It occurred to me today that my life has just reached a major milestone. It can be argued that we all pass one of those every day we're still alive, but this is one of those major ones. Like when you finally land the career you want, when you finally save up enough to buy that boat you've always wanted, or when your last kid finally moves out of the house (I suppose), this is one of those signposts in life where I feel like I will be able to look back and measure time that occurred before and time that has come after it.
Watch the first episode of the newest and most awesomest segment on this here website! It's See Eric Go Commutin'!
You care where I go and how I get there. You might not be aware of it yet, but you actually do. To satisfy your needs, and your sense of humor, please enjoy this gem of a video, from my heart to yours.
Drive safely my friends!
My greatest fear is that I will somehow screw up my kids in some irreversible way that causes them great harm and me great guilt for their entire lives. My wife has this fear ever more deeply rooted than me, often breaking down into tears wondering whether or not we're doing this parenting thing right, or at least well enough to get by. The real fear for me is not how they behave or think or feel while they are under my roof. I think my wife zones in more on that aspect of it. For me, the real dilemma is dealing with how they act when I can't get to them, when I can't directly direct them, when they are on their own.
Somehow, and I am earnestly trying to figure out how I let this happen, my little girl became a two-year-old today. I'm pretty sure that she cannot really be that old. There is no way that I've had her for two years!
Regardless of my desires, she did in fact age. And you know, that's really just fine. I am so very proud of her, the progress she's made, and the person she is becoming. It is really amazing to see this kid, that used to not be able to keep her eyes still in her skull, ride a scooter and sing and dance.
I know I'm a lucky guy to have the two amazing kids I have, but there is still a bit of reluctance to watch them grow up and move beyond their need for you. I was talking with the wife about this last night, and she's obviously a little more torn up about it than I am. I thought about "growing up" and what that actually means. I told her, and I truly believe, that if we look back at the time that's gone, there is an obvious sadness for us. But, if we look forward at all the time we have in front of us, there is an excitement and an anticipation of the things to come. It won't always be easy, but it wasn't easy back then either. For now, I just enjoy today, because there is no promise of tomorrow for any of us. I enjoy every little smile and silly face.
Penelope is two years old today. That's a lot of smiles behind me, but hopefully, a whole lot more in front of me. Sweetheart, have a great birthday! I'm happy for you, and I'm also really, really impressed that I did something that allowed you to live this long. Yippee for both of us.
Okay, so this dad posts a video commentary on YouTube railing against some complaining his 15-year-old daughter threw (behind his back) on Facebook for everyone else in the world to see. Then, he takes out a .45 and exacts retribution on her laptop with extreme prejudice. Some say he's insane; some say he's a dad who should be applauded for explaining to the little chick how the big bad world operates. I think I'm not posting this blog commentary on Facebook. I've only got a .380, and I do not want this guy mad at me.
If you haven't seen this yet. Watch it below. If you are still able to read when the social video essay is complete, scroll down and read some additional Eric thoughts. True wisdom is further down the page; you will want to read on. Just saying. Now, here's the video.
And now for the good part. Yes, it gets better.
I have two darling daughters. I try not to overly complicate their lives, but I want them to grow up understanding that they are, in fact, NOT entitled to whatever they want simply because they want it. I had it good growing up. I had some chores, but I had it really easy. I did get a job in high school. I learned first-hand what it was like to be responsible for school, homework, work, and housework. Social life? If there was time. So I applaud these parents for teaching their daughter that life is about effort, not entitlement.
And now the "however." Is it a good idea to publicly humiliate your kid just to get a point across? Step back a sec. Is it ever "right" for a parent to purposefully cause public humiliation for their children? It's rhetorical. I don't know the answer. I do think allowing 3 million views (as of 2/10/2012) on YouTube is a bit ridiculous though. If the point was to help your kid understand respect for her parents, allowing her childish immaturity to be broadcast to (at least) 3 million people is harsh at least and cruel at worst.
When this went viral, dad should have taken the video down. There's no need to make a spectacle out of your kid. Did she deserve the "tough love?" Sure, no question. But is this really "tough love" anymore, or are we approaching self-stardom here? I'm leaning toward the latter. But don't you think for one second I'm telling that to this guy's face (or on my Facebook page).
