matter of “If it’s a boy, I could quit” or “If it’s a girl, I’ll have to try for one more.”  No, kids are expensive, I am not wealthy, and I enjoy the ones I have.  In fact, I am quite a bit in the middle of relishing every single moment with them.  I guess that’s just the stage of life “I’m” in right now.  I love them entirely.  When my newest daughter is born later on this year, I have no doubt that I will appreciate her just as much or maybe even more than all of my others.  She will fit in just fine, and I cannot wait to shower her with love, affection, and hugs.

As far as my wife goes, on the way to the sonogram the other day, she said she really did feel it in her heart that it was going to reveal another daughter to us.  I know she is happy.

My beautiful wife
My beautiful wife

 I know I am happy.  I also know that she is the one doing all of the work right now, and it looks absolutely awful.  She has been in constant pain, throwing up, and just having an overall very tough time with this pregnancy. When it’s all said and done, my kid’s mothers have done nothing but change my life for the better, the whole time stretching their bodies to the max (literally).  The pain and suffering they went through for me is more than any man should ever ask.  My wife is amazing at a lot of things, but I honestly don’t think she minds at all that we’re NOT gonna try for a boy now.

Posted in Family, finding your way, life lessons, love

The Path…

There’s this path that I’ve been traveling on.  It’s pretty cool, I suppose.  It takes me this way and that way.  Sometimes it goes straight for a long time, other times it feels as if it goes around in a complete circle.  Either way, I’m not the only one doing this on a daily basis.  No, every single one of us is going down a path.

If you were to take a walk in your neighborhood, you may know what to expect on that path, but occasionally you may be surprised.  Say, for instance, a dog barking at you may take you aback.  A car backing up out of their driveway, maybe a police cruiser or ambulance speeding by may get your attention.

Just know, that you are not alone.  Nor am I.

I wonder about the path I’m on though.  I really do.  Am I taking an easier path than necessary?  Maybe I’m turning into the woods when I should be heading into that open field.  Trying to find things that make you happy in this world is necessary.  Nobody wants to be grumpy all the time.  Unless your name is Oscar.  If your name is Oscar, you have my permission to be grouch every once in a while.  I think happiness is an achievable feat.  I really do.

Finding that one thing, or maybe it’s multiple things that draws your heart to happiness eludes many of us.  Sometimes it’s elusive for many years.  When you do find it, sometimes we realize that our happiness acts like a drug to just ease our pain for a little while.  Thinking back to things that make me happy, I can think of many things that no longer would have that same effect on me if they occurred at this stage of my life.

I hate seeing people fail.  I really do.  I would never wish ill-will upon a person, even if I didn’t like them that much.  I may wish they’d do better, or be better perhaps.  In all honesty though, I want nothing but the best for most of us.  I’m not in a competition with anybody else, I’m just along for the same ride that they are.

I have a hard time judging people these days.  You never know what someone is going through.  You never know what may be burdening them, what may be tearing them up on the inside.  Many of us have become oblivious to the pain that we once used to feel and may not even realize all the bad vibes we may be giving off.

I try to remain positive throughout each and every day, and some days i succeed and other days I fail miserably.  Yesterday, was one of the latter days.  I had a bad day yesterday.  I questioned the path I’m on.  It’s not like I’ve never second or even third-guessed myself, buy yesterday was painfully obvious to me, and probably to most that was near me.

I’m not going to sugar-coat it.  Yesterday I was not at my best.  So far, today has been much better.  My oldest daughter yesterday could tell I was having a moment.  I cannot, and for the most part will not tell her every single thing that’s going right or wrong in my life.  She knew, however, that her dad was vulnerable for a little while.  I hate that.  I hate not being Superman when I need to be.  My other kids didn’t really seem to pick up that vibe, and by the end of the day my path was clear once again.

It really is a neat thing if you really think about it.  Just imagine, if you will, leaving your house one day and not getting in your car.  Imagine all of your neighbors just walking out of the house and onto their paths.  You look down and see your feet going one foot after another down yours.  Sometimes you’d have people to chat with on the way to where you were going, and other times you would have plenty of time to enjoy a little solitude.

What if your children, instead of walking to the bus stop, walked on their own little paths?  I like to think of that, and just imagine what is on each one of their paths.  I bet my oldest would pass by a lake, maybe a pool.  It’s probably filled with friends, money, and cute boys.  My next oldest one would pass by photography studios, the YouTube headquarters, friends, her family…oh, and probably cute boys.  Next in line, my six-year old’s path would probably be filled with butterflies, sweet dance moves, cooking shows, and plenty of paper to draw on.  My youngest daughter’s path, I imagine, would be filled with her family, her pretend “purple grandma,” her toys, my phone, and loud noises.

