Monday, June 30, 2008

He gets that from his mother.

We all have that internal clock that tells our body when to wake up. Mine has always had a built in snooze button. Shannon, on the other hand, will wake up at the crack of dawn even when we are on vacation. Without setting the alarm clock, she springs from the bed, wide awake, ready to take on whatever the day has in store. I prefer to ease into the day. I hit the snooze button and then do the math to figure out how much time I will have to get ready. This is not any easy feat considering “snooze” is 9 minutes. (Why did the alarm clock people settle on an odd number anyway? Why not 10?)Early in our marriage this was a source of contention. “How can you sleep away your off day?” Shannon would say. “I can’t! As long as you keep waking me up,” I would reply. She would then proceed to run the vacumn, dishwasher and any other noisy appliance.

Over the last 14 years I have “transmogrified” into a sudo-early riser. Gone are the days when I could sleep until 11 on a Saturday morning. Now, without any alarm or prodding from my wife, I will be up bright and early.

I say all that to say this. “My son is a morning person!” His internal clock is set to wake at 5:45 am. On the dot. (My alarm is set for 5:50 am.) Every morning, just before my clock radio sounds, I hear my young son jabbering on the baby monitor. He is happy and playful. Glad to be awake and ready to start his morning routine. Normally I would be less than thrilled to get up before I needed to, but I can’t get mad when I hear his little voice babbling.

All in all it is a nice way to wake up.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Movie Premiere

It's Max's movie debut! Enjoy!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Father's Day

Any time I get to spend the whole day with my son is special. Somehow, because it was my first “Father’s Day”, last Sunday seemed different. It felt more important. That morning, while I was sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee watching my son eat his cereal, I started thinking about what it means to be a father.

I am a little disturbed about how husbands and fathers are portrayed lately. Every year we, as a society, are subjected to silly TV commercials that depict the American Dad as a bumbling, mouth breathing, doofus. Father's Day is the day when he gets a new grill or power tool because he managed to screw up his previous one. I am not that guy. Most of my friends are not that guy.

So what do I think it mean to be a father?

It means that I have to work hard. Not only to provide for my family, but to set a good example for my son.

It means that things like motorcycles no longer seem important.

It means that I need to know how to change a diaper, prepare baby food and warm a bottle.

It means that when I play with my son, just like in rugby, I need to be prepared for a poke in the eye, a headbut or an occasional kick to the groin, all without getting mad.

It means I want to live a safer and healthier lifestyle because I don’t want to miss a minute of my son growing up.

It means that I would walk through fire and give my life for my child.

It means that no matter what kind of day I had, when I walk in the door and see my son’s face light up, everything is good.

I could go on for days, but you get the point. It was a good first Father’s Day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Brick Sighting!

Thanks to cousins Dakota and Jake for confirming that Max really does have a brick at Wrigley Field and that I didn't pay a bunch of money for a brick just to sit on our mantle.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Oh, that crazy Bee ...

Shannon and I watched the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night. Just like the Little League World series, I try and see it every year. Call me crazy, but I just love to watch these young social misfits compete. They stand tall under the intense pressure in an effort to win the coveted trophy and a pile of scholarship money. I think about all of the hours of study and practice (not to mention countless “wedgies” and “noogies”) they must have endured to make it to the national stage. They all deserve to be commended.

Like anything Shannon and I watch involving children, we ended up in a discussion about what part of parenting makes some children driven and successful. “How do these kids get so smart?” Shannon asked at one point. “I think it is because their parents make education and learning the main priority,” I said. “That and they probably aren’t such good athletes with their pants “jacked up” so high.”

Don’t get me wrong, I am not trying to make fun of these kids or belittle their accomplishments. I will be thrilled if Max grows up to be able to spell "guerdon" (a word of Germanic origin that means “reward) like little Sameer Mishra from Indiana. Congratulations Sameer. Great Job!

Being smart is a good thing. I am lucky to be married to Shannon. I know she will make learning and reading a priority at our house. I will do what I can to help. I want my son to get good grades and go to quality schools.

In fact, I hope Max is the smartest person ever to play third base for the Chicago Cubs.