Happy Anniversary

Happy Anniversary!weddingpic

Yup, once again it is our anniversary. Last year my wife and I made list of things that we loved about each other 18 things About my Wife on our Anniversary. This year I would like to do something a little different. I would like to tell you one of my favorite memories of when we were younger.

My wife and had both participated in some level in scouts as a kid. I made it only to Star Scout. At that point I got out of scouts for various reason. My wife, who is much more awesome that I am, got her gold award. (for those of you counting, that is the equivalent of making Eagle in Boy Scouts.
There were other differences in our scouting experience as well. I, big surprise here, was never out going and after about the age of about 10 the songs that they sang at sing-a-longs were pure torture to me.
Poll The Princess Bride KissMy wife liked these things. When she was repelling, caving, and primitive camping, she worked with the younger girls to learn these songs.

When we were first married and our first son was born, we would be riding in the car, and he would fuss, and she would start singing camp songs to him. He grew up to songs like, Two little Froggies, Ding-a-ling-ling Goes the Fire Truck, And the one that has stuck with me ever since.

A Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe

Obviously there are various version of this song, as with all camp songs. But being the strong willed person that my wife is, this is the one that sticks in my head.

I could imagine the boy would would dare to tell her that. It took on special meaning again when our fifth child was a girl. She was and is as strong willed as her mother, plus since she has four older brothers. I again could imagine the boy who tried pull something like this with her.

This is one of my favorite memories of my wife because, despite the fact that really disliked many of these songs when I was kid, they have brought so much joy to our lives of the years as we have, first sung them to the kids, then taught them to them as they got older, and then finally listened to the older kids teach them to the new ones.

2014-10-25 11.05.30Thank you dear for that, and remember. Gonk, Gonk went the little green froggy!

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“Dad” Advice

Boy11 SleepingAs you might imagine, being a “veteran” dad, I get asked advice from first time and soon to be first time dads. I try really hard not to give advice unless asked. I remember being a first time father, and being deluged with advice that I didn’t ask for, didn’t want and, at least a good portion of the time seemed to make no sense at all. I even wrote a story about some of that so called advice called A Real Father Is Snot Afraid. As you can probably guess that story involves bodily fluids so if that makes you squeamish, you might want to skip it.

When I am asked, I will answer questions from new dads and soon to be dads, because despite all the100_4956 wonderful advice that I was given without asking, there were still questions that I wanted answers to and I remember wondering where I could get some of this information.

100_4923Over the years I have given said advice, only to find out that my wife had advice for the same situation that was counter to what I had given. I would like to point out that I don’t think my advice was wrong, but my wife’s advice is usually better.

Here is where you get to participate.
If you are already a dad, I want you to give us your best bit of advice for new fathers, and then ask your wife about your advice, what she would change about your advice and or what bit of advice she would give to a new father and share it with us in the commentsPhoto 2013-01-04 09.32.59

To be fair I will start:

My advice – Get sleep while can.

My Wife’s advice – Be prepared to do the housework for about a month without complaining about it.

No One Told Me About This

0706141318-00 This last week my wife and I have been alternately lamenting and rejoicing in the fact that our oldest three children are gone for a week. They are off camping with their boy scout troop. Oddly enough the oldest one was gone the week before to special camp to help him get his Eagle. In Short we have been short at least one of the kids for almost two weeks now.

Don’t get me wrong, we love having our older kids around. In fact, that is kind of the point here. The title comes from something that was said a couple days before or right after my wife and I got married. One of her younger brother’s friends said something about missing your kids when they move out. My Father-in-law replied, “That is what happens, kids grow up, get married and move out of the house.”

100_4923That statement has been in the back of my head since that day. But I will be honest, it is one of those things that sneaks up on you. I remember only oldest being a tiny baby and holding him my arms. While, it does not exactly feel like yesterday, it does not feel that long ago. This year he is starting his senior year in high school. Our kids are about every two years after that, and sometimes I look at my oldest son, and I can suddenly see the parade of children who will be growing up, getting married or religious life, and moving out of the house.

