March 30, 2012

A lesson that cost $1

I am helping TheMonk get out of his car seat in a crowded parking lot.  Lovely wife is helping Swee’Pea and I know I will have to also get GirlyGirl out of her car seat momentarily.  I am always a bit nervous with the kids in a parking lot and I am focused on getting everyone out safely on into IKEA as quickly and safely as possible.

“Excuse me, Sir.” A voice beckons from the rear of our SUV.  “I am hungry and I was wondering if you could spare any money.”

I look over and see a young man with dirty clothes, looking at me.  Our eyes meet and I can see the look of hunger in his eyes.  Often, I question the authenticity of these types of requests.  Particularly from someone who is young and seemingly free of physical disabilities.  But on this day, I think differently.  I think differently because, for the first time, TheMonk is at my side.  I can feel his little eyes taking in the situation as I pull out my wallet and hand the young man a $1 bill.  “Good luck.” I say, because I can’t think of anything else that seems appropriate.  “Thank you.” he says, taking the bill and stuffing it into his pocket.  He wanders away, looking for others who may hear his plea.

I instinctively reach for TheMonk’s hand.  Finally, TheMonk speaks. “Daddy, why did he ask you for money?”

I look quickly into his eyes and I see concern etched with confusion.  “He asked me for money, Monkey, because he was hungry and needed money to buy food.”

“And why did you give it to him?” he asks.

“I gave it to him, Bud, because we are very fortunate to have the things we do and if I can help someone else who isn’t as fortunate, then I will help.”

TheMonk takes this in.  He takes my hand and walks over to his mother while I go to get GirlyGirl out of the car.

The moment is over.  But I hope the lesson stays.


March 26, 2012

Doing the Girly Shuffle

GirlyGirl has been a roller.  Much like TheMonk was as a baby, GirlyGirl’s preferred method of locomotion has been rolling herself where she wants to go.  This method of transportation can be tedious and inexact at times and it was only a matter of time before GirlyGirl began contemplating other modes of travel.  And while it has been reported that she allegedly wanted her first trip in a straight line to be in a silver 1956 Porsche 356A Speedster, reality hit hard when she realized that not only could she not drive, her old man couldn’t pay for a 1956 tricycle.

So, she did the next best thing.  Combat crawl.

That’s right. GirlyGirl is a girl on a mission.  She sees what she wants and she’s off.  Knee, knee, elbow, elbow.   Knee, knee, elbow, elbow.   All she’s missing is a combat helmet and an assault rifle.  She skims across the floor, her baby belly cleaning the floor of dust and potentially lethal antique food items.  She has no fear.

Her parents, on the other hand?  Oh, yes.  Fear. Definitely fear.

March 13, 2012

$12.52 is the most meaningful gift ever

It started out as a simple question as TheMonk and I walked down the halls of the YMCA that I run. “Daddy, what are those bananas for?” You see, the walls are currently covered in banana trees made of paper with each banana naming a current donor to our Annual Support Campaign fundraiser.

“Those are people who donated some of their money to our YMCA so that kids who don’t have any money can play sports or go to camp or take swim lessons.” I told him.

Evidently this stuck with him because later that night, as I was tucking him into bed, he announced to me that he had been thinking of the bananas and wanted to give some of his money from his piggy bank. Touched by this, I told him I would be happy to bring his donation to work. He then pledged to give the Y $1.25.

Swee’Pea, the next day, upon hearing of this, wanted to give too. She fished out $6.26 and handed it over to me so that she could help kids go to camp. TheMonk, in a moment of extreme altruism (or sibling rivalry, it’s hard to say which) matched Swee’Pea’s pledge. This morning, I proudly brought $12.52 to the Y on behalf of Swee’Pea and TheMonk.

I then mentioned this in an email to my board and staff and, to my surprise, over a dozen people have responded saying they will match the $12.52. One very generous donor said they would pledge $1,252 in honor of Swee’Pea and TheMonk.

As I write this, I’m humbled and proud of what my kids have done. They have not only done something to help their fellow friends, but they have inspired others to do so as well.

If you are equally inspired, would you can pledge any amount you would like (but $12.52 has a nice ring to it) by going here and filling out the online form. Thank you to all of you.

March 10, 2012

Second (or third) Child Syndrome

Having a baby the second time around is definitely different. The first time you have a baby (or, in truly heroic fashion, more than one baby) you do everything by the book. Your house becomes more sterile than an operating room. Anything that belongs to the baby that ends up on the floor must be sanitized – or burned. Binkies get boiled, bottles get warmed, baby books get filled in.

But with the second child? This child is lucky to be alive. This child should thank its lucky stars that after the first one (or two), that we didn’t just throw in the towel and admit that this is all we can handle. This child OWES us. So in that respect, the child gets the shaft. Of course it’s still incredibly loved but dirty binkies now get sucked on by the parent and popped back into the mouth, non-sterilized bottles go down cold and baby books (or blogs) get woefully neglected.

And while it’s easy to say that this child will just have to understand that us parents ARE JUST TRYING NOT TO DIE, the truth of the matter is that this child will grow up to be the tougher one. This is the child that won’t be anal retentive because, shoot, its parents let him juggle knives, for crying out loud. This is the child that, while probably having a hefty therapy bill by the time its 30, will at least be able to take a punch, be tougher and prove to the world that he or she can compete with anyone.

So, while the first (or two) will grow up knowing that running with scissors is bad, the baby will grow up daring the world to toss her some scissors and get the hell out of the way. Yes, she won’t have a baby book but she’ll be making history nonetheless.

And her immune system will kick ass.


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: