My youngest daughter came up to me the other day and asked, "Daddy, when are you going to Heaven?  I want to know before you go.  I will miss you so much and I will cry forever."  I was surprised and said, "Dear, we don't know when we are going to Heaven.  It happens when it is time.  Just always remember I am proud of you, I will always love you, and..." (pointing at her heart) "...I will always be here with you."  Her tears turned into a smile and she said, "Good, because you can't go to Heaven until you are a Pop-Pop!!" and ran off.

This happened during a day when I was really behind schedule.  I am late putting out my second podcast and segments for some others.  My construction on my house is falling behind, and I don't seem to have enough time to do anything. 

This discussion about Heaven,
I know it has been a while since I have blogged.  Last week was a blur and this week my wife is away in Atlanta for school, which makes me Mr. Mom.  It has been very interesting these past couple of weeks.  My oldest has been an immense help with household chores, and even the little one helps out when she can. 

My little one decided her little baby doll was real and carried her around all day.  When my oldest asked her who the daddy was the reply came instantly, "Daddy is."  My oldest's reply caught me by suprise, "He can't be.  That would make him a Daddy and Pop-Pop at the same time.  That's not possible."  I guess my oldest is grasping newer societal situations that I am not aware of.  Then the sweetness happened when my youngest sat down beside me, "Daddy, you will always be the first boy I want to marry, even if (pointing to my oldest) she says I can't"

I found out that while my wife was packing on friday night that my daughters wrote her little letters about how they would miss her and how proud they were of her (she is getting her Masters).  They wrote them and hid them in her luggage.  When they told me I said it was sweet, but asked them why they did it.  My oldest's  reply made me smile, "Daddy, you write Mommy little notes all the time.  You put notes in my lunch bag for school.  I like it so I knew Mommy would like our notes too.  I hope my husband does that, if not, I will tell him he has too."  I couldn't help by laugh.

I had a discussion with my oldest yesterday about our family tree.  She has friends who have divorced parents, so I knew she would understand our family make up.  Let me explain: My Mother and Father divorced when I was about 7.  My Mother got remarried to my Dad when I was 11.  I didn't have contact with my Father after I was twelve till 4 years ago.  So, my oldest, knew my parents as Nana and Pop-Pop.  My Dad passed away 7 years ago (he is listed on the Dads who have gone page on this site).  4 years ago I was contacted by someone on Facebook and it turned out to be my half brother.  My Father had gotten remarried to a wonderful woman and had 3 boys (incidentally, he had 3 boys with my Mother, of which I am the oldest).  This threw my girls into a whole big family dynamic change.  Now they had a Nana, Lolo, and Lola (My father is Filipino).  I am 36 and have 5 younger brothers aged: 32, 30, 19, 17, and 11.  Then the questions became more about why they got divorced and such.  I told her that sometimes, even when they love eachother, relationships don't work.  She started siting her own examples of people she wasn't friends with anymore because they started to do different activities and they didn't talk much anymore.  I agreed and she was happy with that.  She then asked, "Daddy, will you and Mommy ever get divorced?"  She looked concerned, and I answered her as honest as I could, "Dear, people don't plan on divorcing ahead of time.  No, I don't think that we will ever divorce.  Mommy and Daddy have been together fo about 17 years and married for over 10.  I think that we know eachother well enough that it probably won't happen."  I could see in her eyes she wanted a simple answer of, "No, Mommy and Daddy won't every divorce, I promise", but I wasn't going to give her such and answer.  For what it's worth, my wife and I have a great relationship and I really believe we will make it to grow old together.  But I have learned that you never give a firm answer about things you cannot control.  I feel that it creates distrust if you give those firm answers and they end up not happening.

Today the family went shoe shopping.  My wife, my youngest, and I needed sneakers.  My oldest needed a new pair of dress shoes for school.  I quickly found mine so I took my youngest to find hers.  After 15 minutes of "Daddy, which is prettier?" and "Do I have more clothes that are pink or white?" we found a pair of shoes.  Meanwhile my wife was still searching for the right pair of sneakers.  I took my oldest daughter over to look for dress shoes for school.  Of course, being 9 and a half, she thinks she is much older than she actually is, and looked right at shoes with heels.  Now, I don't mean 2+ inch heals, but half inch and one inch heels.  She liked a pair of patent leather shoes with a 1 inch heel.  Now, as a Dad, my first reaction is to say, "No, you are too young for heels, you need to pick something without a heel".  But, I have learned over the years that I need to give my children some space.  My plan was to let her put them on and then hope she would decide that she didn't want them, or I could "steer" her in that direction.  She tried them on and her heels kept slipping out.  She was starting to tell me she didn't want them when my wife came over and told her that she had to pick another pair.  I told her that I planned on that she would be picking another pair, but I wanted to let her try on what she wanted.  My wife looked at me and chuckled, "Oh, so I have to come over and be the bad guy?"  We both laughed and picked out different shoes.  All this before a fun filled day of Soccer games.

