Friday, April 30, 2010

Diligence...

With a smile on his face my son introduced me to his joy, his project...his seedling. It was a cabbage plant I think, and he seemed to cherish it as his gaze focused on its budding leaves. He then went on to explain to me how he had planted the seed, how he had watered it, and how he had fought for the perfect window position at school for maximum light. I thought great, but why all the enthusiasm? He'd had the opportunity to do this several times in the past with each seedling ending up withered and dry. This time, he beamed, "Whoever can grow the largest plant gets a thousand dollars!"

Ah...a bit of motivation always does the trick and this dude was bent on what he could do with one thousand dollars. He went on..."I could buy one thousand pieces of candy, a dirt bike, and oh...a house! The boy must have envisioned himself as Prince Hakeem! He was sadly mistaken of course but I thought the enthusiasm was healthy.

For the next two weeks he strategically moved his seedling to different widows based on the position of the sun during morning and evening hours. He fed it plant food, and even sat me down to explain how important it was that I water it while he was away. I understood. He then raised his shoulders while rubbing his hands together. He was ready!

Friends, that seedling never had a chance! Last I saw it, the leaves were crumpled on the office floor and the plant, well...it had long dried up taking with it our efforts and his house! The death of the seedling was an interesting event, I thought to myself as I glanced at the cabbage corpse. It's just like life and symbolic in a way. It is, in essence, the reality of life with the truth being that no matter what you have done, it's the actions of today that determine your tomorrows. That we must be diligent in our efforts and keep focused if we are to succeed. It's the difference between those who succeed and those who don't - whether your fruit will be dried leaves or one thousand dollars! What a valuable lesson the seedling sacrificed its life for. Make it count people - and pick your fruit...

To read more please be sure to purchase a copy of my soon to be published book chronicling my life as a single father. Also, feel free to donate toward its costs if you so choose by clicking the donate button @ http://chroniclesofasinglefather.blogspot.com. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Miracles and Blessings

Tron

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Surprise...

So…it was a cool winter’s evening and my family and I had plans to attend a play.
Near intermission, my twelve year old daughter began to whisper in my ear that she didn't feel well. 

"What's the matter?" I said.

"My stomach hurts.  I need to go," she replied.

"Ok, do you need to go to the restroom?”

"No, I need to go home.  I'm really not feeling well," she sulked.

It was then that I silently thought to myself...Was this it? Was this women's day sick?!?  Was this a… I need to stop by CVS on the way home - stomach hurt sick?  I was horrified...and crying on the inside!  I was not prepared for this.  I mean, I hadn't lifted nearly enough weights or even brought a gun to at least pretend to know how to clean one in front of her teenage suitors!  In addition to being horrified, I looked over at the boys and they were just plain restless and had long lost interest in the play.  They had simply resorted to arguing over who would play the PSP. 

As intermission wound down, I'd made up my mind.  It was obviously time to leave and to confiscate the PSP!  We then made our way to the car and magically it seemed as if my daughter felt better but the boys were still fighting.  In fact, they were near having me act out that scene on Good Times with Penny and the iron! (Only joking)

So, we arrived home and I pulled into the garage and everyone exited the car including my sister who rode with us.  When I opened the door, my only thoughts were "Don't beat em' while you're angry...don't beat em' while you're angry!  My face was tight! It was then that my youngest went sprinting back to the corner of the garage crying and my oldest boy later tells me that his knees went weak! 

I'd been GOT!  It seems that my daughter’s sickness was all a part of the plan to get me home.  Imagine my surprise when I walked through the door.  Lights were flashing and folks yelled surprise!  It was all unexpected and my mouth was left agape.  As I took it all in and retrieved the youngin shivering in the corner of the garage, I was filled with joy like never before.  My house had never seen so many people and not once had I ever been thrown a surprise birthday party.  There was food, balloons, and even decorations, but most importantly, those who desired to share that moment with me….way down in Timbuktu land!  This was, if it ever had a face…LOVE…

To read more please be sure to purchase a copy of my soon to be published book chronicling my life as a single father.  Also, feel free to donate toward its costs if you so choose by clicking the donate button @ http://chroniclesofasinglefather.blogspot.com. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Miracles and Blessings

Tron

Friday, April 23, 2010

Preclusion...

