Stepdad's Thoughts

My thought and feelings.

Tae Kwon Do as rehabilitation

I’m not one that likes to see re-posts but I found this very inspiring;

I received an email from ‘Everyday Health’ about how Tae Kwon Do helped to save a young teen. Below is the beginning of the article and the link to the entire story;

Breaking Through: How Tae Kwon Do Saved One Teen’s Brain

It was an otherwise normal day when 13-year-old Kassidy Brewer experienced a ruptured brain aneurysm that nearly killed her. This is the story of how her passion for martial arts — and an unrelenting family support system — brought her back to life.

By Sharon Tanenbaum

Click here for the full story;
Watch the videos associated with the story also. This is a very inspiring young lady.
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September 15, 2011 Posted by | Concerns, General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trivia

Yesterday on the my drive I home I spoke to my Dad on the phone. We had our usual conversation; one that hits more topics then either of us can remember or anyone else can keep up with. We managed to get on the topic of martial arts since I am in Hapkido and I test tonight. Any way we got on the topic of Bruce Lee. We talked about the movies he made, movies that my Dad and I saw at the theater when they first showed. We then started talking about his training methods and his philosophy. Both of us agreeing that Bruce Lee was of the mindset that you should use any method that works… I think he actually used that line in one of his movies.

We started talking about his TV appearances/shows… All could remember was The Green Hornet and Batman…My Dad said there was another show but neither of us knew the name; my Dad was able to tell me all about the show but not a title… told me about the blind guy that Bruce was teaching to fight etc… I found the show a few minutes ago, it was Longstreet.

I found this about the show, actually it’s from a site that sell the series in a DVD set: http://www.tvdvdstore.net/longstreet-the-complete-dvd-collection.html

Longstreet is an American crime drama series that was broadcast on the ABC in the 1971-1972 season (see 1971 in television). A 90-minute pilot movie of the same name.

The series starred James Franciscus as insurance investigator Mike Longstreet. After a bomb (hidden in a champagne bottle) kills his wife, Ingrid, and leaves him blind, the title character pursues and captures the killers. He then continues his career as an insurance investigator despite his blindness. Longstreet’s seeing eye dog was a white German Shepherd called Pax. The series was set in New Orleans, but was actually filmed in Los Angeles.

Mystery novelist Baynard Kendrick was credited in each episode as the creator of the source material for the series, although his character, Captain Duncan Maclain, had little in common with Longstreet aside from their both being blind private detectives.

Bruce Lee appeared in four episodes as Li Tsung, an antique dealer and Jeet Kune Do expert who becomes Longstreet’s martial arts instructor. Wikiquote has quotations from Li Tsung’s teachings.

Twenty-three episodes of the show were aired before it was canceled in 1973.

December 10, 2010 Posted by | General, Hap Ki Do, Random | , , | Leave a comment

Widow Jensen- A Christmas Story . . .

This was sent to me via email; the author of the story is unknown but I felt it was something that needed saved and shared. This really does sum up what Christmas should be like instead of all the ruckas  we all go through.

A Christmas Story

This is what Christmas is all about…

Better bundle up – the goose bumps will freeze you!!  I think I need to read this every year at Christmas.

Pa never had much compassion for the lazy or those who squandered their means and then never had enough for the necessities.  But for those who were genuinely in need, his heart was as big as all outdoors.   It was from him that I learned the greatest joy in life comes from giving, not from receiving.

It was Christmas Eve 1881.  I was fifteen years old and feeling like the world had caved in on me because there just hadn’t been enough money to buy me the rifle that I’d wanted for Christmas.  We did the chores early that night for some reason.  I just figured Pa wanted a little extra time so we could read in the Bible.

After supper was over I took my boots off and stretched out in front of the fireplace and waited for Pa to get down the old Bible.  I was still feeling sorry for myself and, to be honest, I wasn’t in much of a mood to read Scriptures. But Pa didn’t get the Bible, instead he bundled up again and went outside.  I couldn’t figure it out because we had already done all the chores.  I didn’t worry about it long though, I was too busy wallowing in self-pity.  Soon Pa came back in.  It was a cold clear night out and there was ice in his beard. “Come on, Matt,” he said. “Bundle up good, it’s cold out tonight.” I was really upset then.  Not only wasn’t I getting the rifle for Christmas, now Pa was dragging me out in the cold, and for no earthly reason that I could see.  We’d already done all the chores, and I couldn’t think of anything else that needed doing, especially not on a night like this.  But I knew Pa was not very patient at one dragging one’s feet when he’d told them to do something, so I got up and put my boots back on and got my cap, coat, and mittens.  Ma gave me a mysterious smile as I opened the door to leave the house.  Something was up, but I didn’t know what.