I do look forward seeing them grow up and seeing the people that they will become. They are all incredible kids. And I am so proud of the people they are becoming. But I am not in a hurry for them to get there.100_2961

For the Ones Who Don’t Make It Home

So have that beautiful wedding dress. Right now it is just hanging in your closet, and it will probably be out of date before your daughter is ready to get married.

But fear not. All is not lost. You can put that beautiful dress to a very good use again.

And I don’t mean wearing it to the store or just hanging around the house it in.

*** FAIR WARNING.THIS SUBJECT MIGHT VERY WELL BE HARD TO DEAL WITH ****

As it says in the warning, this is a pretty serious subject, so if you didn’t heed the warning, this might be your chance to bail out. I won’t be offended.

Ok you are still here? Good. Thank you.

Angel Gowns is a project helping parents and families of those babies who never get a chance to come home from the hospital. They take donations of wedding dresses, volunteers then make beautiful gowns for those precious little ones. Image-61-225x300[1]

I can tell you from experience that having things like this available, a gown, someone to come in and take pictures of our little one, and other support from NICU helping hands .org were invaluable.

I am making a very personal request here. In these modern times when infant mortality is very low, we don’t like to talk about these things, but they do happen, and then they do, the parents and families need your help. If you can donate to a group like this, if you have a wedding dress that is just hanging in your closet, consider donating it to Angel Gowns. If you are a photographer, consider donating your services to <a href="“>Now I lay me Down to Sleep. And take a moment to check out these sites and see if there is anything you can do.

Thank you.

Again those links are:
Wedding Dress Donation: Angel Gowns
Photography: <a href="“>Now I lay me Down to Sleep.
Other support Options: NICU Helping Hands .org

Defining Moments – Dan Absalonson

Apollo_11_first_stepDefining Moments by Dan Absalonson

I often try to stop and enjoy moments in life. I guess I’m a bit introspective that away. I think I learned that from my parents. They would take us out on the boat at the lake cabin, or stop us at the top of the mountain before we went down the hill for the first time on a ski trip, and tell us to stop and look around and take it in and enjoy the moment. To be thankful for what we had. So we did. My brothers, sister, and I had a lot growing up, but we learned to be thankful for it. I’m sure there were many times I could have been much more thankful, but now as I am an adult myself I’m grateful for the lesson from my parents of being thankful and really enjoying the moments in life. There have been some crazy ones, like right now we have six kids under six in our house. Three of them are ours and the other three are foster children. It’s not easy, but trying to enjoy the moments in life instead of always looking forward to what’s next has helped me enjoy life more.

Getting married

My wedding day was an amazing day I’ll never forget. I was so happy and so excited to marry my best friend. I tried to really enjoy it, because that’s what a lot of other people said to do. Don’t let the stress get to you, just enjoy it, so I did. Being married has definitely shaped who I am today. I’ll never forget watching her come down the aisle and wanting to do whatever I could from that day forward to make her happy, protect her, and love her. Doing these things have made me grow a lot as a person. I learned how selfish I am. How scared of change and conflict I am.

As I write this today I am a much stronger person and I am incredibly thankful for that. My wife helps me to be strong and she is an amazing support system and a person who pushes me to rise to the occasion. We currently have a 3, 4, and 6 year old and also care for 3 foster children who are 4, 5 and 5. I never could have imagined being able to do what we’re doing right now but thanks to my wife I have become a stronger person who is able to deal with more. I still pale in comparison to her strength, but I’m very thankful for the person I have grown to be. I used to be a limp noodle with no backbone. Now I’m a lover and a fighter – hopefully I’m always fighting for righteous things.

Deciding to change my career path.

I was a week into my second quarter at my local community college when I changed my mind from wanting to become a teacher to becoming a 3D artist. It was a huge decision. A turning point that would decide what my career would be. I dropped all my classes and enrolled in a couple digital art classes instead. One was a Photoshop class and the other was the only 3D art class they had. A few moments lead up to this defining moment, but it was one of the biggest decisions I made that steered the rest of my life from that moment on. It ended up moving me from the home I grew up in to the big city of Seattle four hours away – a town where I didn’t know a single person. So for those moments that helped push me over the edge and decide I wanted to become a 3D artist instead of an English teacher.

