RSS

Confessions of the Lost: Her Fight in the Snow

BradTheDadFiction2She crouched behind the crumbled remnants of an old, stone wall and waited.

She could hear them breathing, hear the slight movements of their hands and arms coming from the signals they gave each other about her perceived whereabouts. This, along with the crunch of snow beneath their boots and sharp intakes of breath from the frigid air they were breathing gave away their exact locations. But, it was clear they did not know where she was. Knowing her location was unacceptable.

And why would they know where she was? Boys. They sent boys to kill her.

The last light of the day was slowly fading below the trees and their shadows began to stretch across the earth as if reaching for her from across a great distance. “Join the club,” she thought.

She wasn’t sure which was the bigger insult — that her ex-captors still wanted her dead after what they did to her, or that they sent these boys all this way to finish the job. After robbing her emotion and feeling, you would think they would leave it at that. Be satisfied that that was enough. That to leave her alone with the memories of their brand of torture would be punishment enough for her escape.

Alone, she was. Left alone, she was not.

She would always be alone after what they did to her. Nobody could possibly know how she felt, what she experienced in those caves. Nobody that was alive, at least. Women never left those caves, only entered. She was the first. She was on a mission of firsts, and if all went accordingly to plan, also of lasts. She, the one for whom the shadows were cast.

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 

Tags: , , , , ,

To Our Mother; My Wife

Mselfie (1)Always there for me: in the middle of the night, when I get off the school bus, to hug me when I’m feeling happy as well as sad.

Underappreciated: there will come a day when I truly recognize and appreciate all that you have done for me and all the effort you gave to make me who I am, but for now, just know I love you unconditionally.

Sacrificer: something else I won’t fully appreciate until I’m older, but rest assured I’m taking it all in: your patience given, time dedicated, energy spent, love spread.

Teacher: you’ve taught me many things big and small, and will continue doing so for the rest of your life, but it’s those basic fundamentals I want to make a special point to thank you for — a critical life skill as well as a way to better enjoy pool parties with family or friends, our time spent at the beach … thank you for teaching me to swim.

Intelligent and strong: our entire family draws upon your strength daily and benefits from your intelligence just as often – teacher and educator, backbone and glue.

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 
 

Tags: , , ,

Hockey Dad Tries out for Baseball Dad

BaseballBenchThe pace of baseball is completely foreign to me, the amount of rules stresses me out and my childhood memories of the game are less than glamorous.

But it’s not about me, is it?

It’s about my 6-year-old son who practically floats with excitement just being on the same field as all of his friends. The faces are even mostly the same, they are my hockey kids, only with mitts on their hands and caps on their heads. Their smiles just as I remember them from underneath their helmets. It’s becoming (painfully) clear to me that the sport itself is secondary to my little athlete and is more about playing with his friends.

So here I am, a hockey dad, and my son is playing baseball. Can I be a baseball dad too?

I don’t know the answer to that question yet, but you bet I’m going to try. It’s time that I put my own baseball cap on and get serious about this sport that is in my blood. You see, my grandfather used to scout for the Philadelphia Phillies and wrote a local sports column (I got the writing bug from him at least) called, Strictly Local. So, no more sitting idly by on the sidelines, it’s time for this hockey dad to shower his knowledge upon his son from the sidelines and maybe even teach these baseball coaches a thing or two in the process.

“Keep those knees bent, son. Head up and always be ready.”

Okay, that wasn’t so bad. I think it was even correct. Sure those same things apply in hockey, but nobody needs to know that.

“Great job! Way to swing that stick, er, bat.”

I need to focus a little harder here.

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Spring Training Rules with my Boys

sneakfave“I’m here, guys!”

As if we were unaware of his approach, his feet pretty much rumble the earth.

The 6-year-old and I panted with exertion and took a break from our soccer game to welcomeback the one we like to call, Freight Train. The game started out fine and with all of us playing together, but it didn’t take long for the feisty 3-year-old to take offense to being reminded about not putting his hands on the ball and quickly retreat inside to complain to mommy.

We were both happy when he returned.

He’ll get it eventually, and until then I’ll continue to remind him of the rules, but nor can I ignore the fact that his life has been defined by scratching and clawing for his own in this world and using his hands achieves exactly that by somewhat leveling the playing field with his bigger, faster brother. An older brother who lived a life uncontested for 3 years, a life completely unfamiliar to our 3-year-old. But on the field, their worlds become one and the rules apply equally.

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A Model for a Successful School Fundraiser

TasteBag1Sold out. Again.

Always.

The Center Elementary School PTO of Chelmsford, MA boasts one of the most successful and anticipated events of the year with its Taste of Chelmsford fundraiser. Every year as we head into spring, locals are treated to a night out of socializing, music, prizes, and most importantly, a night of sampling appetizers, main dishes, and desserts of the areas many fine restaurants and caterers.

Not only is this tasting competition a “calender circling” event for many adults, it’s one of the town’s most successful school fundraisers all year and benefits Center School’s enrichment programs.

An adults-only night of friends, community, and sampling great food and drink that raises funds to grow the minds of our children for a mere $25? It’s crystal clear why the event is sold out every year and why this should be a model for any school searching for ideas on how to raise money for their own programs. Raising money for these programs is the most important part of the night, but the added benefits of supporting your local establishments and fostering local pride can’t be overlooked. Your sense of community is stronger when you leave this event than when you enter, and the restaurants and vendors who participate bring their “A” game knowing how big of a shot in the arm this exposure can be for business.

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 20, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Top 3 Rules of a Youth Sports Coach

20140308_092804As I turn the page on my first year as a youth sports coach, I’ve started to reflect on what I learned from this experience, which existing rules I want to keep and what new ones I should add to my repertoire.

I learned a lot this year, about myself and about being a coach. About myself in the form of the time commitment, personal dedication, and life balancing it takes to meet the responsibilities I have to my team and the hockey organization that entrusted me with these kids. I know I will always continue to learn more about coaching for as long as I coach, but I have to imagine this first year will go down as one of the more influential ones.

I look back on the way I was with the kids in the beginning by trying to answer every single one of their questions and address every single one of their concerns, to the way I was at the end where my expectations of them were that they did very little besides listen to myself and the other coaches and then apply what we said to the ice. From the way I would remind them that cutting each other in line during drills wasn’t how we did things, to eventually bumping such offenders immediately to the back of the line if they pulled such a stunt. From encouraging them to always have fun first, to encouraging them to always have fun first.

I developed as much as the kids did this year and the following are what I currently consider my top 3 rules as a coach.

1.   Have fun with your teammates

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

Tags: , , , ,

Why You Should Be a Youth Sports Coach

youthsptsStarting something new and unknown in life can be extremely daunting, but often, just as rewarding.

In the world of youth sports I would watch from the sidelines when my oldest son first started playing organized soccer and think to myself, “I can coach this.”

After that the only question was, “Do I want to coach this?”

Family, work, home. Most of us have them all and most of us struggle on a daily basis to find the balance between them. I’ve gone straight to soccer after work because of a time crunch and have skipped soccer to stay home with our little guy when he was feeling sick. If I was to be a coach, such speed bumps and stutter steps with regards to my attendance would be much less acceptable, if at all. So, at first, I hesitated and decided to prioritize family/work/home over heading the call of volunteering to be a youth sports coach.

A call that currently is loud and nearing the point of desperation.

Continue reading the rest of this post on Dads Round Table…

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 18, 2013 in Brad the Dad, Dads Round Table

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,