Friday, April 30, 2010

Toast With Marmalade

Friday mornings...up at 6:10...make coffee....try to make my brain do make toast...that it is simply not ready to do...

I have a Friday morning tradition...I make toast with marmalade...Friday mornings are something of a transition period for me. The kids are not here and unless there is a game or activity on Saturday I will not see them until Monday. While I enjoy the takes a bit of effort to shift gears and be comfortable with that quiet.

Toast with marmalade helps.

Like I have written here before, food tells stories, and for me toast with marmalade tells a story of comfort and of the ability of certain people, places, and things to make the world go away...if only for a while. Toast with marmalade is a civilized breakfast...simple, elegant, and deceivingly complex....the cool, sweet, tangy marmalade mingling with the crunch of warm toast...

No rushed fights over who sits where and when...and apparently...last brain...

This morning...I found my marmalade not in its usual spot in the the freezer...where it became a solid block of orange ice....

Making toast is more than my brain can handle at 6:10. Toast with butter will have to do.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Morning Coffee


The alarm goes off at 6:10 every morning....without fail...which is damn early for someone who has to wait until 11:00 to feel fully human.


I get up that early to take advantage of the best part of the day and to have some quiet time before my kids wake up....again....I am not fully human until 11:00....

A part of my morning ritual is morning coffee. Now...there are some things I can manage without first having coffee...that list is very short and even those things I wonder how well I do without coffee. One morning, before 6:10...I took Joey out and when we got back inside I found myself trying to get into an apartment that was not my would seem that I needed to climb one more flight of stairs to get to my place...

Four years ago, as I prepared to set up my own household, the thing I bought was a coffee grinder. Before furniture, dishes, towels, lamps, anything....a coffee grinder....

I was told by the third floor tenant in my old building that each morning she could hear my coffee grinder from her bedroom...too bad...I needed my coffee...she was a tea drinker anyway...

The second thing I bought, as I prepared to set up my own household, was a coffeepot. A humble $15.99 Mr. Coffee coffeepot.

I still have both the coffee grinder and the coffeepot.

I did the math...I have 27 days worth of coffee mugs...and then it would be on to espresso...

From time to time...Oliver joins me for a morning cup of coffee (do not tell his mom...for some reason its OK for him to drink gallons of Mountain Dew but not alright for him to have coffee)...

Inside my head I have a voice from distant memory that whispers "coffee" to me every morning....

I think I might have a problem.

No matter....nor does it matter if its because of the taste, the caffeine, or its warmth...morning coffee is not merely a starter fluid, its a comfort and a pleasure. And I need all the comfort and pleasure I can get at 6 freaking 10 in the morning.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Sunday morning...after a night of tossing and turning...and turning and tossing...and very little sleep...I needed to be on the road before 9:00...I needed something...a pick-me up...something to help me with sleep deprivation and to brace myself for a day of Little League baseball....

I stopped by my favorite mom and pop doughnut shop intending to get myself a treat to set myself up for the day and to deal with a pounding headache...and yes...there was more than a little sublimation going on as well...

From the counter, browsing the doughnut and pastry case I found exactly what I needed;

A jelly filled marble cruller...under a heavy coating of sugar glaze....

Whomever came up with the idea for this decadent jelly filled deep fried treat should be given a medal or put in prison for developing a doughnut form of in the parking lot I immediately ate the first one I bought and rushed back inside to buy I said...there was more than a little sublimation going on...

Anyway...the glazed jelly filled marble cruller...its sort of like coming up with a perfectly fine candy bar and then deciding to slather it with frosting...the damn thing was sooooo good it was almost evil...

Sometimes you need a good stiff drink, others a bowl of ice cream....and least for me need a doughnut...

Saturday, April 24, 2010

My Little League Experience; Opening Day

Today is Opening Day for the Bridgewater, Massachusetts Little League season. Because we just can't have our kids go to the field and play baseball, I am going to be at the field at 9:00 this morning to watch a parade, listen to a few endless speeches, and be generally cranky about the whole thing.

