Tag Archives: son

FATHER’S DAY ’21 or HAVING MY BAR, RAISED

This is a hard one to write. But I’m writing it. Because if I don’t, I will miss the opportunity to bring the accountability I’ve brought to the rest of my life to the most important people in my life: my kids.

This post isn’t for anyone else; this post is for me to read and reference over the course of the next 12 months as I hold myself accountable to continuing to grow, improve, evolve, get better, as a Father.

Today was an exceptionally tough Father’s Day. The range of emotions I continue to work through, balancing the day-to-day effort I make and the perception of that effort is … dissonant. I haven’t found a way to reconcile the reality of it all but I know it won’t be for a lack of effort or self-awareness.

In a sense, it parallels the experiences I find myself in across my personal and professional interactions. Which in some senses, makes it easier to therefore find healthy ways forward. 2021 in many ways, has been my healthiest year on this planet. Not my easiest; but in many ways, my healthiest (honestly, I think with each year, you gain more perspective, more responsibility, increased expectations, and as a result, in some senses, with each year, it all gets heavier to carry; the question is whether that weight is harder, which is a separate discussion for a separate day).

Juxtaposed with that weight associated with growth, is this increasing sense of responsibility.

See, Anaiya and Jaanu, you grow and transform at such an extraordinary pace on a daily basis. It’s impossible to keep up with your progress. And what I think really resonated with me over the past year was the fact that to keep up with you, my growth as a Father needs to keep up with your growth and evolution as a human being.

It’s 10:51 pm and I entered today fully expecting to take another step forward as a Father. One way I planned to do that was to ask my children to tell me what it was they wanted me to do better in this upcoming year.

It’s always hard to hear; what you can do better. But this evening, before the kids went to bed, it wasn’t harder, it was simply a bit more clarifying.

When you ask a question, expect to hear the truth back. Otherwise, don’t ask the question.

For Anaiya, her ask was that I find more time to put her to bed during the week. There are so many reasons this has become a near impossibility, but when I look at them, in reality, they’re more excuses than reasons. I’m excited to look back on this past year in 2022 and see if Anaiya remembers what she asked me, and, see if she acknowledges any progess I’ve made. I’m excited for it.

For Jaanu, perhaps the most heartbreaking, was that he asked me to be more patient with him when he’s not listening. What’s hard is that since the last time I truly raised my voice at him, in January, I’ve made an active effort to be patient with him and talk him through calming him down. It tells you how fragile our children are; because for all that effort I think I’m making, he still remembers … the times I’m not.

I feel the weight of the world after these two conversations. Because I know that even here, I feel very little space to reason, to rationalize.

All I have are expectations.

And like everywhere else, when it comes to expectations, you can have them thrust upon you, or you can ask for them, seek them out, and make them a choice.

I want to be the best Father I can possibly be; which is why I promised myself that as hard as it was going to be to hear, and as many excuses and rationalizations as I could make about what I heard, the only thing that mattered was the honest answers to my questions.

Because in pursuit of being the best Father I can possibly be, I’m not looking for validation, I’m looking for motivation.

Anaiya and Jaanu, thank you. For relentlessly holding me to a higher standard.

Thanks for raising the bar on me, about me, for me.

I’m on it.

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TYMMPB … | Family

People have to wonder if you’re scripted. There’s no other answer.

How is it, for a boy of 4, when granted any wish for his birthday, almost as if given a genie in a lamp, turns quickly to his parents and without batting an eye and without missing a beat, responds with more confidence than an honest man on trial:

“I want the whole family together.”

Except with you, there’s no cliffhanger.

There’s no clause to follow. There’s no extension of the ask. There’s no “I want the whole family together, so I can get more gifts.”

There’s just you.

Expressing your incredibly kind, warm, loving soul, in the most authentic of ways.

When we got the family together, and when the house we rented tortured us into leaving after 18 hours, you know what made everything ok: knowing that you would be more than ok.

I realized that the house, was for us. The pool was for us. The game room was for us. The weekend plans were for us.

