I Miss…

Note: Though I’ve never seen it, I’m sure this has been done. I can’t imagine I’m creating something new here. Either way, it seems like a good idea.

I miss…

…my dad.
…my brother.
…the everyday closesness of college friends.
…trading baseball cards on the porch in the summer.
…Maple Breeze.
…working at the CIA (um, The Culinary Institute of America).
…my first car, Lola.
…watching Larry Bird play basketball.
…watching Fred Lynn play centerfied.
…lazy summer days as a kid in the pool.
…sleeping in until 11 a.m.
…my friend, Chris.
…’Super Cookies’ at lunch in elementary school.
…being able to actually hold Aidan.
…working at the Cove.
…friends I worked with at ETP.
…going to Block Island as a kid.
…matinees at the United.
…good radio — like it was in the 80s.
…heck, the 80s.
…the old Boston Garden.
…the West Wing.
…School House Rock.
…triple chocolate donuts from Penny’s in Pawcatuck.
…not having to worry (about anything).
…summer ‘Playground’ at West Broad.
…being in Ireland.
…hearing stories from my grandmother.
…frosted brown-sugar Pop Tarts (can’t remember last time I had one).
…growing up at the Pawcatuck Little League.
…riding my bike on my morning paper route.
…eighth grade at St. Michael’s.
…gym class with Mrs. Solar.
…english class with Mr. Jones.
…being on the radio.
…Famous Pizza.
…Melrose Place (ok, and the real 90210, too).
…Battle of the Network Stars.
…the full page of baseball notes in the Sunday Globe.
…Golf Day.
…a lot of things from high school (just not the drama).
…living in a neighborhood.

Those are a few of the things I miss.

How about you? What do you miss?


Patience, Please Find Me. Now.

I honestly believe I’m a good dad. Maybe even a great dad.

And, this isn’t me asking you to tell me that I am a great dad. Quite frankly, the only person I would love to hear that from right now is named Aidan.

This is me beyond frustrated with a certain amazingly smart, (mostly) fun to be around, always thinking four-and-a-half-year-old. Ironically, his name is in the previous paragraph.

He’s killing me. Trying patience? Um, yeah. You could say that.

I guess we’ve done something right, because he’s pretty much perfect whenever he’s with someone other than mom and dad. And, I know, I know, it’s a phase. It’ll change. He’s trying to be in control.

Whatever it is, I get all that. I really do.

But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I don’t like it.

In fact, I hate it.

I hate it that there are moments where I absolutely cannot communicate with him. Can’t do it. Because he won’t allow it. And because I’m not smart enough (or patient enough) to find a different way.

He has spent time in his room. He has been spoken to. He has had time out. He has had everything imaginable. Yet still it persists.

And, I know there are factors. For example, he’s an outside kid. He needs to run off steam and burn energy. He’s been cooped up all winter for the most part and when he gets even 10 minutes outside, he’s happier than being anywhere inside.

He’s been sick. He’s been fighting bronchitis all winter. He’s taken 47 kinds of medicine and now knows what a nebulizer is.

His Mimi is visiting from Florida. Aidan is very close to her. She’s up visiting for a few days. Which is great. It really is. But with Mimi comes a huge amount of excitement. Excitement that is different than any other excitement. Excitement that makes said four-and-a-half-year-old even more excitable.

Is he showing off? Yup. Is he trying to be in control? Yup. Is he succeeding in making me crazy? Yup.

I mean, it’s to the point where I hear myself say things that I know aren’t going to be effective, yet there are no other words I can find that will work.

Mimi is watching the kids during the day this week because our regular sitter is on vacation. And, this morning, I was waiting for someone to come to pick me up and drive me to work.

When I saw the car pull in the driveway, I was actually excited. Excited to get out of the madness of being there all day and wondering what I would say or how I would discipline if necessary. Excited to just be away.

And, it may be a natural thing from time to time — dealing with this type of frustration.  But I hate that I thought that. I hate that I was excited to be apart from the kids (especially Aidan) for awhile.

I love him. I do. More than I ever thought would be possible. He makes me laugh. He makes me think. He makes me smile. He makes me believe I am a good dad. And maybe even a great dad.

Just not today.


myTunes

Love music.

Love my iPod. Love the radio. Love CDs. 

And, especially love it live.

So what do I listen to? Well, just about everything. And, dare I say it, I’ll even listen to a little bit of country now and then. A little bit.

But, no country in this list. These are just a few (four to be exact) of the bands that are finding some major play on the iPod.

I don’t usually jump on a band too quickly. But, an exception to that is The White Tie Affair. I can’t get enough of these guys, er, kids. I mean, they are like 10. Well, not really, but they sure look it. Saw them recently open for the group below. And they rocked. It’s a different sound. But a great sound.