Then I think of my wife’s path and I imagine it being filled with her family.  All of them.  I know she misses them and doesn’t get to see them very often.  I think of her hopes and dreams, and I see her path being filled with a loving home.  It’s filled with all the expert DIYers and home flippers on HGTV, FYI, etc.  I see her in her wedding dress again, looking at me like “You better get it right this time, Mister.”  I envision her holding our new baby, and making sure our other kids are being taken care of.  On her path, I envision her being truly happy.

When I look down at my path it is filled with love.  Plain and simple.  I want love.  I want to feel loved.  I want other to feel like they are loved.  Even strangers.  I want us all to succeed in this life.  Not just my family.  I want certain member of my family to do better than they are of course.  I’m sure they wish the same of me.  I look down at my path and see a new home my wife and I can call “ours.”  I see me doing home renovations making it everything we want in a home.  I see smiles on my kid’s faces, and see them going through every stage of their lives.  And do you know what?  I sense myself on this path I’m carving enjoying every single second of it.

To anybody reading this, just know that there are empathetic people out there.  There are people who care about you, even those you may not even know.  Forge your own path people.  Find your happiness.  Hold onto it.


Posted in Uncategorized

My Pregnant Wife…

My pregnant wife.

Where do I even begin?

Can I just start by stating a little story about a daydream I had the other day?  Cool.  OK, while glancing around my bedroom after my wife left for work the other night, I thought of her.  I think of her all the time actually.  This particular time, as I stared at the bag lying next to her side of the bed in case she needs to throw up, I felt something tug at my heart.  Something that needed to be shared.  I saw the half-full (or half-empty for the pessimists out there) glasses of water left behind in various locations.  I looked down at the new sandals recently purchased.  Then I saw the comforter totally messed up on the bed, half of it wadded up on her side with the pillows bunched up stacked all over each other on her side too.

I looked over and saw the prescription bottles on the dresser for nausea, and saw and empty box lying next to it for motion sickness.  I thought back to the very first time she got pregnant back in 2007.  I remember the anguish and look of anger, sadness, and astonishment on our face when we found out that she had a blighted ovum, and that she had miscarried that baby.

I thought back to the look on my oldest two daughter’s faces when I told them that their new sibling was no longer on the way.  It was horrible.  It was a hard thing to tell them, and my wife and I drifted apart after that.  Not just emotionally, but we physically moved away for a couple of months.  After collecting our thoughts, and reassembling the broken pieces of our hearts, we tried again.  Thank God.

My six year-old daughter is an absolute joy to be around.  She almost single-handedly made me want better for myself, and my entire family.  Having her come into our lives was a turning point on how I looked at the world.  When my five year-old daughter was born, she had to spend a couple of days in the NICU.  It was the first time anything like that had happened to me.  I was scared out of my mind.  Thank God she was OK, and still is.  She is the loudest of the bunch, but probably loves on me more than the other three kids of mine combined.  She asks me at least twenty questions a day, it seems like, and I love every ounce of her being.

We’ve gone quite a few years without really discussing any other children, and yes, getting a divorce from my wife definitely didn’t make me think I would ever have another kid.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing, or sad thing, to be done having children.  There are thousands of people in this world who physically cannot have children.  I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams with not only having four children, but with WHO they are.

Yes, I realize I have played a “part” in who they are becoming, but the fact is I am not alone in raising any of them.  Their support group is big, it is amazing, and I am truly thankful for all four of them.

So, why another kid?  As I daydreamed the other night, I thought of my life.  I thought about my kids, and I thought about our future.  I thought about my wife, as I do every day, about how she is doing so far in this pregnancy.  As I stood there, I thought for a moment “What if it was me?”  What if “I” had to be the one to carry my children?


What if men were the ones to give birth?  How many kids would I have then?

You know, for the guys that are reading this blog, think about that for a second.  Then think about how you treat your child(ren)’s mother on a daily basis.  I really do believe that mothers are angels here on earth.  They sacrifice their bodies for nine months, carrying a child that us guys secretly hope will be “daddy’s girl” or “daddy’s boy.”  Why?  Why would we want to take away something so precious from our kid’s mom?

It isn’t fair.  I know it isn’t.  That doesn’t mean I don’t revel in every fleeting moment I get with my kids.  That means I make sure my kids know that mom exists.  That she matters.  That she’s awesome.  That she’s amazing.  That she deserves 1000 more hugs than I do.

