Before I get started, I wanted to give a special shout out to my friend, “Janis G”. She plays a dual role in raising her amazing little man. She is such an amazing inspiration to me as a parent.
Father’s Day this year was like any other crazy Sunday in the Strange household. I played golf on Saturday, so I wanted to do something as a family, so we went to the zoo. As Tony Soprano said: “sometimes you’ve got to stop and smell the gorilla shit”. Followed by me playing my kid’s favorite songs to the melody of me arm farting.
After arm-farting, I found a Nacho Libre mask and started sneaking up on the boys, growling. The looks on their faces when I first did it was priceless..
I try to be the fun dad that they can laugh with and look back at these nights with fond memories. They will one day ask someone to pull their finger.
On a positive note… when I wrote my first blog I said that I would get my oldest son to stop taking his dirty socks off and leaving them on the floor. Progress has been made… only because now he wears sandals without socks every day.
My oldest son is learning to do the little things I ask of him. I want him to start taking his plate from the table and putting it in the sink (or at least on the counter). He always rolls his eyes and complains, but he does it. He also knows that dessert is on the line here.
We recently dined at my charming neighbor Nina’s house for dinner. She has two children that are just a few years older than Cameron. When Cameron was done eating she had him ask if he could be excused. He looked at me for help. I said: ”you are a guest in their home, so follow the rules”, which he did. I was thrilled because now this opened the door for me to say the same thing when he wants to leave the table.
I might not be the biggest gentleman in the world (no comments, Laura and Debbie) but I have a chance to raise one, and I will. Cameron has to realize that everything he does, his younger brother will want to follow. Being the strong, well-behaved, gentlemanly, older brother is one of his most important jobs in life.
Both boys know already that I will let a lot of things go. Like the other night when they were taking a bath together, and I walked in on Cameron peeing on Brady’s chest… SMH. I didn’t freak out. Brady was laughing. I just explained how it was wrong in so many ways. They have so much of their father in them.
I wrote the blog a little before the due date because I knew I would be in Arizona playing golf this week (away from those brats… I mean little darlings). I know that I’ll miss them a lot but I need a little alone time just to relax, and what better way to do that than to play the worlds most relaxing sport, golf, in 100+ degree weather.
Each year I go out there with my brother in law. It is always the longest time away from them. I don’t communicate with them almost at all when I am away. Like most people, if they see me they want to be near me. And they’ll miss me more.
Since my last blog, my wife has gone away three times. Twice for work and once for a girls trip. All trips totaling about 15 days. I mean, who has it better than her? I’m telling you, when I come back in my next life, I want to be her. She travels freely, doesn’t cook and gets to have sex with me!!!
Ok, got off the subject a little bit there. When I spend a lot of alone time with my kids, I start to reflect on my youth. I was raised by a single mom but it was also the 70’s and 80’s. Times were so different. We ate pasta and meat. We had Chinese here and there.
So one night last week, I asked Cameron what he wanted for dinner, and he said Chinese. Now, I’m not a huge fan of Chinese (it’s too salty and I always get these crazy fortunes in the cookies). I like it, but I think Japanese, Korean and Thai are all much better. So, typically I order from a place where I can get sushi along with Chinese food. Every time the food comes, Cameron asks me if he has tried sushi. Oh how I wish I had his reaction on video. He said he likes it but wants only one microscopic bite.
So, eating sushi makes me think back to my youth. Growing up in an Italian household, we didn’t eat sushi. In fact, we didn’t explore the world of food. We were mostly meat and pasta. I didn’t start expanding my mind to food till my mid to late 20’s. I didn’t try Sushi, Peruvian, Korean bbq (my favorite) Indian, etc. till much later in my life. These are such simple things in our daily lives that I’m trying to implement into my children’s lives. Things that I did not have growing up.
In no way shape or form am I complaining about my youth. I also think the times have changed so much since I was a kid. Way more things are readily available now than in the ’70s and ’80s. But as a father I want my children to experience and try everything in life. All I ever ask is that they try it once. Now, that doesn’t mean that they should “try” jamming a pool stick up their asses once. But when it comes to eating, they will try almost everything “once”. Meaning they will put it in their mouths for a half second, say they don’t like it, and spit it out (on my plate nonetheless).
I often find it so easy to relate so many things in life to food. You have memories as a kid eating at places. You remember a great meal while on vacation, and you always remember where you took a loved one on your first date (mine was a place called Punch in Murray Hill).
Native New Yorker, now living in Connecticut. Husband, and father of two amazing boys. Kidney transplant recipient, and a big supporter of organ donation #donatelife. Mortgage banker, but not by choice. In my free time, I enjoy golf, reading (especially presidential biographies), and finding that hole in the wall restaurant that has great food.