January 23, 2012

Hats off to you, my son

You asked me for a hat to keep your head warm. It seemed a silly request considering that we live in warm, sunny San Diego but it’s been cold in the mornings lately (low 40′s!) and your little ears and head were feeling the brunt of the cold on our morning walks to the bus stop.

On my lunch break the other day, I stopped off at the local store and picked you and your sister up a knit hat for a whopping $4.01. Bargain. I was excited to bring it to you and you were equally excited to receive it. The first night, you slept with it on your cute little head and it was evident you were excited to wear your hat to school.

As I returned home from work after your first day at school with your new hat, I was eager to find out how the day had went. It was then that I received some news that made me hurt for you.

You tell me, “Some girls in my class made fun of my hat today, Daddy.”

I can see the sadness in your face and that you are struggling with the conflict between the love of your hat and the acceptance of your peers. I give you a hug and as I pull away I ask you if this made you sad. You nod yes with solemn eyes and I pull you close again, searching for a way to take away the hurt.

As I hold you in an embrace, I whisper into your ear, “Buddy, the important thing is that you love the hat. These girls are being mean and if you don’t wear this hat tomorrow to school, you are letting these girls – these haters – you are letting them win. It doesn’t matter what they think, buddy. We don’t make decisions based on what others think, okay?”

You pull away again and you nod. I’m not sure my talk has sunk in but we leave it be for the rest of the night. As I walk you to the bus the next morning, you carry the hat in your hand and I’m still unsure what you will do. As the bus comes, I lean down to give you a longer hug than usual and I whisper in your ear, “Don’t let the haters win.”

With that, you smile and turn to board the bus. As you walk on and find your seat I can see you sitting with your sister and your best friend. And as the bus pulls away I notice something that makes me smile.

You’re wearing the hat.

New Hats

June 30, 2007

Downward Facing Dad

As you may know, I work for the Y. Working down the hall from a weight room, treadmills, ellipticals and even group exercise classes, you’d think I’d be in fantastic shape.

Um, yeah, not so much.

I have been meaning to get back into the exercise thing but the past two weeks I’ve been fighting a cold and I finally went to the doctor to find out I have a sinus infection. (By the way, can I tell you how disappointed I was to find out my amoxicillin was in pill form rather than cherry-flavored syrup?)

After finally getting some relief for my poor sinuses, I decided to start out my exericse regime with a beginning yoga class. Our yoga instructor has been trying to get me to his class for months now and since it was his birthday yesterday I joined a handful of my staff and we all attended his class.

Now, I definitely had some preconceived notions about Yoga. I expected incense and all sorts of metaphysical mumbo jumbo while hearing how my chakras were being aligned. I also had a little fear of being the only guy in the class and not being able to get into any of the positions.

I was the only guy in the class. And let’s just say my groin and hips just can’t compete with those who are biologically predisposed to giving birth. And lets just say that if I knew I was going to be barefoot the entire time, I would have at least cut my toe nails.

But once I got over my insecurties, I gave it my all. I contorted and twisted and strained all while trying to remember to breathe (breathing is a big thing in Yoga). I did find out that my hamstrings are a good six inches shorter than I remember them being and my calves just don’t want to see my heels touch the ground while practicing “downward facing dog.” But I survived.

Or did I? Today, I awoke and as I got out of bed I quickly did an inventory where I was sore:

Right Calf? Yep.
Upper Abdominals? Yep.
Lower Abdominals? Yep, them too.
Hip Flexors? Affirmative.
Pectoral Muscles? Sadly, yes.

Okay, my whole body hurts.

But, hey, at least my chakras are aligned. You can’t put a price on that.

January 23, 2007

Good Friend, Great Dad

I arrived on the campus of Columbia University in the Fall of 1989. I was a hotshot track recruit from California and I was ready to run. The biggest adjustment, however, was the culture shock I encountered after growing up in a laid back surf town and suddenly finding myself amidst a loud, angry city. Luckily, the track team provided a safe haven from all the changes and my teammates are what truly got me through that rough time.

One teammate, in particular, became my biggest support. But it didn’t start out that way. In fact, one of my favorite memories of my early workouts at Columbia was running repeat 200′s (our coach’s favorite workout) while hearing Jean-Luc, a sophomore sprinter, telling me to slow down the entire workout. Finally, unable to take it anymore, I yelled that if he couldn’t keep up then to shut up and let me do my workout. It was the last time I ever recall me outworking J.L.

You see, J.L. was an average runner, at best, when I arrived at Columbia. Over the next three years he transformed himself from a scrawny 51 second 400 meter runner into a very impressive 46 second quarter miler by his senior year. And while his work ethic was admirable, it isn’t what drew me to him as a friend. It was – and still remains – his spirit.

Anyone who meets Jean-Luc Neptune never forgets him. His sense of humor is sharp, playful, and one that makes it easy to laugh at yourself. Whether it was his classic line, “Is that a paramecium in your pocket or are you happy to see me?” or his idea (along with partner in crime, Ed Cuello) that the track team should run naked through the campus each year (a tradition that started in 1991 and continues to this day), Jean-Luc embraces the humor and adventure that life has to offer. It is a quality that makes me lucky to call him my friend.