Outside, I became even more dismayed.  There in front of the house was the work team, already hitched to the big sled.  Whatever it was we were going to do wasn’t going to be a short, quick, little job.  I could tell.  We never hitched up this sled unless we were going to haul a big load.  Pa was already up on the seat, reins in hand.  I reluctantly climbed up beside him.  The cold was already biting at me.  I wasn’t happy.  When I was on, Pa pulled the sled around the house and stopped in front of the woodshed.

He got off and I followed. “I think we’ll put on the high sideboards,” he said.  “Here, help me.”  The high sideboards!  It had been a bigger job than I wanted to do with just the low sideboards on, but whatever it was we were going to do would be a lot bigger with the high sideboards on.

After we had exchanged the sideboards, Pa went into the woodshed and came out with an armload of wood – the wood I’d spent all summer hauling down from the mountain, and then all fall sawing into blocks and splitting.

What was he doing?  Finally I said something.  “Pa,” I asked, “what are you doing?”  “You been by the Widow Jensen’s lately?” he asked.  The Widow Jensen lived about two miles down the road.  Her husband had died a year or so before and left her with three children, the oldest being eight.  Sure, I’d been by, but so what?

Yeah,” I said, “Why?”

“I rode by just today,” Pa said. “Little Jakey was out digging around in the woodpile trying to find a few chips. They’re out of wood, Matt.”  That was all he said and then he turned and went back into  the woodshed for another armload of wood. I followed him.  We loaded the sled so high that I began to wonder if the horses would be able to pull it.  Finally, Pa called a halt to our loading, then we went to the smoke house and Pa took down a big ham and a side of bacon.  He handed them to me and told me to put them in the sled and wait.  When he returned he was carrying a sack of flour over his right shoulder and a smaller sack of something in his left hand.

“What’s in the little sack?” I asked.  Shoes, they’re out of shoes.  Little Jakey just had gunny sacks wrapped around his feet when he was out in the woodpile this morning.  I got the children a little candy too.  It just wouldn’t be Christmas without a  little candy.”

We rode the two miles to Widow Jensen’s pretty much in silence.  I tried to think through what Pa was doing.  We didn’t have much by worldly standards.

Of course, we did have a big woodpile, though most of what was left now was still in the form of logs that I would have to saw into blocks and split before we could use it.  We also had meat and flour, so we could spare that, but I knew we didn’t have any money, so why was Pa buying them shoes and candy?  Really,  why was he doing any of this?  Widow Jensen had closer neighbors than us; it shouldn’t have been our concern.

We came in from the blind side of the Jensen house and unloaded the wood as quietly as possible, then we took the meat and flour and shoes to the door.

We knocked.  The door opened a crack and a timid voice said, “Who is it?”

“Lucas Miles, Ma’am, and my son, Matt, could we come in for a bit?”

Widow Jensen opened the door and let us in.  She had a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.  The children were wrapped in another and were sitting in front of the fireplace by a very small fire that hardly gave off any heat at all.  Widow Jensen fumbled with a match and finally lit the lamp.

“We brought you a few things, Ma’am,” Pa said and set down the sack of flour.  I put the meat on the table.  Then Pa handed her the sack that had the shoes in it.  She opened it hesitantly and took the shoes out one pair at a time.  There was a pair for her and one for each of the children – sturdy shoes, the best, shoes that would last.  I watched her carefully.

She bit her lower lip to keep it from trembling and then tears filled her eyes and started running down her cheeks.  She looked up at Pa like she wanted to say something, but it wouldn’t come out.

“We brought a load of wood too, Ma’am,” Pa said.  He turned to me and said, “Matt, go bring in enough to last awhile.  Let’s get that fire up to size and heat this place up.”  I wasn’t the same person when  I went back out to bring in the wood.  I had a big lump in my throat and as mu ch as I hate to admit it, there were tears in my eyes too.  In my mind I kept seeing those three kids huddled around the fireplace and their mother standing there with tears running down her cheeks with so much gratitude in her heart that she couldn’t speak.