I was blessed to have an awesome art teacher in junior high and when the first full length 3D movie Toy Story came out on video he had us watch it over the course of a few classes. He told us to study it. Watching that film critically filled me with wonder and made me want to be a part of making something like it. The next moment was when I was playing a video game. I made my character climb up a ladder and the animation of him climbing was so bad that I thought to myself, if I knew the tools I’m sure I could do a better job than this! The last moment was the first quarter of community college where a classmate used a simple 3D rendered video in his presentation. He wasn’t majoring in 3D but liked fiddling with the software. I thought, if he can make that awesome imagery maybe I could too.

So during the second week of my second quarter of college I changed my career path. Since then I lived in Seattle for several years, made tons of friends, moved back to my hometown and am now working my second job as a 3D artist. From what I’ve heard from others I have a rare situation in that I can truthfully say I love my job. I’m so thankful I get to use what I learned at The Art Institute of Seattle to bring home the bacon for my family. Every day at work feels like a privilege.

The Day I Became a Father

I’ve always wanted kids. I remember dreaming of having a family and children when I was in high school. At the age of 25, the same age my parents were when they had me their firstborn son, my wife and I had a son. Like with Jeff’s child, he was taken from us and had to spend several days in the NICU. That was really scary and no fun, but I’ll never forget when he was born. It was definitely a defining moment. It felt like I was in a dream. It was so surreal. One moment the doctors are working and I’m holding my wife’s hand, the next moment I’m cutting our son’s umbilical cord and he’s crying. My son knew my wife’s voice and when the doctor put our baby boy on her chest and she spoke her first words to him he stopped crying and looked towards her. I’ll never forget that moment. It was amazing to see my little boy comforted by his mommy’s voice. Now he’s turning six this month and has grown into an amazing little guy that I couldn’t be prouder of.

The Day We Adopted a Child

It was another surreal day going to the courthouse, walking through the metal detector, waiting while all dressed up, and then going into a courtroom with a judge waiting for us. We sat down at the table you see defendants or plaintiffs sit at on law TV shows. We answered a few questions for the judge and then got to have our picture taken with him. Then outside the courtroom we were handed a folder full of paperwork and as our lawyer handed it to me he said, “Now in the eyes of the law it’s as if you guys gave birth to her.” And like that I officially had a daughter to take care of and love and teach. I was a boy. I know what boys are like and how to take care of them, but girls? I guess all I can do is try my best. Seems like a more weighty responsibility raising a girl, but I’m sure it will be another thing that helps me learn and grow. Especially in the teen years, or so I’ve been told.

Throwing a Birthday Party for a Foster Child

The two times my wife and I were able to throw a birthday party for a foster child were pretty amazing and made all the difficult days of foster care seem worth it. When one of your kids asks a foster child turning four what kind of cake they want and they ask what a birthday cake is – you feel pretty privileged to throw a birthday party for that child. The look on the face of both of the children we’ve thrown parties for as they sat before the cake, blew out the candles, and then opened tons of presents was priceless. I’m getting a little emotional just thinking about it now. There are many times I wish we weren’t doing foster care but when I think on the two defining moments of those birthday parties it makes me glad we’re doing it. Being a foster parent has surely helped define me as a person. It’s made me a whole heck of a lot stronger. Right now I’m used to parenting six kids the age of 6 and under – when going to the mall, out to restaurants, to the park, and at home. I couldn’t do it without my wife’s help and I don’t know how she manages when I’m at work. Someday when it’s just our three kids again, life will feel like a breeze 🙂

Dan first started writing stories in elementary school, where he and a friend would skip lunch and recess once a month to eat in the DanHatCar[1]library while hearing all about the new books on the shelves. His love for reading, as with visual art and music, has now extended into creating his own fiction. He works as a digital artist and lives in Washington state with his beautiful family of five. A huge fan of audio books, Dan podcasts all of his stories for free. You can find those stories here, or subscribe to the podcast with a button on the right. You can also find many free and a couple cheap eBooks of his stories at all the popular online retailers through the link above. Dan loves podcasting his fiction, but is involved in a few other podcasts as well.

