It’s Always the Small Things

It’s always the small things. It’s the time Archibald (not his real name) made a joke which actually made sense. I turned my head instantly to acknowledge that fact and looked at him and he had the biggest smile on his face. I don’t know who was happier, me or him. I don’t even know if that is grammatically correct, but my spell checker didn’t highlight it. So that’s another point in my favor, it’s the small things.

It’s the time I called a customer to let him know that I had processed a $20 refund for him. He was so happy, he was euphoric. He went on for over 15 minutes telling me how great the company and I was/is.

I don’t talk about my job or my company very much. I’m pretty confident you know why. I’m sure a large majority feel about their job the way I feel. Also, I don’t want to leave a digital footprint, not to be confused with a carbon footprint that could somehow be traced back to me and used against me, just in case I need to join the Witness Protection Program.

Every time I ask the boys to clean the room, they disappear, as if they are already in the Witness Protection Program.   How come I’m always the last one to know?

It’s the time Mortimer (not his real name either) went to bed and noticed that he had clean sheets. For the record, I do most of the laundry in the house and he has clean sheets regularly. But, on this particular occasion, I didn’t tell him before he laid down and when he did, he sort of cocked his head while on his pillow and said very quietly, thank you, Daddy.

It’s the time SMM (Sergeant Major Mommy) and I went on a “date.” It was Valentine’s Day, just a few weeks ago. We’ve been married for 15 years and for the last seven and a half, we have gone out for dinner together, maybe twice. So, it was a pretty major small thing. C’mon, it was dinner. It wasn’t at a super high-class ritzy place, but it also wasn’t at a fast food joint. It was romantic. It was alone, just the two of us. It was an Italian restaurant with real Italian food and hospitality.

It’s always the small things that seem to make or break us. A series of small things, not in our favor, and our mind will connect the dots and make it into a big thing and suddenly we’re in crisis mode.   I don’t know at what point in adulthood that crisis mode seems more normal and expected than, heck, I don’t even know what to call it, non-crisis mode, happy mode, joyful mode or pie ala mode.

Being an adult is not the way cool thing I thought it would be.   Or maybe, it’s just me. You reach a certain age and surprises are fewer, pleasantries are scarcer and memories keep getting longer and farther away.   It’s good to have the boys going through such an exciting time in their lives. It gives me something exciting, too.

There are a lot of challenges with daddy-hood. One of the biggest is learning how to let go. When the little buggers were in their Tae Kwon Do class tonight, as a matter of fact, their attention was waning from the master. He quickly summoned the boys to attention and corralled their energy into doing quick physical exercises to train them on maintaining their focus on him. I’m glad he did it. He did it in a very authoritative way, too. But, with respect so as not to crush the buggers’ spirits. He looked at me and I nodded my head slightly to him. He nodded back and we both knew it was the right thing to do.

I have had to learn to let the buggers live their own lives and learn their own ways. They may be the center of my world, but I am not entirely the center of theirs. That’s ok. I get it. Sometimes the small things are enough to remind me that life is really just made up of small things. That, in the middle of the day, when I least expect it, a small thing will reach out and shake me up and say, hey wake up, this is life calling. And instead of asking me to ‘do’ anything, life will just say, see this is how it’s supposed to be, joyful, happy and with pie ala mode.

Remaking Manhood by Mark Greene

Remaking Manhood cover

Mark Greene takes the subject of changing and evolving masculinity out of any academic classroom and puts it squarely into the laps of those in the trenches of the evolution. He uses his own damaged childhood and adolescence as prime reflectors of what masculinity used to be and how it shaped him and many others. But, Mark doesn’t stop there. How can he? Why should he?

Masculinity is a multi-faceted diamond. Looking at one aspect of it for too long, one could lose the overall brilliance of the gem. Mark writes about the loss of touch and intimacy for boys and men, painful initiations and rituals into manhood, shame and its consequences on men, the presence and future of raising boys, men as providers, sensitivity for men and boys, the suppression of male issues and more.

Women are not forgotten either as Mark addresses the failing of some women’s perceptions of men. I have read some of these chapters as articles on the Good Men Project and I have come to highly respect Mark and I can identify with his writing. Mark is not only reflecting on masculinity, he is urgently calling for a discussion on its future.

Here is the link to his FaceBook page:

Here is the link to his own webpage for his book:

The book is also available on Amazon.

Succulent Wild Love Review



Succulent Wild Love: Six Powerful Habits for feeling more love more often by Sark and Dr. John Waddell.

New World Library, 2015.


This is a different type of book about love. Sark the author, Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, says “This is not a normal book.” I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the title: Succulent Wild Love. Is it a double entendre? The quick answer is No.

The real answer is that even the book is succulent – juicy, moist and tasty. Sark and her new husband, Dr. John Waddell, have a created a way of life and love that you can sink your teeth into. “This book provides a nourishing foundation for all of your relationships.” Even the relationship with yourself.

To be truthful with you, I hesitate to go into too much detail because I want you to experience your growth new and fresh.

The authors take you on a journey of exploration, discovery, recognition, understanding, reconciliation, healing, overcoming fear, creation, resolution and more. It is not a normal book even in the way it is written. Sark uses her own way to communicate and Dr. John uses his way, both are vital and complimentary. Chapters flow from one facet of love and relationships to another smoothly and easily. At the end of each chapter are Awareness Practices which help the reader identify and become aware of their thoughts and feelings.

