I learned to spoil my family from my dad and my grandma

When I was a kid, my grandma loved spoiling her family.  What I mean is, it gave her great pleasure to do the little things: make us wait in bed so she could warm up the house for us, wash our clothes for us, stop by with a little gift, make us dinner…  She always loved doing that, and I always remember her doing that, and now that I am older and have autoimmune disease I am amazed that she could do that while battling Type I diabetes, which killed her (via stroke) at age 69.

My dad was like my grandma.  My sister and I would often go to our rooms at night to find that our dad had turned down our bed, or he’d quietly slip us 20 bucks for a pizza, or he’d wash our car for us while we were sleeping. Little, forgettable things that expressed love.

When wife M and I were first married, and then when the kids were kids, I did a lot of those same things, I think.  I’d light candles for M, put her PJs in the drier so they were toasty when she put them on, put a little extra treat in the kids’ lunch box, etc.  Little things I don’t remember.  Everyone does thos things I think, but I also am pretty certain that I did it more often than the average person.  (Wife M does, too, which is probably another reason why we click so well, since we’re always spoiling each other 🙂 ).

But those things have evaporated since my illness in 2012. (I remember when M’s friend first commented  to M about it in 2012, how there was a time when you didn’t have to worry about anything when I was in the room and now it was not like that at all, how it was like I was barely present. I remember how hurt at the time I was by that comment since I was in the throes of lung disease and prednisone at the time – but in retrospect, what she said is true, I am not the spoiler that I once was, and no longer can take pleasure from serving/spoiling people). 

I miss doing those things for my family.  And love those momentary bursts like last night where I was able to do that for my family.  And really truly can’t believe my grandma was still able to spoil her famil when she was sooo sick with diabetes – I feel amazed and humbled by that.   

I learned to spoil my family from my dad and my grandma

Today is daughter L’s Homecoming

Daughter L went with a fairly large group of friends to homecoming. They met early for pics (all of the parents were there to take photos: we stood along the outside edge smiling and taking photos while the kids clowned around in their moment 🙂 ). They were a nice group if kids and I am happy for them.

Today is daughter L’s Homecoming

Son R loved his first day of college classes

He is taking 19 credits, which seems pretty high, considering he spends 20 hours or more a week in band related activities.  But he is taking drama, music, etc. and loved his first day of classes.  “How was your first day?” I asked yesterday.  “Great!  I love my classes.”  I reminded him he has a couple of extra hours a day in college versus high school that he is not spending in classes, and to use those to his advantage best he can (the wise kids use this time to further their academics, networking, etc. as opposed to hanging out; my first two years I spent that time writing for the local newspaper and editing the school newspaper, but my third year I lost focus and spent most of my time hanging out).  

Son R loved his first day of college classes

Watched Son R’s Marching Band Performance on Youtube!

Although we didn’t attend the college football game so did not see Son R march in the half-time show, the university posted the show up on YouTube, and he and I watched it together this morning over my morning coffee. It was awesome!  THere were dozens of band members but he pointed out about where he was, but then at one point the on-field camera zoomed in on him and we got a close up of him!  It was awesome, and I think he was very proud although he probably would probably not admit it to me.  He did smile when I gave him a fist bump.  I forwarded it to wife M, the grandparents and my sister 🙂

Watched Son R’s Marching Band Performance on Youtube!

Love that Daughter L’s friend is staying with us

My daughter’s friend was miserable at home.  In recent years she’d run away from home a couple of times.  She has spent some time with our family, and think she likes spending time with us, so a couple of months ago asked my daughter if she could stay with us.  Wife M had to work it out with the parents (who are none too pleased) but L’s friend is unofficially living with us right now.  I love that she feels comfortable at our house, and that wife M has had a conversation or two with her about curfew/friends etc and she has been really respectful of that.  She is a great person, especially considering how unhappy she was, and I’m glad we have a place for her to stay.   I wish her parents were a little less threatened about it, but I also can understand their pain.  We’ve made it very clear that this is not official in any way, that she is just crashing at our house indefinitely – we don’t want anyone to feel that we are imposing our will or trying to take control and want to avoid legal battles (yikes!). We just want everyone to be happy.

PS I love that daughter L has embraced this too.  She has had to share her room and has lost some privacy, since her friend lives in her room.  But that is so important, to learn to share and that when friends are going through tough times we don’t just offer verbal support but share shelter with them.  I wish there were more of that in America — I feel so many AMericans are all alone in our culture that prizes independence to a fault. Plus I think L likes it – the two of them get along very well and seem to have a healthy blend of privacy but companionship, like close siblings.

Love that Daughter L’s friend is staying with us

Happy to see son R dressed in his college band uniform for the first time

It is game day.  All across the country college football players are dressing in their uniforms. But other types of players are dressing today too — for example, the band members (and cheerleaders, etc.).  Today son R appeared in his snappy band uniform. He is tall (6’1″) and lean, and looks sharp in his uniform.  I hate to say the word proud, but I am happy for him.  And I am excited for me.  I am as happy — in fact happier, since it is safer — if he were playing on the football team.  I was more of the jock, so always thought of sports from the player perspective, and it is fun to see the excitement from the band perspective, too.  For him, it is opening day as much as for the players.  

Happy to see son R dressed in his college band uniform for the first time

Feeling incredibly happy that my son made his college marching band

Son R made his college marching band today. He will be playing at NCAA sporting events and even travel with the team a few times. I am so excited. I feel like I did when he scored his first point in basketball, caught his first fly ball in baseball, got a 4.0 his freshman year and did so well in the school play! I an so happy for him!

Feeling incredibly happy that my son made his college marching band