It has been 11+ years since we were roommates in our post-college days. That time in my life is full of great memories of being a young man living in a young man’s Manhattan. I’m glad I was able to do that and I’m lucky that it was with a good friend like Jean-Luc. Since that time we have both married (we were groomsmen in each other’s weddings) started careers (he, like most of my Ivy League bretheren, makes significantly more money that I do) and started a family.

And that’s why I decided to write this post. I’m pleased to announce one of the greatest guys to walk this earth is now a father. His lovely wife Sarah gave birth to Sebastien Jean-Claude Neptune this week and I am so excited for them both. And I’m even more excited for little SJC because he’s got a great dad.

J.L. has also recently joined the Daddy Blog community. So go on over and congratulate them yourselves.

November 23, 2006

Being Thankful

It’s funny how we only take time once a year to focus on the act of giving thanks. In my opinion, the world could use a few more thank yous. I am as guilty as the next person by not always expressing my appreciation of others or acknowledging how insanely fortunate I am to live the life I’m living. I mean, how often have I anguished over who to start on my fantasy football team or whether I’m going to have time to pick up a cup of coffee at Starbucks? How pathetic is that?! If these are my life’s problems, then I am one lucky guy.

And I am lucky. I am so thankful for all of the fortune that has met me in my 35 years. I’ve married a beautiful, strong, intelligent woman who happens to be a fantastic mother. I have two amazing, beautiful children (not to mention the coolest kitty on the planet). I own my own home. I have a job I love. And, to top it all off, I’m damn good looking. (grin)

Yes, I have a lot to be thankful for. My challenge to myself is to remember this for the next 364 days.

October 27, 2006

Eat Mor Chikin

There is a new, fancy mall opening up near our house. It has been highly anticipated – not so much for the shopping but for the restaurants that will be there (think, Cheesecake Factory). The mall officially opened up for business today and as a promotion, the local Chik-Fil-A restaurant announced that the first 100 people to spend $25 or more at this mall would win a year’s worth of free meals at Chik-Fil-A upon proof of purchase.

I wasn’t really thinking about this promotion but I wanted to see how the new mall was looking so I drove by this morning on my way to work. I noticed that only one store was open – and it happened to be a Starbucks. Not one to pass up the chocolately goodness of a Starbucks Mocha, I decided to stop in. Once in line, I overheard people talking about making $25 worth of Starbucks purchases so they could get their free Chik-Fil-A. Seizing upon the moment, I bought a travel mug along with my mocha and headed over to Chik-Fil-A.

I was number 99 out of 100 to receive my free meals. How many breaded chicken sandwiches can one have? We’re about to find out.

September 7, 2006

Back to School

Eric over at More Diapers has challenged me to name my worst Back to School outfit and give background details about the time. My most vivid memory confirms that Eric and I must have had the same fashion consultant – either that or were were fashion lemmings willingly falling off the abyss of bad sartorial taste. So, I humbly present to you my worst Back to School outfit.

It’s 1986, sophomore year in high school, and I’m wearing totally awesome loose-Fit Bugle Boy acid-wash jeans, pegged at the ankle with a woven brown leather belt around my 30″ 15-year-old waist. My feet are kickin’ it in a very sweet pair of dockers boat shoes with no socks. My shirt is a light pink Izod polo shirt that looks so radical against my just-spent-the-summer-at-the-beach tanned skin. I have a light cream colored sweater draped over my shoulders just for looks. My left ear has a small diamond earring that a female friend gave me after she lost the other one. My hair’s long bangs are heavily moussed and slightly feathered to the side in a pseudo surfer cut that I have to keep pushing out of my eyes. I am the man.

Although, now that I think of it, it was the only year that I didn’t have a girlfriend. Hmmmm.

April 21, 2006

A look back continued

As I have family and friends in town, posting will be light so I’m linking to some of my favorite posts of the past 10 months.

My first solo expedition

Daddy’s Son

What ails you?

April 20, 2006

A look back – The early days

We have family and friends coming into town as we prepare for this weekend’s baptism. As a result, posting will be difficult. So, I’m going to post some of my favorite posts from the past year. I hope you enjoy them.

Things that go bump in the night

Peace, Love, Believe, Hope, Dream


The Adventures of TheMonk and Swee’Pea – Part I

December 8, 2005

Happy Birthday Tommy

My nephew, Thomas, was born one year ago today. He came one month and an IHOP dinner early.

Happy Birthday Tommy. Your uncle loves you.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

November 25, 2005

RIP Mr. Miyagi

Actor Pat Morita died yesterday at the age of 73. Best known for his role as Mr. Miyagi in the Karate Kid films, I first remember him as Arnold in the sitcom Happy Days. Whether he was a teen-loving owner of a restaurant or a sage old man teaching a fatherless young man how to defend himself, he always struck me as someone who I would want to know. I did not know him but I am saddened by his passing anyway.

To this day, whenever I pretend to know Karate, I always shout out “Wax on, wax off!” as I defend imaginary blows from a ferocious attacker (Yeah, I need to get a life).

Thanks for the memories.

Rest in peace, Mr. Miyagi.

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