Category Archives: I believe the children are our future

innocence lost

When my daughter J was a newborn, I remember a conversation with my wife about what it meant to have a daughter. I told her that even though our infant daughter was a perfect, tiny little angel up to that point it was bittersweet because “daughters will break their father’s hearts.”  I wasn’t entirely sure what I meant at the time, but I knew it to be true.  my wife asked her father about my comment, and he agreed, and even recalled one of the times when it was particularly true for him in their relationship.

anyhow, so I was singing one of my favourite new songs to J yesterday:

Oh no, no, I never go to work.
Oh no, no, I never go to work.
Oh no, no, I never go to work.
Oh no, no, I never go to work.

On Mondays, I never go to work.
On Tuesdays, I stay at home.
On Wednesdays, I never feel inclined.
Work is the last thing on my mind.

On Thursdays, it’s a holiday!
And Fridays I detest.
Oh it’s much too late on a Saturday,
And Sunday is the day of rest.

I modified the lyrics a little bit to make the song an apology for leaving her, because I had to go to work.  something like, 

It’s Monday — so I gotta go to work,
I don’t want to — but I’ve got to make some money,
On Tuesday — I’ll probably go to work,
Cuz really — I’m just a mindless wage-slave…

something like that.  

“honey, I’d love to stay home with you — no NO, I never want to go to work!” I say.

my daughter responds with all earnestness, virtually pushing me out the door with her hug: “oh daddy, that’s just a song.

so somehow along the line, in her two and a half brief years, my daughter has learned that working 40 hours a week Monday to Friday is the norm, and “playing trumpet everyday” is only appropriate in songs.  I guess I thought that it would take a few years of public-schooling before she built a box around her creativity and energy and resigned herself to working for a living… and I can’t help but feel like a failure as a father.

maybe it’s not too late to turn her ship around.

once again ladies and gentlemen — They Might Be Giants: [zip forward to 0:30]


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Filed under damn lies, fear of the day, I believe the children are our future, money money money money, music, reasons to homeschool

the priorities of a two year old

after throwing a load of laundry in the washer, I was leading my daughter upstairs from the basement.  she plopped herself down in front of the Commodore 64 that was laying about and said, “wait — I have to email”

I kid you not —

I think that’s her “you’ve got mail”-face.

the mouse wasn’t ‘working’ so she tried to plug it in; I started getting into the details of DB9 vs. the DIN serial port, but she abandoned the effort.  I urged her to continue on upstairs with “we can see if your email got through to my laptop…” she stopped ‘typing’, rested her hands on the keyboard, and said to me with all seriousness, “this is my work.”

YIKES — she must have heard that once or twice before (or a hundred times)…

then she held her hand up, thumb and forefinger extended, and said something about ’email’ — K would later tell me that she was ‘handing’ me the email; something her and her bff do because they don’t seem to understand the Interwebs yet.  (apparently they’ve played this email game before.)

the scary thing is that they will understand, and on a different level than me or anyone in my generation.  the Internet has only really been around for half of my life; she’ll never know life without it.  I doubt my daughter has any concept of sitting down and writing a letter to someone (via snail mail) — but she already knows email.

and YouTube (aka “BARNEY SONG!  BARNEY SONG!”), but that’s another post.


Filed under I believe the children are our future

kids say the darndest things

my wife was so kind to relate this to me…

so after all the sweetness of the other day, apparently my daughter held up my Seinfeld DVD box today, pointed to George Costanza, and said,

“that’s daddy!”

ugh.  all I can say is that when/if we play hockey, she better keep her head up.

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Filed under desperate, fear of the day, hope I die before I get old, I believe the children are our future

sweetest 7 words ever uttered

“I want to play hockey with daddy”

I swear; straight from my daughters mouth.  we were looking at the Parks&Rec hockey programs, but I didn’t sat anything specific to prompt her response… it’s not like she was just mimicing me.  I was talking about how much fun hockey is, and she blurted this out.

obviously, I melted.


Filed under I believe that hockey is our future, I believe the children are our future

“I learned this one from mom”

“it’s called: hold on a sec, I have to drink my caramel macchiatto and say good morning to your future president of the United States.” *

her official caption was: “Dad saying hi to me in the morning.”

