WWF in Fatherhood? Differences in Raising Boys and Girls.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

As a father of two girls there is a perceived notion that you must raise your daughters in a certain way (or at least I sometimes get this impression form the people that I interact with). At the same time, when I talk to fathers of boys, I hear differing things about their impressions and the ways in which they feel that they can and should raise their boys as well.

For girls, there is the impression that society expects that they will be introduced to dolls, dress up and the like and that fathers will support this feminine societal view. While boys are given toy guns, legos, cars or trucks to solidify their manhood. Who says though that it has to be this way? Who says that a girl can’t love playing with cars or trucks? Who says that a boy cannot like playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid doll?

For me, I have always encouraged my girls to do what they want to do. Whether this is playing baseball or dolls, dress up or cars, I am encouraging them to be the person that they want to be while at the same time encouraging them to explore areas outside of the normal societal mores.

I have been encouraging this from an early age and I show this not only in the things that I let them see and try, but also in the things that I do with them. Thus, whether it is wrestling and roughhousing with them on the floor or dancing will we can’t see straight, I am pushing myself to look outside of the box while at the same time encouraging them to explore non-traditional society roles and activities.

I truly believe that fathers who do this are building their daughters into strong, well-adjusted members of society that will be able to stand on their own two feel and who will be able to decide for themselves in the end what is right and what they will stand for. In the end, that is what I want for my daughters. I want them to be self-sufficient and I want them to know that no matter what society will say that they can do and be what they want to be no matter what!

What about you? How do you encourage this in your own children?

The Revolution Grows

I’m Military Dad, and I have officially joined the Revolution. I have written guest posts here before, and I have now been asked to become a full contributor on this incredibly valuable site. It’s an amazing honor and quite humbling for a blogger as small time as myself to digitally work alongside such huge names in this field like The DaddyYo Dude, NewYorkDad, DaDa Rocks, and the rest of the distinguished cast here. It’s a special kind of awesomeness, and I am grateful.

I think it’s important to establish what Dad Revolution means to me. There are a lot of group blogs out there that deal with fatherhood, and they’re all great. They are all slightly different in what they stress, and there is an amazing group of bloggers that keep them populated. When I read the articles on Dad Revolution, there is one central concept that always stands out and speaks to me personally: do the right thing when it comes to fatherhood.

Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, and it isn’t always obvious. Being a good father is as much about sacrifice, pain, and fear as it is about hugs and kisses. There is no map, and there are no road signs. You take the advice that you can get, and then you try to apply it to your special set of circumstances. If it doesn’t work, you make it up and hope it doesn’t explode in your face. This is true whether you’re a married dad, divorced dad, stay-at-home dad, work-at-home dad, gay dad, adoptive dad, or whatever your case may be. Every family is different. This is a fact that makes parenting incredibly difficult and incredibly rewarding all at the same time. There are times when you will question your methods late into the night, and there are days where you will fall asleep instantly with a smile on your face. Whatever the case is, as long as you get up the next morning and try again, you are doing the right thing. You are trying to raise your children to be kind, couragous, and just all around awesome. 

Are we going to make mistakes along the way? Absolutely. When that happens, are we going to dust ourselves off and try again? You better believe it. Quitting is easy. Disappearing is easy. Letting someone else take care of it is easy. Parenting is hard. Caring for sick kids is hard. Putting aside your own desires to make things better for your children is hard. With all that in mind, why do we do it? We do it because we are dads, we love our kids more than life itself, and it’s the right thing to do.

Now, I know I’m preaching to the choir to a certain extent. The fact that you are reading this post means that you believe in what I just said enough to search for it, or you’ve been here before and liked the message enough to return. This brings me to the second core concept of this site that appealled to me: caring.

You’re reading this because you care. We blog because we care. Sure, maybe the message is mostly falling on the ears of believers. Does that make it any less potent? Of course not. Horrible fathers are in the news every day. They give the rest of us (the huge majority) a bad name. It’s time to spread the word about good fathers and great dads. It’s time to make our voices heard and ensure that we are counted fairly. We are doing the right thing, we care, and we should be known.

Join the Revolution. Read our posts and maybe even submit one of your own. Search through the other great daddy blogs out there and read what they have to say. Most of all, continue to do what brought you to this site in the first place. Do the right thing and care. Being a dad isn’t easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.

