Posts Tagged ‘Father’s Day’

Two Thumbs Up for Toy Story 3

June 19, 2010

  Sequels come and go.  Some are equal to or even better than the originals. (see The Godfather, Part 2)  Some are not worth the celluloid they are printed on.  (see Sex in the City 2)  Sometimes the critics pan what the public loves.  (see The Dark Knight)  Other times the critics love what the public shuns.  (see Brokeback Mountain)  Last night we had the chance to see Toy Story

As a grown-up (?) I am not in the least bit embarrassed to say this was a sequel I was long looking forward to and I was not disappointed in the end product.  But let me give you the whole story…

We have a 13 year old.  Actually 13 1/2 as she will quickly point out.  With all the hype, preparation, build-up and anticipation of Toy Story 3, the fact that WE were going to see it was a given.  That is… up until last night.

I’m not a big fan of opening nights at the theatre.  Crowds galore and children a-plenty usually make me want to hold back until the newness fades, but not last night.  We were anxious to be part of this much ballyhooed event, if only much ballyhooed at our house.  Except for one tiny little snag… our daughter decided she didn’t want to go.

“It’s childish.” She said, “I’m not interested in seeing something for children.”

Whoa!  What happened?  We own Toy Story and Toy Story 2 and love them.  We saw previews for Toy Story 3 months ago and all agreed that it was THE summer movie to see in 2010. 

Ah, we  realized… she thinks she is too mature.

“Well, we are going,”  her mother declared,  “and you are welcome to come with us or stay home!”  So, weighing the alternatives; movie, popcorn and candy as opposed to home alone in front of the television set, she opted to reluctantly join us.  “But I won’t enjoy it.” She determined.

And it was crowded.  There were long lines at the concession stand.  And there were children.  The previews were designed to highlight movies aimed at children and younger minded audiences.  Our daughter sat beside me and chided each presentation as, “stupid”, “childish”, “immature”, or just plain “dumb” up until the actual movie started.  Then something miraculous happened.

Our “grown-up” 13 1/2 year old became a kid again and just for that time, all was right in the family.

I won’t go into the storyline here, suffice it to say that if your family enjoyed the previous films, they will love this one, too.  It is good family fair for kids aged 9 to 90.  And I was able to impart a little bit of wisdom to our girl as she and I waited for the popcorn while her mom and brother held our seats for us…

Don’t hurry yourself into growing up.

I have read little blurbs on the Internet about whether we really NEEDED a Toy Story 3 and/or how does it measure up to the original and it’s sequel… but don’t clutter your mind with the politically correctness of the critics and their often opinionated, higher thinking and archaic word choices.

Take it from a big kid who seized a bridge between outside influences and old family values.  Take your children, laugh and share then talk to them about the lessons learned in this wonderful addition to the Toy Story franchise. 

You’ll be glad you did.

Oh, by the way… now our big little girl has decided that we need to add Toy Story 3 to our collection!  She is wise beyond her years…


You Are the Paul McCartney Beneath My Wings

June 11, 2010

The perfect dedication song… does one really exist?  With so many to choose from, it is difficult to pick just one. Maybe the perfect compilation would be the better thought…

I never knew what I missed until I kissed her…

She’s always a lady…

and she believes in me…

Could anyone be more beautiful?

Is it any wonder that I love her?

Whenever I feel down or not sure which direction I should go, she’s always there to guide me…

I could never thank her enough…

but I will continue to try…

and do anything for my love…

I love my French Canadian sweetheart…


Happy Father’s Birthday

June 15, 2008

The voice is far away in another country, yet it’s sentiments are being heard throughout the world today and very close to my heart.  “Happy Father’s Birthday,” he says.

I spent the morning reading the newspaper.  My home town is experiencing the flood waters that has dominated the news these past few days.  Cedar Rapids is only 27 miles from where I was born and raised.  I thought about the thousands of families that have been disrupted by this natural disaster and the holiday that wasn’t for them.

The paper highlighted military fathers.  It would be a severe strain on a marriage to be in that situation, with the family head off to fight in a war half a world away.  Sons and fathers leaving behind their own sons and daughters in a long distance relationship that would be difficult in it’s communication and sporatic at best.

I have raised my kids, they are now young adults who have their own lives to lead, their own stories to tell.  I remember many years of their depending on me to raise them right, to comfort and care for them, to raise them true to my ideals.  It wasn’t always easy, nothing worth while ever is.  We learned a lot in those years, even as they were growing, I was growing, too.

Often times being a kid with my kids was the norm.  Playing games or practical jokes, discovering the bond that is family.  Being a father puts you in all kinds of circumstances and postures; of being a teacher or a student to their needs, of being a friend or a disciplinarian to their desires.  Throwing a ball or helping with homework, learning a new idea or discovering an old one; being a dad opens the door to life in a  whole new way. 

Fatherhood.  A gift from God, the ability to procreate. It is a tough commitment that many are abandoning today.  It isn’t hard to become a Father, but it is hard to live up to the responsibility of being one.  It was a struggle for me, I’ll have to admit.  I didn’t have a lot to draw off of since my parents were divorced while I was still a baby.  So many of the ideas I had about what to do and what to be came by happenstance much of the time.

But we made it.  My kids came out virtually intact on into young adulthood and my ability as a father seemed adequate enough. Even after the divorce, I am still their Dad and the affection has turned from reliance to realization.  They have found it isn’t easy to be all grown up, gone are those days of being taken care of by the parents.  They must make it on their own.  I sense a new respect from them now.  Being accountable for one’s actions is what becoming an adult is all about; no body’s there to bail you out, you’re on your own.

I recently remarried.  I devoted the rest of my life to my French Canadian sweetheart.  She has recently divorced and shares the custody of her two children, which makes me their step-father.  Her oldest daughter is 11, her son is 9.  They have learned English as a second language, French being their mother tongue.  Living in another country some 1800 miles away is a long distance relationship  we work on every day.

I called this morning to talk to my new bride, and her son answered.  We have met briefly, but he is extremely shy and struggles with my American banter.  Usually our conversation is me talking and he giving one word answers like, “yes,” “no,” and “uh-huh.”  The longest sentence I think I’ve heard him say on the telephone is, “Wait, I’ll go get my Mom.”

But today he said something different in a low, shy voice, “Happy Father’s Birthday.”  Of course, I knew what he meant.  His mother and I chuckled over it when she came on the phone to talk, her sweet accent beckoning to me.  I know in my heart where my home is, it is there with her and our family.

It is a re-birth in a way, going through these times again of adolescents full of wonder, questions and reasoning’s far beyond what a mere adult can understand.  I bring with this new life a certain amount of experience I gained from the first go round.  I enter with my heart open to the new discoveries each child can bring about themselves and me. 

You never stop being a parent.  Being a father and becoming one again is probably one of the greatest joys a man can have. 

That little guy has a great future.


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