Tonight I, and some of my guildmates from  DDO, were on The Grey Area Podcast with Jenesee Grey.  I am going to be doing a segment for her shoe starting next week, like the ones I do on DDOCast and DDOCocktailHour.  She produces a very professional podcast and I recommend you to check it out.  I really appreciate that she mentioned this site, blog, and podcast during the recording of hers.  The only drawback of is that I cannot track how many times the podcast has been listened to/downloaded.  I will assume more than a couple have listened, but I wish I had some real numbers.  Thanks again Jenesee for the chance to have people hear about my website and content.  And thank you to all that have supported me thus far.
I was secretly dreading last night (Thursday).  I had my first Religious Education class, and we also have Girl Scouts.  Being a co-leader was something I wasn't worried about.  But being a Religious Education teacher was something I was unsure of.  I teach a group of 5th graders (10-11 year olds) and I was not sure what to expect.  I did introductions, set up the rules, and then we talked.  They of course didn't like the rules of no cell phones, even though I showed them that I kept my phone in my pocket so I expected them to do the same.  I explained to them if they showed me respect, I would show them the same.  And if we worked hard on the lessons we would have more time for some parties for the Holidays and Birthdays. 

Our discussions turned to religious subjects and it lasted until class was over.  It mean a lot to me when more than one of the children came up to me, shook my had, and said "That was fun.  I enjoyed it, and learned something."  Maybe I am meant for this.   I am a little worried about the spring though.  Then I am also going to be coaching Little League Baseball.  I will keep up with the blog, probably annoyingly so.  And the podcast might become a podcast on the move; being recorded on a digital recorder.  Maybe even live at one of my volunteer jobs, lol.
Part of the reason I don't blog everyday is that my schedule makes it difficult to make time to do so.  With my wife working 1.5 jobs and getting her Master's Degree.  With that, I am doing more than just "helping around the house".  I play Mr. Mom, which I actually enjoy.  I do the wash, cooking, homework with the kids, soccer, girl scouts, and then all the Dad stuff like the landscaping, home repairs, and opening pickle jars.  It is hard sometimes, but we get through it.  I know it's harder for my wife because she is sacrificing time with the girls to improve our family's future.  So, as you can see, my schedule is very tight and difficult to fit things in.  I have time set aside each week for the eventual podcast.  I am unhappy that I am already a week behind, since I wanted to have it out already.  But I will keep my chin up and push forward.  The show notes are done, and I just need to record.  Really hoping tonight is the night after the kids head to bed.  I might even have it up by friday. 

I have a question for all of my 1 regular blog reader (lol, Skaggy you rock) and anyone else that has tripped across the site.  Do you want me to limit the podcasts to a story, a segment (if I have one), and "Dad News"?  I am not going to have a Blog Podcast, so the information covered will not be an extension of my blog here.  I want to cover the general populace.  Please send me any suggestions you may have. 
Did you ever experience what I did Saturday morning?  You stay up a little too late Friday night, but you are ok with it because you can sleep in on Saturday.  Well, if you are me that doesn't happen.  My girls are like me and wake up at the same time every day without an alarm clock.  So, at about 6:45 a.m. they are awake no matter what day it is.  So after staying up past 2 a.m., I was not surprised to be woked up at 6:30 a.m. by the girls wanted to know what I was making them for breakfast.  Saturday morning is my day to make special breakfasts for them.  My wife works overnights at a hospital so she gets home around then, I make breakfast, and we eat together before she heads to bed.  We sneak in family time when we can, lol.  So, there was no sleeping in for me.  My girls are 9 and almost 5, they are very self-sufficient for breakfast.  Maybe if I leave them a note that I want to sleep in they might just make it themselves, hmmmmmm.  Will have to try that.

Soccer was interesting.  My little one ran around and had lots of fun.  I was very proud of her when she was sitting on the sideline.  All the other kids were playing with the cones and putting them on their heads.  Not my little one, she not only watched the game and cheered her team, but she kept fixing the cones when the other kids threw them on the ground.  My oldest did well, she played defense most of the game.  I was really proud of both of them.  I asked my youngest if she had won (they don't keep score for that age) and she said she didn't know.  I told her, "As long as you try your hardest and have fun you are a winner."  She smiled and ran over to my wife, gave her a high five, and said "Mommy, I am a winner!"  It was really cute.