The band (well, it’s really a solo act) that I’ve played the most in the past few months is Secondhand Serenade. Love the writing. Love the music. Love all of it. All the time. Have seen him (them?) live twice. Can’t. Get. Enough.

Carolina Liar. Not even sure how I found this group — but I’m glad that I did. Check out the two songs I’m Not Over and Show Me What I’m Looking For. I think you’ll like them, too.

And my darkhorse? Honor By August. This is a group that is (currently) unsigned. Can’t imagine that lasting much longer, however. How’d I find out about them? Well, my brother taught the band’s guitarist how to play. Honest! Guess my brother does know a few things about playing guitar. Give them a listen.

So, take a listen. Let me know what you think of some of my current favorites.

And, heck, while you’re at it, tell me what you’re listening to now, too.


He Gets It

“He” in the above title is Aidan.

And “it” is death. It amazes me how he picks up on things. And here’s the latest example from the not-yet five-year-old.

Typically, I put Erin down and Renee puts Aidan down. Renee was out tonight, so I was on double duty.

Erin goes down no problem. Aidan and I read stories, and then I start in on prayers.

We do the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be, after which we go through family and close friends with “God Bless Mimi, God Bless Papa” etc.

I just finish the line “And special prayers for Uncle Tim and Papa O” when the following exchange occurs:

“Is there room up there, Dad?”

“Room up where, buddy.”

“Up there. Where Uncle Tim and Papa O are.”

“You mean heaven, Aidan?”

“Is there room up there?”

“Yes, Aidan, but no worries. We won’t be visiting soon.”

At this point, I’m thinking I’m in the clear. Then:

“How did Uncle Tim die, Dad?”

“His heart was sick, buddy.”

“How come?”

“Well, bud, we’re not really sure why, but his heart got very sick, and as hard as the doctors tried, they weren’t able to fix it.”

“But what about Mimi O?”

“You’re right, Aidan. Mimi O’s heart was sick, but we’re very thankful the doctors could fix it.”

At this point, I’m again thinking I’m in the clear. Then:

“How did Papa O die, Dad?”

“He had Cancer, Aidan.”

“What’s that, Dad?”

“Cancer is something that gets different people sick in different parts of their bodies, and Papa O’s skin was sick. The doctors tried to help him a lot, but he was just too sick. And that’s how Papa O died.”

“Is there room up there, Daddy?”

“There sure is, buddy, and Papa O and Uncle Tim will save you a spot.”

“Daddy?”

“Yes, Aidan.”

“Good night.”

“Good night, buddy.”


January 1971

That's me. At 14 months old.

That's me. At 14 months old.


The Crack of the Bat…

….can’t be too far away.

Why?

Because on this cold February day, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

It’s Truck Day.

What else? I got nothin’.


The Letter “L”

My dear friend, Sara, over at If I Had to Pick Five (which, by the way is the funniest blog you’re not reading if you haven’t been there yet), tagged me with the letter “L.”

What does this mean, exactly?

Well, it means I need to now list 10 things I love that begin with, well, the letter “L.”

Want to play? Let me know and I’ll assign a letter to you! This is fun stuff.

1. Lobster. Mmmm. Steamed lobster. In butter. Nothing better than lobster dipped in hot butter. Nothing.

2. Lemon Chiffon Yogurt by Dannon. It’s the only yogurt I eat. Why? It’s a thing. And I have many things.

3. Live music. I can’t get to enough concerts. Love live music. Even if it doesn’t always sound as good as the CD. Because, when it does, or even sounds better, well, then  you know why I love live music.

4. Lemon poppyseed muffins. I guess I have a thing for lemon. One of my favorite flavors.

5. Lemon meringue pie. Um, see above.

6. Listening. Love to listen to my kids when they are actually playing with each other. And, I’ve been told I’m a good listener by friends. That I’m easy to talk to. I’ll take that.

7. Larry Bird. Come on, give me the L here. He’s my favorite Boston sports figure of, oh, I don’t know, all time.

8. Luscious. It’s just a great word. And it happens to begin with “L.”

9. Lost. Love, love, love this show. Haven’t watched this season yet, but that’s the beauty of TiVo. We’ll do a marathon in like four days once we’re ready to get to it. Great stuff!

10. Lynn. My sister. You’ve heard about Dad. You’ve heard about Mom. You’ve heard about Tim. You’ve heard about Tom. You haven’t heard about Lynn — my big sister. Until now. And that’s my fault. I should have told you more about Lynn. She’s a great sister. A great mom. A great daughter. A great aunt. Nothing flashy (in a good way). Just goes about life and gets it done. Oh, and she always finds the funniest birthday cards on the planet. And, in our family, that pretty much elevates you to sainthood. Fact is, she’s my sister. My only sister. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.