The misadventures of a first time father

Tag Archives: family time

smart-phoneThe other night, I was standing in our dining room, leaning up against a piece of furniture, chiming into conversation but primarily scrolling through my phone, looking at the latest news going on in the outside world (no lack of those lately), what friends were up to, and checking in to see if any emails I had been waiting for popped up.

The family was going about various evening norms – unpacking the array of bags that seem like we’re boarding an airplane but really just make up our collective day, sorting through the mail, looking at what’s in the fridge and at recipes for dinner possibilities. A one year old little girl wandering about with that cute little waddle, babbling away with sounds that we think we understand but can never be sure, and a 4 year old little boy bouncing around the house with more energy than any of us could hope to muster at any given point of day, let alone the exhausting post work, kid-pick-up, drive home, kid unload, baggage unload, figure out dinner part of the day.

I was there, completely exhausted and mindlessly moving my hand across the screen, when that little voice chimed in “Wanna play with me daddy?”

And, tiredly, I looked at him, smiled…and gave him some reason of how I really wasn’t up for playing and was really very tired. He walked away, a little bummed, and sat down to see what was on PBS Kids as I continued moving my finger across the phone, taking in all of the outside world in its digitally relayed form, and completely ignoring the physical one right in front of me.

Meg leaned nearby, and quietly said “He’s not going to be asking for much longer.”

Wow.

I stopped for a moment, looking up from my phone and over at that little boy watching television. How big he’s gotten already. How fast he’s growing. How quickly he’s changing. From the little baby I held in my arms in the hospital to the little toddler who learned to walk to talk, to count, the alphabet, using the potty, spelling his name. It all happened in the span of four years now, but it seems like it went by in the blink of an eye. A cliche? Sure. But the reason they have cliches is because they’re true for so many.

In the blink of an eye all that time was gone. He’ll never be discovering those same things again. New things, sure. But never those firsts we’ve already crossed over. He’s already in Pre-k, making friends, telling us about his days in the car and over dinner. Heck, we have kindergarten registration next week. Before I know it, he’ll be there, every day, all day in school.

In that same blink of an eye, we’ll be through grade school, dealing with the junior high years, high school, whatever comes beyond. It will happen so quickly and I will wish, beg, pray for the chance to play with my little boy again. And I won’t have it. That time will have passed.

I couldn’t escape the sounds of Cat’s in the Cradle playing through my head as I looked at him in that moment.

All of this swirled through my mind in a matter of seconds after Meg spoke the words. How right she was.

I closed the phone, walked over to him and sat down next to him, asking about what he was watching, then asking if he still wanted to play. He wanted to play something different, but it was still something.


To anyone who knows our family or reads this blog know just how much of a connection we feel with the animals we share this earth with.

We are all connected. From the grass we sit in, the trees that blow in the wind, to the deer that run through those green blades of foliage, we are all part of something bigger than ourselves. As we have driven down the road, coming across some poor animal that has been struck and killed by a motor vehicle, my wife has heard me mutter on many an occasion that “man was not meant to go this fast,” my heart hanging heavy.

I know I can’t save all the animals in the world, but we can make a difference, one by one in the lives of many of those we come across. Whether it be the ones we’ve saved and welcomed to our home, to the ones who’ve simply been passing through in need of a helping hand to their next step in the journey, we’ve done our best. Sometimes helping may not be as direct as that, but may be a donation of food, of supplies, or of our time. It helps maintain the inner connection between us and these many beings we share the planet with.

Feeling that connection to the world around me has made me a better person and a more compassionate one.

Compassion and charity are very important.

Whether it’s volunteering our time, our resources, or money, helping out a cause you believe in is something that we really hope gets passed down to our son.

I want him to understand that there is so much more in the world than us and that it takes only a little of ourselves to make a difference in the lives of others.

I hate to sound like the tobacco industry and say ‘hook em’ while they’re young,’ but we decided that it would be very nice if we could get out little guy involved early in his life with initiatives to help out others.

That’s why a few weeks ago, we, as a family, partook in a Run/Walk for the Animals that benefited an animal sanctuary in our area. Giving props where they are due, the run/walk was organized by my brother and his wife, who volunteer at the sanctuary and, being runners, wanted to do something that could help them raise some of the money they are in desperate need of.

The day itself was a huge success for a first-time event, with thousands of dollars brought in to help the animals. There was music, food, contests and more, and our little guy seemed to have a great time. In fact, he even brought out his ‘old man’ hat for the morning…

Buddy waving



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