Let me start by saying first and most importantly, I had a great Father’s Day this year. It had all the ingredients for a great day: a little league baseball including the Little Man as the star of the day played on a beautiful sunny day in Central Park, excellent couch time watching Rory McIlroy stomp everyone in the US Open and a great home cooked meal that was prepared entirely by people other than me. One of my favorite parts of such a great day is to download the photos and relive the great moments of the day in our pictures.
I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. What did you say? No memory card in the camera??? Who the heck is responsible for checking the camera? Nothing more basic than a memory card in the camera. Heads will roll on this one. Oh, wait a second, that’s me, Mr. Technology, the Home IT Department, the man with the plan. Ooops.
We’ll just have to do it the old fashioned way on this one and actually remember the day, rather than broadcasting it to every corner of the globe on the internet. A blunder best saved for my Father’s Day…
One of our many jobs as parents is to pass on to our kids some of the wisdom we’ve accumulated in our travels over the years. Often times we do this through sayings or phrases we’ve picked up along the way, some more known than others. There is of course the classics like “two wrongs don’t make a right” or less familiar family sayings like “he didn’t lick it off the grass” (for more on this one click here). Sometimes we’ll pull from the movies and do our best Star Wars’ Yoda, “Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try” leaving our kids walking away more confused than when they started.
As I was watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations the other night, he was enjoying a meal in Austria and alluded to how you just “don’t cook bacon when you’re naked.” He was being quite literal, but it got me to thinking about how that phrase actually has a lot of wisdom wrapped up in it. I won’t spoil it for you and give you all the deep interpretations, but be sure the next time the Little Man comes to me with some vexing question, I’ll pause, put my hand to my chin and rock his world with “You just don’t cook bacon naked.”
One of my favorite memories as a kid, was our family summertime camping trips. We were a car-camping family and so the trips included riding a few hours (or more) in a stuffed full station wagon (the family truckster as we called it) to a reserved camping spot in some state or national forest.
We hit the usual suspects (Yosemite) and some of the not so usual suspects (Eagle Lake, Lake Siskyou). There was fishing, hiking, swimming, campfires, smores and dirt. What more could you ask for as a kid?
I recently saw some new “lanterns” from Kelty that looked pretty cool and got my camping juices flowing. Of course “back when I was a kid” we actually had gas lanterns and cooktops, not these fancy LED lanterns and fusion powered camp stoves.
Not your father's lantern...
Nevertheless, childhood nostalgia aside, now that I’m the Pater Familias I’m feeling that the Who’s Your Daddy clan needs to put my many hours of watching Man vs. Wild and The Wild Within to good use and hit the backcountry. Plus, what better excuse to do what us dads do best and buy some new gear?
Be sure to share your favorite camping spots or memories in the comments below.
This is not the self-serving post it first appears to be (maybe just a little). Anyone who is past the age of which we dare not speak (at least most of us), understands that old age is accelerating faster than the number of pages in our medical files. I’ve learned that the thing that makes a birthday tolerable, especially now that the day is a 24 hour reminder that you’re old, is the family celebration.
My day started with the fabulous gift of a mixed set of giggle IOUs from the Little Man and mommy (I think the Little Man may have cherry picked a few of the “easier” ones to deliver on, but great nonetheless).
My second surprise was a hand made, custom Lego figure made in my image. It was pointed out to me by the creator that it was very accurate, right down to the gray hair. Apparently Count Dooku had to get scalped in the process – my gain, his loss.
With a start to my day like that, I’m already way ahead of the game. It’s all gravy from here…
As you probably know (or experienced first hand), New York has received a bit of snow in the last few weeks. The Manhattan public school kids have been left out of the Snow Day party until yesterday. So I took a bit of video of the Little Man and the downtown crew enjoying the day. An epic snow covered hill climb and then the “quick way” down. Enjoy!
If you’re like me, you’ve got a phone that has a camera, be it iPhone, Blackberry, Android or whatever. This is the device you have with you at all times and probably what you’re using to capture all the real and spontaneous moments of your life.
You probably also have a fancy camera, maybe a dSLR or maybe just some pocket camera that takes pretty amazing pictures. This is the family vacation, big soccer game, school play capturing camera. All life’s “staged” moments where everyone says “cheese!” I’m very diligent about downloading those photos from the camera, saving them to the computer, backing them up three different places and sharing them with family and friends. Read more…
In my very first Who’s Your Daddy blog post, Who’s That Man?, I discussed how several years ago I sometimes felt like a suspect being watched by all the moms and nannies at the playground. A man at a playground on a weekday morning must be up to no good, right? Yesterday, Lenore Skenazy wrote in the Wall Street Journal, Eek! A Male!, about how our society may have gone off the deep end about “suspicious men” lurking behind every corner. I think every dad, uncle or grandpa has thought or worried about the issue while at the park with their loved ones. I am all for protecting our kids from predators but also hope we can keep perspective so we don’t keep them from good experiences (like a pickup football game in the park), or worse yet, put them in more danger (not helping a child in need for fear of misunderstood intentions).
The Little Man is now eight years old. I’ll now do my obligatory parental moaning about how old that makes me feel. Yes, I am old. With that done, on to the more important fact that the Little Man still believes in Santa (and those wonderful elves that peek in the window at just the right moment). When I was a kid way back when, it wouldn’t be that exciting that an eight year old still believes in Santa. But in this age of early maturing, internet crazed, media savvy kids, it feels like a bit of a Christmas miracle. Read more…
This past weekend, we had the rare, lazy Sunday morning we all love. A bit of a sleep-in followed by some nice lounging time allowing for a slow and easy removal of those work week cobwebs that clutter minds. The Little Man was bouncing around between Legos, Discovery Channel and intermittent snuggle time with his slow-waking parents. For us, these mornings can lead to some deeply philosophical (on a seven year old level) conversations. Read more…
No, this isn’t a post harkening back to Clint Eastwood’s historic, “Go ahead punk, make my day.” This is a tip for any parent who keeps a notebook or some other written journal for keeping track of your multitude of daily tasks, meetings and the like. It started when the Little Man got hold of my notebook one day at home and started flipping pages and writing. I quickly tried to intervene only to be rebuffed saying “Dad, don’t worry, I’m not using pages, it’s a surprise.”
Fast forward to about two weeks later and I’m sitting down to my third meeting of the day. Flip open my notebook to the next page ready to take notes and there it is, two simple and unexpected words that truly made my day: “Tyler day” written in the bottom corner in that familiar handwriting. I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the day.
So if you want some random smiles thrown into your hectic work schedule, hand over your precious notebook, journal or whatever you use and have your little one add some hidden love for future dates. It will truly “make your day.”
Will Holmes is a former Silicon Valley securities law attorney that became a stay-at-home dad when his son was one, As the primary caregiver and a part-time working parent, here is his view from both sides of the fence…
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