Firefighter Garrett



This is from the wait list at our local Island’s restaurant

Identity is very important, especially to a child. Some children like being the “smart” one or the “funny” one. Some prefer to be the “quiet” one. Garrett feels that his identity needs to be more specific.

For the past few weeks, he’s been introducing himself as “Firefighter Garrett.”  He has walked up to friends, strangers, and anyone else who notices him and makes the following introduction: “Hi! (Extends his hand to shake yours) I’m Firefighter Garrett! What’s your name?”

I’m not going to stop him. If he wants to be “Firefighter Garrett” – I’m all for it!

And maybe – we can start getting the Serviceman’s Discount at a couple of our favorite restaurants!!

A Glorious Taste of Awesomeness

BowtieJustin is a “Gamer.” In the truest sense of the word, Justin eats, sleeps, and breathes video games. He’s into everything from Mario to Kirby to Minecraft. If you can play it on a console, he knows everything about it.

A few weeks ago, I installed Apple TV in my bedroom. From the comfort of my bed, Justin can now watch “How To” videos on YouTube for all of his favorite games.

While watching with him one evening, we stumbled upon Nintendo’s E3 demonstration for their upcoming games. Justin hadn’t seen it before and was riveted by all the new games that were going to be coming out over the next year.

I asked Justin, “Are these games going to be good? Did you like that presentation?”

He slowly turned towards me. The look on his face was a mixture of awe and amazement. It was like Justin had stared into the face of God. Once he collected his thoughts, he opened his mouth and said, “That was a glorious taste of awesomeness!!”

I don’t think those words have ever been put together in quite that way before. Justin may have inadvertently started his own catch phrase.

The next time you hear someone describe something as, “…a glorious taste of awesomeness,” just remember that it started with my son.

I love you very much

Bear3No other words have the power to melt your heart or betray your trust like the words, “I love you very much.” Especially, when coming from your own child.


Several weeks ago, Garrett started telling us that he “loved us very much” as part of his bedtime routine. Each time he said it, it felt special and unique. It was a great way to end the day. I would reply by giving him a tremendous hug and whispering in his ear that I loved him very much as well. This was our thing and it melted my heart each time he said it.


It was special….until Chip, Dale, and Teddi Barra from the Country Bear Jamboree entered our lives!!! (Well, technically, our brunch!)


For the past few years, we’ve taken the boys to the Mother’s Day brunch at The Grand Californian at Disneyland. It’s a fun event and they have a couple of characters wandering around the restaurant to hug and play with the children.


Garrett saw Teddi first and ran up to him to give him a huge hug. And then I heard him say, “I love you very much!” Huh?!?! Ok, probably just a fluke, I thought. I’m big and furry. Maybe he mistook the bear for me.



30 minutes later, Chip came by our table. (Maybe it was Dale. Doesn’t really matter.) Once again, Garrett ran up to Chip to give him a hug and said, “I love you very much.” What?!?!? He just gave the love meant for me to another fuzzy stranger??


30 minutes later, Dale came by. (Maybe it was Chip. Maybe it was Chewbacca. I dunno. They all look alike when you’re on a sugar high from eating too many Mickey Waffles.) Again, I heard my son profess his love to someone other than me.


Feeling scorned, I wanted to lash out. I wanted to whisper in Garrett’s ear about how Walt Disney was anti-Semitic, how those characters will never love him back, or worse – none of those characters are real!! I wanted to, but I didn’t.


Yes, I understand that a 3 year old doesn’t really understand the concept of love. Hell – I’ve met 40 year olds who don’t understand the concept of love. But, it was just one of those things that caught me off guard.


As I tucked him back into bed that night, he stood up to give me a hug. And then, he said those magical words: “I love you very much.”


Honestly, it was as special as it was the first time.

Are You Eating My Muffin???


That’s the muffin in his left hand reflected in the mirror.

