Tag Archives: kids

An Open Letter To Those People Opening This Time Capsule In 2030

So… you’re welcome. We enrolled the Goon in a theater camp which started this weekend. You really have The Queen and me to be thanking right now.

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Where Do You Stand?

Over the last 2 1/2 years, I’ve written about my youngest son, the Goon, and his perspective on the world. His preferences and choices tend to challenge some gender roles. As his father, there have been moments that were heartbreaking along the way.

Our journey watching his unique choices began when, as a 3 year old, he picked out his own footwear for the first time. His choice? A pair of purple and silver Dora the Explorer sneakers. I wrote about the separate-but-similar reactions that The Queen and I had at the time. We wrestled with the opposing instincts to support him in expressing himself while still concerned for the social conflict we were sure he’d face. Society does not allow one to challenge its mores without consequence.
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Traveling With The Goon

My wife and I have executed the SINGLE GREATEST SURPRISE in the history of our family. For the last two months, we’ve been planning an epic family vacation. We were going to take the kids to Walt Disney World.

Easter Sunday was the day and the secret was unspoiled. We enlisted the 15-year old, AKA C-Dog, in the weeks leading up to the trip. Great job all the way around. The trip to Walt Disney World (AKA Whiskey-Delta-Whiskey, Walter D. White’s house, or some other codeword designed for maximum OpSec against the elementary school crowd) remained a surprise until we woke the Noodle and the Goon (ages 7 and 5, respectively) Easter morning and told them to get dressed because they were going to see Mickey Mouse.

My wife (the Queen) and I had sketched out a broad plan for the actual travel. Flying on Southwest, our seats were not assigned. We figured that we would each pair up with one of the little guys and allow the C-Dog to sit with either of us. (Or 15 rows away, if his brothers had really annoyed him on the drive to the airport.) As it turned out once we got on the plane, my traveling companion was the Goon. Oh boy.

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The Goon and the Pink Backpack

Last year, I wrote about my youngest son- aka The Goon- and his selection of a pair of purple-with-silver-sparkles Dora the Explorer sneakers. I shared my reaction to my son’s very clearly articulated desire for the things that we would normally describe as “girly”. A lot of folks read that blog post and I’m genuinely humbled by the reaction. For me, the events I wrote about are all good. I came away from them believing that my son is a wonderfully unique little boy who knows who he is. As a father, that’s about all I think really matters.

So about a year and a half later, we’ve moved into a new house accompanied by my father (Papa), who’s still living in our basement, and welcomed the addition of my mother-in-law (who will be known as Nonni in my writings), into our crazy, loving household. (Yes- my father and my wife’s mother both live with us. No- they are not together. Yes- it is just as crazy as you might imagine. Nonni and I are going to write a sitcom. See you in Hollywood…)

My boys are now 14, 6, and 4. They are smart, considerate, sweet young men. I’m a lucky Dad. Life is good.

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Vacation, Day Three

We’ve had a considerably more low key day today at the Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls. Less time in the water, a little more down time resting in the room, generally a little more laid-back. Overall, an enjoyable day.

This is our second trip to this GWL location. We were here about 5 years ago. My teenage son was 8, the Noodle was an infant, and the Goon was not even a conversation yet. That time, we planned poorly. My oldest son had all of the enthusiasm appropriate for his age being in the water park. My wife and I ended up swapping out every 45 minutes or so with him getting wet while the other one sat with the baby. At the end of 3 days, we were exhausted from trying to keep up with a little hellion. Not a very relaxing vacation.

We are far better equipped this time. Our group- really my wife’s family- comprises 5 adults, 2 pre-teens/early teens, and 2 little guys (the aforementioned Noodle and Goon). Unlike last time, we have plenty of bench strength. I have not had to chase my 3 boys every moment. Woot!

With all the family around helping wrangle my boys this week, it will probably only take a day or two at home to recover from our vacation!

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