My heart swelled within me and a joy that I’d never known before, filled my soul.  I had given at Christmas many times before, but never when it had made so much difference.  I could see we were literally saving the lives of these people.

I soon had the fire blazing and everyone’s spirits soared.  The kids started giggling when Pa handed them each a piece of candy and Widow Jensen looked on with a smile that probably hadn’t crossed her face for a long time.  She finally turned to us. “God bless you,” she said. “I know the Lord has sent you.  The children and I have been praying that he would send one of his angels to spare us.”

In spite of myself, the lump returned to my throat and the tears welled up in my eyes again.  I’d never thought of Pa in those exact terms before, but after Widow Jensen mentioned it I could see that it was probably true.  I was sure that a better man than Pa had never walked the earth.  I started remembering all the times he had gone out of his way for Ma and me, and many others.  The list seemed endless as I thought on it.

Pa insisted that everyone try on the shoes before we left.  I was amazed when they all fit and I wondered how he had known what sizes to get.  Then I guessed that if he was on an errand for the Lord that the Lord would make sure he got the right sizes.

Tears were running down Widow Jensen’s face again when we stood up to leave.  Pa took each of the kids in his big arms and gave them a hug.  They clung to him and didn’t want us to go.  I could see that they missed their Pa, and I was glad that I still had mine.

At the door Pa turned to Widow Jensen and said, “The Mrs. wanted me to invite you and the children over for Christmas dinner tomorrow.  The turkey will be more than the three of us can eat, and a man can get cantankerous if he has to eat turkey for too many meals.  We’ll be by to get you about eleven.  It’ll be nice to have some little ones around again.  Matt, here, hasn’t been little for quite a spell.”  I was the youngest.  My two brothers and two sisters had all married and had moved away.

Widow Jensen nodded and said, “Thank you, Brother Miles.  I don’t have to say, May the Lord bless you, I know for certain that He will.”

 

Out on the sled I felt a warmth that came from deep within and I didn’t even notice the cold.  When we had gone a ways, Pa turned to me and said, “Matt, I want you to know something.  Your ma and me have been tucking a little money away here and there all year so we could buy that rifle for you, but we didn’t have quite enough. Then yesterday a man who owed me a little money from years back came by to make things square.  Your ma and me were real excited, thinking that now we could get you that rifle, and I started into town this morning to do just that, but on the way I saw little Jakey out scratching in the woodpile with his feet wrapped in those gunny sacks and I knew what I had to do.  Son, I spent the money for shoes and a little candy for those children. I hope you understand.”

I understood, and my eyes became wet with tears again.  I understood very well, and I was so glad Pa had done it.  Now the rifle seemed very low on my list of priorities.  Pa had given me a lot more.  He had given me the look on Widow Jensen’s face and the radiant smiles of her three children.

For the rest of my life, whenever I saw any of the Jensens, or split a block of wood, I remembered, and remembering brought back that same joy I felt riding home beside Pa that night.  Pa had given me much more than a rifle that night, he had given me the best Christmas of my life.

 

December 6, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bigotry and the Measles By Ron Pittenger

I found this while reading another blog and wanted to make sure I never lost it… Very well said.

Bigotry and the Measles
By Ron Pittenger (http://tartanmarine.blogspot.com/2010/08/bigotry-and-measles.html)

Bigotry is a lot like the measles. Like measles, it is catching. You might say it’s an equal opportunity disease that respects no human-designated boundaries, affecting as it does people of all races, creeds, sexes, and politics. Most often, it is caught when we are young.

Bigotry is the fallacy of assuming people fall into groups, that the groups are easily classified, known, and manipulated. It assumes the people within each group are fungible, interchangeable, with individuality being of no particular concern. If you have eight $1 bills in your wallet, you don’t care—and it doesn’t really matter, does it—which one you spend on a $1 purchase. If people were like dollar bills, this would be the end of the essay.

Unlearning to be a bigot is difficult because most people catch the disease early, and what we take in as truth when young is very difficult to deny later. It requires us to think and make judgments of our own and to stop relying on the judgments made by our parents and elders.

Like most men of their times, one born in 1903 and the other in 1905, both my grandfathers were bigots. One said he disliked only blacks and Jews; the other was less discriminating, claiming he hated everyone outside our family, and wondering about some of us, too. Oddly, both men got along well with all the people they claimed not to like.

