Adaptability and Sacrifice

This post was supposed to be about all the fun Rena and I had going camping and wakeboarding with my cousins this weekend.  Instead, Texas happened.

Living in Texas, the weather is never the same for consecutive days.  This weekend was no exception.

This weekend wasn’t just a typical weekend of planned fun, there were many factors involved that made this one a little different.

For Christmas I got my own wakeboard from my parents and I’ve been dying to get it on the water.  Well, my cousin has a boat and his little brother is on leave from the Marines so they’re going camping.  Awesome, this is the perfect opportunity for me to complete my board and break it in.  My mom went with me and got me some top of the line boots, a killer life jacket and new board shorts as my early graduation gift.  I’m about as pumped as I can get for the weekend.

I was initially considering skipping my Saturday morning class so that I could go up to Lake Somerville for the full weekend.  My mom convinced me to go ahead and go to class, I’ve only got 70 days left until graduation and I’d still get to ride my board plenty.

I was up late packing mine and Rena’s bags, got the car all loaded up and finally went to bed ready to tackle my morning class and then go cut up the lake.  My class is on the other side of Houston, on the way to Somerville, so she was going to meet me to keep me from wasting time and gas.  Well, I’m nearly to class when I get a call from a classmate informing me that class has been cancelled.

Most people’s initial reaction would be something positive.  I, however, was pretty upset.  “You mean to tell me I could’ve been camping for two days already?!”  Obviously, my mom wasn’t even on her way yet, so I head home to get Rena ready and head out.

The weather was pretty chilly, probably too chilly to go wakeboarding, but like I said, this wasn’t just ANY weekend, I got my new board and everything, I’ve got to try it out, right?  I was ready, willing and able to go jump in the freezing water for a few pulls at a time, even if it meant getting a little sick later.

Turns out, Rena was already coming down sick.  Nothing too bad, but if that were to be combined with the freezing water, wind and never being completely warm, she would’ve gotten much worse.  So I made the responsible decision and called my aunt to inform her that we couldn’t risk Rena getting any sicker.

It’s only Monday and she’s already feeling better, and I am coming down with what she avoided.  In my face.  At least she’s better.



Don’t Make a Mountain out of a Mole Hill

I found out about a small rock climbing gym a few months back that is literally right across the street from my parents house.  It’s been there for years, I really wish I would’ve known about it when I was in high school.  I’ve always called Rena my monkey because of the way she climbs on everything so I figured it’d be a good fit, plus it’d burn off energy to get her to sleep easier.

We went climbing a few times near the end of last year and rented gear.  We both really enjoyed it and she’s actually pretty good at it (for a kid, I’m still better.)  So for Christmas, Santa Clause brought her her very own climbing shoes along with a chalk bag, chalk and a bag to carry everything in.  She loves it, and I’m really glad that we’ve been able to bond through this.

And then Tuesday happened.  Everything was going nice and normal; I picked her up from pre-school and told her we were going to go climbing.  She was pumped.  We get home and she can’t find her work out pants that she likes to wear when we climb.  Of course, she starts throwing a fit.  I suggest wearing a pair of sweatpants, they will work just fine, right?  No, apparently they will not.  Her fit continues.  So then, like any good dad, I start mocking her.  Much to my surprise, it didn’t help the situation at all.  Go figure.

I finally find the pants, Hallelujah I finally found the pants!  Ok, so crisis averted.  Negative.  She puts on her running shoes that my mom got her for Christmas and says she’s ready.  I inform her that she’s forgetting her bag and her climbing shoes.  The fit begins again, because she’d rather wear her running shoes.  Again, mocking her doesn’t work.  I let her know that Santa didn’t get her climbing shoes so that they could stay in the closet and that if she doesn’t appreciate what she’s given, then next year’s Christmas may not be as awesome.  No dice, still pouting.

I finally convince her to get her bag, with her climbing shoes in it, and get in the car.  It’s a three minute car ride to the gym, I can make it!  She’s whining the entire time and right before we get there, my dad calls.  I put him on the horn with her and I can hear him tell her that’s what climbing shoes are for.  I can barely understand what she’s saying because she’s being so pitiful.

He gets off of the phone with her right as we’re pulling in to the parking lot, and I ask if she wants to race to the door.  Finally, a victory.  She does, I let her win and the shoes weren’t an issue for the rest of the night.

I guess, sometimes kids just cry.  Go figure.  I’ve just got to learn to not make such a big deal out of things and to pick my battles better.  We survived, and had a blast like we always do climbing.


Help Needed

Today was another typical Monday for me: wake up at 6:30 A.M., get me and my monkey ready, drop her off at pre-school and then head of for school myself.  Aside from sleeping in the same bed, in the room I grew up in, nothing about our morning routine is particularly out of the norm for a father-daughter team.  However, my Monday and Wednesday schedule is one that keeps me on campus until 8:30 P.M.

I’m not complaining, but trying to explain that as a single dad, it takes help.  Be it from your employer, or in my case, my awesome parents who are willing to pick my monkey up from school and keep her from breaking things until I get home.  My family is awesome and help me keep my professional dreams alive while keeping my daughter alive at the same time.