Greater than the Sum of our Parts

I recently had a guys’ night out. I went to a sports bar with a good friend and watched college football while our wives hung out with the kids. I had a very good time, and while I was sitting there drinking a beer, I tried to remember the last time that I just hung out with the dudes. Apparently, it was a long time ago because I couldn’t recall it. I used to play golf fairly often with another guy, but that was over 2 years ago. With the exception of that, I can’t remember any instances over the past few years where I’ve left the family at home to go enjoy a little testosterone.

Why is that? My wife certainly doesn’t mind. If I were to set up a weekly bowling night or something along those lines, she would be perfectly fine with it (I’m not sure I would be since I’m an awful bowler). I don’t really feel guilty about it. I’ve spent way too much time away from my family to feel bad about missing a couple hours here or there. I have friends in the area that are more than willing to hang out, so what was holding me back? Then, it hit me. The reason that I don’t have more guys’ nights out is that I don’t want to. I honestly prefer the company of my family.

When I first got married, I stopped thinking about myself as an individual (my military background may have helped with this). We were a couple. If I was invited to a party, I assumed that my wife was as well. We became a package deal. To be honest, my wife is absolutely my best friend. A small part of this is due to the fact that we move around so often that it’s hard to maintain solid friendships, but we are always together. The much bigger part, however, is that I absolutely adore my wife and everything about her. We are able to talk about anything, and I trust her implicitly. Given the choice between going to a pub or staying home and watching reruns of Firefly with my wife, she’s going to get the nod pretty much every time. We’ve been married for almost 8 years now, and I still love being around her at all times.

Then, the kids came along and things changed again. We were no longer a couple. We had become a family. If someone invited us to a social gathering, the first words out of our mouth were, “is it ok to bring the kids?” If it wasn’t ok, we simply didn’t go. A lot of people didn’t understand this. We would always hear, “why don’t you just get a babysitter, so you can go out and have some fun?” My answer was always that they are my family and a part of me. If I have to choose between a Super Bowl party without the kids or watching Phineas and Ferb at home with them, I’m probably going to pick the cartoons (unless the Dolphins miraculously made the Super Bowl, in which case, all bets are off).

I realize that this isn’t necessarily the healthiest option. Everyone needs a little downtime, and a nice romantic dinner for two is always appreciated. With that being said, do you know what my wife and I talk about during those dinners? The kids. Do you know what I talked about with my buddy while we were watching football? My wife. They are a part of me. They’re actually the best part of me. Technically, we are 4 different people, but when you put us together we are a family, and that’s much greater than the sum of the parts.

By: Military Dad

Twitter: @militarydadblog
Website: http://militarydadblog.com

Bio: Military Dad is the proud parent of 2 and husband of 1. He’s spent the last 13 years in the Navy where they keep promoting him despite his best efforts. He is currently enjoying a terrific shore duty with his family. In his free time, he likes torment his wife and kids. He loves sharing his experiences as a father and a sailor on his blog: http://militarydadblog.com. Feel free to stop by and take a look.

Teaching Your Kids to Serve Others

I am a Rotarian and their creed is “Service Above Self”, thus for me it is important to be able to live this on a daily basis and also espouse it to my children with the hope that they will follow my example as they grow older.

I am a Rotarian and their creed is “Service Above Self”, thus for me it is important to be able to live this on a daily basis and also espouse it to my children with the hope that they will follow my example as they grow older.

Serving others can be as simple as doing something like what you see in the image above, or it can be giving your time to a child through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. No matter how you serve, it is important that your children see you doing this and understand why it is important. Too often in the media driven age that we live in, children fail to see the good in others and the good in reaching out and making a difference to people around them. Watching you as their parents, they will see either through overt or non-action what is important and will take your cue. Thus, if you can start instilling in your children at an early age that serving others in some way that is meaningful to them is positive and important, they will live a life of service as they grow into adulthood.

Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • How do you and your child serve others?
  • What are some activities that you and your child can do together that will serve others in your community?
As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:

In what ways do you serve others on a daily/weekly basis and how do you share this with your kids?

Are you a Dad – Become An Author!

I have always written in journals. I still even have journals from when I was younger. As I have gotten older I still have continued to keep a journal.

I have always written in journals. I still even have journals from when I was younger. As I have gotten older I still have continued to keep a journal. I have found that doing this helps to keep track of small things, important things as well as ideas and thoughts. I find that entries may be formal or informal.