And then Aidan plays at 12:30.

Oliver at 3:00.

Fiona and I are going to be in for a looooooong afternoon.

I had forgotten all about the parade until earlier this week when a friend of mine emailed me a not so gentle reminder. This friend of mine, whose son graduated from Little League last year, was an integral part of last year's Little League experience and in sending me the reminder I knew exactly what she was saying..."enjoy the parade Pierce and have a good time standing around Legion Field for three hours...I will be at home in my yard..."


I enjoy going to the field/court/dance studio to see my kids in action...what I don't the inclination, the impulse, the unrelenting drive to make an event out of every activity in which our kids participate.

My (erstwhile?) dear friend told me a story of her careening across town to get to Halloween "parade" at her son's school. This parade entailed the kids going out of their class...and walking down the hallway to another class...Earlier this spring my son had a kickball game with Cub Scouts....parents brought their video cameras, held up signs, and carried on as though this was surely going to be THE formative moment of their son's childhood...all of this FOR.....A.....KICKBALL.....GAME.....I dropped Aidan off and went off for a walk with my daughter....I was later scolded for not taking pictures....

Somewhere along the way we lost all perspective and have decided that a birthday party for our kid is not enough...we need to get a jumpy and have entertainment...That it is not enough to let the kid go to school in his Halloween costume...there has to be a parade...That its not enough to have the kid play in in Little League...that there has to be opening ceremonies...

If everything is special and important...then nothing is special and important. about two hours I will be standing at the ball field...drinking my coffee, thinking my thoughts, and pondering my ponderings. I do know one thing...the time spent on parades, ceremonies, and making more of things than they really are...these are attempt to make us feel better about something...about what I am not exactly sure. When I figure it out I will let you know.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Baseball Bats

My boys and I have a springtime ritual that we have followed for a number of years. At the beginning of March we start to prepare for the upcoming Little League season. They take hundreds of ground balls. They take batting practice. I take pain killers. How I love rituals.

This year is a bit different in that my oldest, Oliver, is stepping up to Senior League. Senior League is played on a big league diamond where its 60 feet 6 inches to home plate and its 90 feet from base to base. This is where boys really play baseball.

Last week, Oliver announced to me that he needed a new baseball bat. Ok...yes...I was not at all surprised that he needed a new bat...but when I casually asked if we were talking about something between $70.00 and $100.00 he told me that bats can go as high as $600.00 but that we should be able to find something in the $200.00 to $250.00 range.....


$200.00 to $250.00 for a baseball bat.

OK...that little revelation took a while to sink in...and I did a little research and as it turned out...I was not being played and that Oliver was actually trying to get me out of this for short money. So we went to a major sporting goods chain and looked at bats. We saw one that he liked but I told him that I needed to think about whether I was going to spend that kind of money on a baseball bat.

The next day his mom picked up the bat for him....the day after that I was presented with the bill.

Last night I was talking to another dad with whom I am acquainted while watching our sons play in a pre-season scrimmage. He told me that he paid $500.o0 for his son's bat. I looked at him....

Me: "You have got to be ****ing kidding me."

Him: "I know...but I love my son."

Me: "For $500.00 you could have bought a new son who would not make you buy overpriced sports equipment."

Him: "My son is the reason why I live and breathe...sometimes he is the reason why I get up in the morning."

Me: "My son is the reason why I sometimes go to bed early and pull the covers over my head...."

He laughed...I told Oliver this story...he laughed...

I love my son too...he is a good kid...even though he sometimes makes me want to go to bed early...

Baseball season starts tomorrow...and I can't wait to see Oliver, and Aidan, and Oliver's overpriced bat in action.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Food comes with stories. I mention ham...and a lot of you will think about Easter...or maybe Christmas. I mention ice cream and you will think of hot summer evenings at the ice cream stand or trips to Friendly's with your grandparents. When I think of ham I think of Thanksgiving...mention ice cream I think of sitting in my chair late at night watching the Red Sox...mention sushi I may well think of my birthday...mention asparagus...well...there is a story with goes with asparagus too...

