Greetings friends and family,
Easton and Layla have a much higher tolerance for cold water temperatures. After an unusually warm afternoon of washing our friend's car they convinced me to let them dip their feet in the hot tub. I didn't heat the water at all so their first reaction when they eased down on the step was pure shock. However, after a few minutes splashing around on the top step they took another step down and played for 30 minutes in the frigid water.
Their teeth weren't chattering or blue so I agreed to let them stay and play as long as they could stand it. Summer is just around the corner!
Today Easton and I had "boy's time" together for an afternoon of one-on-one time with just the two of us. He's been looking forward to this for days now because I took Layla earlier this week for a Daddy Date. I bought her a Hair Salon Barbie kit so Easton expected a toy out of our day together as well.
He's been talking about planes for the past few days and lined up all of his toy planes in a nice, neat row on his bedroom rug. I surprised him by driving to the local city airport for a spontaneous adventure. He was extremely overjoyed when we pulled up to the airport and he just thought we were going to watch a few planes take off. We went to the Hangar Cafe for lunch, which is on the tarmac itself. Planes were taxiing by and we watched several take off and land as we ate.
Then I weaseled us into one of the hangars and met a few of the local pilots. I asked Easton which one of the 8 planes he wants to fly. He said, "This one!" as he pointed to a blue bi-plane
Then I got the nod from one of the guys in the hangar to let him sit in a plane I could see the horizon of his mind expanding when I said, "you can fly one of these if you want. you can do anything!" He said, "can I have my own?" My response was, "you can own a whole airport with planes if you want.
We got started right away when we arrived home. We turned a cardboard box into an airport, complete with a hand-painted runway, parking spaces, and a hangar (inside the box). It gave me a chance to give a lesson in math as we numbered the spaces from 0 to 10.
I converse with my friends who have babies and think back to those days with Easton and Layla. My desire is to have these images and stories so ingrained in my memory that I never forget the fulfillment these days hold as a parent.
For example, there is absolutely nothing odd about princess fairy Layla standing in the driveway cuddling her stuffed dog, Nelly.
One of my top ten jobs as her father is to call out her femininity. This picture speaks to me as a reassuring reflection of how well I'm doing in this area. She is lovely, confident, affectionate, and secure in who she is. I only have 14 more years to pour into her life in a meaningful way and that sounds the "carpe diem" alarm in my heart just thinking about it.
Over the past four years I've taken about 22,000 pictures and posted over 750 blog entries. I guess you'd call that a hobby. For me it's more than entertainment. It is my voice! It's not always coherent or popular or perfect, but I'm learning what it means to have a voice so your patience is appreciated. Not that I'll ever "arrive", but at least I can be open and honest about life. For the first time since the blog was created I thought seriously about ending it with a final post of defeat because of what I've felt over the past week, but decided to keep going.
Part of what keeps me writing is knowing others enjoy this. Another part of me doesn't care if anyone ever visits here. My life is an open book and I choose to express my perspective through this venue. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I will not hide. I will not be secretive. I will not be fake. I will not lie and pretend I'm perfect because that is where evil wins. The biggest failures of my life occurred because I thought no one would find out and no one cared even if they did. I refuse to go back there to that place of hidden darkness because I know where that road leads.
Having these two amazing kids who provide an immeasurable supply of good material for blogging certainly helps. Some people use Facebook as a way to express themselves, but the character limit constraints don't provide enough space to really share thoughts or stories. That's why I've kept this going so long and so strong... in case you're wondering.
See you soon!