Love

My youngest son would like his next birthday cake to be half vanilla and half mint. Of this, he was quite clear. He told me this as we drove to the grocery store to buy eggs yesterday. He was flexible on the presentation however, declaring that his cake could be in the shape of a firetruck or a racecar. His

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Deathmaster 500

Long before the utterance of my middle son’s name struck paralyzing fear into the hearts of his enemies; he was my little boy. He liked trucks and heavy machinery, he wanted to be a spider every year for Halloween and his favorite dinosaur was the Velociraptor. Today is his ninth birthday, marking him halfway to manhood and what feels like

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Work

Today I put my boys to work in the restaurant. They made breadsticks, bussed tables and washed dishes. The eight year old took to it with an enthusiasm that the eleven year old lacked but at the end of the day they had worked like a typical, kitchen crew. They called each other names, raised their voices in anger and

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Highlights

I was staring at my feet as I trudged across the crunchy shell of snow that is my children’s, elementary school playground. My thoughts were caught up in a mess of must do’s and can’t do’s and wish I didn’t have to’s. As I neared the spot where my kindergartner lines up for pick up, I saw that he had

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Friends and music

I have a theory that the first, genuine human friendship was forged over a musical collaboration. I think two cave people were coworkers. They’d just finished a hard day of mammoth hunting and were reaping the rewards of a full belly around a fire beneath a sea of stars. One of them sat, transfixed, staring deep into the fire’s soul.

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My America

I love America. I stand for the national anthem, I believe in the American dream and I think that the declaration of Independence was the single most boss move in history. I love the flag and I support the people’s right to burn it. I love that we are founded upon rebellion and I support our right to do it

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Hello

I have, in my day delivered a shameful amount of meaningless hellos. The word itself is but a servant to the mechanical function of life within the constraints of the mindless delegation of responsibility. What I mean to say is that hellos are disproportionately easy compared to how goodbyes are so hard and I believe that we are screwing something

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Cobra Kai

To be honest, I’m shocked at how little karate I’ve needed so far in my life. The Karate Kid had me convinced that most of my upcoming, teen conflicts would need to be handled with a roundhouse kick or a hammer fist. A lifetime of peaceful, conflict resolution had nearly tamed my wild heart but then came Cobra Kai… I’m

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Monday

Tonight, in preparation for the first Monday of 2021, we tucked all the kids into bed, promptly at 8 o’clock. They got up for water at 8:10, 8:15 and 8:20. My wife then forgot that they needed to clip their fingernails and that process took 20 minutes. They were back in bed by a quarter to nine when the dogs

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Christmas star snowball fight

To me, the beautiful thing about Christmas is simply the promise of hope. Hope for joy and for love and for redemption. It is a time to slow down, take stock of what is truly important to us and rise above in aspiration of something transcendent. This is the purpose of symbols, they guide our story. Ultimately, we are all

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Growing up behind a mask.

Two weeks at a time is no way to live. It’s also no way to be a father. I bring this up because I feel like this is how we have been living since nine months ago when we all collectively decided to “flatten the curve.” Two weeks turned into two months, followed by the brief respite of summer and

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I love you

I fell enough in love that I could no longer tolerate fear. I was brave enough to ask my would be wife to dance. I sat by my newborn son on a plane through a thunderstorm to the St. Luke’s NICU. We welcomed a second son and a third and I watched my wife put on a brave face while

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Last sunset of summer

Tonight, we drove the sun down across the high desert, vastness that is the lonely stretch of 287 between Lander and Muddy Gap. I watched it drift beyond the the horizon, glazed by California, wildfire like some magnificent ruby in the sky and I realized… this is the last sunset of summer. It was beautifully, poignantly surreal. I was deep

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Imagine…

Today my character was besmirched in the worst way imaginable by a random, internet troll. Earlier this week my family was forced to brave walmart in facemasks. Both experiences left me feeling like the worst, imaginable version of myself. My imagination is indulgent, as I imagine that most imaginations are and so my initial response to conflict is to cathartically

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glorious vulnerability

To be a father is to be heartbroken. To exceed at it is to question your every choice; to understand that your every move, from the way you handle conflict to the way you butter your toast is somehow shaping the future behaviors of the people who mean more to you than anything else. There are victories but there is

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PAws off my paw patrol

How is this the world that we are living in? Nothing makes sense, each new day is more ridiculous than the last and everyone is so busy being right that ultimately, everyone is wrong. And I’m about to make a spirited defense of Paw Patrol… As a rule, I avoid discussing things of a political nature because all too often

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It’s something like flying a kite.