Little by little I have been working to de-emphasize meat in our diet. This is not an easy thing for me as I regard Sunday roast beef as a part of my Anglo-Saxon birthright. So I have been putting out fruit and vegetables and cheese before dinner in an effort to reduce the amount of meat and chicken we eat. Along the way I have introduced new foods to the kids...with interesting results...they like mobier cheese, mangoes, and summer squash but only Oliver will eat goat for asperagus...well...not so much.

This impulse, the desire to eat less meat and chicken, was born from one part of my own personal story, goes well with the impulse to serve up asparagus...which as I mentioned has a story of its own. Besides...asparagus is in season...its good...and goes with anything...except 10 and 13 year old children.

So...on a cookie sheet, with olive oil and kosher salt I roasted these delicate green stalks of delicious goodness. I served them up...had the kids come to the table...

and then they looked at me.

I looked at them.

They looked at me.

At this point I knew I was in a standoff and that I needed to be quick on the draw....

Then Fiona asked...""

I told her..."asparagus." princess said "I hate asparagus." The boys then chimed in..."yeah Dad...we hate asparagus..." This from children whom to my knowledge never had asparagus....

And that was enough for a dinner table fracas to break out. Oliver relented and tried one piece...I decided that getting into a shootout over asparagus would be an unwise move on my part so I relented...and now...waiting for me when I come home for lunch...will be...well...asparagus...and the story that goes along with it.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Child Support

That from children....There are a number of things concerning parenting about which I have some very old fashioned, some would say quaint, ideas. That children should be quiet when they are being spoken to, that they need to eat what is put in front of them, that not everything is open to discussion and debate, and that No is a complete sentence.

An old fashioned notion that we are putting into practice here in Abington is the idea that kids should help maintain the household. Now if I had a yard my oldest boy would cut the grass. I don't (that's a battle for my ex wife to wage) but there are things around here with which they are starting to help...and they are not complaining at all about it.

How did I do this you might ask?

Easy...I tricked them.

It started innocently enough...or so they thought. One evening while I was making dinner I asked Oliver to unload the dishwasher. He did so without complaint. Because the kitchen island is next to the dishwasher and I put out a plate of cheese and fruit I was able to lure my 13 year old into the kitchen area to get him to unload the dishwasher. Now, every night before dinner, there is a fruit and cheese plate out in the island and every night Oliver unloads the dishwasher.

Aidan and Fiona are not motivated by plates of healthy food (although I think the promise of jellybeans would get Aidan to do almost anything) so I have to pick my spots with them. They will typically set the table and haul stuff out of the fridge for me.

I confess...I am motivated more by the desire/need to make life easier for me at dinnertime than I am by anything else at this point. But I am mystified by those parents who appear to think that kids are not capable of making a sandwich for themselves...I mean...we are not asking them to operate an atomic super collider...for crying out loud...all it is are two pieces of bread with something between them. I am not at all above telling my kids to make themselves a sandwich or heat up soup for themselves.

Get it yourself...another fashioned idea we are working on around here....Get it for me is up next.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lexington and Concord

Today in Massachusetts is Patriot's Day...the day we commemorate the Battle of Lexington and Concord by giving the day off to our political hacks and by staging the Boston Marathon. Today also forms a big part of our national mythology, one that is retold in our schools and on the Fourth of July, that would be the myth of the American Revolution.

The roots of the American Revolution can be found in another war, referred to in this country as the French and Indian War. This war, caused in no small part by the blunderings of a certain colonel of the Virginia militia, one George Washington, was a war fought on five continents between Great Britain and its allies and France and its allies. Great Britain waged this war for a number of reasons, not the least of which was to defend British subjects in America against attacks from Quebec by the French and their Native American allies.

