At 3 A.M., I had a really wonderful idea for a blog about Fathers' Day. Then I realized I had not taken my sleeping pill, so I did so, and promptly forgot what I was going to write about.
However, I was surprised this morning by my oldest son, Seth (8), who brought me breakfast in bed. He's such a good kid with a kind heart. He brought me toast with marmalade (my favorite), some yogurt, and some overly microwaved scrambled eggs.
I did my best to choke down a bite or two of the eggs - trying not to think too much about the crunchy shells, or the fact that he had overcooked them to the point they were green. It is the thought that matters, of course. When the kids weren't looking, I quickly threw the eggs on the floor, where our dog promptly ate all but the most green parts. The toast and marmalade was at least very good.
At any rate, I'm very proud of my boys - even though they get under my skin at times, they are both good people, and brilliant in their own ways.
And I can truly say, that I never really understood exactly what love was until my first son was born. Even though I was married, and knew the concept of romantic love, and family love - I don't think there is any love stronger than that of a parent for their child. It is a universal concept that I think everyone should take to heart. Regardless of race, language, culture, geography, politics, or whatever: People love their children. People want their children to grow up right - knowing right from wrong, and having strength of character. People want their children to inherit a world better than what we started with.
As my kids grow older, and I gain more grey hairs, I constantly find myself saying something to my kids and realizing that I HAVE BECOME MY FATHER. Yep. I say the things he said. I go around cutting off lights behind my children. I lecture my kids about money, and not wasting things.
I was thinking last night about how important it is for boys to have male role models. I am not in any way knocking the non-traditional family. In fact, when I was young, my parents divorced, and I lived with my mother. But fortunately for me, my parents were civil in front of my brother and me, and didn't try to turn us against each other. My dad had regular visits - we stayed with him every other weekend, and twice a week. But I feel a little sad for boys - and I guess girls, for that matter - who don't grow up with a father figure.
I strongly believe that boys especially though, need to have a strong male role model to teach them important things. A boy needs to learn how to carry himself as a man. A boy needs to learn how to respect women. A boy needs to learn responsibility. A boy needs to learn how to defend himself, but not be a bully. A boy needs to learn to pay consequences, and own up to his misdeeds.
So many important things for fathers to do...
Anyhow, I'm just rambling, I suppose. But I want to say thank you, and Happy Fathers Day to my dad, and all of the other dads out there that are more than just sperm donors. And I want to say happy Fathers Day to all of the single mothers out there that have to serve both roles.
If you're a Dad, or take on a Dad's role, please give yourself a pat on the back for what you've accomplished, and remember how important your role is.
If you're not a Dad, but you'd like to make a difference in a child's life, please consider getting involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, which likely has a chapter near you.
Unfu^*ing-believable: It seems the pentagon entertained a $7.5 million proposal to develop chemical warfare to turn enemy troops gay. I'm not making this shit up:
"The Ohio Air Force lab proposed that a bomb be developed that contained a chemical that would cause enemy soldiers to become gay, and to have their units break down because all their soldiers became irresistably attractive to one another," [Edward] Hammond [of the Sunshine Project] said after reviewing the documents.
"The notion was that a chemical that would probably be pleasant in the human body in low quantities could be identified, and by virtue of either breathing or having their skin exposed to this chemical, the notion was that soliders would become gay," explained Hammond.
Well, if such a thing were developed, I wonder if it would play out like this scene above, from "Jarhead". (fast forward to about 2/3rds of the way through and you'll see what I mean.)
Nods to Dungeon Diary for finding this humorous tidbit. Gay bomb... puhleeze.
According to the New York Times, yields on the 10 year Treasury Note are up almost 100 basis points in the past year. Thus mortgage rates are on the rise.
While the Federal Reserve Board sets the nation’s interest rate policy, buyers and sellers in the Treasury market drive the rates that affect both consumer and corporate borrowers. Bond yields rise when prices fall. The 10-year Treasury note stood at 5.22 percent at the end of trading yesterday, up from 4.7 percent a month ago.
What this means is that the "borrow and blow" fiscal recklessness of the Bush Administration and their war-time tax cuts has the government scrambling to sell notes to cover our national debt and deficit. This means that mortgage lenders will have to raise rates to compete with the federal government on the open market.
If you have an adjustable rate mortgage - you're pretty much screwed. Student loans? Screwed. Credit cards? Screwed.
Next time you hear your Congressman talking about cutting taxes, compare your tax cut with the amount extra you'll be paying on your mortgage, student loans, and consumer debt. It's time for our government to get with the program and adopt some fiscal progressivism.
I just about had an aneurysm today when I heard what my kids did in summer camp. I won't mention any names here, since my kids know who they are. By the time they're old enough to read this, I suppose this post will be irrelevant.
Anyhow, this morning, my wife gives my 7 and 8 year old sons $20 each as payment for their allowances, having spent yesterday cleaning the house, and also as an advance for this week's work. I think she did this partly as a test. She told them to make it last all week.
Today when they came home, they bitched and moaned about how they *hated* the baseball game they were *forced* to go see in Frisco. They said it was "more boring than football".
My 7 year old has 4 dollars, and my 8 year old has 1 dollar left. What do they have to show for it? Well, not a good time. Not much of anything.
They both bought foam fingers with their money. Knowing my sons, I ask them: "Are they torn up yet?". "Yes," was the answer from the 7 year old. The 8 year old lost his, after it was torn up. Great.
And here's another good one: We put their asthma inhalers in their bag - with the understanding that the camp staff would keep them just in case one of our sons needed it. Nope, they gave it back to the older one, who put the inhalers in their lunch bag. End of lunch, he throws away the bag. So, it's going to be a couple of at least $10 co-pays for me, and the insurance company will pay the rest. I'm not even sure what the retail price of an albuterol inhaler is.
So, the problem is that my kids are irresponsible with money. They lose it, blow it on crap, and constantly lose and damage other things that cost me money.
Anyone have any ideas about how I could get my sons to understand the correlation between work and money, and also the correlation between damaging things, and how much work it takes to replace?
I've got them doing the laundry right now, but I really want to drive the point home. I want to do it in an instructive and non-humiliating way. If you have any ideas, please post them. I'd much appreciate it.