In the early 1950s, our church burned down. My father was a volunteer on the town’s ambulance squad, and went to most of the town’s fires in case someone was injured or burned. He came home and told us that before the fire was completely extinguished, the rabbi of the Jewish congregation half a block down the street from our church had already offered our minister the use of their hall until our building was rebuilt. So, for most of a year, we had our services in the synagogue. And I never heard another bad word about Jews from either grandfather.

The one who claimed to hate everybody was the person who soothed our worries and fears when a black family moved next door to us in 1955. The man of the house, Gramps said, had worked at his company for nearly 20 years and had been Grandpa’s lodge brother almost as long. “He wants the same things we want,” Gramps said, “and he works hard to get them, just like we do. He’s a good, honest man.” So, I grew up with black neighbors, Bill Sterling and his wife Aaron. I liked and respected them both.

Being young and stupid, sometimes I tried to ask Bill or Aaron questions like “What do your people want?” Usually, Bill’d just look at me like I was a total idiot and say he didn’t know. Aaron would just smile and ignore the question. One summer, when I was around 12 or 13, there were race riots in a town about 20 miles away. Again, I asked Bill what “his people” wanted. When he dodged, I pressed for an answer. I got one I haven’t forgotten.

“How should I know?” Bill said. “I guess I could say what I want, and maybe even make it stick with my wife, but we black folks are just as confused and contrary as you white folks. I can’t be a spokesman for anybody but me. And, then, I might change my mind, just like you do. So, ask me what I want and I’ll try to tell you.”

As my Gramps had said, Bill Sterling was an honest man and a good teacher. I learned my lesson very well. I have never since taken anybody’s word for it that they had the right to act as spokesman for another individual unless they had visible proof in the form of elected office, a successful business, practice, or congregation, and even then, I take it with a grain of salt. Like Bill said, folks do change their minds.

My first date was taking Bill’s niece, Betsy, to the 8th grade class dance. I didn’t view this as being in any way political. She was just Betsy, a nice girl who lived two streets over, and was really pretty. It wasn’t her skin color but her personality that mattered. Had she been disagreeable, I would have found a different date. In fact, Betsy’s neighbor was a year behind us in school. She was as nasty as Betsy was nice. The girl lacked many things, but chiefly self confidence and blamed it on “whitey” or his local representative—in other words, me. But, her brother, a year ahead of Betsy and me, was nice. How do you figure things like this out? You don’t. You learn not to try to predict the actions of other individuals until you know them. And this is exactly the problem with many of our government programs today.

Have you noticed how often government programs fail to improve the lot of the individuals the programs are supposed to help? By its very nature, governments cannot tailor programs to individuals. Even at the town or village level, governments have to operate on the basis of “the group,” not the individual. Higher governments must work with ever larger groups. Only by making the assumption that every member of the group is fungible can group-aimed government programs work as promised. Similarly, programs for groups can miss their goal by wide margins by failing to take into account the individuals who will be “helped.”

Companies and business organizations do a little better, but not much. They want to get their money’s worth out of the program, so they are more careful who they pick and how they structure the program. But, as the organization becomes larger, it falls into the same trap as governments, trying to satisfy the needs of an idealized group, and fails in the same ways for the same reasons.

In the United States of America, we count the votes one at a time, individual choice by individual choice. That’s who we are, a nation of individuals, not a nation of groups. I can promise you this: when you stand before the Judgment Seat and the Great Book is opened, you won’t be judged as part of a group. You will be saved or damned by your own actions, one person at a time. Just like it ought to be here. When our political parties realize this basic truth we will, each of us, be better off.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , | Leave a comment

Needless Death

On September 12, 2010 a co-worker/friend passed away. This was a needless death all in the name of losing weight. I say needless because he went to Mexico to have a his stomach stapled or something of the type. On the flight back the stitches in his stomach ruptured causing the bacteria and things escape his stomach. This caused a massive infection which he was hospitalized to battle. At a point they thought it was under control then the next thing you hear is the circulation in his legs is dropping and possible gangrene is setting in. He was week because he was also not able to eat due to the original surgery. As it turned out gangrene did set in and both his legs had to amputated. Even after this was done the infection continued to create more problems. His wife and family were with him continuously, his wife is/was pregnant with their third child. As I said, Kevin died on September 12.

His wife gave birth to his daughter on September 14, 2010.