Click HERE to watch my reaction to the news that I would be a dad for a fifth time!

Click HERE to watch my youngest two daughter’s reaction that they were gaining a new sibling!

Click HERE to watch my wife’s reaction to the news that she would give birth for a third time!

I thought about my wife working overnight, and the morning sickness that just won’t quit.  I realize the first trimester is over, this baby is real, this baby is happening, and this person I share my life with is doing it AGAIN.  She’s giving life to another individual, and in return is giving me life yet again.

I love her for it.  I can’t even explain just how much I do.  That phrase “You make me want to be a better man,” couldn’t sum up my feelings about her any more.

I’m typing this all down right now, because I’ve been taking her for granted.  Life happens, and I just do that sometimes.  I wish I didn’t, but I just do.  So, for my pregnant wife, and for all the pregnant women reading this, and for those that have given birth before—you are appreciated.  Thank you.   And to my Beanie Baby, I love you.  Sorry I said you’re mean.IMG_20150312_092037

Posted in growing up, memories, single life

The Single Life…

The Single Life.

Sounds awful, huh? Or does it sound amazing? Now, before you get too far ahead of yourselves, just know I’m probably NOT referring to what you automatically assumed.

No, what I’m referring to is being an only child. I have an older sister. Her and I are not very close although we live one town away from each other. At times growing up I wished she didn’t exist. I’m sure the feeling was mutual occasionally. It’s not like I had a total disdain for her, but she and I never really saw eye to eye.

My sister and I (circa mid 1980s)
My sister and I (circa mid 1980s)

Even now, literally a couple of decades almost into our “adult” lives, we’ve yet to bridge that gap. On the rare occasion that we see each other, we do talk, but there’s usually not that much substance to the conversation, if you will. A couple of months ago, I did take the time out to text her (baby steps) and tell her I love her. We came from the same place, and we’ll always have that.

Growing up, however, a couple of my best friends had no siblings. Zero. How amazing that must have been, I remember thinking to myself. There was no one there to fight with. No one there to interfere with your mom and dad time. No one to build forts with, no one to have a food fight with, no one to have thumb wars with. There was no one to play bloody knuckles with, no one to play catch with, no one to help with your homework.

Wait a minute, maybe that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. But maybe it was. I’ll never really know. I do know I really enjoyed going over to those friend’s houses a lot, because they and their parents really made me feel welcome. I think maybe it was because they could tell how happy their kids were to have somebody over to play with. Whatever it was, they invited me to come over all the time, and I even got to go on a couple of vacations with them.

I loved them almost as much as I loved my own family. There was no drama. There was no tattle-telling on each other. There was nothing but good times. Eventually though, we had to grow up. It’s inevitable. We all do it. We ran off, got older, got married (some of us), and started our own families.

I keep up with them. I really do. Not in “real life,” but definitely in the Facebook life. I absolutely love seeing who my friends have become. Never in a million years, could we tell in high school just who the person we knew the most would be 20 years later. Sure, we had our ideas, and maybe some of them did grow up and be the doctor or lawyer we thought they may be.

As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve realized something about people and something about life. It’s all about finding YOUR happy. Your friends will never be the same person later in life than they were in grade school. They just won’t. One thing I think we all took for granted growing up, was our siblings. When there were no siblings, I think we all took for granted the friend(s) that took the obsolete sibling’s place.

I don’t like to think of myself as a placeholder, but if that’s what I was to them, then so be it. I’m OK with being a placeholder, while my friends started becoming an adult, and finding their happy. Some of my friends are single, some are married. Some have children, some have had children and lost, and some have never had children. I just hope they know how much of a joy they meant to me growing up. I hope they know they made a huge difference on who I am now, just as much as who I was then.

Some of my friends have made choices over the years that I’ve questioned, and I am more than certain I have made a few baffling decisions in their eyes too. Watching my friend’s kids grow up right before my very eyes gives me a little happiness and a little sadness at the same time. I don’t hang out with my friends anymore. Not for real. Thanks to Facebook though, I see them.

As I sit here typing this, my wife is currently checking a marker to make sure it’s non-toxic because one of my kids just colored her lips and teeth with it. Thank goodness she isn’t living that single life though, or her non-existent sister would have never told on her.

Posted in Uncategorized

The Tooth Fairy…

The Tooth Fairy is real, right?