I am recommending a journal to assist you as a parent because I have found that you as a parent you can not only see your own parental growth, but it can help you to assess your parenting and see what areas you may need to work on and develop.
Will your writing always be about parenting, probably not, but it could be if you so chose. One of the journals that I have kept is a journal for my daughters. Will I ever give it to them, maybe. I tend to be quite honest in it about the fears, concerns and truths about everything, and it would probably be quite a few years before the girls could understand and comprehend all that was in it. Never-the-less I still write in it and it is cathartic to say the least.
Many parent bloggers started their own blogs as a journal or letter to their own children. I know that this was the case for me. As I started to blog I wanted to leave something that my girls could look back at and say, wow, my Dad did really love me enough to write about me (maybe this is wishful thinking). As I have met more and more bloggers, I have continued to learn and grow myself in my writing and my parenting skills.
In researching this post I found the following resources that may assist you in starting a journal.
So today think about taking one week and starting a daily journal about your own prenting experiences. There is no set style that you must follow or length that is required. Simply follow through and see what you think at the end of the week. Come back here to let people know about your thoughts about how things are going after the first few days as well as the mid point and end of the process.

Teaching The Power of Passion

Children need to be exposed to many things as they are growing up. As parents it is important to let them explore different types of activities and interests. We need to encourage these interests and not trivialize them in any way (even if they don’t make sense to us).


Children need to be exposed to many things as they are growing up. As parents it is important to let them explore different types of activities and interests. We need to encourage these interests and not trivialize them in any way (even if they don’t make sense to us).Our children are going through a process of exploration and must be able to make choices and learn for themselves where their true passion lies.

Sometimes this means entering your child’s world and coming to a better understanding of what their interests are and why they are interested in that specific item or items. Sometimes it means knowing your child well enough to encourage them to try something that they may not have thought about trying in the past because they did not know anything about it. For example, encouraging your child to try chess because you know that they love to play games that require thinking and logic and then finding them opportunities to play chess if they do find that they enjoy the game.

It is also important to let your children into your own world, helping them to understand what you are passionate about and why you are passionate about these things. It helps to have them involved in some of the activities that you are involved within so that they can understand and see that being passionate about something is a good thing and can truly make your life more meaningful.

For some kids you will have to be persistent and continuous in your encouragement as they may be slower to find a passion for themselves. As parents you have to be vigilant in encouraging your child to continue trying their best to find what will make them happy.

Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • What am I passionate about?
  • What is my child passionate about? What are their interests and why are they interested in them?
  • How can I do a better job at sharing my passions and interests with my children?
  • How can I be more encouraging of my child’s interests?

As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:

What are your thoughts regarding this topic? You might want to try and make a list of your passions and share them with your spouse/partner/friend and then talk about these passions andhow you can share these passions with your children. I would love to hear what you come up with!



Visit The YMCA, It’s Not Just A Song

Today’s children have more and more opportunities to remain sedimentary. They have every type of technology at their fingertips and whether it be television, video games, the computer or other such activities, they can sit for hours inside instead of being outside remaining active.

Today’s children have more and more opportunities to remain sedimentary. They have every type of technology at their fingertips and whether it be television, video games, the computer or other such activities, they can sit for hours inside instead of being outside remaining active.


The challenge with this is that many of our children are beginning to have problems with their health and being overweight due to this lack of exercise.  In examining some of the facts I came across some interesting statistics on this topic at the following site (http://www.fitnessforkids.org/home.htm)


Did you know the following facts?
  • Every second child in America is overweight, almost all are out of shape and the problem of obesity is becoming more severe every day
  • Never before in human history have kids been so inactive and eaten so unhealthy
  • Nowadays kids grow up with a huge lack of integrity, tolerance and respect for themselves, and consequently, of others
  • Medical science has shown that most adult health problems stem from Childhood. This generation of children is already experiencing major health problems. These serious diseases are occurring at increasingly earlier ages
  • In 10-20 years an entire generation of young adults will suffer from major health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer and diabetes if we do not educate them today.
  • Kids are 50% of the world’s population and 100% of our future:
Some questions you should ask yourself include:
  • What kinds of things do you do on a regular basis (daily or weekly) that require you to be active?
  • What kinds of things can you do to schedule more activity into your busy day for you and your children?

These questions may open your eyes to the amount of physical activity that you do individually on a daily basis. Do not be discouraged though if you are lacking in physical activity. As most will tell you, you are never to old to begin being active, but as most experts will tell you, check with your doctor before starting a vigorous exercise routine. The below links can provide you with some hints and tidbits on the importance of activity for children, as well as how you can start to move them in the right direction if you are not already doing so.

