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Category Archives: Children

To The Man I Call My Son


shining lightBoy, don’t you worry.
You’ll find yourself.
Follow you heart,
and nothing else.
You can do this,
if you try.
All that I want for you my son,
is to be satisfied.

And be a simple kind of man.
Be something you love and understand.
Be a simple kind of man.
Won’t you do this for me son,
If you can?

“Simple Man”…Lynard Skynard

It is late at night and I hear the door opening. You quietly enter the house after a night’s work. I can hear you moving through the house, going through your after-work routine and getting ready for bed. I have to smile as I think of how much you have grown before my eyes. Thinking back to the many “firsts” we have shared together, I get a little nostalgic. Today, on your birthday, I want to share the many things that make me so very thankful you are in my life. 

You have reminded me how good genuine laughter feels. The humor you find in life is infectious in its sincerity. I cannot remember another time in my life when I have laughed as much as I have in your presence. The simplest things send us into fits of laughter bringing tears to our eyes. Each of these moments becomes the “inside” joke that only we share. Before you entered my life, I do not believe I had known so many moments of such enjoyment.

I remember watching as you learned the skills many of your peers did not take the time to learn- skills that will allow you to take care of yourself when you are on your own. In the process of acquiring these skills, you have helped the family through many busy times by being a contributor to the household. When I was away on business, I knew that with your help, things would be fine at home. You stepped up to be there for the family when I could not. For this, I am thankful. 

I remember the first time I saw your perform in marching band and the over-flow of pride I felt as I saw you walk onto the field in your uniform. Many Saturdays were spent following the high school band from one competition to the next hoping you could feel the pride we had in you as we sat in the stands.  I watched you grow as a musician and a leader over the years in band. Through you, I have a new appreciation of music and the skills needed to perform. 

I watched you finish high school and take on the responsibilities of college.   Though it can be a struggle at times, you have stuck with college and developed the tools to help you succeed on the path to a bright future.  You have made me proud that you have not given up when you could have easily done so.  I am proud of your persistence and resilience.  You have succeeded and grown as a student. 

I think back on the many discussions we have had over the years over a variety of topics. How your views help me to understand my own. How your input has inspired me to look deeper into what I thought I knew. How your acceptance of your own sense of being has given you the strength to be who you are…always. I have never met someone who is as comfortable with themselves as you are. For this, you should be proud of yourself and continue to never compromise. 

I remember the moment when you walked your mother down the aisle and gave your blessing on our wedding day along with the beautiful speech that you gave at the ceremony. I remember that there was not a dry eye in the place from your heart-felt words. On that day, you brought our family together. 

As I think back, I wanted to share with you how you have affected my life, how much you make me proud, and to let you know that you matter to me. You coming into my life brought me the gift of a son. A boy who has grown into a man.  A man who would make any dad proud. Love you. 

Happy Birthday, my son. Love…Dad 

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Children

 

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My Daughter: Sweet Dreams


Daughters memories

Wandering through the dark house, checking the locks and closing up, I make my way to your room to make sure that the covers are protecting you from the chilly autumn evening. As I stand in the doorway, the glow of your lava lamp casts shadows throughout your room. A smile grows on my face as I straighten the pile of books on your night stand. It amazes me how grown up my little girl has become.

Earlier in the night, I was reviewing some of the older articles from the Family category of the blog featuring you. I revisited moments that have chronicled your growth. Memories flooded back of sitting in the rocking chair of your little room, reading a book to you before bed every night. Those same books, you have since read on your own, now reside on your book shelves. I started thinking back on the times when you would climb up into the bed, little more than a toddler, and ask me to read to you. I miss those times sitting on your bed, and becoming your personal storyteller. You no longer need a storyteller since you are reading more books than you father can keep up with. As the books are straightened, my smile broadens at these wonderful memories.

