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Daddy Daydreamer

Ribbon Bear and the Encounter at Planet JS-4

To boldly go where no bear has gone before

ribbon-bear-planet-js4

The following is an entry from Captain Ribbon Bear's log.

Captain's Log, Stardate 2016.10.06.We arrived in orbit of the planet JS-4, finding a pre-warp civilization thriving on the southern continent.

"Honey Bear, Chester, Jujube—you're with me," I commanded. "We'll form a landing party and investigate the temporal disturbance on . . .

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September 29, 2016

I had the best teacher ever in Grade 4

Mrs. Sdao understood our personalities and what made us tick

Apple on desk

After my eldest son headed off to his first day of Grade 4 and a new year of scholastic adventure, my thoughts transported me to a brisk Ottawa evening in April, 2014. Winter had mercifully loosened its grip to an anemic spring, but a chilly wind lingered as I walked toward my Class of 1983 Grade 4 reunion.

The gathering was held at a posh . . .

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Posted in: school

September 15, 2016

I felt as if I ruined my son's birthday

A great day ended on a disappointing note

birthday candles

In August, you, my eldest, turned nine. It is amazing how quickly time has passed. You are growing up to be a fine person. You are persistent, stubborn, happy, thoughtful, emotional, intelligent, athletic; more of a leader than I ever was at that age. You are courageous. You are my son.

Morning of your birthday. You wake up . . .

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Posted in: emotions

September 01, 2016

As my sons saw their dad cry for the first time, our love for each other grew

By attending to our messy feelings, we found room for empathy

Sketch of man crying

This essay originally appeared in The Globe and Mail on June 15, 2016.

I had never let my children see me cry before. I had this tough-guy notion it would make me look weak. But one morning, messy emotion got the best of me.

My eldest son was not feeling well. Although ill, he was looking forward to spending a day with me at home. . . .

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August 18, 2016

Fuzzy Bunny and the Baby in the Belly

Little brother wants to be a big brother

Stuffed animals: Fuzzy Bunny and Whasa Bunny

"Fuzzy," S asked, "do you have any gē-gē's or dì-dì's?"

"I don't know," Fuzzy Bunny answered. "What's a gē-gē and a dì-dì?"

"A gē-gē," S said, "is how you say big brother in Mandarin. A dì-dì is how you say little brother."

"Oh!" Fuzzy said. "Well I have one gē-gē and one dì-dì."

"What . . .

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August 04, 2016

A bedtime chat puts everything into perspective

My son and I contemplate life as we stare at the ceiling

Stars on ceiling

Bedtime with our children used to be heavy on stories. As they get older, our rituals inevitably change. They still like it when we read to them, but it’s not a big deal if we skip it. Eldest often prefers a chat instead. He sometimes shares more about his day, when turning in for the night.

We have a good chat one evening, talking . . .

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July 21, 2016

One Hundred Miles / Imagine Your Life

Two poems

Jumping over sprinkler

One Hundred Miles

Laugh away, smile
one hundred miles
w i d e.
Make it last,
this minute.

Before you know it
you're grown up.
Left to wonder
what happened to
this thing called
childhood.

I see myself in you.
Maybe that's why
I love you.
Maybe that's why
I'm angry.
Maybe I see
yourself in me.

Laugh away, smile
one hundred . . .

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Posted in: poetry

July 07, 2016

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