Day 9: Education

Sure, let’s take a simple, single word, education, and see if I can dive deep into it.  Eh, I like a challenge.

Education has a strange parallel meaning for me, both with different appearances.

First, and most common is the level of institutional instruction that you have achieved. To be honest and completely frank, I have met people whom have graduated from Ivy League schools with a PHD or an MD that would not know diamonds from coal. They abhorrently tote “When I was at [insert school name here]…” into every conversation, even when it does not fit the discussion. When they finally see themselves falling, their go to is often “Well I do not know what they taught you where you went to school, but at [insert school name here]…” as a laughable defense. As a brutal juxtaposition, I have met individuals that never graduated from High School that can out class, out think, and out solve the rest of them. For me, I never care about where you went to school. That just tells me something about the lot that you drew in life.

I care more about what you know.

That is the second meaning. How much does one know? Often we call this “street-smarts”. But, I never found that phrasing to be akin to the full depth of education. As we careen through this life, standing atop this blue marble we call earth, we learn things. Sometimes out of our own experience, sometimes from what others go through. What we learn from every interaction, event, tragedy, fortune, every step we take shapes us. It gives us knowledge that we did not have before, and the ability to call on something when we need to. This is the most important version of education. It is not something that we can show with a plaque on the wall. This is the education which is shown by the scars on our backs, hands, feet, and knees.

It is this second meaning of education that I strive to instill in my children.

It drips from the words that I speak. At every turn, education emboldens the actions that I take. It is this education that is the reason behind the words that I have been closing each post with, for some time now.

Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

Well, it finally happened. A tale of my shortcomings

In the age we live in, with rapid access to endless things, it was bound to happen. I just thought it would be some time before it did.  I also thought that it would happen when I could have a conversation about it with my little ones.  But sadly, that is not the case. Let me walk you through what just happened.

I walked in to the family room to find my son and daughter, mouths agape, staring at the television.  I turned to see what was captivating so much of their attention, and my heart sank.  Quickly, I reached over and took the remote from my son, and turned it off as the reality set in.

My mind raced with questions, for which I knew there was no answer.

How did he get the remote?

How did he find THAT channel?

I thought they were asleep, what are they BOTH doing up?

In a flurry I knew I needed to talk to them about what they had just seen, no matter how difficult it would be for their minds to comprehend. The hard part would be talking to them about what just happened, and not showing my emotions.

Is this real life?

I explained to them that what they were watching was on TV.  That what two, consenting, ‘adults’ do in front of cameras for millions to see, is not always real.  They were projecting fantasy. They want the viewers to feel that this is how they always are. I told them that in my time on earth, I have learned that what they had just seen is not always real.  They looked up at me, with big eyes, and smiled. I changed their focus with two chocolate chip cookies, and the promise of an amazing bedtime story. They excitedly ran into the kitchen to devour their prizes before heading back to bed, and I collapsed onto the couch.

How did this happen?

How did I let my guard down?

What kind of father lets this happen?

Depressed, I turned the television back on, to change the channel from what they had been watching, and turned off the presidential debate in favor of something more appropriate.

What? Did you think my kids were watching something else?


Live big, love bigger, and be kind, always.

Busy weekend (again)

I kid you not, we are doing ROUND THREE of pickles today. I am blown away with the fact that we ALREADY have 19 quarts of kosher dill’s in our pantry. We will be adding between eight and 12 more this afternoon.

One of my beautiful nieces is turning three, so a party is definitely in order. 

There is tons of yard and garden work to do in this wonderful Virginia humidity (what is the scarcasim font?). 

We may be taking the kiddos to the pool for some swim time. 

I NEED to crawl under our house and replace a filter. Big body, small space, good thing I am not claustrophobic.

I need to finish the post about camping with the kiddos. Should be out this weekend.

Oh, and I will be notifying the winner of my new layout contest today! Then working on getting a letter written and in the mail. Thank you to all who entered! There is a new contest coming up VERY soon, and I am just a little excited about it.

Hope everyone has an awesome weekend.

I AM A CRANIO DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I need a vacation.

Show your daughter what her husband should be

I saw this on another tumblr and I loved the original concept… but I had to change it for a few reasons.  That aside, here it is, remastered.  One is for boys who want to be men, and the other is for guys that want to be Dads. Enjoy.

I AM A DAD, I am scared out of my mind, and I try very hard to show my daughter what to look for in her future husband…. and she is ONLY 4 months old.

Catch-Up: Part 3

It may have been only one or two nightmares to blame but there are times that I can feel the pressure of the surmounting fatherhood making sure that I remember that there is a clock that is ticking that is not my own.  There are moments, ever so fleeting, that there is a pang of worry.  The heart skipping a beat as the cry of a child in the distance. The stomach dropping at the realization that there is less than three months.  The excitement over the gifts, the items, the ‘stuff’ a constant.   But then I come back to the reality that I am going to be a father.  That in a few weeks time I am going to be able to hold my little girl in my arms, dancing with her, singing to her, talking to her and watching her grow.  All that time… she will be watching me, learning from me, examining me.  I know that these darling eyes will not be the eyes of malice, but hopefully of wonder.  But what is there for me to teach her, what will she learn from me? There are many things that I would like to make sure that she knows about me, about her amazing mother, and about life.  But there are things that I do not want her to know about… not yet… preferably never.  There are the other nightmares of my life hence that I will continue to fight with such vigor as to prevent them when she is here… a fight that I have been having for years, just with a new standard.  There is so much good that can be in this life, and that is what I want her to know… and it is the fear of not being able to show her the good that has been picking at me lately… oh well, enough of this rant I guess.  I AM GOING TO BE A DAD, I am scared out of my mind and fear can shake us to the core sometimes… just be mindful of what falls out.