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Daddy Daydreamer

A homeless man gave me the gift of perspective

We live in such a connected world, but sometimes I feel it's never been easier to be lonely

Homeless people talking

The door opened to a sidewalk of slush and grey skies. I exited the bus, negotiated my way around some hurried pedestrians, then crossed the road.

I saw him, sitting on his corner. Bank Street and Albert, downtown Ottawa.

Ruddy, pock-marked face, sandy-brown beard. And a smile that stretched from ear to ear. Many people walked . . .

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December 05, 2018

You Help Me Stand Up

A song dedicated to my first-born child

Silvrback blog image

I promised my older son I'd write a song for him. I hope you like it as much as we do! Made with much love smile

YOU HELP ME STAND UP

I watch you walkin’ down the street
To catch the bus and all I see
Is a boy who’s full of hopes and dreams
A boy who’s full of life it seems

Now you used to hang off every . . .

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November 13, 2018

Chris Triantafilou taught me about compassion, caring and kindness

Coach "Tri" always had my best interests at heart

University of Waterloo Warrior defensive backs 1994

Chris Triantafilou with University of Waterloo Warrior Football Defensive Backs, 1994

IN THE END, football was just a backdrop for the lessons we learned.

When I found out that Chris Triantafilou had passed suddenly from cancer on October 25, my heart sank.

Coach Tri (pronounced "Tree") was one of the most caring, thoughtful, . . .

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October 30, 2018

The power of hello

How a simple 'hi' can brighten your day

Duck says hello

A simple hello held the power to brighten my day.

I had picked up a prescription at my local drug store when a small child, maybe 4 years old, peeked out from behind his mother's leg. He smiled at me and said hello. I heard him speaking Mandarin earlier, so I smiled back and said "nǐ hǎo."

He laughed a coy but mischievous laugh, . . .

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October 17, 2018

A Beautiful Time

A birthday song for my younger son

Baby sleeping

A BEAUTIFUL TIME

Today you are 9
I'm feelin' fine
A beautiful time
To be with you
You know it's true

Today you are 9
When you were born
I had sworn
To love you, my son
You know it's true

When I put you to bed
And give you a kiss
Oh, I'll never miss that
I'm lovin' you

I feel your smile in the sun
I feel your pain in the rain
I . . .

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October 03, 2018

Why I let my kids take more risks

Even if it goes against my instinct to protect them

Silvrback blog image 

I'm not sure when the switch from "that looks like fun" to "that looks dangerous" happened. Being a parent has really changed my outlook on risk.

As kids, my brother and I challenged ourselves. At home, we'd slide down the staircase railing. Then we'd climb the stairs along the outside of the rail. When we got to the second . . .

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September 21, 2018

The Worst First Day of School Ever

A short story

Three Brothers playing catch. By Suzanne Berton

Image: Three Brothers playing Catch. By Suzanne Berton. Shared under Creative Commons license

MY NAME IS SIMON. I am eight years old, almost nine. I had the worst first day of school ever.

My two best friends are Jonah Jason and Arthur. (Jonah Jason is actually his first name, not his first and last name, by the way.) Our Grade 3 . . .

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September 05, 2018

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