Will this book change your life? I suppose that’s up to you. Has it changed me? It certainly has given me a new way to look at my life, my loves and my relationships. I am constantly going back to it and looking things up. You can even pick it up and open to any page and become instantly entranced in the subject, which is really you. Give credit to the authors for their writing style because you will immediately trust them because of their openness and sincerity.   Did I mention that reading it is also fun? When was the last time you heard that about a book?

Give it a try. I realize not everybody will be pre-disposed to read a book about love. Ok, duly noted. Now, pick the book up and start reading. You just might learn something new or see something in a fresh way. That is the power of this book.

Just click on the link:

It is also available on Amazon.


Thursday, I think…

Sometimes it seems all the days run together. I know at work, one day looks just like the rest. At home, the only difference is when there are special occasions, like taking the little buggers to Tae Kwon Do, that indicate what day it might be.

Get up early. Drink 18 cups of coffee to wake up. Get SMM (Sergeant Major Mommy) up. Get the little buggers, Archibald and Mortimer (not their real names), up. Prepare breakfast for them. Drink 6 more cups of coffee.

Every day.

At such time as SMM comes out of shower, I have complete control over the little buggers. Who am I kidding? I NEVER have complete control. I’m lucky if I can get a word in edgewise over their screams and shouts. (You know, that’s an interesting expression – edgewise. Where did that come from? I think it came from ancient mathematics, probably invented by Pythagoras, referring to how to insert feta cheese into a Greek salad and then divided by Pi, spinach pi.)

On those days when I go to work early, I turn over the preparations of the little hooligans for school to SMM as I escape to work.

Every day. It’s the same routine. I get up early. I wake up everyone. EVERY DAY!!!

Every day, the little buggers seem to NOT understand that we do the SAME THING every day. How can they not get this? What don’t they understand about doing the SAME THING EVERY DAY??? Do they think this is fun? That we can have a good time getting up every day doing the same routine to get ready for school or work and to do essentially the same thing almost EVERY DAY for the rest of our lives and that the only real changes are when we change residences or having something special to do (which happens once in a blue moon?)?

(You know that’s an interesting expression – blue moon. Where did that come from? I think it came from middle England about a thousand years ago when they noticed that 13 full moons came in a calendar year, instead of 12.   When they noticed this amid their constant bickering and soccer riots, Ian said something like, Hey that 13th moon was on the blue-ish side, which just happened to be the color of the opposing team’s jerseys, so it became a really odd thing. Hence the expression, once in a blue moon became translated to mean something which did not happen very often because it was so odd and then you had to hit the person next to you.)

Therefore, getting ready every day is pretty much the same thing every day for the rest of your lives, except for those (here, it comes) once in a blue moon occasions.

So, this day was no exception. Everything happened according to plan which means that SMM and daddy (me, moi, numero uno, big dog daddy, head honcho) get the little buggers onto the bus and off to school. Then, SMM and I made it to our job locations. And then after working 27 hours a day, we return home to attend to the other side of the daily equation: Homework (otherwise known as the Spanish Inquisition meets elementary school.)

Well, on this particular day, it became a blue moon day when I get a frantic call from SMM on my dinner hour. I was in my car driving back to work when the phone rang. I usually ignore it when I’m driving because I don’t want to get into an accident, especially when somebody cuts me off and I have to engage in physical and emotional retaliation.

But, this was different because it was SMM’s music.   I have a special song picked out for her for her/my ringtone, We’ve Only Just Begun, by the Carpenters. I was gonna pick out a head-banging music song for her (since that is the kind of music she listens to), but I didn’t wanna hear it every time she calls. Or I coulda picked out Fur Elise by Beethoven, which I’m probably going to end up doing cause everytime I hear the Carpenters I think of poor Karen Carpenter.

SMM calls and immediately begins speaking in the Frantic language. “Must go home. Boys in trouble. Grandma locked herself upstairs. Cat missing.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“GO HOME!!!”

I immediately turn a 180 in the parking lot and head straight home at 100 mph. I was going to text my boss that I may be late in returning to work, actually I did text him. I just didn’t actually touch the letters. On my smartphone, I turned on the speaker which I talked into and the phone typed out the letters and words for me. How cool is that? How come that wasn’t around 50 years ago instead of those stupid rotary phones??? (Which I never actually used, but I saw them on YouTube, I think).

I screech into my driveway, trying to notice everything the way it was so that IF the police ever showed up and asked me the question, “Didn’t you notice anything unusual when you came home?” I would be able to answer the question truthfully.   Actually, nothing looked unusual from the outside.

BUT, as soon as I entered, I took molecular notice of everything. Grandma’s door open. The TV was on FULL BLAST, but the little buggers were not watching it. They were in their bedroom destroying the room. It looked like Hurricanes Archie and Morty had taken EVERY SINGLE TOY out their respective boxes and dumped them on the floor. Of course, the ONLY difference between this day and every other day is that on this day there was a blue moon and every toy was on the floor in a totally random place.

I quickly assessed that I could no longer be NICE DADDY and had to be DADDY IN CHARGE. I ran upstairs to make sure that Gma was ok. She was NOT tied to a chair, she was cooking her dinner.

I asked her, Are you ok?

She said the buggers are not listening to her.

Yeah, and? They don’t listen to me either!

I ran downstairs and gave the little buggers a “good talking to.” I didn’t raise my voice because they definitely would not listen then. I explained that they had to listen to Gma while SMM and daddy were not there. They looked at me, real innocent like, and said ok.

Gma came downstairs and proceeded to make the little buggers dinner. I decided that I had brought peace and quiet to my little corner of the world and that my services were no longer needed at home.

Time to go back to work. I’m sorry, what day is this again?