I mean, it’s a thing whether we technically “believe” in the Tooth Fairy or not.  According to Wikipedia, the Tooth Fairy is envisioned by different cultures as very different beings.  Some believe the Tooth Fairy is female (the majority), but still quite a few believe the Tooth Fairy to be male.  Some believe it to even be an animal such as a mouse or rabbit.  Some cultures believe the Tooth Fairy is not a fairy at all, but rather a male.

According to a study in 2013, here in the United States, the average payment received for a tooth placed underneath a child’s pillow was $3.70.  $3.70!  Man, when I was a kid, hiking up and down hills both to and from school, in 2 feet of snow, I am quite positive I never received $3.70 for one tooth!  Heck, they didn’t even give free refills on Dr. Pepper back then.  Sigh…

But I digress.  Look, my kids are going to be losing some teeth soon.  One of them (my six year-old) has already lost a couple of teeth this year.  That’s why I’m writing about it now.  See, the thing is—I got caught.

My five year-old caught me going into the room and opening up their door, and placing money beneath the pillow in exchange for money.  Well, she’s pretty sure she did.

I had no idea that fairies were supposed to fly and whisk themselves underneath doors and through windows.  No, I was not aware that never in the history of time did a fairy open the door using a doorknob.  Silly me.

So, I have this dilemma.  Should I tell them the truth about their being NO Tooth Fairy?  Or should I keep hope alive.  After all, my oldest two daughters have gone through the phase of finding out that the Tooth Fairy was not real, and they seem pretty OK about it.  I just feel bad, because my five year-old hasn’t even lost ONE tooth yet.  That’s not really fair to her, is it?  If I just tell her it’s all make-believe?

Anyways, I’ve been doing a lot of “playing it off” with them.  In fact, I asked them if it would be OK for a parent to take the place of the Tooth Fairy, if the Tooth Fairy had an extra busy night one night.  That was greeted with a roll of the eyes of my six year-old.

I didn’t mean to.  I really didn’t mean to get caught.  I was super stoked about being the Tooth Fairy again, and I messed it up.  Maybe if I just leave enough money under the pillow next time, they won’t care either way…

Her first...
Her first…
Posted in Uncategorized

A Big Year…

I’m kind of scared this time around. I don’t ever really recall too many feelings of doubt or uncertainty the first four kids, but this one seems different to me. Way different. It should be no surprise that Jeremy at soon-to-be 36 is a different Jeremy than he was at 21. By the time the newest addition to my family will be here by the end of the year, I will have a Freshman in High School, a Seventh grader, a First grader, AND one in Kindergarten.

Now, I know what you guys are all thinking—self-inflicted pain, right? Wrong. Having a baby is not really that painful for the guy. In fact, if you don’t count me almost passing out at each one of my daughter’s births, they were actually really simple for me. However, from a purely emotional aspect, having a baby is quite possibly the happiest feeling I’ve ever experienced.

After all, having a baby is an extension of you. You see a little bit of you, and a little bit of your significant other rolled into one bundle of pooping, peeing, crying, cooing joy. Sure, some days are better than others. Hell, some days aren’t even a little bit good. Once you have a baby though, and you watch the baby start hitting milestones like rolling over, holding their heads up, smiling, crawling, it all changes. All those days spent thinking they weren’t even a little bit good, help YOU, as a parent, do better. Be better, if you will—for them. Kids are an absolute joy. It’s easy to forget that sometimes, but really, they are. Look into a baby’s eyes sometimes, and try to tell me they’re not. I’ve done plenty of soul-searching by staring into my kid’s eyes when they were young. If I try it now, I’m sure they’ll just assume that I’m having a staring contest with them.

Now, I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job so far with my four daughters. There have definitely been moments I’ve felt like a complete failure, but also many times I cannot help but beam with pride for who each of these kids are becoming.  They make me proud, they really do.  The milestones they hit now, are signs of maturity.  It sets a spark off in my heart every time I sense a growing/learning opportunity that is actually noticed by them.

I feel like this year is a make or break year for me, if you will.  It’s not enough to ensure our kids have a place to live and eat.  It’s our job to nurture them, to help them grow, and to pick them up after something doesn’t go their way.  A long time ago, when I needed an extra “push” in my life, it just wasn’t always there.  It’s not that my parents didn’t care.  The contrary, actually.  My parents have always cared about me, but they’ve always shown it in a way that didn’t always help me.

Now, I know my mother reads this blog sometimes, so I’m going to put out here for the whole world to see that I love my parents.  Not one time in my life have I not appreciated everything they’ve done for me, everything they do for me still, and everything they’ll do for me and my family in the future.