This war, ending in 1763, cost a lot of money, driving the British government deep into debt. The government in London, expecting that British subjects in America should help pay for a war waged in their defense, enacted a series of taxes intended to help it pay for the war. These taxes involved fees for stamps on legal documents and import duties on among other things, tea, tobacco and sugar. Its no small wonder that the most prominent leaders of the rebellion were Boston lawyers, colonial merchants, and Virginia tobacco planters.

Recent studies of the revolutionary period indicate that only a third of America's population supported the rebellion, a third were indifferent, and a third supported the Crown. That our rebellion...or revolution, was an uprising against a tyrannical and arbitrary government is an important part of nation's story...and frankly is a part of our nation's story that is untrue.

To want to honestly and accurately look at our nation's past does not mean that I love my country any less. To approach history with blinders also means that the present is dealt with in the same manner. History, when done well, its about the search for truth in the historical past. When done poorly, history can become propaganda, and has the effect of warping of not only how we view the past but in also how we interpret the present. Our current heated political climate is in no small part, fueled by a warped interpretation of the past in general, and of the events leading to April 18, 1775 in particular.

Saturday, April 17, 2010


A few months ago my kids were conducting their usual Monday afternoon debriefing of my weekend activities. I told them that one of the things I did was go with a friend to a casino in Connecticut. My daughter asked if lost a lot of money...I told her the truth...after an evening of hanging out and playing the slots I ended up loosing fifty cents....yes...I am a high roller...I explained that I was only going to use ten dollars with which to gamble and that I ended up taking home nine dollars and fifty cents...and I continue to begrudge Foxwoods my fifty cents.

The other day...while in the car...there was a news story about a move afoot to bring casino gambling to Massachusetts. Aidan chimed in that if Massachusetts got a casino I would not have to go all the way to Connecticut. I did feel compelled to explain that the reason I went to the casino was to tag along with a friend and that I did not...and really do not...find the Connecticut casinos all that compelling...

And they really aren't. My friend...and her sister...stayed at Foxwoods until about 3:30 in the morning...they were having a great time playing the slots...I had an interesting time observing the human carnage. It was not a pretty site...watching elderly people play slots at 3:00 in the morning is not a lot of fun...I am sure that until they caught the gambling bug the last time they were up past 11:00 was when Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show. And these were not weekend trippers from out of state...they were within a half an hour of the casino. Gambling addiction is rife in southeastern Connecticut and southern Rhode Island. In very unscientific sampling of the people with whom I chatted that evening...most of them were locals out on a Saturday night...

Now...with our politicians salivating over projected gaming appears all of the time and effort devoted to breaking the Mafia into tiny little pieces was merely an effort to grab the wiseguys' action and have the Commonwealth take over the numbers racket. We already have a lottery that preys on the poorest citizens of our state and now we have the folks on Beacon Hill climbing into bed with corporations who are bent on bringing casino gambling to Massachusetts.

The jobs a casino would create would be entry level, menial, and if the Connecticut casinos are a model for how casinos would be run in Massachusetts, not pay a living wage. The income they would generate...and the state would get a piece of the action...would be extracted mostly from Massachusetts residents. Among the sites proposed for casino gambling are Springfield and New Bedford, two of the poorer cities in Massachusetts that do not need the negative socio-economic impact of casino gambling. Casinos do not create wealth, they extract wealth.

People will gamble...they will drink, smoke, and use drugs. They always have and they probably always will. I am not against gambling per se...however...we ought to be against our elected officials running over a certain number of our own people as they chase down our states' piece of the region's gaming action. If casino gambling comes to our state, any piece of action the Commonwealth does get...would be blood money...plain and simple.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Droid And Exploring Terra Incognita

I love maps. Road Maps, local maps, historical maps, world maps, political maps, geographical maps, and topographical maps. Put out a map and I will look at it. One of my favorite maps is a wall sized map at the New Bedford Whaling National Park which charts the voyages of New Bedford's whaling fleet. At my house there must be at least two dozen maps of various types as well as any number of map books and atlases. In the past week the kids have found out where Malta is, in what ocean Tristan da Cunha is, and why there are volcanoes in Iceland.

