Jeff2_large

Daddy Daydreamer

How my mom inspired me to be a writer

She fostered a love of reading and writing through her diary

Journal and hat on bench, photo by Sue Anna Joe

When I was a kid, Mom encouraged me to keep a journal. "Aw, do I have to write?" I often complained.

She said I'd thank her as an adult.

My mother documented her experiences and viewed things from my kid perspective. The diary, sometimes written in the second person, was like a pre-internet blog.

She gave me the diary when I was a teenager. . . .

Read More

May 11, 2017

How I'm coping with my sons' sibling rivalry

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction

Silvrback blog image

Newton's third law:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

I use this as a reminder in coping with my sons' sibling rivalry. Usually, it starts over something silly (at least it seems that way to me). Whether it's a water bottle, soccer ball, video game, it doesn't matter. The argument is basically the same. One kid . . .

Read More

April 20, 2017

The most precious gift I can give is my time

My sons and I enjoy a professional development day together

Jet streaking across sky leaving contrails

P.D. Day!

Hear the swish-swish of their snow pants as we walk home from drugstore. Sun, so bright, reflecting off snow. Younger likes to hold my hand still, sometimes. Older walks ahead, blazing a trail on slushy sidewalk. We laugh, waddle, joke. Feel like a new dad, all over again.

Silver jet streaks above, double contrails painting . . .

Read More

March 09, 2017

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 . . .

Read More

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. . . .

Read More

August 18, 2016

Archive