This was a needless death in the name of losing weight. He was quite over weight and loved to eat. I truly believe if he had taken the path of diet and exercise he would still be here today. Yes there are people that have medical issues that will cause weight gain and make it damn near impossible to lose the weight without drastic matters, but he had lost weight the past and I think he could have done it again.  Weight gain/lose is a mindset… You choose which direction you are going. Exercise and diet will make it happen… another co-worker has lost over 40lbs simply by changing her diet and being very strict regardless of what lunch place is chosen.

This is simply a bad thing… His wife will raise three children alone, with the help of family but without a Dad.

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, General, Parenting | , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Facts

This is from an email my Dad sent to me… You just have to Love Texas.

Here is what Jeff Foxworthy has to say about folks from Texas

  1. If someone in a Lowe’s store offers you assistance and they don’t work there, you may live in Texas ;
  2. If you’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Texas ;
  3. If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Texas ;
  4. If ‘Vacation’ means going anywhere south of Dallas for the weekend, you may live in Texas ;
  5. If you measure distance in hours, you may live in Texas ;
  6. If you know several people who have hit a deer more than once, you may live in Texas ;
  7. If you install security lights on your house and garage, but leave both unlocked, you may live in Texas ;
  8. If you carry jumper cables in your car and your wife knows how to use them, you may live in Texas
  9. If the speed limit on the highway is 55 mph –you’re going 80 and everybody’s passing you, you may live in Texas ;
  10. If you find 60 degrees ‘a little chilly,’ you may live in Texas ;
  11. If you actually understand these jokes, and share them with all your Texas friends, you definitely live in Texas..

Here are some little known, very interesting facts about Texas.

  • Beaumont to  El Paso : 742 miles
  • Beaumont to  Chicago : 770 miles
  • El Paso is closer to  California than to  Dallas
  • World’s first rodeo was in Pecos, July 4, 1883.
  • The Flagship Hotel in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built over water. Destroyed by Hurricane Ike -2008!
  • The Heisman Trophy was named after John William Heisman who was the first full-time coach at Rice University in Houston.
  • Brazoria  County has more species of birds than any other area in North America
  • Aransas Wildlife Refuge is the winter home of North America’s only remaining flock of whooping cranes.
  • Jalapeno jelly originated in Lake Jackson in 1978.
  • The worst natural disaster in U.S. history was in 1900, caused by a hurricane, in which over 8,000 lives were lost on Galveston   Island.
  • The first word spoken from the moon, July 20, 1969, was “Houston”, but the space center was actually in Clear Lake City at the time.
  • King Ranch in South Texas is larger than Rhode Island..
    Tropical Storm Claudette brought a U.S. rainfall record of 43′ in 24hours in and around Alvin in July of 1979…
  • Texas is the only state to enter the U.S. by TREATY, (known as the Constitution of 1845 by the Republic of Texas to enter the Union) instead of by annexation. This allows the Texas Flag to fly at the same height as the U.S. Flag, and may divide into 5 states.
  • A Live Oak tree near Fulton is estimated to be 1500 years old.
  • Caddo   Lake is the only natural lake in the state.
  • Dr Pepper was invented in Waco in 1885. There is no period in Dr Pepper.
  • Texas has had six capital cities: Washington -on- the Brazos, Harrisburg, Galveston, Velasco, West Columbia and Austin.
  • The Capitol Dome in Austin is the only dome in the U.S. which is taller than the Capitol Building in Washington   DC (by 7 feet).
  • The San Jacinto Monument is the tallest free standing monument in the world and it is taller than the Washington monument.
  • The name ‘Texas’ comes from the Hasini Indian word ‘tejas’ meaning friends. Tejas is not Spanish for Texas.
  • The State Mascot is the Armadillo (an interesting bit of trivia about the armadillo is they always have four babies. They have one egg, which splits into four, and they either have four males or four females.).
  • The first domed stadium in the U.S. was the Astrodome in Houston.

Cowboy’s Ten Commandments: posted on the wall at Cross Trails Church in Fairlie, Texas:

  1. Just one God.
  2. Honor yer Ma & Pa.
  3. No telling tales or gossipin’.
  4. Git yourself to Sunday meeting.
  5. Put nothin’ before God.
  6. No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal.
  7. No killin’.
  8. Watch yer mouth.
  9. Don’t take what ain’t yers.
  10. Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.

Y’all git all that?
Lord, keep Your arm around my shoulder
and Your hand over my mouth.