My favorite kind of map however, are those historical maps where the mapmaker is compelled to imagine what unknown lands "look" like. I have in front of me a map from the early 16th century. It fairly accurately depicts Europe, North Africa, and south western Asia...but vast regions of the of the globe are labeled Terra Incognita...or unknown land. The world must have seems mysteriously huge and fascinatingly unknown.

Since the beginning of the 16th century, and even before, we embarked on a campaign to map, chart, and record every nook, crag, and cranny of our world. The world is a lot smaller but I think it may still be unknown and this leads me to my Droid...

I have been saving my pennies and the other day I bought a Droid...its a cell phone with many features, including a web browser, email, and a GPS...Yesterday while playing with the GPS on this thing I discovered something interesting an alarming. Not only does my Droid "know" where I am "knows" where I am at where I am at.

Sitting in the car, while at my ex-wife's house, I was playing with the Droid's GPS feature. Not only did it have a map of Bridgewater, it had on its map property lines, and not only was there a flashing blue dot indicating where I indicated where I was parked on the driveway. Later on...this thing was able to trace my movements through my apartment. Big Brother is watching indeed.

Perhaps because of their accuracy, GPS' have the tendency to keep people on the beaten, well travelled track, away from terra incognita. A GPS will point me to a Dunkin Donuts in Dennis, Massachusetts...but I need to find for myself the mom and pop donut shop with the best sour cream donuts on Earth. A GPS will tell me the fastest way to get to Marshfield...but it won't tell me that the best way to go is to take the back road that runs along the pond where there are swans.

As small as the world has gotten, it is still mysterious with much that is hidden and unknown. My Droid may help me chart my journey...but its up to me to figure out where to go, what to avoid, how to find the right road, and to find where the good donuts are.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I am not good at goodbyes....I can do "see you later" or "so long" or even "via con dios..." but goodbyes are not for me. If you don't believe me I can come up with one or two people who will verify this for you. I find the permanence of "goodbye" to be awful and terrible. Even reading the title of this posting reminds me of the last time I read that word in a subject heading and its enough to bring tears. The funny thing though...the last two years have given me ample opportunity to practice getting used to saying "goodbye"...maybe this is why.

So...I find that I need to get ready to say goodbye to Joey, my best and truest friend...We have been together for more than fifteen years. Through every joy and every sorrow, through most of my marriage, the birth of my children, and during my life as a single man, Joey has been there with me to share in the adventure. He has been with me through several relationships and he has seen me find and then lose love. During these fifteen years I have spent more time with him than I have with any other person. And there is only one other person with whom I had a bond that is closer than the one I have with Joey. Yes...I consider Joey to be a person and why not? He has the attributes of personhood; self awareness, intelligence, empathy, and the capacity for love.

I had come to rely heavily on his company, his devotion, and his love. He was waiting for me when I got home from the hospital last month and after the first two days at home, he, along with my cat, were my company during my recovery. There were some very dark times last year when Joey was the only reason why I got out of bed. Accurately or not...there were times when it felt like he and Spot were all I had.

When I think of Joey a number of images come to, his dashing around the woods surrounding the Chestnut Hill Reservoir, out of control, a playful hazard to dog and owner alike. Another, his following me around in my new apartment on the first night away from my kids. Still yet another is of Joey eagerly sniffing around our park in New Bedford...wandering off far enough to demonstrate his independence but always keeping me in sight. And finally, Joey with me at home, asleep on his bed....

