Saturday, January 23, 2016

Now or Later

To my son Tommy,

There are basically two trains of thought when dealing with snow. Shovel all day as it snows to "keep ahead of it" or wait for things to settle down and deal with it then. I waffle back and forth between both trains of thought, depending on the situation and various factors.

Today, shoveling is sort of like washing your hands before you are done eating Doritos. Basically, any previous efforts are erased. Still, I go out every couple hours and shovel around the heat pump outdoor units at a minimum to make sure they keep running. And that is about all I do because it is nasty and blowing and the two foot of snow will just drift back to where I clear if I go farther. And just that 20 linear feet seems to add up to a tiring three metric tons of snow.

You are unhappy that we won't let you out yet today. You came out last night with me as I did my first (wasted effort) shovel of the driveway, and this morning had a real bad sniffle. It is much nastier than it was last night. But I promised you this snow would be here for plenty of time to get some quality outdoor play in the white stuff.

"Yeah Tom, you should see how high it is where I shovelled. That stuff will be there for awhile!" I assured you.

"You aren't piling it in front of the cars, are you?" your mom interrupted accusingly.

"In front of the cars?! Screw you. In front of the cars? I haven't made it past the heat pumps!" I retorted as I felt the back pain throb to warn me not to go for the driveway yet.

Oh how we laughed. Good times for the blizzard of 2016. I am going for a Guinness or three!

Sincerely with live from your dad,

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Annunciation and Clarity

To my son Tommy,

They say the next generation always lacks clarity when speaking, I have been told this as I grew up and my father often accused me of mumbling, I have seen this from time to time as you speak and get excited, It is a classic role reversal as I switch from the younger generation to being the old guy. However, there are times when you announce and speak very clearly, and this is not always a good thing.

Tonight at the dinner table was one of those cases. I asked you what happened at school. You said, "Guess what [classmate's name redacted] said today! He said 'Holy shit!'" Well you nailed that pronunciation. Loud and clear in your diction. You had special emphasis on the "SH" sound so I couldn't even pretend it was "Holy spit" or something. It was probably a very good thing your mom and your Nana Jeanne weren't drinking liquid at that moment. Their nostrils wouldn't have been able to handle it.

As a father should, I pushed down every natural instinct to burst out in laughter. I explained that even when conveying a story of what another said that it was still inappropriate to say, and offered alternatives to tell the story. I patiently waited for you to finish your dinner and ask to be excused from the table, before laughing my butt off.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Contingency Missed


To my son Tommy,

We thought we had planned for every contingency and removed every excuse so you would spend your first night in your new room in your new bunk beds.

We armed you to the teeth with a gun and a sword and a flashlight, though you can't see the flashlight in the main picture above. 

We had removed the chest/trunk that was in your room because it perhaps could house an evil dummy of Goosebumps fame. 

We had taken out the ionic air cleaner that made a slight zapping sound when it did its thing. 

We provided a vicious guard dog to protect you.

We put bells on your door handle as an alarm system.

We blocked the double doors to the back basement with your dresser and had your Mother Mary statue strategically placed on the dresser. (You can just see her head peeking out at the bottom of the picture below)

We hooked in a baby monitor (on the left of your desk) and even enlisted the most unlikely of allies (on the floor to the right of your desk) to ensure your safety!

We even thought of changing the halogen bulbs in the ceiling fixtures to LED bulbs so you wouldn't risk burning yourself.

We didn't however consider that just one little tug to change the bulb on the ceiling fixture would bring the whole fixture down. Your exact words were, "I don't think I am sleeping in here tonight, it must be a trap."

Oh well. After you went to bed in our room, yet again, your mom and I rectified the shoddy mounting job of the light fixture. 

Now we have the daunting task of convincing you to give it another chance.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

Friday, January 8, 2016


To my son Tommy,

If you want to go out on a date night with your wife, calling and talking about it is one thing. Securing child care and making a reservation brings it from the nebulous state of an idea or a wish or want, and morphs it into an actionable plan that has a higher probability of coming true. Because when you are married with child, it is too easy to crap out on a date night if there is nothing set to increase your commitment level!

A plan is great and much needed when you are a forty one year old husband and dad. However, there is such a thing as planning too much. When you are seven, you may not want to make future reservations and promises and commitments too far ahead. Unless of course you are you, as proven by the text message I received from your mom.

Sincerely with love from your dad,

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Seven For Being Seven

To my son Tommy,

Top seven things you should know on your seventh birthday.

1. When you came into this world seven years ago, we thought we knew what to expect. We were wrong.

2. You have made our lives exponentially better, simply by being you.

3. Your mom gives the best cuddles.

4. Playing with dolls is okay (see pic above) and I will teach you to deal with those that say different.

5. Be careful with your pants zipper. One moment of carelessness causes way too much pain. Zip cautiously!

6. Even if Daddy says you can't build something (like a real car or a real rocket ship) the proper answer is "Maybe not yet!" Follow that amazing imagination of yours and just keep trying and learning no matter who tells you that you can't and no matter how many times you fail!

7. You are loved immensely and intensely and you deserve every ounce of love you get wholeheartedly!

Happy seventh birthday!

Sincerely with love from your dad,

Sunday, January 3, 2016


To my son Tommy,

Nearly all your stuffed animal collection got a ride in your new Christmas present today. Here you are pictured with Dino before switching to next in line. The weather is truly uncanny for January. 

Sincerely with love from your dad,