There Be Dragons

There are dragons in my house. And they’re getting bigger. And meaner.

For some reason, kindness isn’t even an option in the morning for Holland and Remi. The default seems to be to spit fire and bare fangs.

This morning they fought over how many bagels to take to school for lunch, who got the last bag of Famous Amos cookies, singing too loudly, and existing. This is all in the span of about 25 minutes. Yikes!

Then I’m sending them into the world; unleashing their fury on unsuspecting teachers and classmates. “Be gone from here, dragons, and may your terrible temper be turned to social injustices and villainy, instead of who gets the sink first to brush teeth!”

I’m thinking of instituting a gag order until they leave for school. The only problem with that is the volumes they can speak with just a glance. Holy moly!

Anyway, this time of year I’m glad their wrath is caged in classrooms fortified by the patience of awesome teachers. Thank you for your bravery.

And I ate the last bag of Famous Amos cookies. Holland Dragon

Remi Dragon

How to be Special

I had a pretty emotional day yesterday.

I spent the whole day with Nichole and the girls manning the sunscreen booth at the Summer Special Olympics.

I remember when I was 12 and 13 years old. I was interested in basketball, girls and doing anything other than what my parents wanted me to do.

Until yesterday, I thought that was normal and that I should expect that with my own kids when they hit that age.

Then I was lucky enough to see something amazing.

All day I talked with and watched these amazing athletes as they celebrated their wonderful abilities. Their families and friends were there to participate and cheer them on.

What struck me the most, though, were the youth who were there as partners and volunteers. Here you have kids who could be out playing with their friends, going to summer camp, watching TV or playing video games at home.

But they’re not.

They are spending their time doing something much more important.

Now, the cynics will say these youth are volunteering to pad their resume, or because their parents made them, or because the like the attention.

I say these kids aren’t selfish little jerks like I was when I was their age. I say they care about their friends with special needs and recognize that there’s more to life than goofing off and doing whatever they want.

I say they get a special “high” off of seeing the joy and excitement when a special needs athlete is celebrated and recognized because of their abilities instead of their disabilities.

I don’t have a special needs child. I have the utmost respect for those parents who do.

I have an equal amount of respect for parents who have taught their kids to give instead of take; to love and sacrifice; to think of others instead of themselves.

I want to be like you.

While I recognize the need for me to give more of my time, what I really need to do is teach my children about loving those who are different, giving to those who need, and thinking about others instead of themselves.

Seems like a problem for Super Dad! I guess I’ll give it a whirl.

Holland and Trenna dressed up as Cindy Lou Who and the Grinch for the Special Olympics party after the events were done.

Wakeboarding and Water Skiing

I love to wakeboard! Something about gliding over the water behind the boat with the thrill of speed and jumping really gets me going.

I married into a water skiing family. Nichole is a great water skier. So are her dad and  sister.

I hope one day our girls will be comfortable on wakeboards, but in the meantime we’re teaching them how to water ski.

Holland started when she was 4 years old. She’s 8 now so she’s been at it for 4 years.

Remi started when she was 3. She’s now 6.

Dutchlin turned 2 in January and she’s been out behind the boat on a floating ski twice this year.

Here are videos of them all from a lake session last week.

Here’s Dutchlin:

Here’s Holland:

And here’s Remi:

Too Cheesy To Be A Title

You know how you hesitate to do something until you feel like you can do it perfectly or under the perfect circumstances?

That’s how I’ve felt about blogging. I like the concept of putting my thoughts on e-paper, but I’ve felt like I need a cooler blog design or more pictures etc.

Well, no more. I’m doing it! Here I am, blogging for the first time with the default wordpress theme. I guess I can change things as I go.

Today I cuddled with all 4 of my girls. Holland and Remi and I cuddled on the trampoline after jumping and trying out 360’s. They are trying to help me perfect my 360 on the tramp so that I can soon land it behind the boat.

Dutchlin and I cuddled while watching a movie. She’s a tough one to pin down right now, so I feel lucky she had some time for me.

And, of course, Nichole and I got to cuddle on the bed while the girls jumped on and off and generally had adventures at our expense.

Do I cuddle my kids enough? I have to wonder if they’re getting enough physical contact from me so that they know how much I love them and want to protect them. Putting them in a bubble (which I’ve been tempted to do and probably will be more so as they grow up) doesn’t have the same effect as putting them in my arms for at least a few minutes every day.

I hope as they grow up they can, at least subconsciously, feel protected and supported when they’re around me, and know there’s a safety net always available for them when they’re away from me.