Daddy Daydreamer

I can appreciate now what my grandfather taught me

Grandpa helped me realize it's vital to appreciate life's simple pleasures

Grandfather walking with grandson on a farm

Image by A. Debus from Pixabay

This essay also appeared in The Globe and Mail.

I relish the quiet of a predawn run. I focus on the cadence of my footfalls, breathe the crisp morning air.

I pass the local technical college and notice an older gentleman, leaning on a pillar. He sports glasses; his frame, slight, thin; grey hair . . .

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June 14, 2019

How a chat about sardines took me off autopilot

Costco is a great place to people-watch and slow down a bit

Open can of sardines on a plate

Image by Lola Rudolphi from Pixabay

Every time I go to Costco I feel like an ant.

Thousands of us descend upon our local big-box store every day, find parking spots, grab shopping carts in orderly fashion. Forage for food, inspect labels, fill carts. As if with a collective consciousness, we pick up on cues, movements, stay in . . .

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May 21, 2019

Confession of a Grade 8 bully

We are all capable of horrible and beautiful things

Student looking at smartphone

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

I remember Mike from my Grade 8 class. He had a spiky, longer brush cut. His front teeth stuck out slightly. It was 1986. Bryan Adams and Corey Hart were big. So were the Beastie Boys.

Now, kids being kids (that's no excuse!), Mike got teased. Someone gave him a not-too-nice nickname and it . . .

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April 03, 2019

My brother is turning 43—I miss him dearly

My kids remind me of my little bro and myself

Two brothers

I still enjoy seeing my boys walk down the street to catch their school bus. I don't need to accompany them, but I love to sneak a peek from our picture window as they waddle to their stop. I imagine their conversations. Sometimes they jostle, punch each other playfully. Sometimes they race to the end of the street. I can't help but . . .

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March 21, 2019

Watch out for this telephone credit card scam

A fraudster tried to rip me off. I'll still tell my kids to give people the benefit of the doubt

Lock on top of credit cards and keyboard

I teach my kids that people are generally kind. Give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I'm a bit naive, but I choose to live this way.

I know it's not all rainbows and unicorns. There are bad people in this world. So I teach my kids to be skeptical, too. It's a good thing to know when to raise your shields.

One morning, . . .

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March 04, 2019

I'm getting better at letting my kids fail

Sometimes it's better to step outside our comfort zones

Street signs labelled Failure and Success

I find it hard as a parent to let my kids fail.

My son was getting ready for soccer practice. I used to remind him, item by item, to pack all his things.

"Do you have your water bottle? How about your cleats? Your shin pads? Ball? Socks?"

I got tired of reminding him. To be more accurate, I got tired of needing to know. One . . .

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February 14, 2019

Forgiveness is a powerful thing

I damaged a friendship beyond repair. Years later something wonderful happened

Two friends sitting on dock by long grass

This post contains course language, vulgarity and sexual references. Some readers may find certain passages offensive and/or distasteful.

SHE WAS A LOVELY PERSON AND FRIEND. But I had wrecked our friendship.

By no means was it intentional, she was more collateral damage than anything. Caught in the wake of my manic . . .

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January 30, 2019

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