Cancer Can Kiss My Ass

relay for lifeToday our Relay for Life take place. DW has her Team SugarBear, Crash is on the all kids team, Magnificent Monkeys while Bang and I are there for support. It begins at noon and runs until midnight. Bang and I will get take part in most of it. We’ll be there until bedtime. DW has raised over $200. It’s not the $1,700 she raised when she shaved her head, but it’s still good. Crash bagged groceries at the SuperStore with some other Monkeys for donations. He participated in a fundraiser selling flower bulbs. Plus he raised over $100 in donations besides.

We will soon be off to support the survivors, including DW’s dad , step-mom, a cousin, along with some aunts and uncles. We’re also there to pay homage to those who have laid down their torch, including my grandfather and great-aunt and uncle and DW’s aunt. I might compile a more complete, specific list later. As for now, we’re off to walk the track!


But it’s still light! (And other arguments that don’t work)

Anyone with kids has heard it a few million times around this time of year (or in October? if you live in the southern hemisphere). When trying to get your creatures to bed at a decent hour they realize it’s not dark, yet. They don’t have to be taught this argument, they don’t pick it by overhearing it. They just know. “Time to get ready for bed,” I say. “But it’s still light outside!” comes the reply. Then they dawdle and dilly dally and do everything short of running away to try to stay up until it’s dark. Combine that with the warm weather that is finally here and they think they’re on summer vacation! Every night it’s, “Can we have a bonfire?” or “Can I stay up late?” No and no, you have school tomorrow. Then it’s “I’m hungry.” and Crash will try to eat us of house and home in order to stay up. He’s not hungry, he just doesn’t want to go to bed!

“But the neighbors are still outside,” is another one that doesn’t work. I’m not the neighbor’s parent, so if they’re still outside that’s fine by me. But it’s time for you to come in to get ready for bed so you can get up at 6 am for no apparent reason. “But I’ll hear them outside and I won’t be able to get to sleep.” Good one bud. But your window will be closed, your air purifier will be on as will be your fan. You won’t hear them.

“But everyone else has one.” Nice try. We haven’t given in to the Minecraft craze, yet. Crash has almost broken us a few times, though. Once, we told if he cleaned up the toys in the basement he could get it. He went to the basement for a couple hours, but nothing got picked up. So we didn’t have to get it then. He received money for his first communion and asked if he could get Minecraft. We told him okay, but there would be limitations to it It’s a never ending game that he would, no doubt, waste hours and hours upon. However, he ended up forgetting about it and asked to go to Wal-Mart and got Legos instead. It doesn’t matter to me what everyone else has or does, it’s what’s best for him.

So many arguments, so little time. It’s Friday which means he’ll be asking to stay up late, just as he has every day this week. Chances are good I’ll let him tonight. The Orioles play the Rays tonight so I’ll let him stay up to watch some of it while we put his new Lego set together again. (I put it together a couple nights ago but Bang destroyed it in one of his fits of frustration)

Are there any arguments you have repeatedly? How do you respond?

Decisions Decisions

We may possibly be in the market for a new vehicle. We’re not entirely positive yet, but positive enough to be curious to know what’s out there these days. DW wants something SUV-ish to hold all our stuff when traveling to the beach or on road trips. Crash and Bang want a built in DVD player. I want something great on gas. Will it be possible to make us both happy without busting the bank? Continue reading

Following Directions

I’m lazy today and short on time, so I’ve recycled this post from my days on Blogger. But it’s something that still resonates today and will likely resonate for years to come.

Crash loves to go for a walk to the local corner store with his friend (a teenager who lives next door). This evening he asked if he could go while I was mowing the yard. Of course, I said yes. But I told him he wasn’t allowed to get anything because he’d had his daily intake of junk already (Nanny and Pop had taken him to DQ for ice cream). He asked “what about a piece of gum?” I told him no, he wasn’t to get anything. He wasn’t happy, which meant he understood my direction.