Looking around your room, the glow of your iPod as it rests in the docking station pulls me to another time when you were first introduced to music. Wanting to make sure you had a good foundation for you future choices, I created your music playlist with songs from The Beatles, The Who, Fleetwood Mac, and many more. I beamed with pride as you would tell anyone who would listen that your favorite bands were The Beatles and KISS. Over the years, music has become a huge part of you and who you are becoming. You dance around the house singing a tune and giggling as you spread your joy throughout the house.  

As I sit down on the bed and tuck the covers up around you, I think back to all the years you have brightened my life. I watch the mental montage of birthdays, holidays, and those special moments. I smile remembering the walks in the park, watching you play your first soccer games, and the amazement of seeing you ride your bike without training wheels. I reflect on images of your artwork that adorns my office walls and it reminds me of how creative you are in all that you do. I also shudder as I remember the times you were sick. I remember all the moments that make up both of our lives and hope that I am doing the best for you.

Memories flood through me as I lean over to give you one last kiss for the night. Brushing your hair out of your face and whispering “I love you. Sweet dreams,” I turn to leave the room and leave you to your dreams. Turning away in the dark, I hear a soft, raspy sleepy voice, “I love you too, Daddy”.

Happy Birthday, my dear daughter.

Dad

© 2013

Related Articles: Building the Foundation; A Daughter’s Love for Reading; A Reason for Hope: To My Daughter; A New Adventure

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Children

 

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On This Day…A Note to My Daughter


To my daughter,

On this day, we celebrate your birthday. For me, the day is something that holds more than just cake and a gift. Today, I celebrate the gift of you; a gift that brings me joy every day.

On this day…

I remember walking beside the cart that brought you into the nursery and looking down on the wonder that was my child. I held you for the first time that day and looked into your eyes. Your eyes held so much life and shown with an intelligence that I have now seen fulfilled. I was scared that I was not ready to be your guide in life, but with your smile, all my concerns evaporated. I held in my arms, for the first time, hope for the future. I knew love in a way that was previously unknown to me. My world shrank to only you.

On this day…

I sit, browsing through my memories of your early years. All the moments where you brought a smile to my face, like when you seemed to be so grown up at the age of two. I walk through the memories reliving them as if they were yesterday. I can still feel the excitement from the sidelines at your soccer games, the swelling pride when I listened to your oral essay presentation, and laugh at our shared moments of being silly. I remember your beaming smiles as we went into the ocean on our first real vacation. These precious movies replaying in my thoughts bringing on so many feelings of the pride, joy, and love I have for you.

On this day…

I look at the woman you have become. The woman I see every day would make any parent beam with pride. Your inner strength shines through in everything you do. You have become someone I respect and admire. I truly enjoy the time we spend together. You are my friend as well as my daughter. You are a woman that others should strive to be. I cannot express in words how much every conversation between us means to me. When I see you, I see an intelligent, loving, beautiful, and responsible person. You are the physical embodiment of the hope I saw the first day I held you. You bring joy and love into my world everyday like you did the first moment I held you. Though you are grown, I still have moments where my world shrinks to only you. I still get a smile on my face as I see the grown up girl.

On this day…

I want to tell you how much I love you.

Happy Birthday, to my amazing daughter.

Love, Dad

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in Children, Life

 

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A New Adventure


This week, I am coming back from vacation with my family. Though I may travel often with my job, it is a very rare occasion that I can share the world beyond my little community with my family. Last week, I had a chance to share a little piece of the traveling experience with those I love. I was able to experience the excitement of my children discovering new things, exploring a world they haven’t seen outside of the movies, and seeing a part of the world through their eyes. For those that have had the opportunity to travel with your children, you can understand the balance of excitement and stress. For those that haven’t had the chance; let me explain.

