Tag Archives: parenting

Fun with Fatherhood – Cubs Comeback

A nice evening turned into a memorable one last night.

I had put the boys to bed, and after a half hour or so I went back into their room to check on them. My oldest son was still awake, as he sometimes is. He seems to have received his father’s sleeplessness gene.

So I sat down and chatted with him for a few moments and then asked him if he wanted me to turn the radio on to help him fall asleep. He said yes and after a few moments I got up to turn on the clock radio in their room.

When I turned it on, the familiar voice of Pat Hughes came through the speaker. The Chicago Cubs were playing and it was a close game versus the Milwaukee Brewers. We were trailing 5-4 and about to head to the 9th inning.

The only reason their radio was on that frequency was because I’d attempted to listen to a game on it last week. I had forgotten about that and didn’t expect it to be tuned to that station, nor would I have probably thought at the time to tune in the game.

We were both happy it was on, though and I told my son that Pat would let him know everything that was happening. I also informed him that listening to ball games, often times before bed, was something I used to do as a kid.

Then as I was about to get up to leave I thought, ‘Why not listen to the top of the 9th with him and see if the Cubs can tie it up?’

He was still lying down, and I was at the foot of his bed as Pat’s voice announced the beginning of the 9th inning through the darkness of the room he shares with his non-sleep deprived, mouth open, looking as comfortable and content as could be, passed out little brother.

Hearing Pat call each pitch is always a delight and it was fun to introduce my son to the real experience that is listening to a ball game on the radio.

The first batter got on base, thanks to an errant throw. My son and I exchanged a high-five and cheered on the next batter. Strikeout. Darn…but a wild pitch to the next batter advanced the runner to second. Scoring position. Sweet!

That next better was David DeJesus. He’d already hit a grand slam in the game, so there was hope for him to knock in the tying run. Crack! Triple, tying the game at 5. We were fired up. Another high-five later and we focused on the next batter, hoping for the go-ahead run now.

Swing and a miss for strike three. No! But wait, Pat’s voice started to escalate. The ball had gotten away from the catcher and DeJesus made it across the plate to score the go-ahead run in the process!

That got him excited enough to sit up for this round of high-fives. Go Cubs! I envisioned in my head what the play looked like based on the radio call from Pat, and wondered if my son was doing the same.

After another strikeout it was time for another big hit. Alfonso Soriano got the job done and put the Cubs ahead 7-5. Who knew this half inning would turn out so great? I was clapping now and turned to my son to get another high-five.

Wouldn’t you know it, the kid was asleep. Out cold, just two minutes after celebrating the previous run. Guess he was content knowing the Cubs were winning 🙂

I wish I could tell him it ended well in Milwaukee. He will be waking up here shortly and I’ll be informing him that the Cubbies couldn’t hang onto that lead. They lost the game in the 13th inning.

But that’s ok. I’ll remember listening to the top of the 9th inning of this game. A comeback, a great call from the booth, and a few minutes of quality time spent with my oldest son. Hopefully he will remember it too.

Fun with Fatherhood

I had a great weekend with my kids.

It wasn’t anything ‘special’ in the sense that it didn’t involve grandiose plans or major events. We weren’t on vacation, we didn’t really have anywhere to be…but it was a lot of fun.

Simple weekends like this one remind me of how blessed I am to be a Dad and how much of a privilege it is to get to raise children.

We started off Friday evening with an exciting three-pronged shopping/errand run to the video store, the hardware store, and the grocery store. Not exactly riveting on the surface, but finding joy in the seemingly mundane routines of life is always nice.

I hadn’t been to a video store in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is to just browse around and see what’s there. I let the kids make one selection each, and I found a movie of my own. My oldest son picked Puss in Boots and my youngest son went with a video game.

We stopped at a playground near the grocery store and I chased them around for a while, before realizing 1) that I am out of shape and was out of breath and 2) that it was getting cold and dark outside.

The rest of the evening consisted of pizza and a movie. Logan was asleep within the first five minutes of it but my oldest son and I watched the whole thing. I enjoyed it. I think he did too.

Saturday started with a visit to a neighborhood garage sale. The boys walked away with a board game, a book, and two Halloween drink cups…with the total expenditure being less than three dollars. Can’t beat that. They like going to garage sales. The buying power for them is incredible at those things! 🙂

Swim lessons were next. After that, we headed to the library. An hour or so there led to us walking out with nine (mostly kids) books in our (see: my) arms. They raided the shelves!

From there it was off to our favorite spot in Peoria, thirty-thirty Coffee Co. We toasted to a good weekend together and took a look at our books for a bit. I think the boys feel sophisticated or something when they’re in there. Whatever it is, they always ask if we can go. I love the place anyway, so it’s a frequent stop for us.

The afternoon took us to a nearby park where we played an impromptu game of baseball using a grill as home plate, a picnic table as first base, and two trees as second and third bases. The boys beat me, courtesy of a big rally in the final inning. (I tried to help them out by making myself swing left-handed and only getting one out per inning.) Good times, and the dimensions of the ‘field’ were perfect! We’ll be back for sure.

I made them a healthier dinner that evening, which they devoured. (Swimming and playing baseball will burn a few calories.) Grilled chicken, vegetables, grapes, and whole wheat pasta.

The boys made forts to sleep in and after a second showing of Puss in Boots, which Logan again failed to come close to making it through, it was time to call it a night.

We got up early Sunday morning and went to the first service at church. It’s always hit or miss on making it to the 9 a.m. service, but we managed to pull it off this time. It was a great message this week and the kids enjoyed their youth service as well.

I treated the boys to lunch at a restaurant and we spent the rest of the afternoon at home relaxing and having fun.

Oh, I almost forgot our attempt to make brownies which failed miserably! The part in the middle as shown in the photo was the only part that was salvageable. I’m surprised the smoke alarm didn’t go off. Ah well. They didn’t seem to mind.

I’ll take them to school this morning and then the rest of the week will begin. It’s always bittersweet to see them go. As any parent can testify, it’s sad seeing them wave goodbye. But, it’s also wonderful to be able to see them off in the morning.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to be a father. I’m far from perfect at it but I really enjoy this part of my life. It’s not always glamorous and it can be hard work being a parent, but it’s so gratifying to be able to share in the lives of my children and to be able to watch them grow up.

Big smile here 🙂

Have a great day everyone.

The School Lunch Issue (Mrs. Q)

So, the mysterious school lunch blogger has revealed her identity.

From the article:

“Sarah Wu does not look like a troublemaker. The slight, blond mom comes off, by her own admission, as “a super nice person … without a bad word to say.”

That may be why the speech pathologist was able to crank out an incisive daily blog scrutinizing school meals for an entire year without anyone suspecting her. Writing as “Mrs. Q,” she bought lunch each school day of 2010, photographed it, ate it and wrote about it that night under the title Fed Up With Lunch.”

One year of eating school lunches. Good for her. I give her credit for looking into the issue and reporting on what she found.

That being said, two things.

Continue reading The School Lunch Issue (Mrs. Q)