This time last year I was in Aruba drinking Myers rum Pina Coladas and being towed at warp speed behind a speed boat in an inner tube. But alas fine friends you can't always live like Kayne burning through Benjamins like there is no tomorrow. Or a GoFund Me to help bail you out of a 53 million deficit. Poor MC Hammer. Can you imagine if Hammer had GoFund Me? No one. And I mean no one has to go bankrupt nowadays. But I digress. I would be lying if I said we (we being me and my wife) had a plan. Full disclosure my wife is the smartest human being I have ever met. She has a head for business and nails that shine like justice. I am not joking. Aruba was probably the best vacation of my life. Came at the perfect time. IceWorld666 had its steely grips on us. We were transported from Hoth to Paradise. With El Nino and a lack of Marriott points it was prudent to do a staycation this february. So we went full #nerdcation. My kids are amazing. Super smart. Funny. Creative. Badasses. We work hard to stay connected with them. People think the hard part raising kids is 0-5. Hahah that is hilarious.
I have been a stay-at-home dad for 15 years. I don't do this because I can't do anything else or I am a slacker. I do it because I know how important it is for my family. Google business and women and see what articles pop up in the thread. The burden on women in business is staggering. They are expected to work harder than their male counterparts and do more at home and in the family than their male counterparts. So how do they do this? The same way a man would. They need a stay-at-home spouse. In my case it was an easy choice. I love my wife. We have been together since High School. We are soul mates and best friends. I would literally die for her. So when we had our first child 3,000 miles away from family and any support system it was super easy for me to just take the pedal off the metal and commit to raising my daughter and supporting my wife in her career. The #CBL is incredible. I love what I do. All the cliches apply. And I get time to do some cool things during the day. But from day one we have valued certain things raising the kids. It is equal part wolf pack/pirate ship & Project Christmas. We aren't raising these kids to be sheep.
We value in no order: Art, reading, writing, business, strength, nature, kindness loyalty, never giving up, being tough, being soft, animals. And above all we revere being nerds. Stevil sort of got me thinking about a Nerdcation with his #AHTBMnerdoff I wicked dropped the ball on building the actual model car but it brought up so many memories of my childhood and building models. Ok maybe I huffed too much glue but whatevahs. We have been going to museums since they were babies. I would have Syd in a baby bjorn and Zoe at my side in the halls of the MFA. Zoos. Aquariums. Hikes. They both are prolific writers and artists. And they are both great at math and science and language. Who knows where it will end. We tell them they can do anything they set their mind to and work hard for. Pam went to UMASS Boston and has a degree in English and Women's Studies. She is more successful in business than the women I know who went to IVY league schools. I went to RISD and studied Illustration. Which led me to publishing and being an editor. It is hard to tell what trajectory you are on til you get there.
In our house we celebrate all the weirdness in life. We aren't looking to conform we are looking to lead. To inspire. To build up. When it became obvious that Feb vaca was going to be a staycation I got creative. Signed Syd up for a 3-day mini hockey camp. Took the kids to the MFA. We went to Deadpool. Went up to Portland to dog sit my sister in laws dog at the most BALLER house on the ocean. I secretly brought up a Dungeons and Dragons starter kit. Why? Because I wanted to engage my 15 year old. She is a genius. Works her ass off. Has had straight A's since middle school. All Accelerated classes Freshman year of HS. And all A's. And is a total nerd. I knew she would love it. Sometimes its hard to connect with your kids through the different stages of their lives. You have to keep working. Find ways. D&D is awesome. It took a bit to wrap our brains around it but it is perfect for our family. Sure I got smoked by some Goblins cause I went into battle with a half drunk Dwarf but that is how it goes.
Portland, Maine is one of my (and my families) favorite places on earth. Food is amazing. Old port town with so much character. Sometimes I feel like the Griswolds. Shit goes of the rails fast. We came up one year on Thanksgiving and shit hit the literally fan. Full Nor'easter. Power got knocked out. Thanksgiving basically was canceled. But we improvised. Car got towed. Had to basically go full Jason Stratham on some sketchy Russian dudes to get the car back. Had to dispose of a turkey like a mafia hit. But we laugh about it now. I think that is the key to being happy. You have to laugh in the face of shitty stuff. And rewrite the paradigm. I am not saying you can always do this. Shit gets real sometimes. But I swear this family has survived so many things with this attitude.
This Nerdcation was oddly one of my favorite times spent as a family. Didn't touch a bike. At all. Went to two great museums. Binge watched X-Files. Binge watched Gotham. Read some great books. Introduced D&D to the kids. Quality dog time. Hockey. Family. These are the things that matter. Monday its back to the #CBL. Time to make the chimichangas on Monday. Need to get fit by Spring. This freeze/thaw/freeze/thaw has been the weirdest Winter since I have been home. Some sick fat biking. Some great times with the family. I am a damn lucky man.