Defending Dads

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A Change of Seasons

It has been an interesting summer. It’s still not quite over, but as the kids return to school, we as parents have been conditioned to bid farewell to the lazy days.

If asked to choose a single word to best describe my sentiment about this summer, my word would be “proud”.

Starting with Memorial Day Weekend, let’s review:

  • A road trip to North Carolina with my mom, our first ever, to celebrate her birthday and those of my oldest living great aunt Annabelle, my cousin Kim and, of course, my son Julien, who was with us in spirit if not in person;
  • The kids learned to ride their bikes independently;
  • We visited the Relay for Life cancer benefit at Phillipsburg, NJ;
  • We took a road trip to the home of a friend on the north fork of Long Island and followed that up with a round of visits to relatives;
  • The kids learned to cook their own breakfasts;
  • The kids and I made several visits to the community pool;
  • My eternal optimism guided me through the latter months of easily the worst 4 years of my life;
  • I set aside my revulsion for the court system to remain engaged with my children and move on with my life;
  • The kids earned a promotion in Ryuku Kempo class;
  • The kids read, wrote compositions, practiced math and learned how to express gratitude for hospitality;
  • The kids worked as a team on arts and crafts, household chores and yardwork;
  • I didn’t allow myself to be bogged down by the truly abysmal energy and behavior of others;
  • I’ve honored my commitment to the kids and myself to keep writing;
  • I resumed a vigorous exercise regimen and healthy eating habits; and
  • I painted my daughter Joscelyn’s bedroom for her birthday!

Things are far from perfect, but the dirt path I had been walking has evolved into a paved road.

For weeks now, I have been meaning to relate the stories of 3 instances of hospitality that were guiding lights leading to my exit from the darkest days of my life. That’s up next.


Jail for Justice — Punchline to An Open Letter to the Media


The Restorative Powers of Hospitality — Introduction


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