The Rewards of Fatherhood, Fitness and Frugality
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Category — Do-It-Yourself Parenting

Do-It-Yourself Parenting

Flickr by tantek

How tempting is it to go it alone? The American spirit celebrates the individual and treats achievements as if they were all self obtained. So each one of us has a little something in us that makes us want to be a trailblazer. We’ll look at someone doing something with ease and skill and think emphatically to ourselves, “I can do that.”

I’ve done it myself. I’ve seen a furnace put into a buddy’s rental property and after it was said and done, I thought I knew a few things about installing furnaces. I’ve tackled small plumbing jobs around the house on my own. I have even given myself a haircut. I have had varying degrees of success with each endeavor. I won’t go into details. But I will say that my degree of success was highly correlative to the amount of time and effort I put into practicing and studying the endeavor prior to attempting it which was very little.

I am a true believer that anyone, given enough time and the right tools, can learn to do anything. The question becomes, should anyone do anything. The answer is probably no. [Read more →]

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February 9, 2009   9 Comments

Protecting the Fragile Self Image

Jim Crow
Flickr by 77krc

So daughter number one (Thing One or T-One) complained to me the other day that she had to do yet another paper on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. She then went on to explain how she’ll have to do a paper a year all the way up through middle school. Still being of single digit age, I doubt my daughter has any real understanding of King’s significance, especially in the Obama era.

I asked her what was wrong with writing a paper a year on King. She responded that she was running out of things to say. Mind you, each paper so far has been a one paragraph essay. She went on to explain, “All he did was help end segregation!” (As if that’s some small feat.)

My mother (The Duchess), who was in earshot, gasped. “All he did?” My mother grew up in the segregated south, participated in sit-ins and marched on Washington in ’63. So to her saying that s all King did was, well, a little disappointing. But my mom wasn’t so disappointed in my daughter. She was disappointed in me. Somehow I had dropped the ball in making my daughter aware of her history. Where we had been as people of color in this country and how far we had come.

“That little girl needs to know!”  [

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January 23, 2009   4 Comments