The Boys of Summer

When I first learned that Caroline was pregnant with triplets, I remember distinctly hoping that one of them was a girl. Not that I was rooting against boys. I wasn’t. It’s just that I always loved the whole “Daddy’s little girl,” concept, not to mention the fact that I didn’t get the honor of being Alli’s stepdad till she was six, which meant that I had missed out those pivotal years when a dad first becomes smitten with his little girl.

And I wanted to know what it felt like when a mini-Caroline took my breath away. What it felt like to see such pureness, such beauty. And Kirby has delivered all that and more. But as much as I’ve cherished the experience, I can’t say it was unexpected. It wasn’t.

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The Question I Answered in 62 Miles

I’d been thinking about it the entire hike. My son’s question, that is. Daddy, why do you walk up and down the mountains? There it was, day four, and I still wasn’t sure what the answer was.

I think it was mile 15 on that day when I started to get a bit loopy. Fatigue’ll do that to you. I stared at the leaf-covered trail and wondered which of those leaves would be carried away by the tips of my trekking poles and which would stay put.

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35 Pounds

By now, I’ve got it down to a science.  An odd science. A contradictory one, even ­­– relying upon so little to accommodate so much.

Parenting is kinda like that. At least, that’s what I’ve always thought. Many of the lessons I try to teach my kids are all-encompassing ones. Yet I have to be as concise as possible or my little ones will lose the lesson in all the verbiage. Brief but thorough is the best way to get the point across. Maybe the only way, even.

So, yeah, 35 pounds. On the one hand, I suppose, quite a lot. But on the other, not much at all. Unless you’re a four-year-old. They think it’s a ton. And, believe me; they’ve given it plenty of thought, obsessing over it almost as much as I have.

[Read more at BabbleVoices]

Image: Loimere via Creative Commons

Gifts That Look Good On Paper

With five kids, Caroline and I are no rookies when it comes to gifts. In fact, we’ve got it down to a science, both playing different but vital roles in the gift-giving process. Caroline is the catalyst for all things gift related, often recognizing gifting opportunities which I never even knew existed.

For example, I never knew that existing children are to receive a gift from a newborn baby. Well, until Caroline informed me of such when the triplets were born, that is. But by the time Grand Finale came around, I had forgotten all about this strange custom. (Southern thing? Or do all y’all do it, too?)

But Caroline hadn’t forgotten, which explained the four random gifts I found in the laundry room the week before our youngest was born. And that’s when I played my vital role.

[Read more at BabbleVoices]

Lunch’s Unwelcome Interruption: The Food Court Bathroom

It began innocently enough. A rainy Labor Day had my family trapped inside our home. Until, that is, general fussiness compelled us to brave the elements al a the divide-and-conquer method. Our oldest was invited to see a movie with a friend, so she was all set. My wife then announced that she would take our infant boy and toddler girl over to my mother-in-law’s place. So I followed suit by announcing that I, along with my toddler boys, would embark upon a “guys outing.”

So, again, we’ve got some serious rain to deal with, what with the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee making its way up from the Gulf, so in planning our “guys outing,” staying dry was a must. Which is why I decided we’d make our manly way to the… mall. I know. Totally testicular. But, hey, they’ve got a parking garage and the kids love the food court, so there you go.

[continue reading over at BabbleVoices]

Image: avlxyz‘s photostream via Creative Commons

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