Monday, March 26, 2012


Greetings fellow explorers,

I just deleted an entire paragraph of "we are SO busy" because I'm sure everyone feels that way.  Enough said.

Reaching agreement is one of the new concepts I'm teaching the twins.  With the three of us in the car I say, "where do you two want to go for lunch?" or some decision that needs to be made.  Then I tell them, "If you AGREE then we will go or do, but if you don't reach agreement then we won't go or do anything.  Easton suggested NYPD pizza and Layla suggested sushi.  Layla is all about compromise as long as that means the other person is compromising.  Even so, she is learning well and went along with my recommendation that they agree on pizza for lunch today and then we'll go to sushi next time.  Reaching agreement is an art and I want them to know the power of agreement as soon as they are able to comprehend it.

Another concept is being a man of my word.  The meaning of that finally sunk in after 2 years of saying it.  Earlier this week I mentioned we would go for a hike on Saturday.  Well, Saturday came around and Layla said, "We are going for a hike, right Dad?"  I said, "Hmmm...  I'm not sure if we'll do that or not."  She responded, "But Dad, you are a man of your word and that means you do what you say you will do".  Bingo!  Hooray!  They finally get it!

Easton asked to take the binoculars and Layla asked to take their camera.  In my head I think, "the answer should always be yes to their request unless there is a valid reason to say no".  The shortened response to them is:  Why not?  So off we went trekking up South Mountain to the top of the first peak.

The warm spring day provided the almost perfect backdrop for the twins to broaden their horizons.  We talked about the mountain ranges way off in the distance and which direction Ouma and Oupa and Nana and Papa live.  I like to give them perspective on how big the city and world and universe are so they will set their sights high.

I'm proud of the twins for hiking up and down the mountain with no scrapes or blood.  That's a big success and first for us.  They remember Oupa saying, "Slow down" to them when he hiked with us before.  That's the good advice they repeated the whole way down and it worked!

Easton really cherishes our boy's time.  We're getting in the daily habit of at least 20 minutes with just the two of us playing whatever he wants to play.  That seems to be much more valuable to him than the once-per-week afternoon of boy's time. One evening I recommended he drive the Jeep and I threw in the added bonus of remote control helicopter flight time.  Usually he prefers to just play in his room with planes, trains, and automobiles, but he was open to my recommendation, luckily.

We powered up the Jeep and brought the helicopter along since the wind was still.  Any amount of wind would push the light-weight copter into the neighbor's pool so I'm extra careful to check for the absence of wind before agreeing to flight time with Big Time.

He manages the left-right-forward-back control stick and I manage the throttle-altitude control stick.  He's getting the hang of flying quickly!  I may get to give him a chance for full control by next year.  Easton is giving me fulfillment in a way I never expected...  He is more excited to see me and play with me than any person on the face of the Earth.  As soon as I walk in the door he gives me big hugs and tells me about his day.  Since I spend so much time with him he doesn't ask, "When are you going to be home?" or "When will you have time to play with me?" or even the basic question of "Will you play with me?"  He just says, "Let's play!" and off we go.  I'm so blessed to have the quantity of time each day to just be with him doing whatever he's passionate about that day.

That's the kind of love money can't buy.  I don't take it for granted even one day, but instead I get to embrace him and play with toys I haven't played with in 25 years.  All boy's ask the question, "Do I have what it takes?"  I find new ways to affirm that every single day with a resounding "Yes!" because as I learn what his needs are I am able to meet them.  Parenting is not always wonderful, but I'm enjoying the journey even more than I hoped.

See you soon!

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