Going for a Bike Ride with Dad

26 08 2007

On a rare cloudy, rainy day in the Valley of the Sun, I decided to take my two girls out in the neighborhood on their bikes. We had a good time exploring and just enjoying the cool breezes when there is usually a hot sun…

One Quiet Night

25 08 2007

Last night was a rare night for me. It was quiet. I arrived home, and the house was clean and empty. It had a cold feeling to it, even though the air conditioning wasn’t on. I knew no one was going to be home as this particular Friday night, Eliana was starting another class, Korean class. Since the class was 3 hours long (an eternity in kid hours), her mom planned to go to the gym after dropping her off. I thought having some quiet time would be nice to get some things done. But, the whole time I was thinking about the kids.

Where are they?
They usually come in my office and bug me about something…
I hope they’re doing ok.
It feels weird without them around.
Ok, you needed the time to get stuff done, now do it!

I managed to do a few things here and there, but I ended up heading upstairs for the last hour and rocking out with Guitar Hero. I think a big part of the loneliness was that I was just having a tough week at work. Guitar Hero always seems to get me relaxed, even though I’m working on the last few songs in expert mode.

I guess my moral of this post is to be careful what you ask for, you just might get it and not know what to do with it. I certainly thought I knew what I would do with a little extra “me” time, but I think I am just too accustomed to having the girls come and bug me every 5 minutes when I’m working.


15 08 2007

Eliana loves when her cousins come to visit.  They are really my second cousins (my cousin’s kids), but that’s ok, we’re all family. Since all of them are a good 5 – 7 years older than she is, she looks up to them a lot. She follows them around, starts to repeat everything they say, and generally attaches herself to then for the duration of their visit. And, when they’re gone, Eliana talks about them for days. I’m guessing this is a natural response to the excitement of growing up with other family members, and meeting other kids from which you can relate to a little easier than your parents (who are way old).

And even though I love when my family comes to visit, these particular cousins come to visit us not with their parents, but with their grandparents. And it’s not like their grandparents snagged them from their parents for a weekend. These kids are mostly growing up with their grandparents. Being an honest, hardworking parent who cares about his kids, I still find this situation hard to fathom. And the fact that its within my own family just makes me want to reach out and help them even more.  It is painfully obvious that these kids need parents who are my age to play with them. They need parents to give them attention and love. Even on my bad days, I give all I can to my kids, and it’s more than likely 100 times more than these kids get from their own parents. To their parents, these kids are pawns in an elaborate game of deception and oneupmanship. The grandparents are there to help the kids have a solid backing of discipline and love. But, they are grandparents. Their job was done at least 20 years ago. They should be able to enjoy the presence of their grandkids. Now, these kids aren’t bad. In fact, I think they are intelligent and well mannered. But their undying need for attention from their real parents is obvious.

I sometimes question some of the decisions I make when I do certain things for my kids. Am I doing the right thing for Eliana by telling her to eat a little less? How far should I let her tantrum go before I open a can of whoop-ass? Why can’t she let me work on my career for a little bit tonite and just leave me alone? All of the answers to these questions have far less significant impact than if I asked “what if I wasn’t there for the next 10-20 years?”.  No matter what I do right or wrong, the mere fact that I’m here for them and the fact that they can count on me and trust me for any and everything is what shapes their lives for the better. This is what it means to be a father, and I just don’t understand how people can be so selfish all the time. It’s your own flesh and blood that needs you!

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Good Morning

9 08 2007

Eliana was actually in a happy mood after waking up one morning. Perhaps it was her new Lilo pajamas, but it was good to see her happy. As I sat in my office, I looked at her and realized that it was a nice cloudy day, and the natural light was providing me with a great photo opportunity. Eliana was being very cooperative, and just sat there and smiled.

Take your Child to Work

9 08 2007

This week, I vowed to start riding my bike to work again. Summer is coming to a close which means more reasonable temperatures here in the Phoenix area. But, in order to do this I had to do a bit of preparation and cleanup at the office. I needed to bring in clean towels, and drinks for the day, so I decided to make a weekend trip to the office. As I decided to go, Eliana seemed eager to want to hang out with her dad, so I brought her along.

I’ve brought Eliana to the office (site) before, but now it was just her and me, and she is old enough to tell me what she sees and thinks about things. As we walked up to the main entrance, I was looking at it in a different light, Thinking about how she was probably seeing it, it must have been huge. As we walked through the aisles of cubes to get to my desk, she must have thought it was a fun maze of some sort. She is not quite three feet tall yet, but still well below the 5.5 feet height of the cube walls. Then we went to the onsite fitness center, and I’m sure she must have thought the trip there was long and far, when it took no more than a minute to get there.

Then, we arrived at my desk; my small and lame home away from home. She immediately recognized her picture on my desk. But as she was excited just to be in a new place with her dad, I was starting to think about the time I spend in this environment. It is rather bland, and lifeless to some extent, but I have to wonder sometimes why I spend so much time here. I began to think about what she would tell her friends in the future about where her dad works. I know kids compare these things. But to sit in a chair all day, writing code is not very exciting for a kid.

In all, I think Eliana’s visit to the office was a positive one, but it has me thinking about how I want her to think about what I do to bring home the bacon. While I can’t control what she thinks about me and my work, I can control what I think about it so that I can tell her with pride what I do. Perhaps that is what I realized this week.