My kids are in a critical learning stage for me, especially.  They’re at the part in their lives where they need to learn about things that school doesn’t always teach them.  I’m not going to lie, when I was younger I almost never had homework.  Well, that’s what I told my parents anyways.  For some reason, they believed me.  However, I was smart.  I got good grades.  I slept in class a lot though.  I stopped turning in half of my homework.  I breezed through school the last couple of years by taking classes I was probably too smart for, therefore acing all my tests and classroom work.  Genius, right?  I know, I know.  Trust me, by now, I know.

What I really lacked growing up, was someone forcing me to come inside, sit down, do my homework, challenge myself, and ask questions of them—like what they felt they had done wrong so far and what they had done right.  I lacked someone who took a keen interest in what exactly my plans were for after high school.  Sure, I had a job at KFC, but a KFC manager is not what I wanted for a career.

I had plans, big plans.  I really did.  I wanted to make a lot of money.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see the amount of hard work it took to make a lot of money.  I didn’t realize the severity of dropping out of college not once, not twice, but three times.  I got some bad advice from people (not my parents), telling me to not worry about certain bills, because they’re always going to be there.  I got horrible money advice from others, and eventually I started giving that same advice to myself because I became adjusted to living a certain way.

After getting an awesome job opportunity at the ripe old age of twenty at the United States Postal Service, I still squandered away money.  I squandered away a marriage.  I squandered away an opportunity to be the best daddy I could be for my oldest two kids.  I made mistake after mistake after mistake, and no one stopped me.  I was an adult and I could do what I wanted.  Hell, I even walked away from THAT job.

It's going to be a big year...
It’s going to be a big year…

Unfortunately, what we want is not always what’s best for us.  In hindsight, I go back to my high school years over and over again in my head.  What a wasted opportunity high school was for me.  High school for me was about hanging out with my friends, going to gym class, and what I would be doing after school that day.

I REFUSE to sit back and watch my kids go through the most important years of their lives breezing through school, and not preparing them for the future.  Their adult life does not need to be hard.  I live a hard life every single day.  I wish I could tell you I’ve totally changed my life around and I’m all better now.  That’s just not the case.  I struggle every single day, so my kids don’t have to.

Bringing another child into this world will without a doubt be the most challenging thing I’ve dealt with in my life.  I’m prepared mentally for the baby.  More importantly, if my older two kids are reading this, I’m more than I’ve ever been prepared to deal with you two.  I will never allow you to feel unimportant.  I will never allow you to feel like you can’t come to talk to me. I will always be a dad, no matter what else happens in my life.  Although, the pay sucks, it’s the best job I guy could ever have.

Taking baby steps to get my life in order starts with me, and trickles down to each one of my amazing kids.  Man, it’s going to be a big year…

Posted in confessions, coping mechanisms, dad

Life Is Good For Most Of Us…

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“Life is good for most of us.”

I love that quote. I didn’t come up with it though. One of my kids did. She’s six. 🙂

You know, it’s been a little while since I’ve written one of these things. It’s not that I don’t have anything on my mind. On the contrary. I think I may have too much on my mind to even sort into words.

Anyways, here goes…

Every year seems harder than the last. Seriously. If this trend continues until I’m an old man, I will be the most resilient S.O.B. you’ve ever met.

Yet every day, I am greeted at the door when I get home from work from two of the happiest little kids in the world. A few days a week I am greeted with big hugs (usually) from a couple other kids of mine. It makes me wonder when did it start to happen? When exactly did life hand me lemons? And why haven’t I made any lemonade yet?

I don’t remember too much about life before I started elementary school. I lived pretty close to the school, though, so I felt as if I owned a part of it. I played on the playground more than the other kids, I rode my bike across the freshly painted dodgeball circle before anyone else. Heck, in my yellow and black five-speed mountain bike, I popped a wheelie and drove the entire radius of said dodgeball circle before anyone else!

After school, I practiced hitting walnuts with my baseball bat from my front yard and I’d try to make them go over the garage at the end of the yard. Every time I did it? Man, you couldn’t tell me nothing! I was the s.h.i.t.

I had more game than Parker Brothers growing up (in my mind). *Note: If you fact-check me, an error message may appear on this last statement*

Either way, I thought I was smooth, man. My license plates didn’t say fresh, and there were no dice in my mirror. However, my license plates DID say BGDDYJ and there was a boombox strapped in with a seat belt on the front seat because my radio didn’t work. By the way the BGDDYJ stood for Big Daddy J, NOT Boogedy, like my dad thought. Sigh…

I had a basketball goal in the middle of my yard on a telephone pole. I had bushes to climb through, and trees to climb. My dog’s name was Alf. He was the coolest dog ever, except for when he had “special time” with my football.

