Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Crushing Dad Thought

I can imagine my eventual demise.

Lukas will be in his late 20's or early 30's and I'll be walking past the leather easy chair that resides in our living room when I'll look over at him mid-flight as he is headed towards me, and it will finally cross my mind that he is a wee bit too big for me to carry to  his bed.  And as I am distracted by this thought for the slightest of moments, I will be unprepared as he is landing in my arms.   As a result, I will fall backwards and be crushed to death as he lands on me full force.

I can honestly say I can imagine this, because it went through my head not 30 minutes ago as I carried my now 6 year old up the stairs to bed, his arms in a Monkey hug around my neck.  He had just, in fact, jumped into my arms moments earlier from the same leather easy chair as I passed by pretending not to notice as he leapt at me.  Of course, I caught him in stride and kept walking before giving a mock look of surprise to find him there in my arms.

It's a game we play.

Only this time his jump and eventual land in my arms came with a particularly heavy thud.  It was this thud that caused me to imagine being crushed to death decades in the future.  That's because this ritual is one of my favorite parts of the day and I just can't imagine ever giving it up.  Certainly not now, and the top of his head already reaches up to my sternum.

Lukas is my oldest, so this is new ground for me.  I wonder how long I can keep this up.

How long can I hold on to little snippets of his youth - like this one?  How long can I reasonably carry my always growing son up that flight of stairs?  Will I tightly hold onto this wonderful slice of nightly joy until it eventually crushes me to death?

Probably not.  I'm fairly certain Lukas will decide at some point that he is too big to be carried to his bed by his father.  I don't want that to be anytime soon though.  Although he IS getting fairly heavy, it's a great leg workout climbing a flight of stairs with a 50lb weight strapped around your neck.  Plus, it's a great bonding moment for both of us, after our respective long days at work and school.

In fact, I'll bet any amount of money right now that he will decide to end our nightly routine before I do.

As sad as I will be when that comes to pass, I suppose it would actually be for the best.

Because, in all seriousness I don't imagine getting crushed to death by your 30 year old son would be a pleasant way to go.

Friday, January 24, 2014

This Old Dad, He Blogged Six

I guess you know you've officially been blogging a long time when your blog anniversary (Blogiversary) passes without your even realizing it.

It's kind of like marriage in that way...only you don't get in trouble for forgetting about your blog.  Thankfully though, Mrs. LIAYF is an amazing wife and I would never forget our wedding anniversary.  Just don't ask me how many years it's been.  Unlike Lukas, my math skills are suspect.

If you have by now figured out that last week was the 6th Blogiversary of 'Luke I am Your Father', and that I completely forgot about it until earlier today you are absolutely correct.

Give yourself a cookie.

If I am not mistaken six years qualifies me for senior status as a dad blogger.  Given that, no one should be surprised about the forgetting thing.  Sometimes I also forget to post here for several days on end too.  I am actually thinking of getting one of those sectioned plastic containers with letters corresponding to the days of the week.  I would leave a note every couple of days reminding me to post something compelling.

All kidding aside, things are going okay here .  I have certainly had my ups and downs as far as content, sometimes posting several entries one month, then just a few the next.  That's actually not about getting old, but about how hectic life has become during any stretch of time.  Thanks for sticking with me.

I actually don't worry about irregular posting because, unlike many of today's blogs, I am not beholden to any bottom line or promise of a revenue stream.  The astute among you will have noticed the lack of advertising.  I write here for fun, if you can believe that. That and the occasional free stuff companies want to send me.  (I will be taking a flying lesson soon thanks to one such company, so look out for the highlights...that is, assuming I survive).

I have been writing here for the past six years, and thankfully it hasn't gotten old yet.  It's especially cool now to look back on posts I wrote about Lukas when he was Annabelle's age and compare our experiences with the two. That's parenting gold right there.

So, since the blog as a platform hasn't become irrelevant and replaced by something shinier and new just yet, I will continue to diligently tell all who will listen how wonderful my wife and kids are, and how amazing it is to be a father.

