Earlier this week I was teaching my 3-year-old to ride his new bike. As we slowly rode down the street an older woman pulled up in her car next to me and bent my ear.

“This is so cute,” she exclaimed. “I remember teaching my boys to ride their bikes. It seems like yesterday.”

Since we live in Florida and in a community with a lot of retirees, this is not an unusual conversation. I knew what was coming next.

“Make sure you enjoy every moment of these days,” she said, emphasizing each word. “It goes by like this,” she said, snapping her fingers.

I don’t mind these conversations at all and my son, as engaging as ever, never fails to turn on the charm and give them their money’s worth with a “Hello! How are you today?” In fact, these conversations do help me to remember that no matter how exhasuted or exasperated I am, these parenting moments are precious and fleeting. Plus, if the unbearable cuteness of my kids gives another pleasure or enjoyment, then all the better.

That’s why I’ve decided to devote this first blog of 2014 to a quick look back at 2013 with my Top 5 Parenting Moments of the year. I urge you to please share your top moments and reflections in the comments section.

5). Swimming. This time last year our toddler refused to jump into the pool without an inner tube around his waist. Mind you, he loves the water and could spend all day, everyday playing in it. But he was afraid of jumping in and not being able to make it back to the wall. Over the summer we started him in an intensive swimming program and within days, his outlook changed. Three months later, he is swimming like a mini-Michael Phelps. I’m pleased with not only his swimming ability but his confidence in an athletic endeavor and his desire to continue on even when his coach challenges him or he fails at a new skill.

4). School. It feels like we just learned that we were pregnant with our oldest son and yet this year, we sent him off to preschool. Wow. We are getting older. It’s been an adjustment for all of us and we haven’t always been pleased with the language (lots of talk about “butts”) that he’s come home with. But overall, he’s grown a ton, learned a lot and has made great new friends at school. And so have we. He’s handled the change with aplomb.

3). The Growth of #2. Our boys are separated by 22 months but they are only separated by about 7 pounds and 4 inches. And our little guy is physically doing just about everything his older brother is — even when he really shouldn’t. We’ve been amazed, frightened and impressed at the “littler” guys confidence and determination to keep up with big brother. Lately, they even seem to enjoy each other’s company.

2). Laughter. My wife and I spent time during the beginning of our courtship in a comedy improv group so laughter is important to us. We laugh and smile a lot around our house and are trying to show our boys that humor can be a valuable asset. I don’t recall much laughter in our house when I was a kid so creating a happy, goofy, creative environment is a priority for us. Visitors might be surprised to hear the number of accents, silly voices and songs that we fill our walls with.

1). Improved Marriage. This might give the impression that  our marriage was not good last year. That’s not true. This year, our marriage is better than ever and even though my wife and I can still argue with the best of them, we have improved our communication significantly through therapy and a stronger commitment to being demonstrative. We make it a point to kiss and hug in front of our kids each day and tell one another that we love the other one so the kids can hear it.


The Beginning
About Happiest Daddy

Two boys, one wife and a ton of material. I live for family and I'm one of the most blessed people you will ever meet.

The “Look at Me” Kid…

There are days where I feel like I am living with … [Read Article]

The Slow Crawl of Bonding…

My wife and I have three children, all of them … [Read Article]

Parenting Phase 2: Difficult…

There is no such thing as Bad Kids, but they sure … [Read Article]

This is what I think...