Speaking of that football, I could throw it all the way into that basketball goal from the other side of the yard. Seriously. No, really. I did it multiple times. Come at me bro.

I had the BEST friends. If I would’ve known how much they meant to me back then, I would’ve never let them drift away. We had nicknames. Oh yes, Big Daddy J was mine. But there was also a Bobby K, a K-Dog, a J-Smooth. There was the kid who I played with in the creek all the time. The kid who let me play his Nintendo if I did his homework for him first. Man, we thought we ran our town.

School was cool, too. I had multiple crushes, none of which liked me back. I didn’t care though. OK, maybe. Sometimes. OK, sometimes I cared, but not all the time. Geez…

School? Easy. Schoolwork? Easy. Life? Easy. I got a job…Life was even more easy.

So, what the hell happened???

Oh yeah, now I remember…

A girl liked me back. Somebody actually liked me. Like, we went out. We went on dates. We became a couple. It didn’t work out. That confidence boost landed me in another failed relationship. Then another. Dating was fun. Dating was stupid. Dating was fun again. Then it was stupid again.

Girls. Girls. Girls. THAT was my problem!

You know what will probably never stop being said to me when I mention to them that “yeah, all four of them are girls…?”

“Wow, you must be getting payback for something! Ha ha ha ha ha!”

So, I think back to all the times I was wronged, and all the times I was uhhh, righted? Is that even a word? It is today.

Anyways, I think maybe they could be on to something. I think maybe I can teach these kids a thing or two about a thing or two. I can teach them to play catch with a football. I can teach them to spin a basketball on their fingertips (I got mad globetrotter skills, bro). I can teach them to do sweet jumps on their Barbie bikes.

I can help with their homework, I can read them books. I can show them that men can fold laundry too, and that boys know how to vacuum. I can show them that boys can care about a girl, and try really hard not to hurt her feelings. I can show them that boys shouldn’t be too proud to apologize and definitely shouldn’t be too proud to cry.

I can wear my emotions on my sleeve, and let them see who the real me is. That little boy that they may relate to one day may be somebody just like me, or he may be somebody the complete opposite. But you can bet your ass I’m going to teach them about both versions.

Most importantly, I can teach them to treat others with respect. I can teach them to command respect in return. I can help them establish borders and guidelines with people they become close to both in the friend sense, and in the “other” kind of friend sense.

One thing that we parents forget sometimes is just how HARD life is as a kid. Sometimes, when we look back in our minds we block out all the bad stuff. Like I just did up there at the beginning of this blog. Like when I mentioned how easy school was.

What I failed to mention was that I was one of the smallest kids in my grade. The only guy shorter than me was the most popular kid. He was funny. He lived in a nice house. He was on Student Council. And ASPIRE (for the smart kids). The other short guy (me) lived in an old house. I had to take Speech class because of my stutter. I had gigantic buck teeth. In fact, they’re still kind of big. I had freckles. Lots of them. I had bifocals. In fact, I was Harry Potter before Harry Potter was ever in J.K. Rowlings imagination.

I failed to mention that when I entered seventh grade, in my first math class the teacher was calling roll-call, and it came to my name. When my name was called, three girls in unison sighed quite audibly. Funny, how twenty-three years later I can still remember who they were.

I failed to mention the back brace I wore for scoliosis, and how people called me Iron Man. Or how I had to wear it for 23 hours out of every day for a couple of years. I forgot to mention how I couldn’t play any sports growing up besides tee-ball in kindergarten because of my asthma and scoliosis. Oh, and it cost money, which wasn’t as readily available to my family as it was to others.

I forgot to mention the multiple failed attempts at a college education, because THAT is the very kind of these we adults try to forget about. We try to forge on in our every day lives, and make our selves better.

It is all of those years of experience, both the good and the bad that I have been trying to keep in mind every time my kid does something dumb. Something regrettable. Something awesome. Something funny. I remind myself of the little kid, then the teenage kid, then the adult kid that I was. I try to put myself in their shoes. I relive it a little in my head.

I think back to some of the things I did and just cringe. Then I think about the consequences I could have faced had I been caught doing those things. Then I think what consequences my children should face when they do something cringe-worthy.

All I know is I will be doing my best in reminding them of one very simple thing…

“Life is good for most of us.”