Thursday, July 26, 2012


<No Picture Necessary>

This is one of the last letters. We're getting into the final stretch, as it were. I've told you everything you'll ever need to know. Mostly.

I could convey to you, until the end of time, my observations, my explanations & my absolution. That would never solve a damn thing for You, though.

You have to find your own way. You have to survive your own trials. You have to wander out of your own wilderness. That is the nature of life. That is how it is lived.

You're going to love so much that it hurts. You're going to lose so much that it kills.

Keep Breathing.

There will be days when the world around you is yellow and full, robust and hopeful. Those are good days. There will also be days when the world around you is dull and blank, bland and as gray as gray can be. Those are good days as well, though. Trust Me.

You see, you have the greatest ability anyone or anything has ever had. Choice.

Perception and action have always been Choices.

Employ that ability within every endeavor you might undertake. Every single one. From "What am I going to eat tonight?" to "How can I save Humanity?".

It all comes down to Choice. It always has. It always will.

You can do anything. Anything.

Choose To Do Something.

One night, a long time ago, I opened doors leading into your rooms. I looked at you P and I pulled up your covers because I worried that you would get cold. I looked at you C and I put you back in your bed, because you were sleeping half in and half out. Boys... what the hell.

That's what a Daddy Does.

I love you more than I have words.


Monday, July 23, 2012


A wiser man than I once described the heavenly body in the picture above far more eloquently & unequivocally than I could ever dream. Mind you, he never ascribed it to a heaven and most certainly did not call it a body. He merely spoke the truth about a dot, once upon a time. The picture his words captioned was taken from so much farther away & so, in kind, seems that much more impressive by its very token. If you wish to find that picture, then go do so. Comprehend what you see. That is not the point of this letter, though.

"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Consider again that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known."

-Carl Sagan

You, admittedly, have no idea who Carl Sagan is, was or will eventually become. I would challenge you to find out each of those outcomes. Make haste in that endeavor. Good luck with the latter of the three as that has yet to be determined... but I have Hope. ;)

I don't want you to wish on shooting stars. I want you to know what meteors are.

There's greater magic to be found there.

Oh, by the way. This is the the marble he was talking about.

See it yet? Do you see You yet?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Middle Name

When I found out that the first child I was to Father was to be a Girl... I honestly thought "Who in the hell did I piss off in a past life?!". My second thought was something along the lines of "Oh Shit. What am I supposed to do? I don't even understand her Mother. How am I supposed to survive in a house with two females? They're so complicated. They're borderline insane...

I do not understand these creatures. I do not understand them at all. I do not understand them in the Summer. I do not understand them in the Fall. I do not understand them in the Morning. I do not understand them at Night. I do not understand them when they won't admit they're wrong. I do not understand them when they won't admit I'm right!".

OK, perhaps there wasn't such a Dr. Seuss ring to my thoughts but that's how I remember it.

Boy, was I a schmuck.

I haven't the words to describe how absolutely, unequivocally, all kidding aside, honest to goodness, AMAZING you were to me (and still are, don't worry!).

But, this isn't a letter about that.

This is a letter about a name.

About three years before you were born there was an accident in our County. It was a school bus accident. It was a school bus that was carrying 7 small elementary school children to the school that both you and your brother now attend. The school where your mother, at the time, was just beginning her own career. As you well know, she's still there. Also, as you well know, that little park in front of the school is called a Memorial Park for a reason.

On that fateful spring day in March of 2000, the sun was out, the air was crisp but warm & I was toiling away at the White House on the hill doing the things that my job entailed. Your mother was, I'm sure, bustling around her classroom in preparation for the day's upcoming classwork. Somewhere a few miles northeast of your Mom, a bus driver was driving a bus carrying a handful of children properly strapped in with their seat belts.

Several minutes before the accident the bus had stopped for the last student on that road. Her name was Kayla Silvers. She was 6 years old. Her Daddy waited with her at the end of the driveway and made sure she safely got aboard. He then waved, turned around and walked back to the house.

Several minutes later, absentmindedly perhaps, the bus driver didn't stop at the rail road crossing. Instead, she slowly began crossing it, oblivious to the 193 ton, 33 car freight train that was barreling down, horn blaring, just over 1000 feet away.

The impact was so violent that it tore the bus from its frame and carried it far down the railroad tracks.

Kayla Silvers' Daddy heard the accident.

He ran down the road and found his little baby girl, lifeless. He cradled her broken body in his arms and he did what any man would do. He wept and he prayed for anyone listening to help. He never put her down. He only let her go when an EMT finally had to tell him the worst news a Daddy could ever hear.

Two other children eventually wandered into that endless sleep due to that accident.

Almost 3 years later, to the day, your mom and I first began discussing having children. She wanted a girl. I was convinced it would be a boy. A month or two later we began trying and before we knew it... you were on your way.

As we thought about names, we could never agree on the middle one. Nothing really fit.

