Category Archives: Love
Saturday I took a trip to Disneyland with the kids. Gabriel is finally tall enough to get onto every ride, and with a little coaxing, we hit all the biggies.
Our first line was to Space Mountain. The wait was 44 minutes, but worth every second of it. When we were exiting the ride, all he could say was “AWESOME”. I agreed.
We went from there to the Pirates of the Caribbean. This ride never seems to get old. Even after they added the likeness of Johnny Depp throughout. Guns blazing and cannons blasting we wound our way through the rivers of days gone by. Passing the skeletal remains of treasure hunters less lucky than ourselves. Do you think the friendly diners of the Blue Bayou cafe realize their proximity to treasure chests and gold?
During the day we went through the line of The Haunted Mansion 4 times. The mansion has always been one of my favorite stops in the park. I have an affinity for the Nightmare Before Christmas, but somehow the two themes do not seem to mesh as well as I would hope. Meshy or not, though, Gabriel is the newest, biggest fan of the ride. It took considerable time to convince him to get into the line for our first venture through, but it was nearly impossible to keep him from going through the line over and over again for the remainder of the day.
We traversed the peaks of Splash Mountain and Big Thunder. We rode the infamous bobsleds through the slippery slopes of the Matterhorn. We traveled through the depths of space, through the mine shafts of Tom Sawyers Island, and ate $4.00 pickles and $5.00 puffs of cotton candy.
Expensive as it may be, the joys and the magic of the park make memories worth every penny. When I was little, my most vivid recollections are of my family visits to Disneyland. I am truly blessed to be able to share even just a hint of those magical times with my children.
What are you waiting for? The magic is there for you and yours as well.
Single Parenting during the holidays can sometimes be lonely. My children’s mother and I have a pretty good relationship, but still, we do not spend every holiday together.
She is re-married and of course wants to spend family time with the kids and her new husband. Christmas we all get together and enjoy the time with the kids together. Thanksgiving on the other hand we spend apart.
This morning when my kids woke up, got dressed and went to spend the day with their mother at her sisters house. I am generally invited to these events, but honesty I feel uncomfortable spending holidays with them. They are wonderful people and go out of their way to make me feel welcome… but still, I am the “ex.”
Tonight I will pick up my kids at 6 and the remainder of the holiday weekend will be spent with me and my family.
Still, here I sit, with my mom and sister and and and… I spend my time writing this post expressing my loneliness. I miss my babies whenever they are away. It is only exacerbated on days like today, Thanksgiving Day. They will be with me soon enough, and they’ll have a great time both here and there. We have decided to have our Thanksgiving meal tomorrow so the kids will be able to enjoy it with us. I remember times in my life where I had to attend more than one celebration, and was generally miserable from the over eating.
I have concluded that, though the particular date may matter in some respects, the biggest part of holiday parenting is enjoying the relationships and the memories that we will create together. It doesn’t matter if it is the 24th or the 25th. The kids will remember the love they felt from everyone. Both today and tomorrow. The pictures the peruse when they have their own children will bring back the memories of family togetherness. Not the fact that it was the day after.
My kids are blessed to know that we love them. Their mother and I and everyone in between and around.
For those fathers and mothers out there that share similar circumstances I would suggest doing the same. No petty arguing or bickering over where they spend the day, whether you share it together or apart. Enjoy what time you have and let them see and feel how much you love them. The memories you create are completely in your own hands. If you project an attitude of disdain your children will resent it. I can’t quote studies here but I know from personal experience that children do not want to hear how you feel about the other parent.
Take the time today to be thankful for your children and they will be thankful to have two parents who love “them.”
Tomorrow is a father and son Thanksgiving day celebration at his school. It is going to be so awesome. It always is.
Last year he dressed as a Native American, there was a concert and dramatic production. He made cards and assorted art projects. Still have them Who could ever get rid of such treasures? When I was a little guy myself, I often heard “The best things in life are free,” but I don’t think I ever quite got it.
Having children myself now, somehow it has become crystal clear. I know it was there all along but its true.
The best gifts I have ever received, and I’m not just saying that offhandedly, the “BEST” gifts I have ever received are the gifts my children spent the time to make for me.
The look of pride on my sons face when he looks out at the crowd and sees me… and knows I’m there. You know he hasn’t a doubt in his heart about how proud I am of him. Sure he gets in trouble from me now and then, he wouldn’t be a kid if he didn’t, but its that love and mutual respect that makes my displeasure such an effective deterrent for misbehavior.
Every card place on the shelf, posters go up, and art projects are prominantly displayed in my home. I know that every mark of a crayon, every kernal of corn carefully pasted to paper, and every clay mug and paper tie… they were all designed with love. Those are the gifts that will last.
Ties go out of fashion and gizmo’s and gadgets are quickly outdated, but the memories we create tomorrow. singing, dancing, and feasting for a holiday hoo haw… now that’s the stuff I like.
Pictures will follow tomorrow night for any and all who wish to look. Be it here Facebook, or Google+
We are so blessed in our father and daughter relationship. I am blessed to have the ability to spend so much time with her exploring this passion for photography.
