December 31, 2005

Expectations And Looking Forward

As this year draws to a close I am looking forward to 2006. It's the time of year that most people set the expectations really high for themselves. Losing weight, giving up bad habits, the lists of improvements and expectations for ones self are endless. Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves at this time of "rejuvenation"? Why do we get two weeks in to the New Year and seem to lose the steam to carry out the expectations we have set for ourselves. I believe it is due to the pressure we put upon ourselves. Meeting other's expectations can be a daunting task. Meet our own expectations can be nearly impossible.

I am at the point in my life that my own expectations are at an all time high. I want to be the best father, husband, and person that I can possibly be. To always give it my all no matter the circumstances. I have always set the bar pretty high for myself and as I get older and my responsibilities grow, my own expectations follow. Most of my own goals and expectations are never really met. Some are just not possible, some are misguided, and some are just plain forgotten. Everyone's got an excuse, right?

Why do we have to wait for the calendar to turn over to reset the bar of expectations for our lives? Why can't we really look at ourselves daily and try to improve from the day before? I believe it is just too painful to really look at where we are in life, no matter the amount of success we have achieved and happiness we have experienced. Would this fall in into the category of true appreciation?

Everyone always wants more, always believing that life has more to offer than what we have experienced. I believe the roots of motivation grow when we are examining our lives in the rawest form. Tearing away our false armor of comfort we live in and looking deep inside the soul exposing the weaknesses and darkness we all have and experience. Pulling these items to the surface and examining why they exist can be a life changing experience, but I believe most of us fail due to the pain and effort it takes to truly do so.

Ayden will be 3 years old in March. It is unbelievable how fast time has passed. I look at how my life has changed since his birth. Life has taken a whole new meaning than before his arrival. My life now consists of insuring his happiness and safety first and foremost above anything else. As I think about the New Year, Ayden top's the list. How can I improve as a father, and a husband to his Mother? How can I insure that no matter what happens that he will be safe and taken care of?

I hope to improve in many ways in 2006. I look to start a new career that may improve Ayden's life in the long run, but may sacrifice the time we spend together that is so very important. It's a constant struggle to find the perfect balance of responsibilities. I want to examine the places where I have fallen short and improve them. Time will tell where the road of change will lead, but I want Ayden to know that I want to do the best for him.

December 27, 2005

Getting It Right

"Daddy, Daddy, Let's go play!"
It rings in Daddy's ears everyday.

"Oh Daddy,Daddy, Can we play?"
"Son, Daddy's tired and had a hard day."

"Daddy, Daddy, PLEASE LET'S PLAY!
"Please Son,"...... "Daddy just needs a little time away."

"Daddy, Daddy, Please.. Please.. won't you play!"
"Go ask Mommy, What did she say?"

"But Daddy,Daddy, I want YOU to play!"
"Please Son...Don't look at me that way."

"C'mon Daddy....Are you going to play?"
"O.K. Son...Let's go have some fun today!"

December 26, 2005

Another Wonderful Christmas

Another Great Christmas is in the can.
How great is it to be a father at Christmas!

About as great as it is to be a child at Christmas. It gets better each year with Ayden. He is at the age now that a new present to open really don't hold much meaning except something cool that he can call his own. I honestly believe that Ayden could be given a wrapped empty box and he would think it was cool just the same. I wish everyone held that child like mentality with gifts. The excitement and thrill just to receive and open something....Anything......

As time goes those gifts hold more and more meaning...Something bigger and better is asked for. The appreciation is lost on anything that doesn't fit the bill.

One thing I hope to give Ayden is the appreciation of everything material or emotional, big or small. This is a rare gift given to me from my Mother. I must admit that I haven't always had the ability to appreciate everything, but as each and every year passes the appreciation grows. I always appreciated things more than I was given credit for, but maybe not as much as I could have. I hope Ayden realizes that true appreciation is a special gift.

I thank God for another great Christmas with friends, family and our special little man who makes it complete.

December 25, 2005

It's Christmas

Wishing You And Your Loved Ones A Very Merry Christmas 2005.

December 14, 2005

Hangin With Family

Ayden spending time on Thanksgiving with his cousins.