Hey kids, just because your dad wears a Stetson and smokes cancer candy, that doesn't mean he is completely retarded - especially when he works in the IT sector. I'm sorry kids, dads are pretty crafty animals. Act right, do what you're told, and remember, we just want you to be able to survive once we can't take care of you anymore - at least that's what motivates the good ones.
Good night, and good luck!
So I went to my first school event as a parent. What a different perspective!
Harper's school did their Thanksgiving event yesterday, and it was one of the most adorable things I've seen in a while. All these kids were dressed as little pilgrims and indians. Of course, no one in Harper's class wanted to be a pilgrim, so they were all indians. The kids made their own outfits, so it was all the more adorable.
I made a quick video slideshow of the event for those of you that I'm related to. And no, there is not supposed to be any music. (Don't email me and tell me you couldn't hear anything. Yeah, you know who you are.) Happy Thanksgiving!
How is that Harper is already four years old? I just don't understand it. I remember when she didn't exist at all. Now she's in preschool, writing her name, carrying on intelligent conversations with me, and turning four years old. I suppose this is the way of things. It happens. Parents have to come to terms with the fact that their kids grow up. We know that's what we want, but it's still tough to come to terms with the fact that you're really not as needed or important in certain ways as you used to be.
She used to be tiny. In fact she used to not walk and run and ride a bike and every other thing she can do now. She needed us to transport her from any place to another. Now she only needs us to drive her. Soon enough that will change too.
Now she's this big girl - riding her bike and talking to me like me. It's funny. It's like having a conversation with a young, female version of me. She cracks me up.
Well dear, this is a tribute to you and how great you are. It's been a pleasure being your Dad, even when it was hard. I hope I get to keep doing this for a very, very, very long time.
Happy Birthday (and PLEASE be careful on that bike)!
My eldest - dear, sweet Harper - is attending her preschool orientation tomorrow. I'll be there too, obviously. I know it's the beginning of something amazing for her, but it's also the end of something pretty amazing for me. My little girl is growing up.
It is unbelievable to me that she is ready to start school. She'll be 4 in October, which is also a little surreal to think about. On the one hand, it seems like she's been with us forever, but on the other it seem like yesterday that I brought her home from the hospital. Preschool will be great for her though. She will love interacting with the other kids, and, the way her mind works, she will love soaking up all that information and learning "big kid stuff."
This first semester, she'll be attending only two days a week. We may make it three next semester if it is worthwhile and something she wants to do. We are going to get to ride in together in the mornings, which is how I grew up - riding to school with my Dad. While we are both excited about that part, the cruel shock of having to get up and get ready that early will become a regular source of contention, I'm sure.
Harper is a special kid, a great kid. She'll do great at school as long as she learns to keep that pretty little mouth shut. She'll make new friends, and she'll learn skills that she will use for the rest of her life. I'm happy to be her Daddy, and I hope she doesn't get too much smarter than me too quickly. I know I'm going to have to listen to that in years to come, but right now I just want her to learn while still admiring me. Yes, that would be very nice.
Some parents sleep. We do not. In fact, we spend so much time awake that we might as well just not try sleeping at all. My wife and I have the privilege of raising two wonderful girls. However, one skill neither of them possess is the ability to enjoy a long meaningful sleep - meaningful to their young bodies and meaningful to their poor parents' sanity.
Like most things though, when you leave the kids alone, they seem to sleep just fine. They never sleep when you want them to, but they seem to have no problem sleeping on their own accord. See incriminating evidence below.
Penelope sank into a comfy beanbag and had a little nappy-poo. Harper did the same exact thing the very next day.
It would seem that there is a lesson to be learned here. There is always a lesson. Parenting is actually the best way to find out that you know nothing. It is a sure fire way to have any feelings of superiority yanked right out from under you. Children are smaller than us, not as smart or experienced, and less physically capable. Why is it that they can instantly make us feel so completely inept?
Like Little Boo Peep, who lost her sheep, if we leave them alone, we may just find that they end up doing what we wanted them to do in the first place. That's obviously not a hard and fast rule, but I've got to file this back in the folder for things Dad needs to think about on a regular basis.
Man, I'm tired. Where's my beanbag. I'm takin' a nap........
Living the life and writing (some of) it down for your reading excitement.