September 3, 2010 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to the usual

I’m back in the office after a week working in remote offices performing upgrades and after the Memorial Day weekend.

Once again I was able to open my mouth and prove I am able to create problems in the house. Yard work; I was told by my stepson that he was going to mow the yard on Saturday after he played paintball with his friends which I was fine with. Once he got home he was then too hot and sweaty to do the yard but he would do it in the morning. I too was OK with that but told him he needed to have it done by 1200 since we had planned a visit to my parents house to take them to dinner. By 900am no yard work was being done. So I did it. Once I finished I came in to see my step son sitting in front of the TV eating cereal, it’s just after 1200. He said he was sorry he didn’t get up to do the yard, I responded by telling him I was sadly getting used to him not keeping his word. Later as we were getting ready to go the yard topic came up again… he gave me some reason for not doing the work, I informed him that he always had an excuse for not doing what he said he was going to do. That set off the fireworks. he then decided he was not going to go… his Mom wanted me to apologize so he would go, I refused since I was telling the truth as to what happens. I did apologized for the fact that he was upset by my words but they were true and I would not apologize for them. As I told her he was mad because he was called on his lack following through his inability to keep his word. yeah I know he’s 13 but he should be able to do what he says… what is expected of him. Hell on Monday he asked to use his Mom’s laptop; she told him yes as long as he got dressed for the day. Two hours later he comes down stairs… NOT dressed. I brought it to his and his Mom’s attention. You would have thought I shot someone… I got a load of crap about “sorry I’m not perfect”… WHAT DOES BEING PERFECT HAVE TO DO WITH GETTING DRESSED AS YOUR MOM SAID??!! His mom said nothing to him, I was PISSED OFF. I kept my mouth shut, I realize I expect too much.

Friday night I was informed by my wife that her daughter told her she thinks I don’t like her. I told wife she was close to being correct. I told my wife I did not like the person her daughter was around the house. She is very self-centered, selfish, disrespectful toward her mother. So I headed upstairs to talk with my step-daughter. As I began to talk I started things of as I said to her mother. My stepdaughter seemed to take what I said to heart. I told her she had been; very self-centered, selfish, disrespectful toward her mother. Thus I reacted by keeping my distance from her. I told her I did not want to be around someone that treated their mother so poorly. I also told her that I thought she had good qualities or she wouldn’t have the number of friends that she has. She agreed with me. I let here know I was hurt by hearing her mother talk about how she has been cut out of her daughters life. Prom came and went and her mother was not asked to be involved and when she did try was cut off. That and other things I told her make me not want to be around her.I told her I know I am hard to live with but I see things real simple and have trouble understanding why they, her and her brother, can’t follow my list;

  • Respect you Mother
  • Follow you Mothers rules *simple things like bedtime, do the dishes, etc…*
  • Do what your Mother says or asks

(I quite frankly EXPECT these to be done.)

I think my step-daughter understood what I was saying; later that night before she headed to bed her mom and both got good night hugs and prior to hat she actually sat and talked with us a bit. It was nice to see the change, I hope it continues. Yes there are still issues and one night is not a show that all is solved but it is a move the right direction.

Right now my step-son is on my out list. He was asking me to take him to play paintball, help him and friends start their summer workout, etc… I will not do it. I have my conditions until they are met regularly his mom or dad can deal with him.

June 1, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Misconceptions of being a step-parent

Many of us, at least me, think that when we find the right person to fall in love with we have it made. If that person has children, either living with them or only part time, we think we have an instant family. For me that was not true.

At first it seemed that it might be true but as time has passed I have found that I am really the outsider. I have the responsibility to provide for my step-children in all ways but it ends there. I don’t have the bond that a parent would have. I tend to think respect toward the parent is priority but if that is not the way the kids were originally raised I can’t change that.

I thought that we would do things together, vacation, picnics, movie night, etc… Yes we have done some of these things but the joy I thought would be there is missing. I am sure some of the problem is mine; I have issue with kids not doing what they are told to do. I know they will forget at times, I know they will fight some things, but when that becomes the norm not the exception I begin to have issue with it. I draw the proverbial line in the sand and begin to put a stop to the norm.

But, as time progresses I have come to realize this thought of responsibility is wrong. Yes I will care for the needs of my step-kids; no one goes hungry or is in need of clothing, etc… but don’t expect me help in other ways. Yes, I have conditions that must be met if you want something from me and silly me has the audacity to think they are simple and easy;

  • Respect your parents (Mother and Father) and show it.
  • Follow the rules of the house
  • Do the chores your mother has given you.
  • Do them when she says.
  • Do what you mother tells you, no arguments.