The “us” was for you, and the “us” was all you needed.

As much as you find excitement in new things; gifts, toys, foods, experiences. What’s so magical about you is that consistently the simplest things make you happiest. And nothing makes you happier than time with the people (family and friends) you love.

You remind me of what’s important every morning and every night. You teach me what the world sometimes makes me unlearn.

And it is undeniably the thing that makes me proudest of you.

At age 4, going into age 5, you make me proud because your greatest and most authentic happiness comes from the people and in the ways that the entire world is taking courses, setting reminds, seeing coaches and actively seeking to get back to.

Time. Attention. To and for. The people we love.

I am proudest of what you love, of the way you love, and how simply, easily and clearly you’re showing the world, what love means to you.

Happy Birthday, Money….and thank you.

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OMG THE LOVE IN THIS BOY or THE BEST PART OF WAKING UP

I had a post I wanted to share today. It’s my one year anniversary at this gig. So much to share on that.

But after the day we’ve all had, I thought I’d go with this instead.

Hugs and kisses folks.

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Every weekday morning, our routine at home is the same. I bounce between the kids rooms and wake them up slowly. Jaanu wakes up first. Always. He pops up. I give Anaiya her second nudge and come back to him. We change. And then, his first move … is this. Straight to his sis.

These photos and videos are from Monday and today.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for this. This love. This little boy with this ability to set this tone for his day, his sister’s day and frankly, mine.

We need this today. And when you wake up in the morning, out of this bad dream we experienced today, close your eyes for a moment and imagine Jaanu walking into your room and bringing you into the day this way too.

I love you. All of you.

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TYMMPB… | You’re the Best in the History

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I don’t remember the first time you said it. I do remember hearing it for the first time; and going absolutely bonkers.

We were doing yoga in the morning during the early days of COVID-19 and as we sat and talked about what the day held, what was going to make us happy, what was going to get in the way of our happy, what was going to be fun, and what was going to get in the way of our fun; in the midst of that logical juxtaposition of what you want, what you control, what gets in the way, and of that, what you control, somehow we stumbled upon “history”.

Your sister spoke first. And as her usual, eloquent and loquacious self, found a way into a spotlight where there wasn’t one, and then proceeded to find a way to own it.

What were you going to do? You were still a couple months away from knocking on 4’s door and here she was, the love of your life, your role model, choosing to go first in expressing her gratefulness in the morning leaving you to follow?

Was that even fair?

Do they have Mike Birbiglia open for someone who’s trying standup for the first time? You know?

She wasn’t better by design; only by years. At this stage in your life she’s got 50% more experiences than you do. It’s not reasonable to have you follow.

You let her roll. But your lips started turning up at the corners.

And when she finished, you dropped your greatest line and now the way I plan to talk going forward in celebration of amazing things always:

“The best in the whole history.”

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It’s so perfect.

It encapsulates you.

It’s succinct. Never take 12 words to say what you can say in 6.

It’s powerful. Never leave doubt on how you’re feeling at the moment.

It’s uniquely generous. Never just give, give in a way people haven’t experienced before.

It’s memorable. Never be forgettable, by choosing to be, say, and do things in unforgettable ways.

It’s sincere. Never fake anything. Ever.

It’s on your sleeve. Never wear anything in your heart or mind, that you wouldn’t wear on your sleeve too.

I love you. You are my absolute and undeniable homie.

I’ve never felt so comfortable expressing my love to someone. Even your sister, at some point, is like “Buhboo, you can’t love me this much!” But you? Naw’man. You? You escalate. When I tell you that you’re the best kid in the world.

Well; you tell me I’m the best buhboo in the history.

A few hours ago you were three; now, at this moment, you’re four. Even you’re reading changed from yesterday to today!

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You will never be three to you again. But I want you to know, to me, you’ll always be …

…a little bit of you at one…

…a little bit of you at two…

…a little bit of you at three…

…a little bit of you at four … and I’m so excited to learn about what that means.