It’s been a while since I last blogged; what with the pandemic, the revolution and the individual rat race to whatever we are calling the “new normal.” The truth is… I have been at a loss for words. What I used to like to do was to go about my day, sharing in the otherwise commonplace horrors that were the

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Dishwasher be damned

On Easter my dishwasher was broken. Specifically, it was the soap dispenser that was the culprit; the damn latchy thingy wouldn’t close. So I did what anyone would do in that situation; I failed repeatedly at trying to close it the same way for about a thousand times before punching it in it’s stupid, soap dispenser face and then slamming

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Peanut butter and the end of the world

An extra large jar of peanut butter; that was our breaking point. It was early last week when the gravity of this situation became suddenly and terrifyingly apparent to me. We hadn’t been panic buying because it seemed both irrational and irresponsible. Then I noticed that the stores were looking a bit thin. Then I heard some chatter about the

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Mostly, I am thankful

I drank a beer tonight before I came home from work. It was my third, 13 hour shift in a row. I thanked my employees for another awesome job, wished them goodnight and then I sat on a counter and just drank a beer without really thinking of much at all, except for one thing. I thought about how thankful

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Our own personal pandemic disease

Tonight, while the world trembled in fear at the prospect of the coronavirus coming to a town near them; my wife and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. An anniversary is not unlike a pandemic disease. It is overhyped for completely arbitrary reasons, we make unwise financial decisions and ultimately, despite fretting to an unhealthy degree about a future that

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Dystopian love story and the last survivor

I cautiously peek over the top of my phone where I am reading the latest news about the Coronavirus outbreak in the states. I see three, red eyed boys with drippy noses and droopy frowns gazing lethargically at the television. They’ve been coughing for hours, like flem fueled war drums marching ruin and despair to my peaceful homeland. My entire

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Snow Day

I awoke this morning with a certain, eerie alertness; wide eyed and battle ready before the ominous chime of my alarm. “I know this place well.” I thought to myself, wading carefully into those familiar yet uncertain depths. I knew that it could be 5 minutes before my alarm or it could be 1:45 in the morning. Experience has taught

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Play with your food

The best chicken nuggets are shaped like dinosaurs… or so I used to think. Tonight, I made the incredibly adult decision of purchasing the non dinosaur shaped, chicken nuggets because they were a dollar cheaper. These are the concessions that we must make as parents. I was however, still burdened by the weight of my decision as I imagined that

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American Pie

I’m a 90’s kid who was born in the 80’s and raised on 70’s music by 60’s kids who were born in the 50’s. Baby boomer, gen x, millenial… these words don’t mean much to me. It’s just different parts of the same story, or better yet, different parts of the same song. It’s the soundtrack of my life and

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Demolition derby… on ice.

Forget everything you think you know about human behaviour. For an honest assessment, watch a group of kids at play. This weekend we celebrated our middle son’s eighth birthday by taking him, his brothers and some of his friends ice skating. This was a great and obvious plan for a winter birthday, save for one exception. None of the kids

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My little hero

This kid of mine… A capacity for love is perhaps the most underrated strength that we value. This kid of mine, my youngest, is a true hero of love. It’s a thing that I suppose comes with being the “baby” of a family. There is no one to compete with in his small world, only those to idolize. His spirit,

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A criminal mastermind…

I was deeply entrenched into the heart of negotiations with my four year old regarding the equitable split of chocolate, orange slices. It was too late in the evening, you see for him to be eating chocolate but I am a grown man, a free man who will eat chocolate orange slices whenever I please. Nevertheless, I was put into

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Twas the night before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through my pad; I was trying my best to be the best Christmas dad. The morning, at best was a half dressed disaster, a flurry of last minute things to chase after. The children were giddy and anxious and rotten while plans were unplanned and some gifts were unboughten. Yet somehow we battled,

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The peace between beats.