One night, rather accidentally, I stumbled across an older news story about that moment and I thought about Kayla Silvers & her Daddy. I thought about how he would never get to watch her grow up (As I Have). He would never see her dancing in the rain or catching fireflies in a mason jar (As I Have). How he would never be able to tuck her in at night or rush to her aid when nightmares rattled her little body from sleep (As I Have). How he would never get those things... again. As I Do.

I wept. You have no idea.

That is how you got your Middle Name.

I Love You.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Me: P, how is that keyboard working out?

P: I love it, Daddy.

Me: I hope you use it to find your notes. So you can sing in your key.

P: I do Daddy. I press one thing and sing that sound. I can do it for all of them.

Me: Good, Baby. I think it will help you find your songs.

P: Daddy, do you wanna know what my dream is?

Me: What, frog?

P: I wanna be on the radio & sing in Times Square.

Me: *blink*


Me: Then Do It, Darlin'.


C: Hey Daddy. Thank you for the guns.

Me: You're welcome, Buddy. Every boy needs a set of pistols to fend off the bad guys. Do they pop when you pull the trigger? Are you getting rid of the bad guys?

C: Yep. But there's a problem.

Me: There is? What's the problem?

C: I wanna be the guy that takes the money.

Me: You wanna be the what?

C: The Outraw?

Me: You wanna be the Outlaw?

C: Yea! The one that robs the banks!

Me:... *wipes tear*... then you're gonna need a black cowboy hat and a good set of spurs. I'll find them for you, son.

C:  That's Daddy!


Conversations, however peculiar, have shaped our world.

Keep having them.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Your Dad, Part II

P, I know you're starting to write your own songs now. I've saved ever single bit of lyrical content you've written. Even the ones that span multiple pages, are written in purple magic marker & have unicorns drawn in their corners (my favorite, I might add). You keep doing that.

I hope the new keyboard will help you find different instruments, different avenues & ultimately, a different muse with which to create your prodigies.

You keep writing your songs as long as you have the mind to imagine them. Your Dad still does. Even when he ignores the chairs in the room.

P.S. Remember what I said about playing with picks... they're overrated. You have five individual fingers. Put them to use on occasion. ;)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I want to tell you about Love.

It is unlike everything you have ever believed it to be. It is unlike the movies that portray it, the books that wandered within it & the stories reminisced of it by those you trust. It is unlike all of those venues.

I understand that is a bold statement but I promise you, I Promise You, it is the truest statement I have ever known.

Love is not magical. It is not a Fairy Tale. It is Better than that.

Love does not happen in an instant. There is no First Sight. Love is like the sediment that builds up the banks of a small creek, a wide river or the oceans themselves. It takes far longer than the time you have to offer, but it works far quicker when you're not paying attention.

Love is not having to say a word and knowing that being silent is OK. Love is a small smile when everyone else is showing their teeth. Love is not hope, it's hoping. Love is shitting with the bathroom door ajar... and laughing about the sounds. Hey, that's just the truth.

Love Happens... but it does not, has never & will never just Happen.

My hope for you is that one day you can find someone who hates your flaws and yet adores the fact that you have them. The Loving is easy... the Living with it is the hard part.

Your eyes will always tell the truths your mouth hasn't learned to convey.

Find your mirror when you're ready. Love the reflection.

And if they make funny faces at you.. You Win.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Get Lost Again

I want to tell you about California.

California was dropped off somewhere near the end of the road about 11 months ago. She was frail, lost & in desperate need of hope. I fully understood her plight.

She wandered up out of the dark on a Tuesday night. She was crying. I said hello. She wrapped herself around my legs in quite the eternal fashion. That's just what cats do. I gave her milk (it's all I had). She adored it. The next day, I gave her food. She adored that. The next day, she was a part of our Family.

You've seen her plenty of times lately. She allows you to pick her up, snuggle her & drop her from heights that I don't agree with, yet she never complains. Well, except when you squeeze her tail and she pops you in the head (no claws, might I add). Frankly, you deserve it when that happens. But back to my point. Do you know why she stays?

Do you have any idea?

It's because she trusts that we care. It's because she found a home. It's because she is comfortable.

Cali was lucky. One day, you might not be. So what do you do should you wander up out of the dark on a Tuesday, crying & completely lost... only to find that your finder cannot or will not give you comfort, safety or the feeling of a family?

Get Lost Again.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


There are moments in the still quiet of these summer evenings when I just enjoy breathing. When the sun has set, when the fireflies have found contentment in their ever unending pursuit of companionship & when the world, as I know it here in this little corner, finally learns how to settle itself.

These moments are my ever after. These moments are when I stop swimming in the undertow. Sometimes I sink. Sometimes I am full and fat and hover far above the water. Ultimately though, I always end up just floating on the surface.

Be a rock when you need to sink. Be a bubble when you need to hover. Be driftwood in between.