“this is my So-Inspired-By-His-Vision-for-America-face (made more difficult by Botox):”

her caption: “I had the best seat in the house.” she was in the Straight Talk Express, sitting behind her father, looking out at the crowd.  no doubt the leather in the bus was a better seat than anywhere else in the arena.  also little doubt that the bus is sound-proof, the Starbucks has worn off, and she’d rather be elsewhere.

more insufferably boring captions (” “) at

* extended version: “it’s called: hold on a sec, I have to drink my caramel macchiatto and say good morning to your future president of the United States.  no, not the Muslim guy, the old guy. I’m on his bus. no, we didn’t hook up, he’s my dad.”

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Filed under I believe the children are our future, politics

schaedenfreud of the year

“I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen.”

John Edwards on President Clinton

seeing the currently reigning Father of the Year [video] in the middle of this debacle, I’m almost ashamed at how delighted I am at his misfortune.  almost.

I take that back — I’m truly delighted.  watch the video (link above), and listen to his quip abouthis wife “always getting what she wants.”  ugh.

Edwards, on being a living example to your children:

“It is true, your children learn not only from what you say, but from what you do,” he said. “Whenever they do anything that you’re proud of in your life, you’ll be able to look back on the things that you taught them both through your words and through your deeds.”

I better stop…


Filed under I believe the children are our future

McCain drawing retirement benefits — not sure where to begin

mrs.st4rbux just mentioned this to me this evening [via msnbc]:

McCain’s 2007 tax return shows Social Security benefits of $23,157 for the year, an average of $1,929.75 a month. He said he started receiving the payments “whenever I was eligible.”

McCain, who will turn 72 next month, was eligible to receive full-retirement benefits when he turned 65. In 2008, the maximum benefit for a person retiring at full retirement age was $2,185.

McCain reported a total income of $405,409 in 2007. As a senator, he is paid $169,300 a year. Last year, he donated $105,467 to charity, his return shows. […] McCain’s wife, Cindy, reported a total income of more than $6 million in 2006, according to the campaign.

I honestly don’t know what to think about this.  on the surface, it makes me mad.  it makes me mad that he is NOT retired and he’s drawing what is widely regarded as ‘retirement’ benefits.  but I guess the truth is that anyone can claim their social security benefits at age 62 and continue to work in whatever capacity they see fit.  it’s probably just incredibly rare for anyone in their mid-60’s — or 72 in his case — to have a $169,000 salary.  most people in that pay scale with decent retirement planning would have sufficient funds to quit working.  it makes me want to say that anyone with $400,000 in income shouldn’t be able to draw SS benefits… but

B.J. Jarrett, a spokesman with the Social Security Administration: “An individual does have the right to refuse his/her Social Security retirement benefit. However, Social Security is an entitlement program and an individual would essentially be forfeiting a benefit based upon contributions during his/her working lifetime.”

right — it wasn’t designed as a welfare program, and it shouldn’t be means-tested because it’s supposed to be the returns on their contributions over their work-life.  so I’m wrong to be mad — why wouldn’t he take the payout on his contributions over the prior 40+ years?  it would be irrational to refuse.  and, in effect, means-testing social security would be like means-testing my 401(k), saying I couldn’t withdraw it after 59.5 years of age if my other income was over a certain threshold.  there’s no way that makes sense.

but I’m still angry.  I think it’s because he could refuse his benefits, and if nothing else it would be symbolic gesture to show that he really believes the system is broken and is ready to sacrifice personally to help extend it.  a gesture that could go a long way when he asks others, as inevitably will, to sacrifice their benefits in order to maintain solvency.  maybe more than a gesture; it’s a chance to demonstrate leadership on the issue.

McCain reported over $100K in charitable contributions; forgoing an additional $20K wouldn’t be the end of him — not with Cindy’s $6M in yearly income (2006).  I’m not saying he should forgo it simply because he has the means (I’d never argue that), I’m just saying that $20K is a small price to pay to buy the moral high-road on this issue.  it’s chumpity-chump change compared to the television spots he’s going to have to buy to spin his current decision.


Filed under dumbfounded, I believe the children are our future, politics, stupid government