Still my little boy

Apr 17, 2014 by

I have a boy who is confident, stubborn and a little daring. He isn’t much for sharing feelings or admitting when he’s sad or scared and I’ve realized lately that I can’t just leave him be yet.

He’s only 7. And I’m still his mommy.

Other moms of boys have warned me about the lack of communication with sons. My younger son may be much better about letting me know his feelings or fears, my 7 year old rarely will. But Andrew is fairly thick-headed (I attribute this trait to my wife’s side of the family). He tries to be so independent and tough so often, I think I’ve let my guard down occasionally and maybe not always considered that he may still need his mommy from time to time. I definitely give him leeway to be the tough big guy he wants to be (and is for the most part) but also have realized that I have to pay attention for when he is trying to ask me to be his “mommy” without him having to say it aloud.

Nonverbal Communication

Apr 10, 2014 by

My boys have some Norwegian “cousins” and they came to stay with us for a few weeks. How do we have Norwegian cousins? Well, my au pair/nanny/pseudo-adopted sister who lived with us from when I was 10-16 is still part of our family. Her two sons are pretty much the same age as my two boys and they all seem to get along. So when she wanted to fly out on short notice for my grandfather’s funeral services, we jumped at the chance to have them stay with us. I’m sure 3 adults and 4 boys ages 4-7 in a 1300 square foot, 2 bedroom townhouse doesn’t sound like fun to everyone but we loved every minute of it.

My oldest, Andrew, and his cousin E (who is almost exactly 1 year younger) have seen each other maybe 4 times in their lifetimes. But they really like each other and they click together.

My Hero – My Grandpa

Apr 3, 2014 by

Grandpa

This past weekend, we said our final goodbyes to my grandpa. He passed away a year ago, but his ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony only took place now.

The boys only met their great-grandpa once (Andrew was barely 4 and Dylan was 1) since he lived so far away in Southern California. I’ve asked Andrew is he remembers but he only has a vague recollection of picking oranges in great-grandpa’s yard.

I’ve been pretty lucky that I’ve had my mom’s parents in my life for so long. I have many friends who lost their grandparents, even parents, very young. My memories with my grandfather were really spectacular. I remember him as a calm and loving man with a quiet wit and light in his eyes when he smiled. He was always “tinkering” in the garage, fixing things, keeping busy, and working on getting the Ford Model A running so he could drive us around the block in it.

Marital Satisfaction

Mar 20, 2014 by

The topic of relationship wellness was not at all on my list of things to blog about this week or any week. I’m not a relationship expert, I don’t read (or research) studies on relationships and I have zero background in psychology. But just in the past week, I’ve had more than one conversation that made me think about relationship stability, or more specifically, what I know (or don’t know) about fostering a healthy and happy relationship.

One night when my wife and I were at dinner with friends, we were poking fun about just how different we both are re: food, music, sports, cars, pets, etc. One of our friends seemed perplexed about how we got along so well with such disparity in interests. In the car later, Lo turned and said “that little stuff doesn’t really matter at the end of the day, right? We’re totally in sync on the things that are important to each other.” Within a day or so of that conversation, a twenty-something friend asked me how my wife and I made it to 14 years. I realize that it’s not as long as 60 years but I think we’ve been through quite a few major life changes and issues in those 14 years that we have some credibility when it comes to making it work.

Pause and Breathe

Mar 6, 2014 by

Sometimes I forget to breathe.

That statement seems ridiculous, doesn’t it? We are human beings, we breathe without requiring thought since the moment we are born, right?

When I say “breathe”, what I really mean is pausing, allowing your brain to clear and little and just simply notice that you are breathing, in and out, for just a few moments.

I’ve allowed myself to fall into the stress of life lately. It is very easy to find yourself heaping on more stress to everyday matters such as two (2) simple over-thinking pitfalls: (a) Thinking about the past and (b) Thinking about the future.

Thinking about the past (aka “regret”)…

Why didn’t I do that differently?
How did I make that mistake?
How different would today be if I made a different choice 3 years ago? Or last week? Or yesterday?
Why didn’t I get that [promotion, recognition, award] years ago?

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