I once thought that the kids would at least provide respect to me because I was the other adult in the house, their Mom’s husband, etc… Boy was I wrong. I have finally stopped pushing for any kind of respect from the kids toward me and have told them that. I also told them that they should respect their mother and father and that I would do everything I had to too make sure they at least showed respect toward them. If that means being the EVIL step-dad then so be it.

I will do what my wife asks of me to help her and to try to make her happy. Unfortunately the story book family dream I had does not exist and never will.

April 27, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Dad

My Dad is very important to me. He has had much to do with how I am today, though some may say I am crazy. He taught me right and wrong; to be true to my convictions; to stand for what is right and many other cliches. My Dad is very gentle when that is what was needed but was hard when that was needed. He made sure I knew the rules and followed them. There was no question that if my mother gave me a task, I was going to do it because he made sure I had respect for my mother as did he.

I remember as a little kid the two of us sitting in the floor of our apartment playing with cars, not just any cars, these were ‘Sizzlers’ from HotWheels. They were battery powered and fast.

There were other times he would be working a sketch for work or some other things for work and I would just be in the room with him playing with my cars or drawing also.  I did not need to have him directly interact with me, just being there was great.

I played several sports growing up and my Dad was there to support me and cheer me on. I played baseball one year and found that I was not good so never went back to it. At age 10 we moved to a subdivision that had a swim team. I was able to keep my head above water so I joined the team. Dad was at every swim meet, you could hear him holler from any place around the pool. I swam for nearly 10 years and my Dad was there every step of the way. During the time a played Dad’s Club football, 2 years. He was there also. Looking back, Dad was not one of the Dad’s that was in the middle of everything, he was there to support and encourage me not relive his childhood or make up for something he didn’t get to do as a kid. Or, try to make me into a some sports super star that I didn’t want to be.

Unlike some kids my Dad didn’t embarrass me, neither of my parents did.  I enjoyed being with them and doing things with them.

We had a number of boy’s night out… Just me and my Dad. when I was little, under 10, we would go to the drive-in theater and watch the latest Karate/Kung Fu movies. As I got older he would take me and my friends to the indoor theater to see the latest movies released. Our drives home were filled with him telling us jokes and stories of when he was a kid. We even tried a few of the things he told us about, we are lucking to be alive as is he.

Now that I am reaching middle age, I guess that is what I am… I’ll be 45 this year… I look back at those times with great joy. I still enjoy the times I have with my Dad, it’s mostly us sitting around and talking or on the phone. I am very fortunate that he and my Mom live pretty close; I unfortunately don’t see them as much as  I want.

Who I am is largely due to who my Dad is; a very strong man he is. Neither of us are too macho as not to tell each other ” I Love You” or share a hug versus a handshake. His example, his life choices, has helped me to understand the need to be a man of my word. Simply do what you say and do what you know you must.

I love my Dad.

I Love You Dad.

April 9, 2010 Posted by | General, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Moving out

I just found out my step-daughter is planning to move to her Dad’s after she graduates from High School in a few months. This really doesn’t make her Mother very happy. Her mother asked her what was going to do with her things in her room… her response was to move her clothes. Then she was asked about college, the reply was her Dad and boyfriend could help her move.

This makes me think she is going to cut away from her mother. She’ll be 18 and has that right. My questions are what financial help will I now be responsible to handle. While living in our house I was  fine doing what was needed, when she moves out what then??? My thought is her Dad is now responsible or she is.

College requirements per my step-daughter;

  • refridgerator
  • laptop
  • printer
  • etc…

Things we WERE going to get… Should I now or is it her Dad’s responsibility? From my understanding her Dad is not able to help much with college costs which leaves the burden on her Mother and I. Does this change now that she will not be living with us?

The entire idea of her moving out, the way it is being done, is hurting her Mother greatly, yet she will not say anything to her daughter.

I’m a bit confused on what to do and what my responsibilities are and if they change any.

She is a good kid but quite self centered and inconsiderate when it comes to her Mother.

I guess time will tell. I’ll do what her Mother wants, but i will let her know my thoughts and will not hesitate to to say NO if I see an issue.

April 7, 2010 Posted by | Concerns, Kids, Parenting | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments