Tag Archive: parenting


Kethry’s Artwork

I am always amazed by Kethry’s artwork and her summer camp experience was to spend two weeks at the Crocker Art Gallery in downtown Sacramento, the capital of California.  The summer camp focused on nurturing her love of all things art and she has a talent and a skill that I could only dream of and which she inherited from her mother and shares with her Aunt Jessica.  I had forgotten about the camp, not soon after it ended and found this book upon the kitchen table.  The pictures barely do the drawings justice and your background music should be Chop Suey by System of a Down.

This is the cover of the book she made.

Back of the front cover.

First page.

Second page.

Third page.

Fourth page.

Fifth page.

Sixth Page.

Seventh page.

Unfinished eighth page.

Unfinished ninth page.

There were four completely blank pages including the inside of the back cover.

The back cover.  We let Kethry dye her hair using Kool-Ade.  Purple and red which she seems enamored with as most of her artwork and drawings feature women with red or purple hair.

Happy F—king Birthday

I just turned 47 and my age doesn’t really bother me and I rarely thing about it unless someone asks or says something that makes me feel old.  I also don’t usually get excited about my birthday and really haven’t since my Grandmother died right before I turned 21.  I didn’t go out drinking the night I turned 21 because I had to work, my after work celebration consisted of the bar tender at the trendy restaurant in Dublin, Ohio called Doodles made me a cocktail after closing and cleanup had been completed.  Thus ushered in the era of legal drinking.  Afterwards, I was like, I waited all this time for this?  Being an adult sucks.

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The only bright spot in this years otherwise abysmal birthday came from Rachel and Kethry and Haplo.  Rachel with her trinkets gathered off the bargain rack at Target and Kethry because it is her birthday too.  So I get to become a child again for that moment and celebrate with her.  This year was incredibly hard because money was even tighter then usual since I was so sick last year.  So a few days before my birthday, of course my cell service got disconnected from lack of payment.  Well, I could still use the phone and google voice, Facebook and Wifi to keep in touch and social network even without service.  I was coping.

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Then my phone shut off on Monday afternoon and I lost even that creature comfort.  It’s like I just keep getting kicked because now, not only do I have to pay for the delinquent phone service, I now, also have to purchase a new T-Mobile / Metro PCS compatible phone and then send the old one away to ZTE to repair or just send it away and wait for it to come back.  Turn-a-round time isn’t usually too long, although it often costs about $20 to send it via Fedex.  The carrier’s insurance was a viable option back in the day and I gladly paid for it, but over time the benefits have decreased while the associated fees and charges have increased.

Last Saturday Rachel, Haplo, Kethry and I went to Incredible John’s Pizza in Roseville for Kethry.  It’s a better fit for kids then Dave & Buster’s although it still costs the same when you factor in the cost of the buffet.  Sadly, the Buffet is at the bottom of buffets and the pizza pales in comparison to say, Round Table and their buffet.  When you factor in all of the insanity that comes with crowds and it can make you stop, slap your hands to your face ala McCauley Culkin in Home Alone and scream from the rudeness of people just cutting in front of you or worse you just lose it and let out a scream reminiscent of Edward Munch’s famous painting, The Scream, when you see someone stick their dirty, disease ridden fingers in something to take a taste.

Man at bridge holding head with hands and screaming 

Sometimes, all you need are friends and family to make everything seem better.

Dear Dad Diary

Hey Dad.  It’s a Tuesday afternoon and I just got out of class and I am unwinding before I do homework. Yeah, Dad, me, in college and get this, I have really good grades.  Even in PE classes.  No shit. I have dreamed about reuniting with you at some point and while the locations change the atmosphere is always the same.

See Dad, I have reached a point in my life where I have few regrets, few things that truly cause me any grief.  I am and always have been able to be totally honest with myself about everything.  After I left home the second time Dad, it was all me and it was hard and it was tough and painful and fun and exciting and I made it.  Thanks to you.  You see Dad, you taught me well.  You inspired me to never fuck up in a way that I had to apologize to you through glass.  I didn’t want to let you down.

I have two kids Dad, a daughter named Kethry and a son named Haplo.  Haplo is so much like me Dad, and I imagined him at various ages interacting with you like Josh or Susan or Zach.  I am not writing this to guilt you, rather to let you know that we miss you and that if you want it, there is always a place in our lives for you.

See, Zach and I had become friends right before he died, starting when I came back for my mom’s funeral.  I understand why you didn’t come even though every cell in my body wanted it.  Dad, Zach loved and missed you to the end.  My biggest regret with my mother is allowing her to somehow make you feel like you had to choose.

Jessica and I have always been close and talked, she called Michelle who called me to tell me about Mom.  I stayed with her while I was in Maryland.  I talked to her a lot over the last 15 years.  She and I have discussed you and she loves and missed you too.  Jessica has three children, two boys and a girl.  I met the two boys when I was in Maryland, the adorable girl was just born.

Danielle has a son who was born shortly before Zach died.  Zach is a family tragedy Dad and has put as big a gap in my heart as big as when Sonny died.  I really and truly wanted to be sitting outside in the garage listening to 98 Rock, smoking and drinking beer with you every night for months after that.  I wanted you to tell me about Zach.  I wanted you to just be, well, you Dad.

You taught me things Dad, that I didn’t realize I had learned and found myself doing them and questioning why I was that I realized where I learned it.  I have had many of my friends tell me I am a good friend and I learned that from you.  I learned how to be a good man, by watching you.  I took your advice and never screwed up, because I never wanted to let you down.

When I first met you, I really didn’t know what to think of you.  Then my mom pulled that shit and sent me away again and for most of my life, I thought you had something to do with it. It’s like not only finding out Darth Vader is your father but he also cuts off your hand.  Then, we were talking right before I left Baltimore and you told me how she told you.  See, Dad, I realize now, mom manipulated and controlled all of us to an extent.  She used each of us to manipulate the others and control then too.

Jessica and I were talking one time and she told me that she hated you.  When I asked why she said because she was afraid of you and when I pressed said it was because you were an alcoholic.  She said she had to spend her tweens in her room hiding.  Through the conversation, and questions I helped her realize Mom made her afraid.  See, I realized this when I left home that night after our last talk, Dad.

See, mom used to do it all the time when I lived at home.  Passive aggressive war on terror like fear mongering.  You were on your way home and I should go to my room so as to avoid you because I know how you are…. I know how you are?  Yes.  Sometimes a little bullish and awkward but never threatening.  Overbearing but never making me afraid.  But at the time her feigned anxiety and manifested concerns created a panicked flight response.  We went to our rooms.

I learned from you by your actions and those actions often taught by self-inflicted shame.  One time you came home drunk, Mom was in the hospital.  The police dropped you off, she was on the phone and did her magic.  I didn’t answer the door.  A few months later we were at mom-mom’s house and Uncle June came home drunk and stumbling.  I watched how lovingly, respectfully and gently you took care of him and I was shamed.

When I realized later how she had manipulated our relationship, I had this dream of visiting before you two separated and drinking a beer or better yet, smoking a joint and telling you all of this.  See Dad, if you hadn’t of been who you were, when you were the it wouldn’t have rubbed off on me.  I wouldn’t be the man I am today.  I love you and really and truly want to you to know that.  Life is short.  Hopefully Aunt Sandy shares this with you.

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Kethry cut her hair in the beginning of October and donated it to a charity that will accept shorter lengths then locks for love.  I would like to think that it had something to do with her knowledge of MooSe’s wife’s battle with cancer that began in September and ended abruptly two weeks ago.

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She is truly daddy’s girl and I realize thay she gets the attention deficit disorder from me.  She wrote me a letter as I was packing up to leave after our visit Sunday.

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She melted her daddy’s heart and I damn near started crying.  My eyes started to water….

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So the end of summer is nigh.  It rained yesterday and today there was snow on the tops of the Sierra mountains. Haplo and Kethry were playing outside, Kethry was writing a song called Zombies Get off my lawn. Haplo was annoying her and commenting on the smell of the neighbor’s bbq……

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Today Haplo, Bruce and I spent the afternoon in Tristan. Excellent afternoon teaching him how to play on a team and with friends. It is sad that Blizzard made this kind of fun impossible with Diablo 3 because it requires an internet connection.

My Princess

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Kethry gave me a pinecone that she had decorated for me. She knows that I adore it when she makes me things.

So Kethry asked me to go to the park.  So we walked to the park and they played on the playground as the sun began to set.

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Haplo decided he did not want to cooperate with picture taking. I caught him doing the zombie. Kethry as always tried her best to be photogenic.

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The trees in this park are amazing. Since it is spring there is all manner of tree sex going on.

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There is this really coll tree in the park. The perfect place to take some pictures. Makes me want a digital SLR..

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Spring is in full swing and natuee is having lots of sex.  Seriously though, sometimes you just have to take a moment and enjoy nature and smell the flowers.

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Saw these on the way home. The diversity of flowers and plants here is amazing.

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I saw these two dogs leaving the park. They looked like walking teddy bears.

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Today I had to pick Kethry up from school and it made me sad and angry at the same time but she was a trooper through it all. She gets that from me.

I turned 43 this year Dad.  It’s been 12 years since I talked to you last and the world was a different place and I was still finding myself.  I know you may think that I didn’t really need you as I became a man, but the reality is I was a man the day I left home.  The man you made of me and you did such a good job Dad.  You prepared me for that period of my life, for surviving on my own.

Now, I am a father and I’ve come to the place where you where when you started to raise me.  This is the time where I once again need you Dad, but now I need you in a different way.  You see, I am a Dad now and I need to talk to you about being a Dad.  I need pointers, advice and I need my Dad.  Look, you raised a sharp kid and I understand all those things I didn’t back then.  I have always wondered how you dealt with Mom and I never doubted how much you sheltered me from the full impact of my mother.  She’s passed on Dad, not that it should matter in our relationship.

I need to tell you this Dad, I need you to understand who I am because I need to thank you.  You may not have been my father but you were my Dad.  You are what I think of when someone talks about there Dad.  I learned through you how I should act, what kind of man I should become Dad.  You were my hero and I never wanted to let you down so I made sure I never got myself in trouble.  I avoided doing something stupid and getting arrested because I never wanted to have to tell you I was sorry through a glass window.

Now that I am older Dad, and I have a son who is just like I was Dad.  Now I need your wisdom and knowledge again because I need you listen to me Dad.  This is the stage in our lives when I am supposed to come and visit and we are supposed to share a beer and we are supposed to laugh about how stupid I was as a kid.  Then when I tell you about Haplo, my son, you will remind me how I was like that too.  I miss and desire your counsel Dad.

Hopefully one day somehow this entry will get read to you like a letter and you will see me out and we will get to talk on the phone.  You have 3 other kids and 5 grand kids with a 6th one on the way and I think they would all really love to hear from you again Dad.