Ok, I wanted to record my iniitial podcast this weekend, but i ran out of time.  I am trying to plan something really solid, and am hoping to get it recorded over the next two day.  Everytime I come up with show notes, I rewrite them.  I need to stop being so anal.  Oh, and there will be a surprise segment for my first cast.  Thanks Skaggy!!!
I came across some pictures, yes those old things people used to have developed at a little kiosk in the middle of a parking lot, and it brought me back.  I found pics of my birth, my toddler years, and all the way up through high school.  It made me wonder if any of the small stuff I experienced would be something my children would want to know.  Ironically, I was buying tile at the local Habitat for Humanities store for my basement (after the flooding I am not putting carpet down again) and I found a book.  It is titled "Dad, Share Your Life With Me..." written by Kathleen Lashier.  This book has a page for each calendar day that asks questions about your life, you fill in the answer, and I assume give it to your children when it is done.  A lot of the questions are really obscure, but interesting.  First fight, first girlfriend, best birthday party, best gift, and so on.  Really worth picking up on Amazon.  They also have them for Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa.  I am going to be buying these for my family.  I am the family geneologist and "Keeper of the Family Tree", and have the family tree book.  I have traced my Grandfather "Lynch" 7 gereations back to a genereation back in Ireland where we come from a line of bards that roamed the land for food and shelter in exchange for news and stories, my birth name "Garcia" 5 generations back from me to the Philippines, and my adopted name "Maskery" 21 generations back to Jolly Old England who accompanied William the Conquerer (or William the Bastard) with his Norman invasion of England as butchers and bakers.

My oldest, 9 years old, decide last year to start writing down all the stories I tell.  My stories range as far back as stories that my Great-Great Grandfather would tell to my very own.  I was raised, I guess, in the old bardic tradition; but she has taken it to a new level in the 21st century.  She digitally records me telling a story, saves it on her computer, and documents it in a journal.  I am proud that she is continuing the family tradition.  I am sure it will make a few friends of mine happy too, such as Skaggy, Gary, and Ruthie.  All from across the pond in England, and all bards in their own right.  (Links at the end of the blog) 

It makes me happy to know that these stories will not end with me, and will continued to be passed to a "bard" in each generation.

Gary and Ruth:
Kathleen Lashier:



1 Comment

I had posted a status on Google+ about getting food for my oldest daughter's pet and Skaggy the Poet recommended I blog about it because he found it to be interesting.  Now, in my house, we have a 50 gallon fish tank and two dogs.  But the all-star pet lives in a 70 gallon tank in the room next to my daughter's.  Her name is Samantha, we call her Sammi.  You can imagine a 9 and 4 year old girls playing fetch with the dogs and staring at fish all day, but they fight over who gets to hold Sammi and who gets to feed her.  Their favorite thing is to have Sammi sit across their shoulders while they watch tv and cuddle with her.  What is Sammi, you may ask?  Sammi is a 4 foot long Ball-Python.

Ok, I know, I must be a horrible father to have my kids own a snake and how can I let them have the snake near their necks because its dangerous.  But, to the contrary, Sammi is probably one of the best pets (besides the dogs) these girls are ever going to have.

When I was in my early 20's I owned a Ball-Python, his name was Raptus.  I really like snakes, and I took good care of him.  I was out of state for a few weeks and asked a friend of mine to take care of him.  He told me he had a lot of experience with snakes, so I was confident that Raptus would be in good hands.  This friend decided to feed Raptus in his tank, and with a live mouse.  First off, Raptus had been trained to eat frozen mice because it is safer since live mice can injure a snake, and secondly; you never feed a snake in its tank.  You should have a separate feeding area so the snake doesn't associate the opening of its tank to feeding.  Then your hand becomes automatic food.  The mouse bit Raptus multiple times and he got sick.  Raptus was dead when I got home.

My wife is not overly fond of snakes, but being the unselfish wife/mother she is we woke up Christmas morning in 2008 and found a snake in a tank sitting in the living room.  My daughters, at hearing Daddy had a snake when he was younger, kept asking for one.  I would tell them, "We can't.  Mommy doesn't like them and we need to respect that. When you get older, maybe you can get one of your own, but not right now."  We were so surprised that we had one, and even more so to me, it had my oldest daughter's name on the gift tag.  Admittedly, I was a little bummed out, but was happy we had a snake.  My wife said she wanted to get over her "aversion" to snakes and this was something the girls and I wanted.  My oldest named her Samantha because she said it with a hiss for the "S".  

Sammi will not bite, not matter how much I have tried to nicely provoke her to.  She is well trained to be handled and has been show and tell, and soon will be a fixture with my daughter at the local 4H club.  My only regret is that the previous owner fed her live mice, so she won't eat frozen ones.  

I did not want stereo-types to dictate my daughters' lives.  Even in the 21st Century they still dictate how boys and girls should act and what they should like.  I want my daughters to make their own choices based on their decisions, not society's.  So, I am proud that my girls tell their friends that snakes aren't slimy or icky.  That feeding her live mice is ok because it's like us eating a hamburger because it was once a cow.  I hope these life lessons now will translate into not taking no for an answer when they get told they don't qualify for a position at work, or they can't invent something because it has never been done.  I want my girls to tackle the world with open eyes, huge imaginations, and enough self confidence to see their dreams realized.