The Stress

If anyone has ever tried to get a group of people together to do any activity, you know that there is a lot of planning, coordinating, and double-checking your list. You have to balance everyone’s needs, personalities, and level of understanding. This process starts weeks before the vacation. I watched my wife go through a daily juggling act of looking for interesting places, fascinating sights to see and must-do things. She attempted to have balance and include things our youngest would like, our oldest would like, and what we wanted to do. She purchased the tickets for events and planned out how much time we needed between things, all the while, leaving things open for the free-flow exploration. Once the trip begins, it is a juggling act of corralling the group, answering the millions of requests from the children (most of the answers are “no”), and all the while attempting to relax and enjoy the moment.

Then the moment happens

The excitement of the trip becomes infectious as the children look around in awe of the new world they are experiencing. Their heads snap from left to right to catch all the new sights like a rubber-necker passing a fender bender. The stress flows out of you with each laugh and comment from the children as you explain the things around them and what is planned. The parental bonds with the children start to reconnect with each passing moment, as do the sibling connection at the shared experience. Forgotten are the tasks for work and the bills to pay. The only thing that matters is continuing this very moment for as long as you can. In that instant, you understand the rewards of the labor in preparing for the trip.

Reaching over and taking my daughter’s hand in mine, we wander through the avenues of skyscrapers as a family and work our way towards each new adventure. Laughter becomes the family’s constant companion as we incorporate our inside jokes to the world around us. We see the new city in a way the natives have long forgotten. Museums, parks, and tourist events are the goals we seek and find with every turn.

At the end of the first day, with legs aching from the exertion, my wife and I enjoy a drink as the kids wander off to look over the lake. I feel my wife’s hand in mine as we relax and watch the children marvel at the sight. I see my son reach down and pat his sister on the shoulder as he explains something to her. She looks up at him and smiles. This is what a family vacation is meant to be.

The Moment

These are the moments that make it all worth it.

Until next time…

jerryb

© 2012

Related Post: Vacation Observations; It’s Family Vacation Time; A Reason for Hope: To My Daughter;

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Children, Family

 

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Vacation Observations


Did you miss me?

We are settling back into the routine after our family vacation. There was not much time to sit down and write, or when there was, I have to say I was exhausted. This week will be a little light on TTMM as I get back into work mode, raise my energy levels up to the normal levels, and sit down to do some writing again. I have many ideas of coming articles but the words are not flowing as they should to make them presentable. Please, forgive the holes in the schedule.

I did want to leave everyone with something to think about from my observations away; just a few quick notes of reference. What do you think?

  • No matter how someone parents their children, other parents will have a “better way to handle” the situation. Some of those methods may be better but we have to remember that we are not the parents of that spoiled brat that is causing all the issues. We are just sharing in the awkwardness of the situation. 
  • It doesn’t matter how exciting the place you are visiting, there is probably a large portion of that city’s population that that wishes they were somewhere else.
  • Can someone tell me how so many people can spend business hours riding their bikes, running, and rollerblading? It is in the middle of the day, don’t they have jobs?
  • It doesn’t matter how well the hotel is rated, there will always be a group of children running the halls and playing in the elevator. It is a fact we must accept.
  • Yes, the cab drivers will run you over if you walk in front of them.
  • Never sit in the front seat of a taxi cab if you are a squeamish about other people’s driving. If you have to do so, spend the time reading your phone but never look out the windshield. You will not enjoy the trip.
  • Wearing your sports team swag while visiting the rival’s city is just fun, especially when you repeatedly win against them.
  • Food that you would normally not eat will actually sound good after walking all day. That is why it is available around the tourist areas. The only regret you will have is paying the absurd amount.
  • No matter how much time you spend on vacation, it will take twice the amount of time to recover from the time away. There should be a vacation after the vacation in order to rest up.

For all those on vacation at this time of year, what are some of your observations that you have discovered? Let’s see if we can add to the list.

