Human Values, Miami Vice Blazers and Gorilla Boobs

GratitudeGratitude%20-%20Peace.jpgI really dig my blog pals. You leave great comments and keep my visitor meter ticking. The internet can be a cold and empty place. Nothing like a little action on your IP to make you feel warm and alive. And every so often you’ll even come up with cool ideas for the rest of us to run with. This month, rad skater mom Piper from Bliss in Bloom has initiated a “month of gratitude” project (designated by this nifty peace graphic) that has spawned some great posts among the sites I frequent. Here are a couple I’ve enjoyed recently:

Missives From Suburbia's Gratitude Post

The Bell Pages Gratitude Post

Now it’s my turn.

BusyDad, Sr.
GratitudeDad.jpgThis one goes out to my own Busy Dad. He was a man of few words. And fewer facial expressions. But what he lacked in animation, he made up for in empathy for a boy and his social struggles. In our household, mom was the one who was tasked with the difficult mission of nurturing human values in us kids. Part of this value lesson was emphasizing the importance of looking beyond the superficial and also appreciating the value of a hard-earned dollar. In practical application, this combo spelled doom for a boy struggling with peer acceptance in middle school. That meant no brand name clothes and no trendy stuff. Sure, true friends wouldn’t judge me by the clothes I wore, but chicks would!! And so would bullies (don’t ever let ‘em spot your imitation “Sweats Bi Ebe”)! But I couldn’t say that to mom. How could one even use that as a legitimate argument?

But dad knew. One day, he took me on a little shopping trip to Jordan Marsh and bought me pair of these:


Oh the joy! The salvation!! Not only were these my first pair of Nikes, they were the cool ones! Like Reese wore in The Terminator (the pic above is a scene from The Terminator, in case you were wondering). I will never forget the day I walked out of the South Shore Plaza with these on my feet. I don’t think I even looked up the whole way back to the car.

Dad never spoiled me, but he always made sure that I had the bare essentials to survive socially. I didn’t need to be the coolest guy in school. I just needed to avoid being the un-coolest guy. But every once in a while, when I needed that Cinderella moment (I couldn’t find a male equivalent descriptor), Dad would be there. I still think the only reason I actually got a girl to slow dance with me during “Stairway to Heaven” at my 8th grade social was because I was sportin’ this:


Thanks, Dad, for making my valuable lessons in life that much easier to swallow.


Folks Who Take Marcus to the Zoo

As any parent can attest, the best present you can give us is time. Time is like life’s gift card. This gift card is often presented to us in the form of taking our son to the Zoo. Marcus loves the zoo, and he’s been there more times than d wife and I have because I have great people in my life who take him there.

First, there’s my sister. She took Marcus to the zoo earlier this year to check out the spider exhibit. And not a moment too soon apparently, as Marcus pointed out to the zoo people, “good thing I’m here now, because if I came next year, everything would be dead.” (He makes me do research with him on YouTube for anything that piques his interest, and we had just seen a clip that talked about the lifespan of spiders.)

Then, there’s my dear friend Joey and his girlfriend Mils. I’m so lucky that Joey loves monkeys and my kid (he’s Marcus’ Godfather too) because that means trips to the zoo are a regular occurrence. This past Sunday, he called me out of the blue and offered to take Marcus to the Gorilla exhibit at the zoo. Even though Joey and Mils are carefree single folks, I always trust them with my kid. They even sent me this picture to reassure me that all was well:

Yup, he’s buckled in. Nothing wrong with this picture.

Of course, once at the zoo, Joey got a little taste of what the Busy Dad Blog is all about:

When they went to the bathroom, Marcus heeded my words about trying his best not to touch things with his hands in a public bathroom. Of course, that meant when he went to flush, he used his chin.

At the gorilla exhibit, Marcus rode atop Joey’s shoulders to get a better look. And a better look he got. At the mama gorilla.

“Hey! I can see her titties!”

Joey’s always been one to think quick (which is probably why I’m still here today), and without missing a beat, he turned to Mils and asked real loud “What on earth are you teaching this child of yours!”

My baby god-daddy and my baby god-daddy boo