Monday, June 20, 2011

A Local Celebrity is Born

My fame and fortune have grown 10 fold since yesterday!  (That's a slight exaggeration.) My silly little blog was featured in the Lifestyles section of our local printed and online newspaper, The Daily News Journal.  I just wanted to let all of my readers know that I will not let this new success go to my head.  I promise to not make any extra demands on any of my royal subjects. Now, would one of you fetch me some water.  My throat is feeling a bit parched.

I may be royalty now but I'm not without compassion.  I'm going to treat all in my kingdom (Queopolis) with more of... well... me.  I will present you with the article that has elevated my status.  One thing you will have to do, though, is substitute my REAL name, Que, with my royal name of Toma.  That's not asking too much.  I'm sure this will be just a minor inconvenience.  I guess the price you pay for success is 2 names.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, feel free to go to the article that gives a more personal view into the life of my royal family.  This article was written by Nancy De Gennaro.  I think she did a wonderful job.  As a matter of fact, I think it could be the best article ever written! (I might be a little biased, though.)  So click the pic to be taken to a land of enchantment. (That's another slight exaggeration.  It really just goes to the article.  I will let you decide if there is even an ounce of enchantment in that.)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quick Father’s Day Challenge

A lot of fathers in the US are waking up today to the smell of breakfast:  Pancakes, sausage, eggs, Fruity Pebbles and bacon. (Because NOTHING says Happy Father’s Day like bacon!  Really, any holiday can start with bacon and be ok.)  In addition to breakfast, there will be other gifts given: Ties, wallets, cards and bacon. (See, bacon is so versatile that it can be a meal AND a gift!) There will be many things going on today in the name of Fatherhood.  But my challenge takes a different angle.  It does a 180 (degrees) on the tradition on Father’s Day.  It does a little switch-a-roo on things.  (If you are a father you should be used to doing things like this.  Switch-a-roo is your specialty!  Just ask the mothers.  They have been trying to get you to do things the right way for years.  And in defense of fathers… we don’t do things the WRONG way.  We just do them OUR way.)

Fathers… Take some time today to focus not on the things you are receiving for being a father but on the things are you are “giving” because you are a father.  Nothing has been more challenging for me than Fatherhood.  (Although, being a Cowboys and a Titans fan has had its share of challenging moments over the last decade or so.)  But because of that challenge Fatherhood presents it has helped me grow as a person.  I’m supposed to help my little ones grow into adults but they are the one who are helping me do the same.  Fatherhood is like most things in life.  The more you put into it the more you get out of it.  It’s like the old computer science statement: GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).  And for that, I want to make sure this Father’s Day I remember to give them gifts to help them grow as well.
Fathers… Make sure your kids start out in a better position than you did.  I have no complaints about my childhood. (Well, not many.  I’m still mad that a 2nd cousin of mine broke my Optimus Prime Transformer and her mom (my 1st cousin) NEVER paid for it.  But other than that, I’m good!)  My childhood was great!  We didn’t start out with a lot but we were in a much better spot when I moved out on my own.  And I think that’s how a family grows from generation to generation.  We, fathers, need to make sure we do what it takes to make sure our kids start out in a better position in life than we did.  And that’s what I’m trying to do.  I have been working a lot to make sure my children start the race of life with a little bit of a head start.

Fathers… teach your sons to how to be men.  Now, that in itself is not MY challenge.  I’m the father to 3 girls.  And you would think that lets me off the hook completely for this challenge but you would be mistaken.  My challenge is not to teach my daughters to be men but I can teach them how a man is supposed to be.  I challenge myself to treat not on only them but also their mother with respect.  I don’t want there to be any confusion with my girls when it comes to the proper way they should be treated.  I don’t want them to ever settle for anything less than what they deserve.  And it’s my job to give them an idea of what that looks like.  So when I tell the fathers to teach their sons how to be men, I do it for their own good.  If they ever want their sons to have a chance with some beautiful, funny and intelligent women (like my daughters) they will need to know how to treat a lady.  I may not intimidate your son like in the movies when he comes over but I have NO problem with raising the bar so high that he’s gonna need MY help just to get over it! (This paragraph is kind of funny to me since my daughters aren’t dating until they are in their 30s.)

So, whether you are an average Que (like me) or a celebrity like Kevin Bacon (Amazing!!!! A food.  A Gift. A name. Bacon is just grand!), this challenge is something you should take a few moments to really think about.  We all have our way to celebrate this special day.  But today is the day we get to flip the script just because we are fathers!  (Kinda gives you a sense of power you don’t get the other 364 days of the year, doesn’t it?)

(Also, thanks to my kids!  Without you I wouldn't be the father I am today.)
(I think that's how it works, right?)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Goodbyes are Never Easy

To my library friends:

Saying goodbye is never easy.  It's especially difficult when you have so much emotion invested in the time between the aloha and the aloha.  If the moment had been but a brief encounter all would have been well.  A simple "Ciao" would have sufficed.  But the longer the interaction... the longer the circumstance... the longer the story, the longer the ending.

Each second, minute and hour unknowingly adds more and more words to the final paragraph.  Each day, week and month changes the plot and the course of the final page.  Each year adds character and true meaning to the final chapter. And only when the novel is complete do you realize how important every single word was to defining who you are and what you will become.

Another thing about goodbyes is when the time comes, how do you let go?  No matter what you say or how you say it, feelings of words left unspoken never leave you.  It's almost like that feeling you get when you are packing for a long vacation.  Whether you spend a little or a lot of time on the task you always have a feeling that you are leaving something essential out of your luggage.  The feeling is natural.  It will eventually pass... just not today.

Today it will nag you to no end.  Every time you think, your mind will be filled with thoughts of "Should I have said..." When you speak, your words might seem calculated or prepared.  And the more effort taken to ensure the event will go without an awkward moment almost always ensures the awkwardness will be there... two or three fold.

You almost wish you could skip past the moment of goodbyes and move right to the feelings of relief that come afterward.  But you eventually come to understand that denying the moment means denying the relief.  The relief comes because of the moment.  And as time further advances you come to understand that saying the goodbye is a gift within itself.  There are many times in life when we would give up most of our future hellos for one chance to go back and give a missed goodbye. I know I have a few of those.

So, as I say my goodbyes I do so with the understanding that this not a goodbye to us.  This is a goodbye to the way things used to be. This is not a goodbye to the people but only to the moments shared in the past.  This is merely the closing lines of book one in a series of infinite volumes.  And I also realize that no matter how many words I say or write I WILL forget something.  No matter how many times I go over this in my mind it WILL be awkward.  And this WILL nag me for a while but I will have to move on because new stories can't be written without closing previous ones.

I bid thee all adieu and I anxiously await to see how our roles fare in the sequel.