The world. We included. Did a lot to you this year. You switched schools a few times. You moved from your Nana and Naniji’s comfortable daily love to a new home without them. You faced COVID-19. You got scratches. And bruises. On your face, your arms, and dare I say and admit, your heart.

You had people debating you when you weren’t there to be.

But every single day I look at you and I’ll say, man, given what the world and we included have thrown at you, you’re so…damn…good.

We owe you more and we owe you better.

People rise and fall to the expectations you set for them, son.

You’ve called each of us the best in the history. It’s our job to rise to that level and I’ll tell you, we’re getting after it.

As for you? Today You Make Me Proud Because of how real you are; and how wonderful you can make the world feel. You have a gravitational pull that isn’t based on mass (that’s me).

As you step into 4 and build on what’s before, I am so proud of who you are fighting to become every day; and I’m more excited about the kid I’m going to be talking about going into 5.

I love you, homie. You truly are incomparable; you are the greatest son in the history.

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PS: This year I made you gummy animals for your birthday treat; the ones filled with NERDS are INCREDIBLE! We even made you a dragon one as a primer for How to Train your Dragon: The Hidden World!

Image from iOS (5)

But going back to that whole “best in the history” thing we were talking about; you see, 3 days ago you woke up one morning, and when we were getting ready for breakfast you did this dance asking me for gummy bears.

Yeah. Gummy bears.

What’s funny is 2 days earlier I had decided I was going to make you Gummy Bears, ordered all the stuff, and it was on the way.

So I am wicked happy you’re going to have Gummy Bears on your birthday, homie.

And even moreso, that you proclaimed your craving for them while wearing a shirt that would have made JJ happy in pursuit of the Goodest of Times.

But, I’ll tell you, I’ll be as busy as a one-legged cat in a sandbox if one of the greatest moments in my history as a Buhboo (aka father), isn’t the fact that I tapped into your Gummy Bear longing days before you did …

…and then delivered on it.

We got 2020, homie. We got it; because we got each other.

I love you. And all you’re becoming. And all you’ve been.

 

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MY DUDE or I LOVE YOU HOMIE

That’s it. #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for you. And this spirit. And I want to do all in my power never to squash it. 🙂 Be you. Just. Be you. But your best you. Always.

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MY DUDE

You are…my dude. My two year old dude. You are clumsy as sin. You are stubborn as hell. You are defiant as humanly possible. And you also have the most incredible laugh, give the most sincere hugs and kisses, have a social awareness that most people never find, and have drunk strength constantly.

You are beloved everywhere you go because that smile (and that hair) and that list for life is inspiring. I’ve heard that your personality is defined and well in hand by age 2. If so, I’m as proud as I can possibly be mostly because I couldn’t be prouder.

You’re my dude. As time moves on I get How this father/son thing goes. You will never copy me. You will react to me. You will see things I do and find ways to do them better. You will see things I do poorly and chart your own course.

But my dude, there are things I do that you’ll never know or see. You’ll only hear about. Those complete the story. Because those happen after the fact. When you can’t react; you can only.

I’m on it. 🙂#iamgrateful and #iamthankful that you carry his name, Jaanu. In your smile, in all your traits, I see his spirit. God bless you, my dude. Thanks for carrying that forward.

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TYMMPB… | We Chilled

You’re one. WTF.

This is how you turned one. Rough night for you. Rough few days (week?) You woke up crying at 1045. I picked you for the long haul at 1115 after some pick ups and put downs.

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But you know? It’s all good. You’ve earned it. You have had such an understated year.

You were born in the shadow of a job switch and your sister going to school.

You were so quiet on our first vacation people wondered where you were.

You moved between nannies while smiling at each and every one.

You waited to crawl until nobody was really watching probably because you didn’t want to be a distraction.

You moved houses before you moved yourself.

You’ve been teething for 8 months and just got a tooth.

The sourest demeanor you ever have is cured by taking you outside so you can wave … to everyone.

You take meds with a smile (like you take everything else.)