So today, answer the above questions for yourself as well as check out some of the above articles and see where you stand. What are some concrete ways in which you can move your family toward a healthy lifestyle. After you think about these, come back here and share some ideas with the rest of the group.

Be Your Child’s Biggest Fan

Children are looking for your approval at all times. They want to feel that they are wanted, needed, and accepted for who they are. As they begin to grow and learn about their passions as we talked about in yesterday’s post, it will be important for you as their parent to do whatever you can to become your child’s biggest fan.

Children are looking for your approval at all times. They want to feel that they are wanted, needed, and accepted for who they are. As they begin to grow and learn about their passions as we talked about in yesterday’s post, it will be important for you as their parent to do whatever you can to become your child’s biggest fan.

What does it mean to be your child’s biggest fan you may ask? Well, this means that you know your child,their likes, their dislikes. You know what they aspire to become and the heroes that they have. You are aware of why they do the things they do and what gives them energy and what discourages them. Think about fans of celebrities and all that they know about the person they are passionate about. They are aware of every single detail of their life and will do whatever they can to be that person’s biggest proponent and ally. As a parent, this is your job, you must take on this role with your own child.


When you think about being a fan, the first thing in your mind may be sports and when looking into this topic, much of the writing on this topic surrounds sports. One of the articles that I examined talked about five different ways parents provide unhealthy and healthy encouragement to children in sports – these included:


Unhealthy Encouragement

1. Quick to criticize and slow to praise

2. Selectively shows love, support, and approval based upon the child’s performance

3. Becomes cold and critical when the child fails to live up to expectations

4. Lives out athletic aspirations through the child

5. Encourages the child to mimic the training habits or skills of professional athletes


Healthy Encouragement

1. Emphasize fun and participation

2. Define winning as a level of effort, not the score of the game

3. Measure improvement of skill, not by comparison to other children

4. Maintain open communication with the child throughout the sports experience

5. Let the child experience the dynamics of sport at his or her own pace


Though much of the writing is about sports, this does not mean that the above encouragment cannot be transferred to any other type of activity that your child is passionate about. Whether it is sports, band, drama, dance or other such activity, the above list of healthy and unhealthy habits still remain true.


Some questions you should ask yourself include:

  • Am I my child’s biggest fan? Do I know everything about my child? If not, answer the following questions.
  • How to I show that I am a fan of my child?
  • What are other ways that I can show my child that I am their biggest fan?

As you begin to answer these questions you may find it necessary to revisit them over time as your answers and definitely the answers about your children will change as you all change and grow.

In researching this topic I came across a few sites that I thought that I would share with all of you:



What are your thoughts regarding this topic? Make a list of the things that you know about your child and clarify things that you are not aware of currently. Once you have completed these tasks, come back and share your thoughts with the rest of the group.

Family Style Dining.

Each night we are all able to sit down together, without distraction – save for a bit of background music, and enjoy each other’s company. Often we are all tired after our respective long days, but the opportunity to sit, relax, and replenish ourselves with a home cooked meal is just the elixir we all need to ready ourselves for the final push to bedtime.

I just returned from helping to get my 3 year old son Lukas ready for sleep.  My wife, Mrs. LIAYF, is now reading finishing up reading stories with him in bed.  It is all a part of the evening routine around here, which includes cleaning up, brushing teeth, and going to the bathroom.  I’m sure you all know the drill quite well.  I bet we could all do it in our sleep.  And probably have on occasion.  However, there is one aspect of our evening which we particularly enjoy, and which I hope to extend out as long as possible.

Dining together as a family. 

Each night we are all able to sit down together, without distraction – save for a bit of background music, and enjoy each other’s company.  Often we are all tired after our respective long days,  but the opportunity to sit, relax, and replenish ourselves with a home cooked meal is just the elixir we all need to ready ourselves for the final push to bedtime.  Mrs. LIAYF and I make a point to have a balanced meal available most nights, which always includes a fresh fruit and green vegetable along with the main course.  It doesn’t hurt that he is a terrific eater, who rarely turns anything away.  Tonight, he finished a healthy serving of red and green kale, steamed with balsamic vinegar and loved it.   He’s a good kid.  I honestly don’t think that I ate a green vegetable myself until I was in my mid 20’s.