So...with old age finally catching up to my friend and his puppy spirit starting to wane...its time that we say goodbye and part ways. My friend needs me to know when the time is right to let him go and to have the courage to do so. After all...I am all he has.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Joey and Me

Early on Sunday mornings we would get up and go to the reservoir for doggy play group. Standing with other dog owners from the neighborhood I would watch my puppy race around our little patch of woods next to the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. There were times when Joey would knock the legs out from under his dane friend and other times when he would crawl under the fence and would go for a dip in the reservoir. I had a puppy and he was a lot of fun

Ten years later, up to my neck in kids, laundry, dishes, and work, Joey and I would spend a few minutes each Sunday morning in the backyard. I had to be careful and keep an eye on Joe as he was prone to pick up a scent and follow it wherever it took him. More than once I lost track of him and had to follow him into the woods to find him. While he always made his way home he seemed to like going off on his little adventures. Even though he was older I still saw my friend as a puppy....

Two and a half years ago, Joey and I would spend our Sunday mornings on Klasky Common. I would bring a section of the paper with me and Joe would sniff around the Common. We would sometimes walk downtown...but I was careful not to go too far as I knew Joey tired more easily than he once did. It took my ex girlfriend and her gift of an orthopedic bed for Joey to realize that my friend had moved from middle to old age...During this time Joey no longer belonged to me....I belonged to him.

More than a year ago, while Joey struggled to navigate her hardwood took my erstwhile dear former get me to realize that I was not dealing with an old friend was now elderly...and that I had to be ready for that day when I would have to do the right thing.

This Sunday morning Joey is asleep next to me. His puppy days and his going out for a walk days are far behind us. My friend still comes to the door when I get home. He still puts his head in my lap. He still begs for food...last night he got much of the steak I had grilled for us. He still listens to me...and I try to listen to him. What he is telling me is that he is no longer uncomfortable...he is in pain.

We are going to the vet tomorrow...and I know that Joey's vet may well think that it is to do the right thing for my best friend. And if not tomorrow...then soon.

I wonder what Sundays will be like then...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tell Me A Story

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....ok....that one has been used before...but they were the best and worst of times all at the same kids were young...very young...barely out of diapers young...ages 4, 4 and 6...and the four of was the four of Joey. Our days were crazy busy, typically starting at six in the morning and ending well past a time that was decent with car runs back and forth to school, preschool, work, daycare, and home....

The house was a combination home/laundry/cafeteria/mortgage shop/kennel/jungle gym...and more than once I cooked dinner while dealing with a crying child and a mortgage client at the same time...usually the crying child was the more rational of the two....and you know something...I miss those days.

The other night, while sitting with my kids in their room, with a warm spring breeze wafting through my apartment...I was reminded of something that we did together one spring during that time...we read The Chronicles of Narnia together...Now I would strongly urge all parents to read Narnia to their kids...the chapters are short enough to hold a five year old's attention and interesting enough to hold an adults. But that is not really the point of this story.

In those days the kids slept in bunk beds, Oliver slept on top and Aidan and Fiona in the double bunk below. Each night I would cram myself between Aidan and Fiona and reach a chapter from Narnia... To be honest with you...most nights I was tempted to hustle the kids off to bed and collapse on the pile of laundry that usually covered my bed. But the four of us were overwhelmed and stressed out...and looking back, reading at night probably helped all of us sleep better.

Reading the Narnia books to my kids is among my very favorite parenting episodes. Maybe it was because of C.S. Lewis' prose or perhaps because these were stories about love, sacrifice, and devotion that made these books and that time I shared with my kids so compelling. Each night, during those months, I read a chapter, the kids listened, and more often than not we all fell asleep together in the same bed. C.S. Lewis helped bring peace, calm, and quiet into our home.

I know people with young children...and young children can be demanding, exasperating, and frustrating all at the same time...I have been there and I get it. However, as we rush about from that errand to this errand constantly looking at the clock and what needs to be done is so very easy to forget how quickly time passes and how soon all of this will end. While I am happy with my two ten year olds and my thirteen year old I do miss the young children they once were...and...there are times when I wish I could get them all into bed and read Narnia to them...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fathers and Daughters

It felt like a mundane conversation on that least mundane of our started innocently enough...while driving back from Walmart...she looked at that way...and asked me..." is your daughter?"