You love your sister and let her make you smile like I never knew smiling was possible.

You are a momma’s boy. Keep that, homie. It will get you far. Or at least, protect you forever.

You have your grandfathers in you (and in your name), linked to them forever (and ever.)

You take your time. The more we rush and hustle around you the more you naturally, instinctively, and subtly, humble our pace.

You are everything this whole family needed.

You are what your mom ordered but what I needed. #iamgrateful and #iamthankful for this moment. Some rare QT.

And I get to brag that you turned one in my arms. (Note: I put you back in your crib peacefully a second before posting this. You probably woke up and faked some tears so I could have this moment and story to tell.) HBD, Jaanu!

This, by the way, was how you woke up. Not so bad, huh?

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ONE

This is how you turned one. Rough night for you. Rough few days (week?) You woke up crying at 1045. I picked you for the long haul at 1115 after some pick ups and put downs. But you know? It’s all good. You’ve earned it. You have had such an understated year. You were born in the shadow of a job switch and your sister going to school. You were so quiet on our first vacation people wondered where you were.

You moved between nannies while smiling at each and every one. You waited to crawl until nobody was really watching probably because you didn’t want to be a distraction. You moved houses before you moved yourself. You’ve been teething for 8 months and just got a tooth. The sourest demeanor you ever have is cured by taking you outside so you can wave … to everyone. You take meds with a smile (like you take everything else.) You love your sister and let her make you smile like I never knew smiling was possible. You are a momma’s boy. Keep that, homie. It will get you far. Or at least, protect you forever. You have your grandfathers in you (and in your name), linked to them forever (and ever.) You take your time. The more we rush and hustle around you the more you naturally, instinctively, and subtly, humble our pace. You are everything this whole family needed. You are what your mom ordered but what I needed.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for this moment. Some rare QT. And I get to brag that you turned one in my arms. (Note: I put you back in your crib peacefully a second before posting this. You probably woke up and faked some tears so I could have this moment and story to tell.) HBD, Jaanu.

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TYMMPB… | You’ll Take Care of Them

There are two people in your life you have absolute, undeniable responsibility for, from the moment you’re born. Your Mumma. And your sister.

I don’t want this to sound overly dramatic; I simply want to make clear the role you play in their lives. (Note: I have the same conversation with your sis lest you think there’s some slant or bias here.)

There’s a one month period every year where this will be more important than ever: January 12 – February 15. Why? Because you’ve got Anaiya’s birthday, Valentine’s Day, and your Mumma’s birthday coming at you faster than you’ll know what to do with.

Keep calm. Give hugs. Sit in laps as long as you can; and when you can’t any longer, sleep in them. That last one lasts forever; I know, because I still sleep in my Mumma’s lap.

You did a bang up job of it this year. You let them get whacky while you just smiled, and chilled, and hugged, and loved.

Sometimes, it can really be that simple. You found a way to make their day about them, but making sure you never made it about you. So young, and already, so wise. Keep it going, Jaanu.

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And Happy Birthday, Mumma. Also, the house didn’t always look like that mess behind you. We’re moving soon.

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#TYMMPB… | of your “A” Game

You look good. But you can’t help that.

What can you help is how you carry all that good looking.

The past few weeks we’ve had a range of events that required you to flex styles, and you did them all seamlessly. Flexing styles and fitting in require more than simply changing clothes. That would be like saying my old school Subaru GL hatchback would win an F1 race because you painted it like Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.

Also, I totally had to look up that last reference. I know nothing about Formula 1.

At the ripe old age of 7 months you’ve found a way to change colors while also, adapting your personality to accommodate the event. Sometimes it’s as simple as how you sit. But it’s alway as simple as how you feel.

Today you make me proud because I see in you a person who has this ability to fit in, to be present, and to find happiness in any environment. You’ve got a smile that can change the world — it’s already changed ours.

Keep that adaptability and awareness at your fingertips, Jaanu. It will serve you well. And it will serve the people around you, even better.

Also, keep making your sister laugh. It’s awesome.

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