Conversations with #5

Conversations with #5

What has been a really long week, was made a little bit happier last night by going out to dinner with Frankie and then cruising over to a play area at a local mall.

I am every amazed at the things that come out of my 6 year olds mouth, they sometimes just make me laugh out loud. Last night was no exception.

Dad, what are your favorite James Bond movies. I have to think about it, Frankie. Why don’t you tell me your favorite movies, I asked.

So here are Frankie’s favorite James Bond movies (followed by an updated list of my favorites)
1) Skyfall (he knows the words to the theme song also)
2) Goldfinger
3) The Man with the Golden Gun
4) Tomorrow Never Dies
5) You Only Live Twice

My favorite James Bond movies (complete with comments from Frankie)
1) Thunderball (I like the sharks, Dad)
2) Goldfinger (I like the Aston Martin, Dad. Can you get me one)
3) Skyfall (that’s my favorite movie. It can’t be on your list. Well, it’s not #1. Okay, Dad)
4) From Russia With Love ( I like trains, dad)
5) Casino Royale ( can you teach me how to play cards, dad)

The conversations you have with your kids.


The World’s Coolest Dad

Somehow,  thru the magic of social media, I am involved in this 64 person knock off of the NCAA Tourney, to find out “The World’s Coolest Dad”.

After I made it to the round of 32, I thought I would have a little fun with it and see how far I could go. Of all the things in the world I am, “World’s Coolest Dad” is not one of them. Alas, I am having fun with it. I am not cool.

I know a lot of guys who are dads and their kids worship the ground they walk on. In my son’s eyes,  I am not one of them. My son’s heroes are firefighters. They always have been. Why shouldn’t they be? Running into a burning building while everyone else is running out. Saving lives. Making the world a better place. Making the ultimate sacrifice if needed. The definition of a hero.

Then there is your dad, he struggles with finances, jobs, trying to make ends meet, life in general. One step up, two steps back. Yeah, that’s me. Not very cool.

I do enjoy being a parent, matter of fact I love it. I wish I could tell you that I was great or I am cool. I am not. If I could, I’d give my ex-wife more child support.I’d buy Frankie all the legos in the world. I love to take him to Disney World.   I can’t right now. In loads of people’s eyes, that makes me a really bad guy, a failure, a loser,  so be it. I acknowledge my mistakes, my struggles. I keep moving forward. I get out of bed everyday and  with the hope that this will be my best day, that I will make the turn and put the past behind me. Not very cool-definitely not “World’s Coolest Dad” worthy.

This is not meant to be one of those “whoah is me, my life it horrible” type posts. I said I was going to tell you tales from The Healing Road. I am going to. They are not always cool or funny.

In this life

I have a picture wall in my house. You have to walk by it to get to the bathroom. And on it there are all kinds of pictures, mostly of Frankie, but pictures of family, friends, and even one of Margarita (who is family). I love my picture wall. Frankie will ask me to tell him about people up there all the time. I love my picture wall.

I’ve found myself in a weird place lately. Struggling in my life with decisions that I’ve made. Full of more doubt then usual. The concept of “want to be sucessful, do the opposite of what I’ve done” really hits home with me.

I have found myself thinking about what if my life had worked out has I planned it. What if I had married someone who was sane, had not lost the great job, lived in my house with my wife and kids, happily ever after. What if I had lived out that life? 

I look at my picture wall. I realize that if I everything I wanted had come true, I would never gotten to taken all these great pictures. Create some memories that I carry with me always. The picture of my son a few hours after he was born. A picture of a round of golf with my college roommates Mike and Jason. My dad and I on the golf course. My sister, brother in law, and myself at a wedding.  Picture of Scott, Kevin, and I in a bar in Lawrence, Kansas. The list of pictures that never would have happened is endless and they are all on my wall. The pictures and memories would’ve been different.

In the other life I dreamed of, I’ve got a sucessful career, I’ve got the wife and kids that love me and adore me, I am firing on all cylinders. I wake up though. I am not that guy. 

In this life, the life I live. I struggle. I am not even close to firing on all cylinders. I am far from perfect. I have my picture wall, I have these memories. They have made the journey well worth it.


The Three Wise Men

I took Frankie over to see my nephews on Sunday afternoon. My sister has 4 boys ranging in age from 5 to 11 years old,  everyone affectionately refers to them as “The Guys”. To Frankie they are more like brothers then cousins. JP, the youngest and Frankie are pretty much inseparable-BFFs.  I like hanging out with the guys. Every few months we have these weekends where I watch them called “Day of the Dudes”, we play video games, watch sports, and movies.  It’s a lot of fun.

I never really thought of myself as the cool uncle. I don’t ask that they call me “Uncle Frank” or anything like that. We just all get along when we are all together.

Looking back on it, I was one of those guys that was lucky growing up, I had three really cool Uncles that I looked up to. Each of them influenced my life for the better in some way. I guess I try and pass a little bit of knowledge on to the guys in some way . Paying it forward, if you will ( not that I have any expertise in anything. Want to be successful in life-do the opposite of everything I ever did. I always joke). 

I do look back on my Uncles (aka The Three Wise Men) and smile. I’ve learned so much from them .