If you would like to participate this this and submit your own essay please use the contact form below to let me know.
Thanks,
Jeff

Defining Moments – Scott Roche

After being invited to a military retirement ceremony where the retiree talked about the defining moments in his career that shaped his life, I thought it would be interesting to ask other people about their defining moments. Many of these will be very personal, some of them will mean nothing to anyone but the person who is writing about them but for all of us, we understand the idea. There are moments in our life that shape us and change us forever.

First up is Scott Roche

I’ve had an interesting life so far. I’ve lived in six states. I’ve
worked in over a dozen industries. I have a wife of nearly twenty
years. I am a father to three children; one of whom is autistic and
another who may be bipolar. I’ve been bankrupt and at one point lived
in a trailer not much bigger than an RV with nothing but a kerosene
heater for warmth. Now I’m blessed with a lovely house across from a
lake and am able to provide well for my family. At every step in my
life I’ve tried to learn from past mistakes and let every incident
work towards making me a better person.

Jeff asked me to think of a few things out of that history that have
changed my life for the better. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, many of
them may be perceived by others as failures. I find that most often
it’s easier to learn from hardship than from success.

Flying Island Press – Jeff and I were part of the glorious experiment
that was Flying Island Press. Sadly, it didn’t last forever, and we
closed the doors on it quietly, each of us moving on to other
projects. I said it more than once while I was there, and I’ll say it
again, I learned more from that experience than I would have ever
learned on my own. Being an editor, slush reader, and quasi-social
media director for it stretched me as a person. I got to experience
the joys of finding new authors and the pains of rejecting stories
that were soooooo close. Having read so many good and less than good
stories has made me a better writer. Last, but not least, getting to
work with the crew is something I will never forget.

Fatherhood – Most of the stuff I write isn’t for the squeamish and
REALLY shouldn’t be read by children. When my own kids asked me to
give them something of mine to read I didn’t have anything to hand
them. After much thought and a dash of inspiration, I came up with the
character Ginnie Dare. Crimson Sands, the first book with Ginnie, is a
point of pride. The feedback I’ve gotten indicates that I created a
book that parents can read with and to their children. It’s something
I likely wouldn’t have written except for the intervention of my own
children.

Rejections – One of the temptations of an era in which we can
self-publish all of our own stories is to do just that. Writers can
circumvent the whole rejection cycle and put out everything
themselves. I think that’s a mistake. Sending your short stories to
anthologies and your longer works to publishers can be a valuable
experience. I’ve been doing more of that lately and it’s taught me
patience, thickened my skin, and made me want to be good enough to
make it past the slush reader’s desk.

Extended Unemployment – I’ve often thought, “Man if I just had free
time, I’d write my butt off.” Well guess what? I got my pink slip in
January of last year. I was unemployed for six months. I don’t think I
wrote six thousand words. I’ve been employed and have written almost
fifty thousand words of new fiction since the beginning of the year.
It’s not as much as I’d like to have done, but it’s more than I’ve
written in the first quarter of any year I’ve been alive. And that’s
with kids, a wife, and a full time job. You can do this. It taught me
that I was using my blessings as a crutch not to write. Not doing that
anymore.

Bad things are going to happen to us all. Life gets more complicated
the older you get. You can’t let those complications stop you or slow
you down for good. Sometimes you’ll have to step back and take stock,
but don’t let that be permanent. Let life’s defining moments, good and
bad, drive you forward with a new purpose!

Scott Roche craves only caffeine and the clacking of keys. He
pays his bills doing the grunt work no one else wants to take,
bringing dead electronics back to life and working arcane wonders with
software. His true passion is hammering out words that become anything
from tales that terrify to futuristic worlds of wonder. All that and
turning three children into a private mercenary army make for a life
filled with adventure.

