Happy Sixth Birthday Oliver

Dear Oliver,

As I lay next to you on the eve of your sixth birthday (mind you, I wrote “fifth birthday” two different times already in this blog and I’m not even two sentences in) I can not believe how fast you are growing up. Writing tonight, one handed as you hold my other hand tightly in yours is tough, but worth every second. I know that the years continue to fly by so I continue to remind myself to relish in every second I get to spend with you.

This year you took on three new major challenges: basketball, football and kindergarten and have taken them on like you do everything in your life… with: energy, enthusiasm and with an all out CraZy passion that is unmatched by anyone I’ve ever met. It doesn’t matter if it’s running a new play as the quarterback (and remembering to stop running when the whistle blows), dribbling the length of the court for red-light green-light at basketball practice, or accessing the regulation station for an extra recess, your love for whatever you do is inspiring.

You are reading and writing and are so proud of yourself every time you come home from school. You make new friends where ever you go and see the world through rose colored glasses, but still know right from wrong and are not afraid to speak up for what you believe in (especially when that belief is advocating for chocolate instead of vegetables at dinner).

I know this year will continue to bring amazing things for you. I’m sure sometime in late May or early June you will set the World Record for consecutive days eating a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. I’m positive you will read your first full book on your own, you’ll continue to take sports head on. But mostly, I want you to just keep having fun.

There’s plenty of time to find your niche, and I’m confident you will, but for now, just keep doing you… Creeper Face and all!

Love Always,

Dad

January 31, 2017
January 31, 2018
January 31, 2019
January 31, 2020
January 31, 2021
January 31, 2022
January 31, 2023

Thanks for Filling My Bucket

In a world that so often focuses on the negative, it can be exhausting trying to be a positive for so many people. Sometimes, a kind act, even a small one can be the one time someone smiles on a particular day. The very definition of a random act of kindness is when you do something unexpected, thoughtful, or helpful without expecting anything in return.

Today was the day I needed a random act of kindness to remind me how good the world can be. Today was even better considering that particular act of kindness was initiated by my older son and directed towards his younger brother… it was completely unsolicited, unprovoked and even better un-observed… (or so he thought).

As an aside, I recently read an amazing book, The Kindness Advantage: Cultivating Compassionate and Connected Children. The book was mentioned by my amazing school social worker and a few parents had even discussed it at a recent PTO meeting. So, I decided to check it out. The focus on values of community, compassion, and tolerance are themes that will resonate with any educator.

With increased concern about meanness and bullying, I was impressed with how simply the authors discuss how kindness spreads. Also, described is how children who not only expience others being kind, but those who demonstrate kindness are more apt to also show unity, respect, empathy and compassion for others. As a school leader and parent anything that supports a climate of respect and rapport is something useful that can be taught and also benefit the environment in a classroom and at home.

So, as I stood silently, just beyond the small crack in the bedroom door, I watched my eight year old finish reading a book to his younger brother. As he tucked him in, he whispered just barely audible, “Good night buddy. I’m proud that you are my brother. Thank you for coming into my life.” You see sometimes, kindness isn’t just for the person giving, or even for the person receiving. Often times it’s for the person observing.

Today, one random act of kindness filled three buckets and left this dad smiling from ear to ear.

The single greatest act of kindness

Santa Went All Out

No way did we get this much stuff when we were kids!

Don’t get me wrong. Santa hooked me up every year and we never went wanting, but I remember getting a WWF Wrestling Buddy, a 1987 Topps factory set and a Rickey Henderson autograph and I literally thought Santa went broke just on our Christmas presents every year!!!.

PS: the single greatest XMAS present ever given to any child:

Thank you Santa

Pizza Rat

Pizza Rat is an internet sensation based of of the most famous NYC rat since splinter taught those crazy turtles karate. The thing is… how can this brown rat carrying a slice of pizza down the steps of a New York City Subway station in Manhattan be any cuter than our very own (above) pizza rat?!????

The OG Pizza Rat

‘‘Twas the Night Before Kindergarten”

Twas the night before Kindergarten Oliver was asleep, his lunch was set out.

And mom and dad’s faces were in a pout.

His outfit was set on the dresser with care. In hopes that the school bus would quickly be there;

Both boys were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of breakfast danced in their heads;

And mommy in ‘PJs, and I in my shorts,

Jax was excited third grade means no more Covid Cohorts!!

When out in the yard there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon shown a shadow on the still of the pool

I yawned and I shivered in the late summer cool.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a memory of a child so small we shed tears.

We cried and we sobbed while we packed up his bag  

We were exhausted and beat, time to wave the white flag. 

We spoke not a word, but went straight to sleep,

We laid down with questions, but knew he was ready for this leap.

Yes, we were sad that our boy was growing so fast, 

But we knew it was time to move on from the past. 

While mommy and daddy wished time would go slow,

We realized Ollie was ready, it was time to let go.

So now as we lay, we wish him the best. 

All we can hope is mom and dad get some real rest.

#BackToHogwarts2022

Continuing with tradition (for the eighth year in a row) I tweeted at JK Rowling for advice in dropping the boys off at Platform 9 3/4.

I’m sure by now you know that September 1st is a sacred day for witches and wizards everywhere! Back to Hogwarts Day is when the Wizarding World boards the Hogwarts Express from King’s Cross Station heading to Hogwarts.

The hope being JK herself will acknowledge my tweet and show some love to two little wizards who have the unfortunate luck of being born to the biggest Harry Potter fan this side of Privet Drive.

Kindergarten Orientation

This dude right here is about to embark on a magical journey, in other words:

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale,
A tale of a fateful trip
That started from this tropic port
Aboard this tiny ship.

There’s no doubt that this little guy isn’t so little anymore and all joking aside, if kindergarten orientation is any indication of how this school year is going to go, sign me up for the Gilligan Island’s Theme Song, because Oliver and his preschool now kindergarten friends are going to cause all sorts of high jinx!