Archive for the ‘ family ’ Category

Help me build a network of single parents

Are you a single father or mother who is trying to figure out how to raise your kids?  Feeling lost and just want a group of people to go hang out with to talk about parenting ideas and kids?  I am a single dad who is trying to build a community together of other single parents who want to make the most for their children.  Mine are 12 and 8 and I love them with all my heart, you can read about it here at

So, I would like to build an online community in the Tampa Bay area devoted to the single parent and to finding events and activities to take our kids to, ideas about parenting, discussion groups and anything else that happens to come along.  I’m an active adult who honestly wants the best for my kids, if you are in the Tampa Bay area and feel the samethen please let me know at

Tonight is Conan night

Nothing like watching some old classics with my kids.  Tonight we have Conan the Destroyer playing on the telly.  I wonder if my daughter will feel like there is too much male influence around her as she grows up.  I never play romance movies but hell, she gets enough of those type of movies with her mother.  She likes it though, likes these action movies and you know what?  Conan has some very strong female warriors in it as well.

She told me today that in science she is studying Space.  I was proud when she said that she stayed back during recess just to read more about outer space and NASA.  My son is very much into technology.  One thing I see with his generation however, is that they know how to use technology, but not how to do simple things like install drivers, replace ram or do the technical maintainance (like set up a wireless network) that I had to do growing up.  Perhaps it is because these days the different services (txt messages, facebook, myspace and such) are so user friendly that the younger generation will never have to actually set up a real web page, or understand a little bit of html, or java.  You just plug and play.  Damn, now I sound all old school nerd…

Someday I will be a grandpa and I will say such things like, back when I was a kid we had to use the dewey decimal system and encyclopedias and such…

In the meanwhile I suppose I will continue to share these action, zombie, and si/fi flicks with my kids and maybe a little bit of nerd will rub off of me and onto them.

Why do I like superheroes?

Why do I like superheroes?  I like superheroes, I like comic books, i like these stories of these people who can do these things that nobody else can do.  I like a hero, I like an anti-hero even better in some ways.  I can identify with them, no not with their extraordinary powers but with the wish to do be like them, and the idea of the protector.  Especially the anti-hero.  The kind that can’t make it, they have such problems.  I remember one of my first favorite comic book heroes was Wolverine.  He is a mess, he has so many issues.  Psychological issues, pain, trauma, the ruthlessness of his life; but he is powerful and he is a protector.  Somewhere in my head I want to see myself like that.  In spite of all that has happened to me and all that I have been through I still see myself as a protector.  That is why I joined the military and why I am in the career I’m currently in.  As a father I’m fiercely protective of my kids but not overprotective.  I want them to grew up and have a better skill set at dealing and coping with life.

I look at the Comedian from the “Watchmen”.  What a horrible person this guy was.  He found humor in humanity, even in the most horrible aspects of it.  He got it, he understood that life and humanity was that bad.  Instead of letting this understanding destroy him; instead of all allowing how mean and horrible people were to each other destroy him he just understood.  He decided to protect in the ways he knew how to.  In his own way he was a ruthless and bloody protector.  What a fascinating story that was.  Then there was Rorschach, this mess of a 150 pound guy but who could fight with all his heart for the things he thought were good.  The aspect I don’t identify with him was his fierce  judgment of anyone and everyone unworthy.

I love my heroes, I like to think that somewhere inside of me there is something good because sometimes it doesn’t seem that way.  I like knowing that I watch out and try to protect those I love and even strangers.  Whether that be to help someone out with a flat tire or trying to raise my kids with a better set of skills than I ever got.  Superheros were important to me.  They were the stories I read as a young kid that gave me an idea of what the ideal way to live is.  I know that I won’t be bitten by a radioactive spider or have adamantium claws, but in-spite of all their shortcomings they helped people.  The acts they did, they helped people.  I hope that I can do that.  When humanity and my children judge my life I hope that they will see their dad as someone who was always there to protect them and someone who taught them that others are worth protecting.

Thats all I have to say on my superheroes.

Breakfast, Soccer and Manatees on the Weekend

So here are the pics from my weekend with the kids, some breakfast, soccer, and manatees on a Single dad weekend with my kids:

Lessons from my mother

I don’t know where to begin.  I feel partly lost, partly sad, and also committed.  Looking back on my life I can see clearly that I do not trust others to catch me when I am hurting or hold me when I need support.  I have learned over the years that you can’t trust someone to do that for you, the time when you need it they will be too busy, won’t care, or will simply let you down.  The only person you can trust is yourself.  I learned this lesson at a very young age from my mother.  I can’t say that she never taught me anything; she taught me how to survive in a very cruel world, taught me that nobody will protect you.

