Lost in the Woods (A Tribute to Les Stroud and Weezer)

This past weekend the boys and I set out on an adventure… I’d like to tell you a bit about this adventure. However, be aware, this tale is not for the faint of heart.

It started out as any sunny and mild Sunday. A walk in the woods, a dad and his sons. No map, no backpack for of supplies, no survival kit. Just three dudes and the sun to help us navigate. (PS I don’t know how to use the sun to navigate. I can barely use the navigation system in my car to navigate).

However, it didn’t take long for things to go awry in the (labeled and trail-blazed) back woods of our town’s land trust –- known for both rock slides, quick sand, extreme temperatures and (multiple clear paths out to a main road).

With limited food and water, and no safety or camera crew, Les Stroud style (Survivorman: the single greatest show in the history of TV) we wondered down the slick, wet mountainside (more slight hills than mountainsides) in hopes of finding not only a way out, but someone who could lead us to the way out. The thing is, even with the proper gear, food and water… survival in the these uninhabited and rarely traveled (mapped out, totally accessible and used by hundreds of people a day) is nearly impossible.

Just like Survivorman, after nearly an hour of traveling with out the essentials… Nintendo Switch, an iPad, an iPad charger, pudding snack packs, Ellio’s Pizza or a microwave to heat said pizza in, we were left scavenging what he we could from the barren landscape.

We were lost… even though I denied that to the multiple people we ran into, even when both boys begged them to help us get out. We were exhausted and I was trying to draw on my years of survival experience (years of watching Survivorman reruns) and we kept moving forward to try survive and endure being lost 1/2 mile from our house.

Like Stroud, who’s survival show, easily the best Survival show ever, we needed to keep our wits about us and use what the land provided. In Survivorman, it wasn’t just crazy cliff jumps and bear attacks, he’ll often show the mistakes he made… such as lighting his shelter on fire or cutting himself after getting careless from mental fatigue. He never downplayed the mental aspect and how getting stressed or anxious in a situation like this could be fatal.

I won’t lie, we were in a life-or-death situation. The kids were freaking out and in dire need of an episode or two of Paw Patrol. With only my wits… one glove, two winter hats and a few random M&Ms found in Oliver’s sneakers to keep us alive, I drove us forward. I would not let the sound of cars on the adjacent road or the lady walking ahead of us with her dog keep us from getting home to a couple of cold ones (juice boxes).

Eventually, we realized we had walked in a large circle and my lack of navigation skills had led us back to where we began almost three hours earlier. We were finally safe, almost home and close to a warm meal, a cold drink and Netflix.

Along the way we faced challenges that would break most people, but not us. Not this dad and his sons and definitely not with this Survivor(dad) leading the way.

Lost in the Woods (WEEZER)

Santa’s Homeboy 

Waking up before your two year old on Christmas morning is like finding Bigfoot. It’s like discovering the Lockness Monster. It happens once in a lifetime. But it happened here on Sunday. A real life miracle.

Coffee was brewing and I was able to conduct a full home inspection to make sure Santa wasn’t still lurking around somewhere. I heard somewhere on the internet that the last one up on Christmas Morning gets to open the first present. Jax must have read that one too, because he slept in like he was on vacation (in all reality I guess he’s always on vacation).

 

The walk down to see what Santa brought wasn’t as exciting as I’d expected. I guess Santa and “Bammy” are one in the same? Once we were able to coax him down to the Christmas tree the wrapping paper and cardboard boxes became airborne and toys flooded the family room floor. The people who thought up Peppa Pig and the good folks over at Disney’s who created Frozen made a fortune off of this household.

 

I think this is the last year we are going to get away with a relatively “small Christmas.” Now that Jackson and Santa are homeboys I have a feeling next year’s Christmas list is going to be quite big.

Merry Christmas to all… and to all a good night from all of us and of course from Jax in his Peppa Pig tent that took three adults to put together (even though it only had four pieces).

 

Thanks again Santa. Until next year…

 

Cue the Disney Music


Yesterday something magical happened. It wasn’t something tangible, it wasn’t even something quantitative. It was a real moment that can and will never be rightfully explained by words on paper (or in this case words on a screen). It was definitely a moment out of a Disney movie. (And I’m not talking about today’s Disney… Im talking early Michael Eisner Disney movie type. The Classic Disney music was quietly playing in the background. It was a long day. A day that father and son spent together doing father and son things. We went to the gym together (in matching Yankees shirts… I know, I know… But we did so just deal with it and keep reading). We stopped for a slice of pizza together (as an aside, there needs to be some work done around the pizza making where I live… I grew up on amazing NY pizza, Bethel Pizza and now where I work… But where I live? We need to step it up around here).   

But, I digress… So here I am a so called “daddy blogger” trying to enjoy the day with my son. We played together and ate lunch together and as he went down for a nap I gave me a kiss and passed out. Nothing out of the ordinary for our day. 


It wasn’t until later that night when I pressed play on the DVR and Elsa and Anna appeared that my son ran to me, climbed on my lap… Leaned over kissed me on the cheek and laid his head on my shoulder to watch Frozen. My son doesn’t sit still for more than ten seconds at a time and then all of a sudden plops himself down on my lap, snuggles closely, and leans his head onto my shoulder? He looks up me you with a sparkle in his eye and a sweet smile and I instantly fell under his spell again, honestly it was an even stronger feeling of love than when I had first held him. I felt like at that moment he was telling me that he knows I am always going to be there to provide him comfort and protect him as much as I can. I felt like this was “his” way of saying “I love you.” He might not be talking, but he got his message across loud and clear…

I love you too little man!