Until next time…

jerryb

© 2012

Related Post: It’s Family Vacation Time

 
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Posted by on July 18, 2012 in Children, Family, Life, Travel

 

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Building the Foundation: A Daughter’s Love for Reading


Looking to the futureSo many things you hope to pass on to your children. Some of the lessons you have learned the hard way, or the experiences you have endured so they will not have to, and an appreciation for things that you discovered. The challenge is to explain to them the importance of the little things that may not be relevant in their world today. Figuring out how to share with them what it was like to have to use imagination to see color on a black and white television with a screen smaller than the laptop on their desk, can be a difficult task. Instead of video games, we had board games and action figures where the “stories” came from our imagination. Explaining there was a time when the only way to see a movie was to leave the house and go to the movie theater, or in the alternative, watching a movie at home meant seeing it years after it was released, with commercials, on one of the five television stations. (Just saying that makes me feel like I grew up in the Stone Age.) So many things have changed since I was my daughter’s age. The one thing I can share with her is my love for music and reading, especially those special books that are such a part of my childhood.

At the age of five, my daughter started reading all the books that covered the bookshelves in her room. Like her older sister, she has a natural aptitude for reading and sounding out words. As her skill level increased, she moved into chapter books, and this was when the fun truly began. I introduced her to one of my favorites: The Boxcar Children. Some of my earliest and fondest memories of reading were of these orphaned children and how they were able to survive on their own, while living in an abandoned boxcar, until they discover the kind hearted Mr. Henry was their grandfather. I slipped the first book of the series in with her summer reading stack, not really expecting it to catch her interest amongst the likes of Magic Tree House, Bunnicula, and Clarice Bean. I was happily surprised when she devoured the first book and asked for the next in the series.

I would not say I was too surprised that these tales still hold interest for the beginning readers. Even though today’s bookstore shelves are filled with television based stories books, the enduring story of independent children embarking on an adventure, inspires the imagination for children who feel like adults control their every move. The author, Gertrude Chandler Warner, wanted to use children’s desires to be unsupervised to appeal to the age group the series is directed towards. And even though the series was originally created in 1924, it still holds the same appeal to children over 85 years later.

Someday, my daughter will wander over to the dark side of the book shelves to read, what we refer to the as the “bratty child books”, as I am also sure she will someday move to more modern styles of pop music. At least I console myself with the fact she will have a good foundation from listening to the music of The Beatles, The Who, and Queen and reading Gertrude Chandler Warner’s The Boxcar Children.

What are some of the first book series that you remember reading as a child?

Until next time…

jerry b

© 2011

 

 

 

 

 

Related links: A Reason for Hope: To My Daughter, Will You Read To Me?

© 2011

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Books, Children, Family, Life

 

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Artwork: A Daughter’s Day


A-daughters-love

The little moments are what matters. “A Daughter’s Love” ©2010

The image above was part of a post back in October for my daughter’s birthday. The article “A Reason For Hope: To My Daughter” was one of the more personal writings that I have done here. As I watch her grow, my eyes are opened to many new things. She is one of the reasons that I continue to have hope and pay attention to the world around me.

To get the feeling of the article, I looked through many pictures over the years. I reviewed the digital images from her birth to present. The base photo that this image was based on was from a trip to a park we did on Father’s Day  2009. We were walking around the park, looking at different animals and enjoying the bright sunshine. My thoughts were on how amazing it is to be a father and how important it is for these moments to be remembered. Each day is part of the building blocks of a child’s life.

It is these moments that help them to become the person they will become. I remember my childhood moments Like the time my dad helped to rebuild my bike, taking time to paint it and add things, making it new again. I look back on the memory of going to the river, where we climbed the high cliff and slid down the mud slide to the warm water below, knowing he was there to rescue me when I couldn’t swim. I hope that when my daughters look back on their childhood, they have memories that will bring back the importance of family.

The graphic was something of a personal journey for me to create the feeling of that day. The graphical filters, removal of the colors, and the added shading helped to bring the moment back from my memory and to share that with you through the finished project.

I hope you have enjoyed the image and remember moments in your life that mean something important.

Until next time…

© 2010

Related Items: A Reason for Hope: To My Daughter; Will you read to me?;  Fresh Eyes…; Just Another Day

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2010 in Artwork, Children, Family, Life

 

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