Scott’s Website – http://www.scottroche.com

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/scott.roche.author

Twitter – http://twitter.com/spiritualtramp

Patreon – http://www.patreon.com/scottroche

eBook_cover (1)Scott is also trying to fund his next book in the Ginnie Dare series so if you are so inclined please consider throwing a few dollars in his direction.
IndieGoGo. http://igg.me/at/ginniedare/x/397786













If you would like to participate this this and submit your own essay please use the contact form below to let me know.
Thanks,
Jeff

Defining Moments

Recently I was invited to attend a military retirement ceremony. As normally happens there was a lot of pomp and the ceremony. What impressed me more than the ceremony was the retiree’s speech. He had been a fighter jet pilot, and he talked about the flights that meant the most to him, the ones that defined his career. I won’t bore you with all the details, but he talked about super high flights, super low ones as well as some others that were in between. The last one he focused on was one of his first solo flights, and how at that moment even being so young, that moment changed his life forever, and some times how he wished he could have that moment back. Not so he could change it but so that he could relive it and savor the moment more.

The point of his talk was about valuing those moments. Stepping out of that moment (looking back) and looking at the time around those moments and realizing what they meant to you, to your family, and to the world around you. How they shaped your life, how they changed you.

I started to think about maybe the top 5 (because he picked 5) times, the top 5 moments in my career to date that have shaped who I am. First, I realized that my career is boring. So I expanded on the idea to include the rest of my life.

I thought it might be a fun experiment to try to write those ideas down, talk about what they meant to me and then share them with the world. Then I thought it might be interesting to invite some other people to do the same thing.

Defining Moments

When I set out to write this post, I had some pretty specific ideas about what I wanted to write, but when I actually sat down to write, I found that they didn’t really meet with what I think I wanted to this series to be about. I mean I could talk about the day I got married, or the day I first become a father. Without a doubt, those were huge moments in my life. They shaped who I am. Both of those have completely changed who I am. Becoming a father, taught me that I love being a father, and getting married has taught me and will continue to teach me what it means to really love, and thank you for that my dear.

While these events were important, there are a few events that have changed me in other ways. The first of those was the day I got off the plane from JFK airport and walked into Frankfurt International Airport. What followed was almost 7 years of cultural shock. I spent from just before my ninth birthday until after my 16th birthday living in Germany. We traveled every chance we got. I learned to ski, I speak some German to this day, and I have respect for the culture of Europe that I don’t think I would have gotten had a not lived there.

The next event that defined who I am was only about 6 weeks later. When we moved to Germany there was no housing available right away. And we were stuck in a hotel. We didn’t speak the language, we didn’t really know our way around, and even though we had a great sponsor who showed us around, it was pretty easy to get depressed pretty fast. That was what was happening to my mother who was stuck in the hotel all day while my father went to work and my brother and I went to school. It was spilling over, so one day my father said pack some bags we are going on a trip. While there was some moaning and groaning, we all piled in our newly acquired car and headed south to Garmish. We spent the weekend in the General Paton hotel. My brother and I got our first experience of ordering fish by picking it out of the tank.
Understand that it rained and sleeted all the way down, as it had almost every day since we had arrived in Germany. We had seen nothing except the same grey skies that we had seen in Frankfurt. And even though we had a nice room and a good meal, I think even my father was beginning to question driving the 6 hours to just spend time in an even more cramped hotel room. That first night about midnight, my dad got up to get a drink of water on his way back to bed he took a moment to peek out the curtains. The next thing we knew the curtains were opened wide and all of us were awake. “You have got to see this,” he said.
The sky had cleared up, the moon was out and right out our window were the Alps bright as daylight in the moon light. It was that moment that I think turned our minds around, and we all decided that we wanted to be there. The beauty of what we were seeing was to this day indescribable. It also started my life long fascination with living in and around the mountains. So to my poor wife who probably had no idea why was so excited that whole drive out to Colorado just before we got married on seeing the mountains for the first time, it is my dad’s fault.