About ten days ago, on the Red Line, a few dozen feet below Massachusetts Avenue somewhere between Porter and Harvard Squares, were sitting across from me a gaggle of young girls just a few years older than my little girl. That conversation from many months ago came back to me...I realized that I needed to spend more time with my daughter.

As is often the case with girls of a certain age, these girls were trying to act older than they really were. I have to admit that these girls made me feel a bit uncomfortable. Maybe it was because of where we were or maybe because they were so close in age to my own daughter...needless to say a whole lot of buttons were being pushed during those minutes on the train...I wondered about their dads and if they knew what their daughters were up to that night. I then wondered if in a few very short years if I was going to know what my own little girl was going to be up to on a given Saturday night.

A few days ago my daughter asked if she could go to work with me. My job is a door to door, appointment to appointment affair with a lot of time spent in the car. Some days it can barely hold my interest, let alone that of a ten year old girl. As I explained this to her I realized that for her this was not about being entertained it was about being with me. So, together, we hit the road.

We had a great time together. I learned that Fiona holds her breath whenever she goes past a cemetery and that she punches her brother in the arm whenever she sees a car that "looks like a beetle." But more importantly...I was reminded that my daughter needs me and that I need to be present in her life...

I moved out of the house almost five years ago...and since then...from time to time Fiona would "poke" me...She would leave voice messages, send text messages, or write emails...all with more or less the same theme..."Daddy...are you there?" We would try to carve out time where we spend time together. She often gets up early and sits with me while I sip my morning coffee...Fiona is not much of morning person but she seems happy just to be sitting there with me.

Fathering a girl is an entirely different experience from fathering boys. Their needs are similar and different at the same time. Both girls and boys need their dads to be engaged...but whereas sons require more guidance...daughters seem to need their dads to be present in a way boys do not. I have no data or empirical evidence to support my contention....just my intuition and my experience with my own daughter...and the daughters of other dads. This is simply something I know in my gut...and you will have to trust me on this one...

I need to make sure that my daughter does not need to ask if I am there...I need for her to know that I am. And if I ever cross paths with that girl from Cambridge again I will need to thank her for making me realize this.

And by the daughter is doing just fine.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

"So...How Are You Spending The Holiday?"

For me, amongst life's trick questions are;"what are your career goals?, "who do we contact in case of an emergency?", and "how are you spending the holiday?" I was asked this last question the other day and I was soooooo tempted to answer by saying "after I see my kids I am going to go home, pour myself a double scotch, question every decision I have made in my personal life over the last five years, and stare into the abyss...(insert dark laughter here)."...instead I said..."I dunno..."

Actually, I did know...I had a plan...actually I had a handful of plans...I was caught without a plan for Christmas (the holiday that comes with teeth) or for New Years so there was no way I was going to be caught unprepared for Easter. What I really wanted to do this Easter was not going to I went to Plan I have enough experience with Plan A to know that I needed Plan B....which entailed lamb kebabs, my hibachi, premium German beer, and a cigar...

Admittedly...I am still trying to figure out what to do with myself on holidays (and on Sundays for that matter). The two divorced dads I know are of no help as they mark their child-free holidays with gambling and alcohol. The single women I know they spend their holidays with extended family, they go to Foxwoods, or they ignore holidays all together and they work. Clearly I need to come up with my own ideas as to how to deal with holidays....

Holidays can be like little (or big) potholes on the calender that can trip up even the best of us. Frankly, holidays like Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and Easter are and ought to be family events. However, there are those of us for whom, either by decision or circumstance, where this is not possible. So the best plan is to have a plan...its not like holidays sneak up on you...they have them marked on the calender...I checked...

So I have a plan for the next holiday on the calender...Memorial Day...and right now I am thinking range, grass fed, humanely raised steak.