Fast Changes

2 years ago I started chronicling my thoughts on here.  Originally the plan was to talk about how I would make my way through working a job and not loose my sanity, while raising a family in Norfolk, VA.   The topics of discussion have gone beyond just work though; sports, current events, politics, sneakers, Christianity, etc.  It has been a great outlet for me to share and interact.

The next step on our journey will take us Toledo, OH.  My wife and I have been asked to lead a small non-denominational church.  It’s an exciting time, as we look forward to this challenge to our faith.

The changes seem fast, but maybe they’re coming at just the right time…

Letting Go

So my children are away at Grandma & Grandpa’s for much of this week.  This is our first extended (longer than two days) time away from each other.  Initially the thought of having a few days without the crew around was quite appealing, but as is often the case, ideas tend to outpace reality.

It’s not just that I miss our daughter slicking into our bed at least twice a night, being awoken by the shrieks of our 9-month old son, or our oldest asking for cereal before sunup.  I realized that this is the first step in the process of letting go.  Our children will be with us only for a short while, as we try to teach them how to be a light to the world.  18 some-odd years seems like a long time, but it goes by quickly.  Our oldest will be 6 in December, and our is daughter will be 3 in two weeks, going on 14 it feels.  My role as their father is to make the most of these few moments, and pray that God makes up the difference.

Grandma has sent a few phone pics and informed us, that the children ask about us everyday.  That made me smile.

Black-ish played it safe

If you haven’t heard, ABC has a new comedy series out called ‘black-ish.  It’s about a upper middle class family who have ancestral roots from Alkebu-lan.  I like the show.  It’s a bit on the nose, but a change from the standard family sit-com is always welcome with me.  But Black-ish missed a golden opportunity to change the game for real last night.

Airing yesterday evening, the 5th episode of the young series focused on the younger son Jack’s proclivity for hiding, which lead to a great deal of anxiety for his parents.  Warned first by his mother Rainbow (cleva name for Tracee Ellis-Ross’ character) and again by his father Andre (Anthony Anderson) not to do such a thing anymore, Jack decides the fun of sending his family into a frenzy is too good to pass up.  After hiding once more, and not coming out when he hears the panicked cries of his family who is searching for him, Andre drops the hammer: for his misdeeds, Jack has earned a spank.

The rest of the show is a build up of tension and emotions as Andre and Rainbow belabor whether to follow through or not on the threat to dish out some corporal punishment.  This is a particularly hot issue in the wake of NFL Super Star Adrian Peterson’s pending child abuse charges.  Publicly most people claim to be against any form of spanking or physical punishment for their children, but those same people often share different views behind closed doors.  Most folks were given a spanking every now and the while growing up, and we all turned out fine right?  (except for those of you whose parent’s took things too far).  These days, spanking is taboo, almost as bad as bringing an undeclared guest to a wedding reception.

Although I had hopes for the best, in the end Andre chickened out and elected to tell his son Jack how “Disappointed” in him he was.  Apparently this is the new form of spanking, because Jack left his father’s room repentant and crying.  It was a cop out, but an understandable one.  The show is brand new, and they can’t afford to have the kid worshiping segment of society coming for their heads just yet.  Even a show as revolutionary and cutting edge as “black-ish” apparently isn’t about that life.

Still a funny episode; I will continue to watch.

Sidewalk Art

The other day as Kay-Kay and I were walking to our building I asked him, “Do you want to draw on the sidewalk?” Without hesitation he exclaimed, “Sure!”

Kay-Kay doesn’t go far without his trusty sock. In it are kept some of his most prized possessions: chalk. It is the cause of incessant arguing and consternation in our household. If Kay-Kay has the chalk, our daughter Kema is fighting for her share, and vice versa. Kay-Kay began taking the “jewels” with him when he left the house to ensure they were safe from his sister’s clutches (he’s nearly 5 while she’s 2 and a half, so for now he’s in control). I just laugh.

Here’s some of our work. I say our because I started out helping, but soon was taking direction from Kay-Kay the art director. The recent rain has since washed it all away, but we were greeted warmly by fellow tenants who passed us by as we worked.

Enjoy. 🙂

The wheels on the Bus…
Abstract Piece, Shinning Sun, Smiley Face, Apple, and ice cream cone w/3 scoops
Bigger cone with many scoops, including sprinkles
Close up of trusty pouch (finger poking through hole)

Quality Time

It’s the simple things that matter the most

I am a fairly busy person.  Married to a superwoman, father of two (soon to be three) cherubs, “working” full-time outside of the home, in addition to a myriad of other activities doesn’t provide for much spare time.  My son reminds me of Sonic The Hedgehog.  Kay-Kay as we call him, just can’t sit still for more than 3 seconds, before he’s off like a whirlwind.  Kay-Kay only knows one speed: fast.  My wife and I have long since ceased asking him to slow down or walk.  Kay-Kay loves life and wants to experience as much of it as possible.

On Sunday afternoon I asked my son what he wanted to do for the rest of the day.  Kay-Kay had just awoke from his nap.  My wife and I try to do get our children out of the house as much as possible.  They love to watch TV, which is not bad, but too much of it is.  Without hesitating he exclaimed, “I want to go to Mount Trashmore”.  Mount Trashmore is a landfill converted park adjacent to I-264 in Virginia Beach.  There are two play grounds, walking trail, and pond at the park.  The main attraction is a fairly steep hill (really a mount of trash with grass planted on top) in the center of it all.  At the top of the hill you are afforded a great 360 degree view of the park, I-264, and the nearby Town Center Area.  Unfortunately for Kay-Kay, his sister Kema slept about an hour and a half longer than he did.  She didn’t wake up until nearly 5pm.  There wouldn’t be enough time for us to go and spend enough time to enjoy the park, since my wife and I had an appointment that evening.  I told Kay-Kay we would go the following day.

Monday afternoon rolls around and I’m back home from work.  I had plans to surprise my wife with a fresh haircut, but it had been so long since I went to the barber that I forgot the good ones usually don’t open on Mondays.  Annoyed, I walked into our apartment.  Shortly after dinner, Kay-Kay reminded me “We need to hurry up so we can go to Mount Trashmore, right Dad?”  I didn’t respond immediately; I wasn’t in the mood to go.  My wife could see it on my face.  She just gave me one of those “you promised” looks.  Before I knew it I said, “sure son.  Let’s get your shoes on.”

We arrived at Mount Trashmore.  The park was teeming with people.  I assumed we would have a difficult time finding a parking space until a young couple hailed me down and informed us that they were leaving.  That was nice of him.  After we parked and unloaded, we began our accent up the Mount.  Kay-Kay raced ahead up the staircase, while I assisted Kema who was taking her sweet time.  We reached the summit and were rewarded with a steady cool breeze.  I brought Kay-Kay’s Transformers Kite, knowing the location to be ideal for this activity.  There was no difficultly getting the kite up in the air.  Kay-Kay was so excited, and so were the young children of onlookers.

I almost missed this tranquil moment with my family.  I thought of how many times I had forgone quality time with the people I care most about because of some thought or emotion from work or the day I had failed to completely process and digest.  I was convicted.  It is so easy to allow these chances to slip our grasp.