I met my wife the year before we left Germany, and I have always maintained that I knew she was the the one for me the day I first noticed her walking into our classroom. The fact that I didn’t notice her until the ned of the day and that she was in most of the rest of my classes that day, well we will just gloss over that part. While I still maintain that is the case, I was young and stubborn (read stupid.) It was not until I was sitting on a mountainside in France, that I realized it was not the girl I was dating that I missed, and that I was my wife-to-be that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

The birth of each of our kids has been something special. Our first son was taken away from us and put in the NICU only 24 hours after he was born, my wife had an emergency C-section and we were 200 miles from home with no money and no way of getting back. I remember holding him and thinking what the heck have we gotten ourselves into. And each kid after that had their own surprises. Our first daughter, and 5th child was born while I was away at school, I remember getting the call about 5:30 am that my wife was going to the hospital, and then failing the quiz that day, and the rushed trip home that weekend. The three children that we planned to have at home and because of one complication or another ended up in the hospital anyway, and then our current youngest being born at home when I ran out of the room to get a towel and the look on my wife’s face when I came back and she was holding that precious little one. My children have change my life in ways I can’t even begin to describe.

Each one of these moments has changed my life. They have defined who I am in ways that even before I started writing this I didn’t realize.

Later this week Scott Roche will take a stab at telling us about his defining moments.

Want to join in the fun? please use the contact form below to let me know.
Thanks,
Jeff

The Ambush

Originally posted on Aug 11 2008

The Ambush Audio Download and enjoy!

Prompt
With wet grass on his/her feet he/she moved forward as quietly as possible.

The Ambush

I was watching her from the comfort of my deck chair, the coffee in my mug warming my hands. She was so sure of herself even though she was bound to fail just like she had done the last twenty times she had tried this. It was still fun to watch. Her bare feet were covered in the freshly mowed, wet grass and this time she was moving closer as quietly has she could, giggles escaping every few seconds.
She was two feet away. If she could just keep quiet and keep moving in slowly, she might actually have a chance of success this time. But then I would have to get up and interfere. I was just setting my coffee down when it happened.
“Chickie, Chickie, Chickie!” she screamed as she bolted forward. The chickens were never in any real danger. She was bright and pretty fast for a two year old, but her arms out run did not stand a chance against a terrified chickens sprint. They all scattered while she screamed with delight as she chased two or three of them around the yard.
I sat back and grabbed my coffee from the table. Now it was my turn to giggle. She loved this game, and it was certainly not doing any harm.
She slowed down again, now a little out of breath and started slowly moving in on a group of them. Even though they were a little more wary at the moment, they still found what ever they were catching on the ground more interesting. She was still a good distance away but moving in slowly when I saw it. A brown hen was coming up from behind her. I set my coffee down and prepared to move. The chickens had all been very good with the kids, but this one had a look about it that said it was about to become soup.
It came up behind her moving only a little faster than she was. She was already starting to giggle as she approached the small group of chickens that she planned to ambush. But I was more interested in the hen about to ambush her.
Her body tensed to squeal her battle cry and run at them again, but she never made it. The hen attacked from the rear, pecking at an interesting flower it saw on her dress. It only pecked once before realizing its mistake and quickly turning to run the other way.
The little girl whirled around, hands on hips and stomped her foot. “Bad chickie!” I nearly feel over laughing.

A Real Father is Snot Afraid

Originally Posted May 20 2008

0217141935-01Sorry for the delay folks, I originally thought the audio was missing for this one, but I was able to recover it, so here you go.

As the intro says, prompts from various places. I wrote this one a while ago after having a conversation with an expectant parent, who was asking advice about things they needed to buy for their new baby.


Download and listen to Audio for A Real Father is Snot Afraid.

A Real Father is Snot Not Afraid.

Jimmy was lying kicking and screaming on the floor while his father knelt over him, with the child under him to hold him down. He pinned the child’s arms to the floor with one hand and with the other produced a blue plastic item that looked like a small very short turkey baster, from his pocket. At the sight of it the child screamed louder, and now tears streamed down his cheeks. Arthor, after some difficulty got the end of the turkey baster into the child’s nose squeezed and released. Then with the same amount of trouble he repeated this with the other nostril.

When it was all over he kissed the child on the forehead and said, “Come on now, Jimmy was that really all that bad?” Jimmy wiggled his way away from his father, kicking to get out from under him and in the process kicked him in the knee, in a way that seemed to be more than a little intentional, then ran off still whimpering.