I want to create a different legacy for my own children.  I won’t allow them to go through what I did, I will strive every day to show them what a caring parent is and how my kids should be treated and cared for.  I will protect them from the truly horrible things in this world but will allow them to learn to deal with the small injustices now to prepare them for the larger unfairness of life.  If by allowing my son and daughter to realize that homework is hard or that you don’t always get what you want, or to struggle to save and work for something you really want they will later be better equipped to deal with those problems on a larger scale (how to cope in a work environment, saving for what you want instead of instant gratification, dealing with a hard breakup, etc).

But for me that message seems ingrained.  It impacts my personal relationships, I stay behind the walls of my heart because those I love and those I have loved have always let me down.  I hope that in my life I can teach my children a different lesson than the harsh one my mother taught me.  I am a survivor, I will make it, but as for my children, they won’t merely survive I hope that I can allow them to thrive and to feel without having to guard their hearts.

My Weekend

This weekend blew by.  Friday night we spent it going out to eat at Applebees and after that a wonderful evening of watching Little Shop of Horrors.  I haven’t seen that movie in years and my kids loved it.  I had completely forgotten that Rick Moranis was even in it, let alone the main character.  Saturday morning my son had his soccer game which they lost but I would have to say he played his best during that game that he has played all season.  We spent the afternoon at my friend Daniel’s house with his wife and him for a cookout and to have our dogs all play together.  In all we had 5 dogs there (my Benny and their 3 dogs and their friend’s dog).  It was good fun.  Saturday night we watched Paul Blart Mall Cop (and yes, I am reluctant to admit that it was a decent family movie).  I woke up bright and early Sunday morning and we spent the afternoon fishing on the Skyway Pier but alas fate was not in our favor.  We caught not a single fish…

My ex picked up my son early so that I could take my daughter on a motorcycle ride.  We did about 50 miles and then stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings to have dinner.  All in all it was a wonderful weekend.  Yeah, my kids have their own moto gear, helmet, gloves, jacket and all…

Out of order but here is my Christmas Eve with the kids

My Christmas was on 24 December.  I had the kids on Christmas Eve and then took them over to my ex’s house on Christmas day.  It started on the 24th with me getting my kids around 10 am.  I had told my ex where I was taking them but didn’t tell the kids.  My daughter had her hair done and was all dolled up and my son for the most part dressed up as well (as well as any 12-year-old will dress up when made to).  I showed up to get them and the curiosity was bubbling out of them incessantly.  My son wanted to know so badly where we were going as did my daughter.

I wasn’t ready to tell them yet what I had planned for them so I told them we were going fishing.  FISHING?!? they exclaimed.  How do you go fishing all dressed up?  I told them we were going “Fancy Fishing”.  Made up a whole story where you sit on kind of like a bleachers like seating on a fancy dock in Tampa and you get a 7 course meal served to you all the while you cast your line and try for some fish.  The kids wanted to know why you dressed up for it.  I told them that you do it because if you wanted catch a fancy fish (like an Ahi Tuna) that would be served in a fancy restaurant you need to dress fancy to catch it.  Of course they didn’t believe me but since our event wasn’t until 2 pm I had a lot of fun going into depth with my fancy fishing idea.  Hell that could possibly make money as a business maybe?

So onto the actual event.  I had purchased Orchestral level tickets for the Broadway Musical “Wonderland” for Christmas Eve at 2 pm.  It was awesome.  The whole concept is that this grown Alice who is a direct descendant from the original Alice who the “Alice in Wonderland” was written about is an author.  She had been thrust into fame with her previous book and because of it her personal life was falling apart.  Her husband was leaving her and her daughter never saw her.  She had the deadline for a new book looming over her head and just couldn’t juggle all the balls that fame brought with it.  She ended up losing her daughter into Wonderland and she had to chase after her making friends and enemies all along the way.  I won’t tell you how it ended but I just want to say that the Mad Hatter was probably my favorite Character along with the “Grown Alice”.

My kids LOVED it and it was a memory we had created together.  The tickets weren’t cheap but it was well worth it.  Afterward we came home to my place and opened up all the gifts.  I had convinced my son to get my daughter a remote-controlled car and I convinced my daughter to get my son the same remote-controlled car.  When we were at my grandfather’s place in Wyoming he had a remote-controlled car for all his great grandkids to play with and my son and daughter loved it.  We played with those things into the night and had a wonderful day.  So my Christmas had come a day early.  That didn’t make Christmas Day any easier, but those memories we shared on Christmas Eve were amazing.