The peace between beats. Earlier this week my wife and I had our annual Christmas fight. It’s tradition, as it is for many families I’m sure to bring all of the ancillary stress of the pursuit of the perfect Noel, to an absolute boiling point. Pick the presents, buy the presents, pray that the presents arrive before Christmas and then

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Shelf Life: episode 12 “a captive audience”

“Now,” Gloria said. “I’m happy.” I was utterly horrified. Even though Ned was nothing more than the ticking time bomb in my head; the very thing which had threatened my own life for all of these days… I simply couldn’t compute how she could murder him so casually. My stomach lurched, triggering an involuntary, chain reaction throughout the entirety of

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The profound wisdom of a four year old.

Occasionally, from the mouth of a child will escape words that convey ideas that are truly profound and devastatingly beautiful. Usually it’s fart noises or poop jokes but occasionally it’s this other stuff. Earlier today, my youngest son had one such instance. He was hanging with my parents as he does while his mom and I are at work and

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The look

Yesterday, when my wife picked up our middle son from school, she got “the look” from his teacher. You know “the look.” It’s a bandaid of a smile which does little to hide the emotional battle wounds that the person charged with the care of your little darling has been forced to endure. It’s comfortable like tight, wet denim and

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The way back

As I awoke to winter’s first kiss, our gentle landscape, freshly blanketed in the season’s first snowfall; I found myself thinking, “screw this.” I was alone in my room, mourning the windshields that needed scraping and the sidewalks that needed shoveling. I stood there in my bedroom with my nose pressed firmly against the icy glass, a single, sorrowful tear

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Happy Birthday to my wife.

Usually, I would be writing a top 10 list right about now but tonight is different. It’s different because tomorrow is my wife’s birthday. Funny story; she found out today that she could both edit her birth year on facebook and make it private. She did both, knowing full well that the first step was essentially inconsequential, other than to

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Top 10 ways to not raise a chuckledick

The other day at the restaurant, I had these two customers come in. They were both grown men who I would guess were in their 40’s. They each had a certain roughness to their demeanor, a callousness. It was immediately clear that these guys didn’t waste time on social luxuries like smiling or manners. They smirked but only while loudly

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The battle at Self checkout.

The other day, I accidentally made direct eye contact with the guy in front of me at self checkout in the grocery store. I was just kind of zoning out while my kids ran a chaotic 30 foot perimeter of destruction around me. As it turns out my zoning out face was perfectly pointed at this random guy in front

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Pissin in the wind.

Life is that moment of peace on a Monday morning before the kids are up. It’s the burbling coffee pot, audibly intimate and aromatically arousing. Life is also that moment directly after the kids have risen from their slumber only to sabotage your tranquility with cantankerous gripes and spilled orange juice. It’s Cap’n Crunch crunch berries crunched under bare feet

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My kids are my super power.

Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, Batman’s insanely rich parents were murdered in front of him and I knocked up my girlfriend when I was 24. Every superhero has a tragic backstory; this is mine. It was the summer of 2008. I drank a lot of beer but I also drank a lot of whiskey. Looking back, I

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Dad, watch this!

Tricks on wheels. The only thrill greater than executing a sweet move on a bike, skateboard or scooter is doing it in front of an adult. “Mom! Dad! Grandma! Grandpa! Watch this!” I remember that feeling well, slaving away for hours in the street until I could finally land my first kick flip. I can’t overstate the revelry I experienced

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Time to buck up?

If a child falls in the forest and no one is there to feel sorry for them; do they feel any pain? Three boys have taught me that the answer to this question is usually no. This is parenting 101; compliment the kid on their tumble and they will brush it off, give them the panicked boo boo eyes and

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Dad versus kids, operation pump em up

This is the final weekend of summer and so we find ourselves once more upon the edge of the changing of the seasons. Change is good, for life is little more than our ability to adapt to our ever evolving situation but it can also be cumbersome. With change comes new challenges and obstacles and hardships. Change is a battle

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