Monday, June 27, 2016

9 is a Magic Number!

As they say, the more things change the more they stay the same.

That is so very true.

Happy 9th Birthday to Lukas, My inspiration, My source of happiness, My comic relief, My hope for a better future for this world.

My wonderful son.

Lukas ~ Age 2

Lukas ~ Age 9

9 is indeed a magic number.  As were the 8 others that preceded it.

I love you Buddy!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Trophy Dad

Hey there other Dads. Today, you can forget all the well intentioned mugs and hats you might have received as tokens of your kids appreciation.

Forget the T-shirts and framed pictures as well.  And the ties and frisbees too (yeah, it's happening out there).  In fact, forget everything you may have been told about the identity of the best dad in the world.

Why forget these things, you may ask.  Well, forget them because a definitive #1 Dad has now been crowned people. And it is your truly.


I've got the trophy to prove it*.

Just take a gander below, but don't stare directly at it because it's brightness may burn your eyes.

Reminicient of the Stanley Cup.  Or a butterfly.

Okay, okay.  This may, in fact say 'Dad 1 #'.  And the alignment is a teeeeesny bit off, with the 1 acting like it needs some space from the # symbol.  Whatever.

But without a doubt it's coming from coming from the cutest girl EVAH!

(no her name isn't Evah, that is just my way
of slanging the word 
ever.  Roll with it.)

So we can certainly give her a little slack.  I did.

I've got a combined 4608 days chalked up to being a Dad.  I think the title is deserving. Plus, I can now pour some cold beverage into each end of this paper cup trophy, and have myself a refreshing, relaxing day.  At least until the paper handles give.

Who am I kidding.  I'll still be chasing them around today.  The beer will be my reward for that time after they are in bed.

Yep, this Father's day will be the best of all time. Once again.

*I am also open to the slim possibility that there might be more than one #1 Dad out there, or 1 # Dad.  And if there are, I raise my trophy in toast to those great dads.  

Happy Father's Day, guys.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Dear Kid on the Playground

Dear Kid on the Playground,

My daughter and I were swinging at a local playground a couple of days ago when you came over to play as well.  I'm sure you remember this, since you are still young.

You stood on the yellow plastic chair swing next to us, as I pushed Annabelle higher and higher at her emphatic request.  You seemed interested in our antics, as you smiled at us.  Then you told my daughter that you liked her glasses.  She didn't really respond, but that was because she was busy gaining altitude, her arms stretched out in front of her pretending to fly.  Plus she was being a bit shy.

So, that's why I answered for her.  "Thanks!"  Grown ups do that a lot.  It's called being polite for your kids.  Anyway, then you asked her how old she was, and she did respond.  Just not too loud.  "Three" I helped out once again.

Then you proceeded to shimmy up the swing bar, the one that angled backwards, so effortlessly that I was duly impressed.  As you hung there  at the top, nearly 10ft high I asked you your age.  You responded seven with conviction and an ease of tone.  Then as you swung back and forth on the bar, you engaged us in even more conversation.  You told us about your school, and how you were almost done with 2nd grade and about how you like to climb a lot.

Once back down, you even started showing Annabelle just how to climb up the pole.  Taking her shoes off was a helpful tip (although I groaned just a bit because you know who has to put them back on, don't you?) Even though I then helped her climb up with some bottom support, she was smiling because the 'big girl' was showing her how.  She loves climbing too, by the way.

Once you even looked over at me when Annabelle was turned away, and whispered exaggeratedly "Her glasses are SO cute!", which was pretty cute in and of itself.

If I had thought to pick out your parent(s) from the crowd conversing not far away at the edge of the playground I might just have gone over to them and indicated how impressed I was with your kindness towards Annabelle, and the ease with which you struck up a conversation with this dad and his daughter.  As a grown up you often think of those things later.  Things you wish you had done in the moment. Then you say 'Oh well."

But there was something else you said during that interaction that afternoon which actually made me laugh inside. Inside, but out loud inside.

It was when you turned to me with a smile and said "You know, you look a lot like my dad, when he was younger."  I paused for a moment, only because I was fully processing that statement.

"Yeah? How old is your Dad?"  I curiously replied.

And when you responded matter-of-factly "Thirty Four", I just smiled outwardly, did the mental math, and had that internal moment of blissful amusement.

Anyway, thank you cute kid on the playground.  You certainly made this 48 year old dad chuckle.

Typically, this is a job reserved only for my own children.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Father's Day Time Machine

I could travel back eons ago, to a
time when humans lived in shells.