Half an hour later he returns with his friend and shows me the piece of gum he got from the store. I know he didn’t take any money with him so I also know he got that quarter from his friend.

Here’s my dilemma.
1) It’s just a piece of gum. So what?
2) I told him not to get anything, yet he still did. Even if it was just a piece of gum.
3) He got money from his friend to get that piece of gum.
4) It was just a quarter.

I don’t want to over react over a piece of gum. But I don’t want to let it slide either because he did something I specifically told him not to. Also, he had to get money from his friend to get that gum. I know it was just a quarter and it was also just change left over from whatever she got for herself. But I don’t want him asking friends for money so he can buy himself stuff. Even if it is just a quarter. Even if it is just a piece of gum.

I was still mowing upon his return and I gave him a stern “I thought I told you NOT to get anything”. I could tell he clearly understood my disappointment from his expression. Later, while I was helping him get ready for bed I explained to him that if he couldn’t do as I asked he wouldn’t be allowed to go with his friend any more. He knows I’m serious.

It’s just a piece of gum.
I told him to get nothing, yet he still did. Is it too far of a leap to “I told you no drugs”?

What would you have done?

The Good Ol’ Days …

CheetahCrash is doing a research paper in school. He chose cheetahs. They are a big hit in our house. Or at least one of my favorites. Last night at bedtime, he informs me that people used to keep cheetahs as pets.

Yep. In ancient Egypt, I tell him.

Yeah. He says. Like 1993.

Ahh. Those were the good ol’ days, weren’t they? Blind Melon’s “No Rain” playing, the cheetah sprawled across the floor and the chariot parked in the driveway. Seems like just yesterday…

Stopping on A Warm Summer Eve


Two strangers happened upon one another by chance and circumstance.

“Stay away from me,” one said rudely.
“Okay. I’m just here for snack,” replied the other.
“You’re to close to me. And stop looking at me.”
“Don’t worry. I’m still hungry. I need something else to eat.”
“Really? How much can you possibly eat? You’re going to get fat.”

That evening, the first stranger arrived home and explained how he met the very hungry catapillar.

When the second stranger arrived home he too had a story to tell. However, he told of his encounter with the grouchy ladybug.

This is a story in 100 words or fewer (this one happens to be exactly 100) for Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle-Wisoff-Fields based on the photo above. Click the blue frog to read more stories inspired by this photo!

Where’s the Line?

There’s a line somewhere that divides the bubble wrapping parents from the rest of us. Somewhere there’s a line separating the over protective parent from the barely protective. There are parents on both sides of those lines. Some just play jump rope with it.

Where do you draw the line at what you’ll allow your children to attempt? Crash wanted to ride his snowboard down the slide in the backyard this past winter. Giv’er buddy. He wanted to ride his bike down the step of the neighbor’s front porch. I don’t think so, Tim. Bang wanted to jump from bed to bed in our hotel room. Giv’er, buddy. He also wanted to climb onto the shed roof to get a sand shovel he threw up there. Fat chance, kiddo. How do you decide when to tell them no and when to let them try?

Fear is imaginary. It’s not real. It is created in our brain. Don’t confuse it with danger. Danger is very real. Example? Spiders. When you walk into a spider web, what’s your first reaction? I’m guess you flail around like demented windmill? That would be your fear of spiders. Fear of getting bitten by a poisonous one. The danger isn’t there, but the fear is. The chances of the web containing a poisonous spider is very slim, especially if you live here in Canada. Of the spiders that can be harmful to humans, most don’t even build webs that you can walk into. The black widow lives on the ground, as do tarantulas. So you need to ask yourself when your dare devil wants to try something new, “Is my fear greater than their danger?” If it is then you’re probably over reacting by not letting them try.