So I'm in a box.
Everything that I've learned about my myself and the world,
I've learned within this box.
Light seeps in it, and I can see.
Cool breezes blow, and it cools me.
My belly is full, because THEY feed me,
I am content here because I can't see thee.

Another looks up to a blue sky and the sun shines on him.
It looks down on him.
He can see that it makes things grow around him.
He can point to it - the sun,
knowing the place from where the light comes.
He feels the winds blow also,
but he can see its effect on the trees.
They sway to it and it stirs the seas.
He eats and his appetite too is full.
He's much better off now because from the same box he was pulled.

You see, the thought of escape from the box eludes me,
because my comfort level within it precludes me.
I don't really care what goes on outside and to thee,
because no one has ever told me that it's not just about me.


Friends, one of the greatest gifts that you can give your children is to show them the world and where they stand within it. Let them experience different cultures, ways of life and what others before them have accomplished. I believe that it really sets them free. It's the universal key to unlocking slavery.

Take them to a wide open area and see if they won't take off running! It's their nature. Open up the world for them and they'll run just because. Motivate them...open up their box!...

To read more please be sure to purchase a copy of my soon to be published book chronicling my life as a single father. Also, feel free to donate toward its costs if you so choose by clicking the donate button @ http://chroniclesofasinglefather.blogspot.com. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Miracles and Blessings

Tron

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Remember...

The dust rose from the catchers mitt signaling the end for him.  His sixth swing of the bat was a clean whiff.  I saw it from the first base line.  I also saw the batter's face as he removed his helmet.  It was sheer disappointment.  It was the first time he had struck out all season.  Immediately, our eyes met and the glances between us confirmed an understanding of sorts.  It was simply that no one was perfect.

As we made our way to the game earlier that evening, his confidence turned into boasting as he relived the triumphs of previous games and practices.  "Baseball is easy," he said.  "I always get at least a base hit."  In truth, he was correct, in reality however, he was sadly mistaken. While he continued in his boastful banter, I brought into the conversation as many sports stars as I could.  "Jordan missed more than 9,000 times. The great “Bambino, the Sultan of Swat,” Babe Ruth himself struck out 1,330 times!"  The difference, I said, was that they kept trying - that's the secret - remember.  "Dad," he proclaimed, "I'm different." My reply was repeated- remember!

When the inning had ended and we met in the dugout after his strikeout, you could see in his face the embarrassment.  His head was down as he whispered the words… "I don't want to play anymore."  With a stiff tug on his baseball cap, I lifted his head and whispered back – remember!  He then reluctantly trotted out to cover third base.

What would he do I thought.  How would he react when it's his turn to bat again?  With the common knowledge that everyone faces this in life at some point or another, I was more concerned with his reaction than anything else.  Would he keep trying?  My stomach turned inside.

"TJ, you're up," the manager yelled out the following inning.  I looked away.  His first swing resembled his last and so did the following four.  With a maximum of six pitches to each batter, this would be it.  I focused to catch his eye and didn't give any advice.  Frankly, he'd been given all he needed. 

He hit the ball into the outfield and sprinted to first base!  Inside I wanted to sprint with him but I didn't.  Inside I wanted to run up and tell him some Earl and Tiger Woods type stuff like, “Let the legend grow,” but I didn’t do that either.  I simply smiled and pointed to my head indicating our "remember" conversation.  He nodded back while high fiving the opposing team’s first base coach.

Wouldn't you know it though, the boy waited until the last pitch to make a hit on his subsequent tries.  I nearly passed out every time! It's an odd thing, baseball and life, I mean.  The secret of both of is to remember to just keep trying and that no one is perfect…

To read more please be sure to purchase a copy of my soon to be published book chronicling my life as a single father.  Also, feel free to donate toward its costs if you so choose by clicking the donate button @ http://chroniclesofasinglefather.blogspot.com. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Miracles and Blessings

Tron

Friday, April 16, 2010

Foresight...

