Posts Tagged ‘ great grandpa ’

Nevadog on Being a Single Father

What does being a father mean to me? I have spent my life as a professional soldier in the United States Military and continue to serve my country in other capacities since leaving, and for me, all my military accomplishments, all the honor and the glory I have seen in battle, in my 2 years deployed to Iraq, all my efforts.  They all pale in comparison to being a good father.  I strongly believe that even alone as a single male I am capable of raising my children to be healthy and to understand what a healthy relationship entails.

I strive to set goals for us as individuals but also as a family unit, goals like our fishing trips, the 5k we ran as a family team, visiting their great-grandfather (my grandpa), I set these goals and help accomplish them so that in time my children will have lasting memories of what a good and healthy childhood is.  In my time with them I push them farther than they realize they can accomplish, I do this by listing to NPR in the mornings, explaining to them what is going on in the world news and then asking them questions.  I am often astounded when they ask me more questions back.  They are INTERESTED when I give them data, when I give them problems to solve and when I create challenges for them to complete.  They are amazed when they create stuff, both in the kitchen and in the woods.  They love it when I tell my stories and make fiction for them to be immersed in.  Telling stories is such a rich and rewarding part of my days with my children, both for them and for me.

Not everything they do is without fault.  I have to play the bad guy at times too.  Allowing them to have consequences for their actions (both good and bad) and watch as they suffer through those consequences.  For instance, I have found that my son (who is 12) has such a better time reflecting on his actions when I ask him to write me a paper on respecting his family, or on treating his sister better (or whatever it happened to be) because it causes him to reflect and actually write from his heart rather than give his cop-out answers like, “I wasn’t paying attention,” or “I didn’t mean to”.  For my daughter letting her know (she is 8 ) that I am ashamed or hurt by her makes her realize just what she did was wrong.  Both of my children are very mature and very different emotionally in how they act and how they react and I love both of them for their individuality.

I write this not to brag, not to boast, simply to show that anyone (even a broken and at times lonely and sad army vet) can be a good and wonderful father.  You just need to pay attention and to show love.

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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.

The Farm in Wyoming with my kids

Here is the farm I grew up on, it has some of my favorite memories from my childhood, everything magical seemed possible on this place.  I took my friends out here and even stopped by with my friend PJ on our senior trip across America when we saved up our own money to drive from Washington State to North Caroline one summer.

I had the opportunity to share this magical place with my children this Thanksgiving and thought you all might like to see some of those memories as well.

My Grandfather’s farm (the kids’ Great Grandpa) was over 2000 acres before he sold it about 5 years ago.  The name of the farm was Mantua Farms and he had everything from barley for beer to sugar beets, alfalfa, and cattle.  My grandpa is one of the most wonderful male influences in my life, he served in WWII, and raised 3 kids on his farm.  He was tough and loving all at the same time.

Grandpa, I love you

Cold day in Powell, WY this morning at 7 A.M.

So, we are still on Tampa time and we woke up at around 5:30 am here in Powell (7:30 am Tampa time) and stayed inside until we couldn’t stand it any more.  Damn, it is cold outside.  We went to check out my cousin’s cows and the Old Mantua Farms sign that hung on my Grandfather’s farm for many decades until he sold the farm about 5 or 6 years ago.  I just thought we would share these photos with all of you.

Oh, and all the winding roads here in Wyoming scream for me to ride my motorcycle down them, but we flew so that is a trip for another day…