One morning last week, Garrett convinced me to get him a muffin for breakfast from “Sexy Starbucks.” We’ve given this nickname to one particular Starbucks because it’s below a yoga studio and another gym that hosts spinning classes. Needless to say, it’s a very good place to do some people watching in the morning! (Especially when Garrett introduces himself to strange women with “Heyyo, Yadies!”)


I finally caved and bought him a muffin. He quietly munched on it while we headed off to school. Once we got to the school’s parking lot, Garrett unbuckled himself and came up to the front passenger seat. He then handed me his muffin so he could play with all the buttons and knobs in my car. While he played with the stereo, the lights, the sunroof, and the glove compartment – I patiently held his muffin.


Periodically, I would take my eyes off of him to look at the muffin. It looked pretty good since I hadn’t had breakfast yet. And then I thought, “He’s not going to miss this little piece on the end.” I pulled off a tiny bit of muffin and ate it. As I was chewing, Garrett turned his head towards me and ask, “Did you eat my muffin?”


“No,” I lied, as I held up the muffin to his face. “It’s your muffin. Why would I eat it?”


He looked at me skeptically, but turned his attention back to the knobs on the car. Once again, I saw another piece of muffin I did not think he would miss. So, I quickly pulled it off and ate it. Again, he turned towards me, looked down at the muffin, and asked, “Are you eating my muffin?”


“No,” I lied again. He gave me the look of “I don’t trust you, but I don’t have proof either.” And again, he went back to playing with my car.


This time, I took a big bite. He turned around to see a chunk missing from the side of his muffin. He could also see the missing chunk in my open mouth.


“DADDY!!!!! YOU ARE EATING MY MUFFIN!!!” he shouted accusingly.


“MOW” I explained with a mouthful of semi-chewed muffin. I swallowed as much as I could as I continued my lie (knowing full-well he was on to me.) “Of course I’m not eating your muffin.”


“BUT… BUT….BUT…I SEE YOU EATING MY MUFFIN!!!!” he stammered in an agitated manner. He was very, very angry…..and then there was a moment of calm.


He pushed his glasses back up his nose, turned towards me, and said, “That’s ok, daddy! You can eat it. I dropped it in the back seat and then stepped on it.”

Justin Can Read Texts. We’re all Screwed.

TextingJustin was sitting next to me while I was texting with my sister. While I cannot remember what the context of the conversation was, I do remember ending the conversation with “Where else can you bury a dead stripper?”

It’s safe to say that the conversation was innocent. If I really needed advice on where to bury a dead stripper, I’m certainly not asking my sister. She’ll only ask me 1000 Human Resource questions to better understand my conflict with the stripper. (“How did you feel you managed your relationship with the stripper? Could you have found a way to communicate better with her?”)

Back to the story…

What I didn’t know was that Justin was reading my texts while I was typing them. He reads well…but, not fast. I noticed that Justin got quiet after I sent the text. After a few minutes he turned to me and asked, “Dad, why would you need to bury a dead SLIPPER?”

I took a moment to weigh the lesser of two evils. Do I tell him that he miss-read my text and then explain what a stripper is…and then why you might need to bury one? Or, do I explain why I would bury a slipper? I went with option two.

“Well, Justin…sometimes you might need to bury a slipper because it smells bad.” I answered.

And, if you think about it – the answer I gave could work for either “stripper/slipper” scenario.

Things My Wife Told Me About My Son(s) #1

LeopardLast night, GWE was sporting a new pair of leopard print pajama pants. She asked me if I liked them and I responded that I did. She replied, “Good…because your son picked them out.”


GWE went on to explain that while she was deciding between leopard-print pajama pants and polka doted ones, she asked Justin which he preferred.


In a manner that can only be described as “America’s Next Top Model” judge meets 8-year-old with no verbal filter, Justin told her that the leopard print was more appropriate for her because she was “more of a ‘Roooaaaarrrr!’”


My son thinks his mom is “Fierce!”