But that is not all we want to expose him to at a young age.  We want him to know the value of family conversation, and detoxification from ever present glut of external stimulation that is present in today’s society.

Sure, he is still a bit too young to be affected by most of it.  But I can imagine a time when Lukas, and perhaps another sibling, are older and inundated with external demands of thier time and attention.  Just a quick search revealed that there are a lot of articles out there detailing the benefits that researchers have found about families dining together.  These benefits include better grades at school, reduction in the rates of addiction and depression, and the opportunity to learn about a child’s day and experiences.  Turning off media and focusing on family is generally a positive experience.

Our hope is that as Lukas (and our future children) grow older, having established this family tradition early on, we will still have this time each day together.  It’s one of my favorite times of the day and I hope it becomes his as well. 

What about you?  How often do you eat together as a family?

Cat’s in The City

Readers, I sense an uneasiness in the air. A feeling that many of you may be concerned for the state of Dad Blogging. After all 2010, proclaimed far and wide as The Year of the Dad Blogger, is quickly drawing to a close. In fact, at the time this post is published, there will only be one short day remaining before all Dad Bloggers from Seattle to Shanghai unceremoniously turn back into pumpkins only to be dropped from 3rd story windows onto sidewalks below.

Readers, I sense an uneasiness in the air. A feeling that many of you may be concerned for the state of Dad Blogging.  After all 2010, proclaimed far and wide as The Year of the Dad Blogger, is quickly drawing to a close.  In fact, at the time this post is published, there will only be one short day remaining before all Dad Bloggers from Seattle to Shanghai unceremoniously turn back into pumpkins only to be dropped from 3rd story windows onto sidewalks below.  Right?  I mean you might have noticed that the posting has been a bit, um, scant around here recently. 

Not to worry. We here at Dad Revolution like many of you I suspect, have been a bit caught up in the rush and hum of the holiday season.  We will still be here once the clock strikes midnight Saturday morning and Old Lang Syne courses steadily across the country like The Wave swallowing up fans at a local sports stadium.

And, even though I am officially off work this week, I am not imune to the time constraints that this time of year ushers in.  With that in mind, rather than a new post today I am going to repost one of my favorites from the past year over at my personal blog ‘Luke, I am Your Father’.  It is from July, titled Catch 42, and is about father and son bonding.  It will also be included in a best of the year post I plan to publish there in the next couple of days. 

So, forgive my laziness.  But if you enjoy it, leave me a comment with a link to one of your favorite posts from the past year. I would love to read them.

My son turned three just the other day
He said, “Thanks for the ball, Dad, come on let’s play
Can you teach me to throw?”, I said
“I got a lot to do”, “but…that’s okay”

 And perhaps he thought, “I’m gonna be like him, yeah
You know I’m gonna be like him”

My apologies to Harry Chapin, but just the other day – Lukas’ 3rd birthday – we were recovering in our living room from the Pirate party we had had earlier that afternoon. My parents were also here and we were all pretty exhausted. In fact my dad was starting to doze off on the couch.

Lukas, on the other hand, was up from his nap and looking for fun. After playing with a few of the toys he had received earlier in the day he got up and ran off to the foyer. When he returned he was holding a baseball and two gloves, one just his size.
“Baseball!” he exclaimed, holding the mitts over his head.

“Do you want to play catch Buddy?”

“Yeah”

“Okay, in one minute. Stay here”

And with that, I walked to the foyer myself and returned with another adult sized glove. I tossed it to my old man, who had perked up upon hearing the interchange. A smile crept over his face at this. At this point, with new life breathed into us, we all made our way to the back yard for our very first three generational game of catch with a baseball.
Lukas was pretty excited, and seemed to be doing pretty well with his throws, but still needed some work with keeping the mitt on and catching with it. However, what he lacked in polish, he more than made up for with enthusiasm and creativity in his goofy wind-ups while preparing to throw the ball.

In between the short throws and catches to Lukas, my dad and I were able to stretch things out to a longer distance and begin feel the zing of horsehide smacking leather. It was, after all, my dad who taught me to throw and catch a baseball. Probably at around the same age that Lukas is now. It felt really good. It always does when we can work in a game of catch.

“You do realize this is my Little League glove?” I said to my father, holding up my mitt as we exchanged tosses. “Really?” He replied. “Yeah, I won it that year for selling the most candy bars. I think you told all the vendors who stopped by the farm that they had to buy several bars or you wouldn’t do business with them anymore”. And at that we both laughed.