As we walked in, the place was abuzz with joy unable to be contained. The proof was found in the numerous children found running snaggletoothed in various vectors. Silence was not welcome here. In fact, it must have been prohibited. The surrounding area looked to be as wide open as a Texas plain. It was filled with attractions and contraptions sure to capture the attention of the young.

Here, the colors alone put one into overload and I slowly felt their hands slip from mine. It was obvious that they favored the busy experience of this new play place called "LOL Station." Immediately, my mind drifted to my younger days. Me running through Chuck-E-Cheese's, tugging on his tail, climbing through the crawl spaces. Man those were the days!

So with a tug from my youngest to relive those days, I found my knees and back resenting those days! In fact, I felt like I should have been prohibited! Obviously, I slowly gravitated to the parent (Can you see me Daddy?) section.

While sitting there though, I realized a change. First my knees stopped hurting and then my mind began to wander to possible scenarios of future events. I kinda felt like that guy in that 80's show "Quantum Leap." You know, where the guy was always given an impossible mission, that when complete, would change the future. My mission...to allow my kids to have as much fun as possible on these attraction contraptions without having to visit the emergency room!

It was then I realized that my entire way of thinking had changed. That if I was to survive my tenure as a parent successfully, I would need super powers just like the "Leap" guy. What I needed was foresight, and that mysterious "Ziggy" fellow provided it for him. Without it, Leap guy was doomed, with it, he always came through.

I mean, since they day my kids were born, I've saved them exactly 1,276 times....wait 1,277 (I forgot to add the impromptu heimlich maneuver I performed down at the local Applebee's the other night). Bottom line is...Keep that cautious eye open. From the time they learn to walk, they just find ways to hurt themselves - Pretty inventive these little people are!

Makes you think though. I'm glad my father has foresight and cares for me. I can rest in knowing that his will for me is perfect. Now that's real joy unable to be contained. I just have to remember to not let my hand slip from his...

To read more please be sure to purchase a copy of my soon to be published book chronicling my life as a single father. Also, feel free to donate toward its costs if you so choose by clicking the donate button @ http://chroniclesofasinglefather.blogspot.com. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Miracles and Blessings

Tron

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Success...

For those of you that didn't know, I recently had the pleasure of teaching a group of third graders the art of computer programming. For nearly five months, these select group of kids that included my son, stayed after school for the purpose of competing against other county third graders. Their mission was to create a project about "Going Green." You know, saving energy.

Now being as though I'd never actually worked with any other kids besides my own academically, I learned two things early on. The first was that the public school system really needs to do a better job screening their instructors, and secondly, that the same methods of teaching I used on my kids would not fly.

See in sports and coaching, if the kids get out of hand, you can just make them run laps or sit the pine. In a computer lab, running laps really aren't conducive and... there is no pine! At home, if they get out of hand, well...they might meet "Sensei." He's a "black belt" I own that holds nteenth degrees in attitude alignment. In fact, often times, only a mere mentioning of Sensei brings about a whole new attitude. Sensai was not conducive to the computer lab either!

With this being the case, finding ways to motivate their genius minds was nothing short of a task. Some wanted to play games, some wanted attention, but most just wanted to eat snacks while recording fart sounds on the microphone! Nevertheless, I wanted them to understand that they had the power to create their own dreams. That "IF" they grasped these concepts "THEN" anything was possible. That "WHILE" they did their best, their future was sure to be a success!

What I found by the end was that it was extremely rewarding. That the kids rose to the occasion. That even though they didn't place in the competition, most of them had gotten the point. They understood what success was; that their reward would be more than a mere plastic trophy. Their experience would be "Forever" looped within them.

After the competition, I looked on the faces of those robot kids who took home the first place trophy. It was sad. They didn't seem to have fun at all. I'd bet what they really wanted to do was to make fart sounds!...

To read more please be sure to purchase a copy of my soon to be published book chronicling my life as a single father. Also, feel free to donate toward its costs if you so choose by clicking the donate button @ http://chroniclesofasinglefather.blogspot.com. Thanks for taking this journey with me.

Miracles and Blessings

Tron

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