Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sons grow up faster than I thought

My 2 older boys are both teenagers now.  In my old way of thinking, I thought I still had 4 to 5 years before they go off to college and leave the nest.  No one told me that when they become teenagers, they already think they are out of the nest in their mind.  How was your day?  Slight glance and shrug of the shoulder.  Anything on your mind?  "Nope."  That's about the extent of our long conversations.  It's so true that with boys, much of the communication happens side by side during a baseball game or watching sports on TV vs. face to face.  We still do lots of side by side talking.

Thank goodness that I still have my younger 2 boys.  The youngest, 6 years old, still wants me to give him a piggyback ride to bed.  He holds my hand tight as we walk to school every morning.  I am learning to really cherish those moments.

They grow up faster than I thought.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A "Not So Good" Role Model

I have been humbled by how bad of a role model I am in many areas. We have had trouble teaching our boys to tell the truth, even when there are consequences. We tell them that it is always best to be honest, but I often am not honest myself. Every time I clean their room, I find candy wrappers in the closet, under their bed, in their garbage can. Of course, we have a no eating in your room rule as well as a restricted sweets intake per day. It seems that the more we clamp on their candy or video games, the more our boys are driven to want them more. I caught my 5 year old in his closet quietly eating candy and playing a video game on the tablet.

I find myself not being honest and most times in much bigger ways than sneaking candy into my room. To make a long story short, I was caught lying the other day and it really dawned on me just how poor of a role model I am in this area. I made a commitment to myself that going forward, I am going to be upfront and honest. It was too hypocritical to ask my boys to always be honest, when I could not do so myself.

As always, parenting often teaches us more about ourselves than about our children.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

"Parent Markers"

It's been awhile since I wrote about our boys. In the Spring of 2010, I started my own solar company. As the famous line goes, "they were the best of time, they were the worst of times." Since it was my company, I had infinitely flexibility in my schedule. I attended all the boys basketball and baseball games as well as any other parent activities around school. I volunteered to be on the school district sustainability committee and even helped to co-chair their campaign to raise funds for local schools. On the startup end, the economy continued to take its tool and there just was not enough funds or revenue to sustain our business. I finally went back to my telecom roots and started working for "the man," which at the end is fine. I'm thankful for the job and the good people at the company.

Today was the last day of Christmas vacation. We slept in until 9am everyday! It's going to be hard to get up tomorrow and get back to the old routine. The boys are growing up so fast. Our 4 year old has begun to draw and write his name on everything. As I am writing this blog, he is coloring and autographing an Amazon box that just arrived. The young mind is a wondrous thing to behold. Riley even has a system for the types of pens he uses. He has his set of "washable" markers that he can use everywhere (sort of) and the other set he calls "parent" markers, because he can't say "permanent" just yet. Those are the markers only parents can use, because whenever he tries to use them, all of the adults in the room get very excited and run to his aid. Parent markers is such a good name for them and would only come out of the mind of a 4 year old.

As my schedule is much more busy with work these days, I appreciate every moment (most every moment) that I have with the boys. Riley has also begun to sleep in his own room and I am now out of the Thomas The Tank Engine bed. Yes!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just a day at the beach

We were able to go to Hawaii for Spring Break last week. Traveling with 4 boy is always a challenge, but we are getting a lot better having learned from our mistakes. For example, pay a little more and rent a mini-van vs. a sedan. Boys do not like to sit right next to each other for long and you end up with a lot of yelling during the car ride. The mini-van we rented this year gave each one their own seat with good separation and minimized the touching and shoving we experienced with the cheaper sedan rental. We found a lot of beaches in the North Shore area of Oahu that were just beautiful and minimally crowded.

We packed some molasadas (Hawaiian/Portugues danish), some chips, oranges and bananas and we were set for a half day just playing at the beach. Wading in the waves and building sand castles (digging holes mainly) surprisingly can fill up many hours. The older boys love to do "diving catches" when I try to throw a baseball just within their reach and they need to dive into the sand in order to make the catch. We had a lot of fun and enjoyed some wonderful local foods from shave ice (Hawaiian's snow cone), lunch plates (a lot of food), and, of course, the breakfast buffet.

We reviewed our photos last night and had a lot of fun reliving our recent North Shore vacation. It's a real blessing for us to be able to take such a great trip in the midst of an economic downturn. We watched our budget, but had a great time. So many good memories.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Belated Happy New Year - 2010

Time does go by faster and faster as we age. The New Year, a new decade, came and went so quickly that when I looked up it was March already. The boys are transitioning from basketball season to baseball season and this is overlap time. Overlapping practices and games and lots of schedule juggling on the calendar. Our lives are filled with teacher conferences, practices, carpools, games, play-dates, homework, field trips, making lunches, washing an endless file of laundry, walking to school, picking up after school, and then squeezing in work every no and then.

I have made being at the boys' events a priority, but of course, there is a cost to what I can do professionally. With 4 boys eventually going to college, I have resolved to the fact that I will be working way beyond any plans for early retirement. That is okay. I just feel so blessed by our 4 boys and I am grateful to God for the privilege of raising boys. I am continuing to volunteer at school and sports teams even with our busy schedule as a way to stay close to the boys and influence their lives. In the midst of this chaos I am trying to start a new company and it has been quite a challenge. No one said it was going to be easy. Nevertheless, I get up every morning and thank the good Lord for our health. Everything else I can deal with as long as the family is healthy.

I am just rambling down my many thoughts, but I figured that I should write something before more months go by in 2010. Happy New Year!