Arthur stood up rubbing his knee. “I don’t know how you do it John, you have 8 of those and I only have one. He is more than I can handle some times.”

“We pick our battles, Arthur” I said.

“Yeah, but how?” He said as he made his way to the sink. Before I could answer he started to clean the item that I like to call the brain sucker. He ran the water until is was steaming then stuck the open end into the stream and worked the action several times. When this was done he shut the water off and squeezed the bulb a number of times to expel and remaining water.

“I mean Mary and I are some times so tired at the end of the day we can barely make it up the stairs.” as he spoke he got a paper towel from under the sink and dried the brain sucker off. Then he pulled out an alcohol pad and cleaned all the exposed surfaces.

“I know how you feel. There are days when we have each fallen asleep on the sofa after the kids are in bed.” Done with the alcohol pad he tossed it in the trash and carried the brain sucker to the dish washer and put it in.

To the obviously surprised look on my face at this Arthur said, “You don’t want anything like that floating around with your dishes so we get it all cleaned out first.”

“Oh”

“So what do you guys do?” he said as he opened a drawer next to the sink. In the drawer were four more of the little torture devices.

My youngest daughter ran up to me at that point. “Daddy, Marvin has a googie.” The was code for he needed to blow his nose. Marvin trailed behind her in with his unsteady walk. I picked him up.

“Alice says you have a googie is that true.” Marvin giggled. I grab his nose with my thumb in index finger and the mucus came out on to my fingers. I let go of his nose and Marvin giggled again.

“Daddy silly.” Marvin said as I put him down again and he toddled off. Arthur was almost white.

“Fathers are snot afraid.” I said rinsing my fingers under the sink.

Creative Commons License
A Real Father is Snot Afraid by Jeffrey Hite is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at greathites.blogspot.com.

7 Things you didn’t know Part 7

I was not tagged in one of those, “Tell so many things about yourself that other people might not know” posts, so it is likely that no one really cares. It also means that because I didn’t get tagged I won’t actually do it on Facebook. But it looked kind of fun so I thought I would share some things that you might not know about me.

Number 7

I am happy. That is not really news I guess, but maybe it is.

A few years ago, I was working at a job that I didn’t like. That is putting it mildly. I was leaving before 5 in the morning to be there by 7 (yes a two hour commute and most of that time was spent going less than 5 miles an hour.) I was usually the first person in the office and the last person to leave, getting home only barely in time to see my kids off to bed. And I was still working in the evenings and on weekends, and still not making my bosses happy. I was certainly not making myself happy.

My job was not the only reason I was unhappy but it was pretty high up on the list. I had tried several times to make things better, but every time I tried I was thwarted. As much as I would like to blame them, it was not really them it was me. Well they were not helping that is for sure but it was me.

One day I was riding up in the elevator and I said to myself, “I can’t wait until Friday.” That was when it hit me. It was Monday Morning. Yes, Monday mornings suck, but I was wishing 5 days away. I had a second thing hit me on that rather short ride up, Life is pretty darn short, and if I am this unhappy I need to do something about it, rather that wish most of my life away.

So I did. I took a pretty big leap of faith and took a job, pretty much sight unseen. I moved away from the things that were stressing me most. In short I changed my life. But more than that I have worked really hard over the last few years to change my attitude.

Photo 2013-01-03 15.35.25My job is not perfect but, it is not terrible either. I am not really excited about living in NY, but the area were we live is very nice. (I like not really having neighbors.) There are days when I am thinking, what the heck have I done. But over all I am happy. I mean even when I do have a bad day, it is only a day and not weeks or even months at a time.

In the end I have my health, I have my family, I have a job that while it is not perfect pays the bills, we have a roof over our heads and food on the table, I have friends who care. I have a lot to be happy about. More than anything else, I have determined that if I am unhappy with something, I need to be willing to change it. Part of what made me unhappy was fear. Fear or change, fear of the future and the unknown. Once I had conquered that fear, I was much happier.

So in the end I am happy. I have not solved all of the problems that we have, but I think at least on most days I have conquered that fear of change that was keeping me in place before.

-Jeff

You can find the rest of these posts by clicking on the “7 Things” category