Thanks for reading all, your support means a lot to me.

Especially those of you who have been here for previous Blogiversaries.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Seattle: Dashing the Hopes of Dashing Dad

Happy Monday readers.   Unless you are a blogger yourself, you might not be aware that there are a ton of other great Dad Blogs out there besides this one.  It's true, and today I would like to introduce you to one such Dad Blog, it's called Dashing Dad, is authored by my blogging buddy Brian, and I enjoy it quite a bit.

Brian is a is a Stay at Home Dad, who is also a runner, thus the title.  As it turns out, we have a lot more than blogging in common as his kids are a boy and a girl who are the same ages as Lukas and Annabelle, plus we both grew up on farms.  I would be downright scary if it weren't for the running thing.  Sadly, I don't run.

Brian often blogs about his running (and walking), such as in this recent post - where he assures his readers that there is no shame is walking during a race pointing out the the best of runners do this all the time.

I'm definitely going to keep that in mind the next time I am chasing one of the kids down the sidewalk.

His posts aren't just about running though, as I have also read a recent post of his where he replaced a leaky sink, giving a pretty detailed step by step.  I am book marking that one for future reference since, as I explain  in one of my recent posts, I will eventually need the advice.

Of course, Brian wouldn't be a Dad Blogger if he didn't also blog about parenting and his kids.  I especially liked this recent post he wrote about his goals for 2014 as a Stay at Home Dad (notice he didn't call them resolutions).  Reading through his archives, it's clear that he is a dedicated and loving father.

Dashing Dad is a very entertaining site that I highly recommend you check out the next time you are craving more content from a dedicated dad and talented writer who loves his kids.  The world will never have enough of these.

You may ask why I am deviating from my normal content to tell you about Dashing Dad.  As it turns out, there is a story behind that.  There's always a story.

As I mentioned, Brian, Dashing Dad, is blogger.  But what I haven't mentioned is that he is also a New Orleans Saints fan. (Let's all pause for a moment of silence for his favorite team, who will be spending this coming Sunday on their couches....watching my Seattle Seahawks put a whooping on the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL's NFC title game before advancing to Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2nd. At least that's what I'm hoping for.)

Fellow Seattle Dad Blogger Daniel over at Post Post Modern Dad (another great Dad Blog) and I had this wager going with Dashing Dad over who would win the Saints vs Seahawks game.  Yes, Seattle won, but Daniel agreed to wager against the spread (I know!), which had Seattle winning by 10 points.  And since they only won by 8 points, technically we lost.

But Brian, being a true gentleman agreed that since his team lost, he would also write about both our blogs as well.   I will share the link once he has it published. And everybody wins!

Well, except the Saints.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Looking for a Ship

I love sea stories.  My book cases are filled with tattered versions of classic fictional tales, travelogues, and non fiction accounts of life, discovery, and war, at sea.  The pages of these books tell grand tales of history, adventure, and discovery, that land lubbers like me can only dream about.  Unless, of course, I am reading about them.

Some of my favorites?  Moby Dick, Kon Tiki, Two Years Before the Mast, Sailing Alone Around the World, and the Mutiny on the Bounty Series by Nordholf and Hall.

Another book I really enjoyed, although I haven't read it for some time is Looking for a Ship by John McPhee, which is an adventure filled account of life at sea as a Merchant Marine aboard the cargo ship the S.S. Stella Lykes as she sails down the Pacific Coast on a 42 day journey.  He encounters among other things, pirates! 

Container Ships, like the Stella Lykes, are prevalent in our port city of Seattle which, if you aren't familiar with our geography sits on Elliot Bay, a part of the Puget Sound.  These ships arrive from all over the world, carrying containers filled with goods the likes of which we can only speculate about.  

As I mentioned, Seattle is surrounded by water.  Not completely surrounded because, of course, that would make us an island.  Again, for the geography challenged, Seattle is not an island.  But there is enough water around so that an ordinary family can actually live in a home with a view of some of it.