My daughter has many passions and at times can spread herself pretty thin while trying to stay on top of them all. Impressively she manages to maintain and update more profiles, pages, blogs, and channels than I. Sure, sure she has no job. She does however spend 10 hours a day away at school. Rarely has there been a father and daughter with more in common than the two of us.
Her newest love affair is with the still camera. We recently went on an outing cycling around the San Diego river where they have some lovely maintained and paved bicycling and walking paths.
The three of us made a day of it, picnicking and riding around. And of course the cameras came with us.
First we found quite a bit of graffiti under the bridge crossing the 163 freeway. She must have taken 10 pictures of all the displays of rural art. I will post 1 here. It was hot out and I can be honest here… I’ve been in better shape before. I did, however, manage to keep up.
Later we found ourselves walking the paths around Presidio park. I gave her several suggestions on picture taking opportunities, but in skimming through her shots to select a few for this post I have come to realize she needed no advice from me. The shots she snapped without my prompting were quite impressive. She has an amazing eye for aesthetics. I am sure this will not be a passing passion, just another one of the many pursuits she will undertake. I consider myself blessed to be able to watch her grow into a kind and talented young woman.
I know father and daughter outings will not last forever, though it may return years after it goes. I am going to do everything in my power to keep our regular adventures progressing. I guess I’m pretty lucky that she is at least in part a tom boy. The three of us (Gabriel, Madison, and I) have so much fun together.
This title is not a statement made lightly.
Gabe Loves Legos
My daughter felt he loved them so much… well and mixed with a love of modeling and film that it was high time for him to have a YouTube page.
Burger King Karate is one of their creations I am fond of but you can decide for yourself what you like the best. My kids love being creative. You can check out both of their YouTube pages at:
My girl has another YouTube named Madawg891. As you can probably deduce Their mom and I have come to terms with the changing times and we of course keep a very close eye on everything that gets posted. I trust my kids completely though. We have alot of fun working on these videos together.
You can find mine at http://www.youtube.com/user/paleange1
But back to the legos
My sons dream is to of course one day own Lego Land, who wouldn’t. I have spent more time as an adult clicking blocks together than I ever could have stood as a child. Gabe obviously has far more patience than I.
This really goes back to my past post My Son and Me where I touched on the subject of spending time with children. Funny thing, as I grew up I have so few memories of spending time with my father. That is because when we would go out if I wasn’t interested in what we were doing we would pack up and come home. Experiencing this myself as a child, I decided that I would take an interest in what my children were doing. After all it’s not the task at hand, but the time they spend with me they will remember.
So I build Lego’s, play Halo, make videos… well you get the idea. I get there time and attention by giving them mine.
Maybe I’m just a big sap, but when my son tells me how much he loves me it melts my heart. He doesn’t do this because he wants something, or he did something I don’t approve of… his sole purpose for this regular outburst of his is just for love.
I don’t know why he started this little tradition of his, but whatever his reasons what it does for me is let me know I’m doing something right.
This weekend was exceptionally rainy and cold for San Diego so we were confined to indoor activities. We spent what is probably a very unhealthy amount of time playing Halo on the original XBox. I’ve said it before, I am an avid gamer as are both of my children. It is remarkable the closeness that gaming can grow between a child and their father.
I know some do not agree with such utilization of time, but I have the mindset… I either play with them or miss out on time that could have been.
The real trick is to find enjoyment in whatever it is that they love. Though true gaming is a passion of mine, even if it were not, I can never replace the amazing times we spend destroying virtual worlds and slaying alien races together.
Whether we are plopped down in front of the game console or outside sneaking around trees toting sticks for guns in whatever incredible imaginary worlds he comes up with. Cherish every second you can with your own. Take an interest in your precious children, it doesn’t matter what it is you are doing. I can promise this from personal experience… You will never be able to get the lost moments back.
If you truly love your children, they will learn to truly love you back. Make it more than just a term of endearment you throw back and forth with them.
Take a couple hours this weekend, spend some time with them doing what they love. There will never be a feeling greater than “knowing” your child loves you.
I do not remember the day the training wheels came off of my bike, but I am pretty confident I will always remember the day they came off of my sons.
Never have I seen him more excited than when he realized he no longer needed his training wheels.
I know that in years to come it is these memories that will mean the most to me. Firsts that my son and I can share together. This opens up a whole new set of adventures that he and I can experience together. Mountain biking through the parks surrounding San Diego.
Our first ride was to the sweetwater reservoir. It wasn’t far but it was a taste of the fun that was and is still to come.
Later in the day we ventured on to the boardwalk in Oceanside. We had so much fun. The next day my body let me know I am not as young as I think I am, but I am sure as we continue riding my muscles will catch up.
I am a single father of two wonderful kids. I can say, in all honesty, they make everyday I have better. From building legos with my son to helping my daughter learn the finer points of film editing for her YouTube channel, every day I live is better than the last.
Here I will chronicle the daily escapades of the three of us, tips to face the challenges of raising a daughter in the age of social networking, and how to fit wargames into an ever increasing hectic schedule.
I love my children, that is evident, if I can pass on a little of what I learn here… that will be great to.