I’ve always had a great relationship with my father. He is an exceptional man who has always been there for me. He still is. And though we have good conversations on those occasions where we are not too busy going about our busy lives, some things most often go unsaid.

It’s funny. As a grown man I can say three words 10 times a day to my 3 year old son, but still feel awkward about saying the same three words to my own father. That’s where baseball comes in handy.

Because between a grown father and son, nothing says ‘I love you’ like a hardball tossed back and forth from 60 feet away. At least that’s what I’ve found to be the case.

And as I hung up the glove it occurred to me
He’s type of dad that I want to be
I’m going to be like him, yeah
You know I’m going to be like him

The Value of Family

We will rejoice in our blessings and never forget who we are, and who’s we are. That is family. That is the value.

The holiday season it steeped in family tradition. We all have places we go, certain days to spend with family and the traditions in our immediate homes as well. It has been six long years since I have spent Christmas in the home I grew up in for 22 years. Six years it has been since I last spent Christmas day the traditional way we always did. We open presents Christmas morning at the house. Then we load up the car to go visit my grandparents and other extended family. The whole day was spent with family.

Since those times I have gotten married and started a family of my own. We have had our own traditions with The Kiddos and with my wife’s family. My parents usually come up to visit sometime immediately around Christmas. I know, they come to see the grand kids, not us (but we love them anyway. Right Nana and Papa?)

This year we have been blessed for the opportunity for me to take a full week off from work to visit my family. Christmas day we will travel to see my grandmother’s and other extended family. We will spend time with my sister, her husband, and The Precious. We will share in the memories created that day and live in the moments that create those memories. The love of family and the bonds of tradition will warm our hearts.

I hope that one day my children will grow up to have families of their own. Whether they live next door, or hundreds of miles away, I hope they will remember tradition. I hope they will share the stories of the traditions they grow up in with their children. I hope they will one day return to live those traditions another time. No matter what the future holds, the value of family and the time spent with them will forever stay in our hearts. The traditions and memories will be engrained in our minds for all of time. We will rejoice in our blessings and never forget who we are, and who’s we are. That is family. That is the value.

Is this the real life, or is this just fantasy

We moved to Southern California later that year and I became a full fledged fan of the showtime Lakers. Magic, Kareem, Worthy, and Rambis hooked me and I have been a captured fan ever since.

Five weeks into the NFL season and my Fantasy Football team is already tanking it to get a high draft pick. I don’t know why I do it every year when I am not that big a fan of football but each Fall bring the promise of glory. The sport I really love is Basket ball and with preseason games in full swing for the NBA and I couldn’t be more excited. I am one of a handful of NBA fans still left in the world and at the meetings where we get together in secret I am the secretary. When I was twelve I went to my first basketball game with my dad at Memorial Coliseum here in Portland. It was the Rose Garden then but now there is a new Rose Garden. I watched the Washington Bullets play the hometown Blazers and saw a young Manute Bol launch awkward threes and sit with his knee in his face because he was so tall. We moved to Southern California later that year and I became a full fledged fan of the showtime Lakers. Magic, Kareem, Worthy, and Rambis hooked me and I have been a captured fan ever since.

Every Fall as football starts heating up so does my fantasy basketball league I have with some childhood friends. This league has been going on now for over ten years and for all of us the day of the draft is like Christmas morning to five year olds. I get disproportionally excited and my hope is over flowing. My brother is in this league, my dad won it last year, and of the twelve teams there are only two that I have not known for almost twenty years. One of the old timers, and perennial powers, has his wife leave the house on draft day so he won’t get distracted. Now I can’t pull that kind of move with my wife but I know where he’s coming from passion wise. We care about this league and each other in a way that transcends basketball, but basketball is at the heart of it. We have played pick up games at Beattie Park in Lompoc together and fought viciously over non calls and bad trades. We are a family.

Saturday is draft day and the Portland contingent will be at my house. I have the sixth pick this year and for the first time we are making this a keeper league. That means that two of the players we draft this year will stay on our team for next year. There is something even more exciting and permanent about  a keeper league that says this is going to last. Like we have dated for ten years but we are finally tying the knot. I have the sixth pick and will likely take a young guy to build my team around for the years to come. Hopefully he will be with me for a while but if not I know the rest of these guys in the league will be.