Inevitably the question always arises around this time of year.  It usually goes something like "Hey Seattledad, what do you want for Father's Day?  A day away from the kids? A night out with the guys?"

And, just as inevitably, I always answer with a simple 'Nope, I enjoy spending time with my kids. They're awesome."

But this time, just such question from a work colleague got me thinking. Daydreaming actually.

Yeah, it wasn't at all unlike those crazy thoughts that run through your head right before you read the winning numbers of the Power Ball lottery and you eventually realize that, yes, you do have to go to work the next morning. I'm sure you know the ones.

Anywho, I started dreaming about getting a time machine for Father's Day, and how perfectly awesome cool that would be.

I know, right?

I mean, think about it.  If I had a time machine I could dial it back to when Lukas was Annabelle's age, and compare their levels of cuteness.  That would be a toss up, by the way, with both being absolutely adorable at 3.

I thought about how I could also dial it forward to a time when my kids are parents themselves, so I can see my grandkids for the first time.  This is assuming I am still there which, given my late start in life as a parent and the fact that my kids will hopefully wait until well into their careers to start families, is not altogether a lock.  In fact, it's probably a toss up at this point. Plus, I guess that would depend also on what you consider 'first'.

I pondered many of these types of scenarios with a smile.

But then I started to consider all the pitfalls associated with my choice.  Which was, in all honesty, a buzzkill.  I mean, what if my time machine dial didn't have a specific day and hour setting on the dial?  I might accidently land in my house during pre bedtime. Otherwise known as 'The time that shant be mentioned'.

Then, like all prudent time travelers, I would also have to make sure that I didn't get too close to my family.  Since I am pretty much always around my kids, I would have to make sure that I didn't see myself, or accidently wander in and have Lukas think that I was 5 years ago dad.  He would probably notice that I looked 'older'.

I might screw up the timeline, and have something go horribly wrong.

Then, that the time machine idea was a bad one was cemented in my mind when I considered one final thing.  I realized that If I actually saw my kids during a different timeline I couldn't NOT run over and give them a big hug and kiss.  I wouldn't have the will power to stop myself.  And if I did, the timeline consequences could be devestating. And not just for my family.

So, I ended my daydream with the resolution that if anyone does give me a time machine for Father's Day, I am certainly not going to use it.

I wouldn't even re-gift it.  The consequences are way too risky.

That doesn't mean I wouldn't think about it though.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Having That Effect

Annabelle and I were on our way to her Soccer class this morning, which does not happen to be in our neighborhood, so it took us approximately 15-20 minutes to travel over the high bridge and down into the valley below to the indoor arena where her class was being held.

It was a gorgeous Seattle morning with temps expected to reach the mid 90's later in the day, so I had her window partially rolled down so she could enjoy the breeze.

As we crossed the bridge she pointed out at the water below and squealed "River" with delight.  Out beyond was the towering white mass of Mount Rainer smiling down upon us. It was a picturesque start to our lazy Sunday and left smiles on both of our faces.

And Annabelle was still smiling widely as we exited the freeway and pulled up to our first stoplight.  Just then, a very large city bus pulled up beside us, stopping just shy of me, so that the driver was right next to Annabelle's window, but sitting much higher up.

Once he looked over, and saw our sweet girl gazing over at him with her smile still beaming, his mood seemed to immediately change for the better.  He smiled right back down at Annabelle, and slide open his window.

"Hi there Sweetie" he started.  "Are you enjoying the beautiful day?"  "I'm goin to Soccer!" Annabelle shot back.  "Well, that sounds like fun!"  the driver retorted.  You're pretty cute!"  to which my daughter merely raised her hand and waved a bye-bye to the nice  bus driver, as the light had turned green and we were starting to move.

I glanced back to see a big smile on his face as well, as he waved goodbye to her too.

It was a small exchange, but not uncommon with us.  No, it has never before been a city bus driver, but on almost every trip we take out of the house, people are stopping to at least flash a smile in the direction of my 3 year old cutie pie.

I'm sure this happens to most other 2-3 year olds as well.  Especially if they are animated, which Annabelle most certainly is.

It's cliche', I know. But I really do wish I could bottle this.  This adorable time in our lives.

Without a doubt I can see what effect popping the cork on this bottle has as we walk through the lives of others who are not now, or never will be, in this phase of their own lives.

It's akin to having a garden hose of happiness and spraying it on an unsuspecting crowd.

It's pretty awesome.