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t-minus 72 hours until Manlydad x2

As I am sitting on -3 day before my new son is born I am left to contemplate so many things.
First of all, its been 8 3/4 years since I have had to deal with a newborn. The things that come to mind are how did the first one turn out so great considering I was a wreck. My only inspiration of fatherhood was Adam Sandler’s movie Big Daddy. If you haven’t seen the movie, here is a summary of the plot. An unemployed man-child pretends to be his roommate to adopt a child to try to get his cheating girlfriend to not leave him. In the process, he learns to grow up and eventually becomes a productive member of society. I am not sure if my story is the same but I do still act like a 12 year old man-child. I mean, for goodness sakes my 8 year old and I crack up at armpit farts and I am almost 40.

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Secondly, my first son and I were ready to start adventuring like big kids. I bought an off road vehicle, collected an impressive collection of fishing lures for every type of fresh water fish, and I taught him how to swear. Ok, maybe not the last one.

Lastly, we are almost at the moment when the new edition to our family breathes his first breath and cries his first cry. All I can think of is how proud I am of my wife for toughing out the past 9 months and the pride I have in my son who is so excited to be a big brother.

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I leave this post with the 2 occasions when a man is allowed to cry. When his dog dies and when his child is born. (I also hear that if it’s your party you can also cry if you want to)

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Teaching kids to garden

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I started gardening when my son was 2. He would spend time with me and get to pick the tomatoes that he saw we planted 3 months earlier. Now at 8 he jumps at the chance to go hang out with dad and look at all the food that we grow.

Here is what I have learned about teaching my son about gardening:

1. Focus on why you are growing your garden. Food? Scenery?
2. Ownership – give them a piece of the garden they are responsible for.
3. Reward – when it comes time to pick your fruits and vegetables prepare them in the tastiest way possible.
4. Fun – don’t give your child the jobs you don’t want to do. Weeding sucks. Good leaders never ask someone to do something they are not willing to do. If your child sees you pulling weeds, they will emulate what you do and know that it’s just a part of gardening that has to be done.
5. Love – I know this lesson sounds sappy but I grow my garden to make sure I feed my family the best food possible. My son instinctively knows that the food we grow tastes better than the store bought veggies. He understands that they are healthier and safer because we know what is used to grow our vegetables. He also knows that it is time we spend together that we both enjoy.

Start small with some easy to grow vegetables like radishes, beans or carrots.

Build the habit of doing a daily ritual of watering and pointing out any new growth.

Most of all share the time together and discover the satisfaction of growing your own food.

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