Ayden, Chloe and Dalen on the far right, are all very close in age and always seem to have a great time playing together.

As with his Mother and I, Ayden has a lot to be thankful for and our family would have to be the biggest blessing in our lives. I am always happy to be able to spend time with family on the holidays since we all live pretty close to each other. It's depressing how little time families get to spend together. Many families don't have the luxury of a short drive to share time with their loved ones and the really depressing thought are the ones that do have the luxury but fail to take advantage of it.

I want to make sure Ayden always has the oppurtunity to be around family as much as possible. I believe it will become a foundation for him as he grows into adulthood.

It will be interesting to see Ayden grow up around his cousins since they are close in age and possibily will get to attend the same schools together. I can only imagine the mischief they will find themselves in through the years. I always had a great time with a cousin of mine when I got to see her. We found ourselves in quite a bit of trouble a lot of the time.

But that's another story all together......

December 04, 2005

Does Anyone Own This Manual?

Ok, I admit it. I have a problem.
It's more of a compulsion.

I am in fact a book junkie. Fiction, non-fiction, any topic under the sun, I'm not biased. I love books and have every since I can remember. I never can have enough around me at any given time. Whether they are bought new, used, or loaned out from the library. If you were to look around our house you would likely find a book mark in any given 3 books you might pick up. Don't mistake this for not finishing a book; in fact I finish every book I start at some point in time. Some last longer than others, but they are always completed at some point. In fact it just means that I can't stick to just one book at a time. My wife has let it be known that if I continue to buy books at the current rate we are going to have to add a library branch on to the house . She likes to remind me from time to time that the "Southeast Branch" has reached capacity and needs to be reduced in that area of the house.

Over time I have spent a lot of money on books. I am always keeping an eye open for a sale at the local Barnes And Noble or Borders. The local library even knows me by name the moment I pass thru the door. I have been a very regular contributor to the library fund thanks to the overdue ones that I just can't take back because it's much too painful to let a good book go.

The fact is, out of all of the searching and buying that I do, I cannot find the one that I really want. The one that eludes me no matter how hard and long I search. I have been to every corner of the Net, every new and used book store in town, and the "Perfect Book" cannot be found. I really am starting to believe that this "Perfect Book" doesn't exist. I have heard rumors that a few select families own it and pass it along from generation to generation. I am really starting to think that the "Perfect Book" is just an Urban Legend and no such book exists except in a few father's heads that are in search of it.

The "Perfect" book is in fact a manual. A "How-To" manual of sorts......It's title?
"How To Be A Great Father"- author unknown.

I wish I could only get my hands on the manual for a few minutes. Oh what a read that would be. The pages of the manual would have to be fire retardant from the rate of speed of which the pages would turn in my hands. It's safe to say that you would have to pry it out of my cold dead hands. This indeed would be the "Perfect Book"!

I consider myself to be an adequate father. But who wants to just be adequate? No NFL team has ever won the Super Bowl by just being adequate. Michael Jordan was never referenced as an adequate basketball player. No, he was always adorned as being Great!

I want to be GREAT!
Is it even possible? Is there any such thing as a great father? I unfortunately don't have much of an example that I can use to make such an assessment. Notice that I don't write that I want to be perfect. I know that is an impossible task, I just want to be GREAT! I want to be the kind of father that Ayden will brag about to his friends. To be the father that never misses a ball game or a school play. Truth is, I want to be the kind of father that I always was in search of, and more.

I realize that being a great father is not for wimps. It will take a lot of hard work. In raising a child, no two days are the same. The most unfortunate thing is knowing how to do it. Where do I learn such a task? Does this manual really exist? Did the hospital forget to let me have it when we brought Ayden home? Is the library hiding it from me because they know that I wouldn't ever return it? Is there some kind of mass conspiracy in keeping the book a secret? Does the book belong to some secret society that has sworn to never share it's wonderful contents?
Let it be known that I am fantastic at keeping secrets.

So please..Does anyone out there own this manual?

December 01, 2005

Welcome To Ayden's World

Ayden's World is a glimpse into the wonderful world of Ayden through the eyes of his father. I hope you enjoy.