Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Some Dad Moments...

Being a Dad is not all fun and games. But every difficult moment is more than offset by what I consider to be - "Dad Moments"
Here is a glimpse at a few of those moments.

Dad Moment #1

My son Jason won 2nd place in the riding competition a couple of weeks ago. Regular readers will know that Jason rides a horse every week with a really neat instructor/therapist named Kaitlyn. After two years, he is quite the equestrian aficionado, and has even guided Betsy (the horse, of course) all by himself for a short distance!

Dad Moment #2

After a few quite difficult travel experiences with Jason, we decided to try to make some short-hop type trips to help acclimate him to the idea and process of travelling. Last weekend, we took the boys to a small mountain town in the San Bernardino mountain range called Big Bear. Jason did well, and one of the highlights of the trip was an unexpected visit to a Fire Tower. We had gone on a short hike in the Children's Forest area, and one wise forest ranger recommended that we go a few more miles up a very windy road to the tower. It was ... breathtaking. The tower - one of several sitting along the front range of the mountains, is in place to provide bird's eye views of wildfires. It is positioned to capture views extending - literally - over 75 miles (120 km). It is hard with a photograph to convince you of scale, but here it is.

(Oh, by the way, the Dad Moment of this experience is that neither kid cared about the view - it was way too big to process. They cared about the hummingbird feeders affixed to the eaves of the tower.)

Dad Moment #3

On Monday, I came home from work and got out of my car. As we are on the tail end of a heatwave, and as I live inland in a semi-arid climate, I was expecting a blast of heat as I exited my vehicle. Instead, I immediately noticed that my world was at the perfect temperature. It was one of those extremely rare, exquisitely well-balanced moments where, given the choice and the power, you would keep the current ambient temperature absolutely the same for the rest of your life.

So I raced into the house and announced that, in light of the perfect weather outside, we need to go for a walk! The kids and the dogs were thrilled, but Lisa - though wanting to go - was regrettably in the middle of an uninterruptable task. So, since I had already let the proverbial cat out of the bag, I had to follow through and take the clan for a walk. This means that I - one man - would strap a papoose-style carrier to my chest for 7-month old Colin, take big ol' Chance and new puppy Marley on a leash in each hand, and still somehow have to guide 5-year old Jason and 4-year old Tyler on a walk. Just us 6 guys! Its a good thing we live on a quiet country road - only two cars passed during our stroll.

In the first picture I, as we are jammed up at the front gate, I am trying to convince Tyler to take responsibility for Marley and his leash. In the second picture, Tyler is drifting left with Marley, I am reaching back for Jason's hand. Let's just say it never became much less complicated than that moment. The best part of the walk, by the way, is when we passed an avocado grove and the boys got to pick fresh (not-yet-ripe) avocados, and then bring them home for the dogs to play with and eat. We live, by the way, in the Avocado Capital of the World.

And for my last "Dad" moment of this post...

Dad Moment #4
Coming home from a difficult day's work is pretty fun when you walk in the door and see these two characters. If, at this moment, you do not drop down to your knees and initiate play with your adoring audience, you might be in the wrong line of work.
Thanks, as always, for visiting my blog. Someone who reads this post will be my 5,000th visitor. Notice that I have placed a new entry on my sidebar - a place for Autism Dads. If any Autism Dads who I did not list would like to be part of this group, please let me know. Any readers who see this list, please visit these excellent blogs. And, for those guys listed there, please consider posting your own Dad Moments. A meme may find its roots right here, right now.


Do'C said...

Great Hummingbird feeder picture! And, a very nice post for you to share with the rest of us Dads.

Bonnie Ventura said...

Wonderful pictures! Here are a few more links to autism dad blogs that you may be interested in reading:

29 Marbles
Aspie Dad
Autism Bites (this guy has SIX autistic kids, wow!)
Liv's Journey
My Autistic Boy And Other Adventures In Fatherhood

notmercury said...

Cool...or rather, just right ;-)

Hey, where's the hit meter?

mcewen said...

Lovely. Thanks so much.
Best wishes

Steve D said...

Thanks, Bonnie, for the other blogs to list. One or two I am going to keep an eye on before adding, as I see some stuff I don't really want to refer anyone to. The others are great.

Club 166 said...

Thanks for the link!

Great pics, and great moments. I'll have to think about this before I blog on this meme. Not that I don't have some great moments, but I always struggle with how much to make public, and all.


p.s. I want to be the weatherman where you live. I could just phone it in.

Niksmom said...

Love this post of your "Dad moments!" I wish I could get Niksdad to blog about *his* moments and experiences as the parent of a chld w.multiple special needs. Maybe I can email him a few links to check out and connect...

ANd yes, I would absolutely drop to my knees to play with those two adorable guys! No matter WHAT kind of day I had...something tells me they would make it "all better" in a big hurry!


Thanks Bonnie/Steve for doing the link...Dontja just love it when a post just flows out of you from inspiration to publish in less that 1/2 hour?

kristina said...

Thanks for sharing the photos----great views, lovely smiles! I have avocado envy.....

This is not an "autism-dad" blog because my husband Jim doens't blog (well, he does, very occasionally on a group blog here). But this is a link to the autism conference he put on last November at Fordham University (in the photos on the right, he is the 5th down---blond with glasses).

Steve D said...

Do'c and NM - You know you guys are a couple of my all-time favorites. My hit meter, NM, will be exposed at a future time. While # of visits is gratifying, quality of visitors is even better. My parents read this, my wife reads this, some very close friends and co-workers read this. A few professionals who work with my son came across this site without them knowing it was me or me knowing they had found it. Comments on this post came from you two, Bonnie, McEwen, Joe, Niksmom, Bill, and Kristina. You know what? That means a lot to me. These are some good people, with a lot to offer the autism community. Jason could do a lot worse than having this group looking out for him. And thanks always to Kev for creating the forum in which these good people are directed towards my random thoughts.

Joe - You would find, after living here a few years, that you miss the seasonal changes. It may be hard to believe, but its true. Snowy days are tough to beat.

Niksmom - I understand the sentiment, but would advise you to not encourage someone to blog who is not champing at the bit to do so. Such catharsis as this is not for everyone, and as you know it requires a fairly strong commitment. Niksdad is always going to have his moments, whether he write about them or not. And he knows that.
In the meantime, you write skillfully enough for the both of you :) And Nik is just flat-out one of the most adorable kids I have ever seen, judging by pictures.

Bill - I miss your comments around my fave blogs, and am happy to see you are still at it. You crack me up, and I will keep reading. Best to you and your family.

Kristina - I am not sure how to place that link in my list to make it understandable by my readers (who are also, it so happens, your readers), but I did watch the video, and want to thank you for the link. Your husband seems like a great guy, and Charlie sounds like a great kid.

Camille said...

Go superdad! Go superkids! :-)

Ed said...

Thanks for your blog.
I appreciate your approach and your attitude. Your son is very fortunate to have you as a father.

Another Voice said...

Great post, 6 happy guys. Carry the camera wherever you go.