Portland Dad writes over at Stay At Home Dad PDX about raising two boys as a stay at home dad. You can also find him on twitter as Portlanddad.

I’m leaving on a jet plane…

I will be back in NYC by the time this is read. We are preparing our bags on a breezy and sunny morning about a hundred kilometers south of Rome. My inspiration this morning is the slightly choppy sea right in front of my in-laws’ house. They have already kidnapped my son to spend every minute of the last day we are here in Italy with him. It is always a melancholy dawn – the day before our departure. It seems that just as they get used to enjoying all his quirks and pouts and giggles we whisk him away again until the next vacation. Yesterday, we were just a few miles away at my parent’s house where my sister and her family are staying. We were celebrating my niece’s birthday and my son running around the garden like crazy, chasing and being chased by the other kids and his cousins. There the mood was festive, but in an end of the summer kind of way. The time we spend here always feels like the time I spent cramming for tests and exams at school – desperately trying to get through everything you did not get to do during the rest of the year.

We always wish we had more time or that we could find a way to make more time. The reality of parenthood is that you hardly have time for your wife and kids let alone for your siblings and parents and relatives especially when they live so far away. Even in the moments we are together you try as much as possible to make it just lie any other day for the kids, but inevitably you end up having to explain to them what it means to get on an airplane or train or take a long car ride leaving behind grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins (this must be done each time the child repeats the question: “Why?”).

Today you can “see” each other more often thanks to technology, but watching my son interact with his cousins in person is priceless. Of course, we will come home and boot up the computer and call everyone on Skype and exchange all the pictures we took and the fun moments we had and then we will have to dive back into the daily grind until the next holiday or vacation.

Despite the stress that it can certainly cause, I always envy those who live fairly close together. The visits are never “use it or lose it” time where you feel guilty if you miss even an hour together knowing that it will be another year probably before you see each other again. Then again I live in New York and have not been to the Empire State Building since I was a little boy just because I think, “It’s right there so I can go whenever I want.” So I might end up doing the same if I lived in the same city as my sister or my parents or in-laws.

These are some of my random thoughts as I start to gather our things for tomorrow’s trip back to New York. In the good and the bad of having to “schedule” time with the relatives I have had a great few weeks of fun and relaxation with my wife and son and “the folks”. I can’t complain. And now back to my regular programming.

Let Me Introduce Myself

Being the new kid on the block for this growing site of Revolutionary Dads (not sure if I really deserve that title), I was asked by the gaggle of dudes to write an introductory piece. So…here it goes.

I was born and raised in North Carolina, which is where I met and married my high school sweetheart wife. We lived in Virginia for eight years. During that time we spat-out a couple of kids: my redheaded son (7) and my demanding princess daughter (5).

Two years ago I received an opportunity I couldn’t refuse, uprooted the family and moved to Chicago where we live now.

I’m an avid runner who loves to bike, swim, drink too much, act ridiculous in public, write, and make people laugh. My wife’s favorite feature in me is my amazing inability to walk a block without falling.

A few years ago my older brother, who’s a tech-obsessed guy, turned me on to Twitter. In August of 2009 I decided to try my hand at blogging and created www.WhyIsDaddyCrying.com and haven’t looked back since. It’s been an amazing journey so far and I’m pretty sure when my kids get old enough to read through all my posts they’ll cut me while I sleep.

In an effort to provide a few more tidbits about me…I’ve decided to allow my son to ask five questions that I will attempt to answer for you:

“Why do you kiss mommy?”

I kiss mommy because she’s a fine little blond-headed lady and an amazing mother to our two children. I also kiss mommy because she’s put a moratorium on me being able to do anything other than that to her.

“How do you make that noise in the shower?”

Ummm…you mean the one that sounds like a blow horn? Yeah, Ummm…well it’s definitely not me blowing my nose in the shower…I’d never do that.

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I am grown up…well, physically I’m grown up. Mentally I have the brain of a 16-year-old. I like what I do in the marketing and public relations world. And hopefully, I’ll finish working on the book I’m slowly cranking out and can make that my full-time jobby job.

“What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?”

Beer…I really like beer. Newcastle to be exact.

“Is Justin Beaver still famous?”

I really hope not. Music is my passion. It’s the thread that holds key moments in my life together, defining them each in unique, unscripted ways. Justin Beaver is the antithesis to good music.

Want to know more about me? Check my blog. I’m looking forward to being a part of this growing blog and look forward to interacting with its readers and writers.