However, once their danger level is equal to your fear of them getting hurt, perhaps it’s then time to put a stop to it. Climbing a tree is one of Crash’s favorite things to do. Do I fear him falling out of it and getting hurt? Sure. Is it actually dangerous? Not really. It’s a pine tree with hundreds of branches so the most he would fall is 8 inches to the branch below. Is that different than the 8 inches he would fall riding his bike down the front porch steps? Yes, because now there is equipment with which to hurt himself on.

So, when I hear “Dad, video me and put it on youtube!” My answer is always no. He doesn’t need the encouragement to be dangerous. I’m glad he doesn’t have much fear, but he needs a better understanding of danger. Though, I can’t blame him. I was the one who slid down our neighbor’s shed roof on a sled into a snowdrift. My excuse? I was 14.

The Flight of Time

This time last week three entities were traveling toward each other from completely different parts of the world. I, from Canada. My brother from South Korea. My parents in Maryland. Today, we all head back to life as we know it. I’ll be back to writing about the joys and headaches Crash and Bang provide. I’ll be back to work. My day started at 7 am at the Gainesville airport. My brother started at the same airport at 4 am. I’ll make it back home by 2 am. My brother will be home around 6 am our time (6pm his time). My parents have been driving up the coast back to Maryland and will arrive while I’m in the air. Time is relative.

Crash and Bang have gone to bed. They had sleepovers in each other’s beds the past couple nights. They really do love each other. It’s hard to tell sometimes. Tonight is a school night so they are back in their own bed. At 2 am I will be in my own bed, too. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s wake up call!

In 15 minutes I board my plane to Halifax. Good night my dear readers.

Here I Go Again

My brother left the hotel at 3:40 this morning for his flight to Atlanta to Detroit to South Korea. All thought it’s a 16 hour flight, because of the time change he’ll get in 36 hours later than he started. He’s 13 hours ahead of our parents and 12 hours ahead of us.

Now it’s my turn. I’m on my flight to Atlanta (technically, this will get posted when get into the Atlanta airport). Unfortunately, my brother will be taking off from Atlanta at the same time I’m landing, so I won’t get to meet up with him like I did on my trip down. I’ll have a 3 hour and 45 minute layover there before flying to NY where I have a 3 hour layover before flying to Halifax.

It was an awesome trip. I tried to document some of it: the 6 legs on the trip down, the baseball game, the trip to Florida, my grandmother’s service.

I was home with my parents and now I’m heading home to my wife and kids. It was tough hugging my parents good bye. Just as it was tough kissing Crash and Bang and DW goodnight before coming. Hopefully, we’ll be able to make a trip down with the kids this summer. I really would like to see more family and give Crash and Bang a chance to see their cousins. Crash was only 3 the last time he went (he’s turning 8 soon). Bang hasn’t been to the States, yet.

Thank God for technology to help us keep in touch! Facebook. Skype. Google Hangouts. We make the most of them!

The Dragonfly

It is believed by some that the dragonfly represents change and transformation. There is no greater transformation than that after one passes on. So the dragonfly has come to represent loved ones coming back to visit us. I hadn’t heard of this until there was a death in the family and one particular dragonfly hung around for 3 days. Since then, for me,  the dragonfly has come to represent those who have passed on.

Since I arrived in Florida the night before last I hadn’t seen nor thought of dragonflies until this afternoon. We were attending a beautiful service at my  grandmother’s memorial. The vocalist was incredible. She sang Wind Beneath My Wings, Baby Face (my grandmother’s favorite), and The Lord Prayer. Her voice was as clear as the skies and as strong as the Florida sun. My grandmother was a pretty strong woman, too. Her will was the way and it wasn’t easily changed.

After the service there was lunch. Just off the lunch room was enclosed porch, what could be called a sun room. I went there to see the photo of my grandmother and her urn. I look out the window and what do I see? Atop a birdfeeder lands a dragonfly. I’m not sure if it was looking at me or not, but I could have sworn it was. We stared at each other for about five seconds before it fluttered off.

Was grandma coming to see me? It seems too coincidental to be mere chance. Did I thank Grandma? Yes. Yes I did.