And, we are lucky enough to be one of those families.   Looking out our kitchen windows, or upstairs in Lukas' room, we can see the Puget Sound in all it's glory.   And also passing ships.  They pass by day and night, in all weather, in all seasons.  They even pass by on Holidays.  In fact, I saw one pass on Christmas Day.  I wondered if there was a tree aboard.

They're not coming by constantly, but enough so that Lukas and I have taken to playing a game around witnessing them.    If we happen to be looking out the window at just the right time, day or night, and see one of these ships pass by we will call out...

"Ship Spotting!"

This will earn the spotter a point on our chalk board.  I have no idea what score will constitute an eventual victory, but recently I was running ahead by enough that Lukas decided to expand the definition of a 'ship' to include sail boats.  On that afternoon there happened to be several out on the sound and visible with the naked eye.   

His number of chalk marks immediately shot past mine.   "That sneaky little cheater" I thought to myself.  I protested a little,  but eventually decided that I wasn't going to begrudge him his points, especially since we hadn't actually defined what a ship was beforehand.

And it's not about winning, right?  Right.

I'm confident that I'll catch up eventually anyway.  As a matter of fact just a couple of days ago I spied a large container ship silently slipping past my vantage point as I prepared lunch in my kitchen.  

Lukas wasn't around for me to call out "Ship Spotting", so I just watched it as it passed by, thought of McPhee's  many adventures, and wondered if this particular crew were off to experience some grand adventure.  Perhaps in some remote location.

But then I realized it was just headed south, and there's nowhere down there for them to stop.  

Except Tacoma.

image credit: Bryan Bloss West Seattle Blog

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Repeat, Repeat, the Sounds of Joy!

As I have mentioned in recent posts, It's been a lot of fun around our house lately.

I distinctly remember when Lukas was a baby/toddler. Partly because I can read about it in my archives, but also because it sticks out in my mind as period that was filled with so much laughter and joy.  It is true that small children are bundles of joy.  And he certainly was.

He still is, but it's different seeing a tiny soul learn to laugh, joke, and appreciate humor for the first time.  It certainly serves to help parents forget about all the other unsavory stuff they have to deal with.  I'm referring, of course, to stuff that is usually gooey in one way or another.

I mentioned in a recent post that Annabelle is now now fully mobile, but I don't think I've yet mentioned how much of a little ham she has now become.  Well, she's actually a big ham in a little package, but I think you got my meaning.

She brings that same joy to the household, all over again.

A little Ham?  Or a big one?

She squeals with happiness a lot these days.  This must mean we are doing SOMETHING right.  Often these squeals of happiness take place while we're playing a game.  By the way, she loves Monopoly but has yet to master it enough to beat yours truly.  She usually just throws the pieces on the ground while I am 'Passing Go' and accumulating high priced real estate.  I'm a mogul like that.

Other games she also loves, but is much better at include 'Climbing the Stairs While Laughing at Daddy (Who is Chasing After Me)', Leather Shoe in My Mouth Tug of War',  'Drag Me  Across the Wood Floor While I Pretend to Get Away', and 'All Done! Just Kidding Sucka'.

Of course these games bring about a lot of high pitched squeals of joy.  This is often accompanied by a thumping of her chest with one forearm and a closed fist, which is oddly reminiscent of athletes who have just accomplished something of note, ie: an in your face windmill jam.

Plus, these sounds of joy from our 14 month old little ham are not limited to games alone.  Just the other day for instance I arrived at her day care to pick her up.  There is a hallway leading to an open doorway which opens into her room.

Upon arriving I glanced down the hallway, and saw her wandering by the door.  She paused, looked my way, and upon seeing me let out what can only be described as a shriek of happiness. She then toddled quickly to the gate with an enormous smile and held up her hands.  "Dada!"  She called.

I'll have to admit, her joy at seeing her daddy arrive was pretty cool.   But, of course this is nothing new to me.  Lukas has been doing this for over 6 years.

What a lucky guy I am.  I love ham, and I get to eat it  up every day.