My Memorable Day with My Child

Here's Mine - What's Yours?

Red StreakerThinking about my most memorable day with one of my children was quite easy — as one stands out so clearly in my mind, 24 years later.

When my kids were younger, I always tried to identify what their “passion” was at any given time — and then pursue that passion with them.  Help them really live it.

So when my son Eric was 13, his passion was clearly roller coasters.  Especially wooden coasters – and the older the better.  So I set out to try to ride with him as many old classic wooden coasters as we could around the mid-Atlantic area.

The most memorable day amidst all these outings to ride the great ones involved a coaster that we did not even ride — we couldn’t because it had been long shut down.

But the thrill was in trying to find this abandoned small amusement park in a little village in Pennsylvania and then “getting in” and exploring this “ghost amusement park”.  Incredibly, ALL the rides were still there, intact – horses on the carousel, tickets at the ticket stands, bumper cars all askew, etc — just like people had been there the night before and then been instantly taken away.

The highlight for Eric was the coaster – called Red Streaker – because the little red coaster was sitting right there in the station, just like it was ready to take off (see picture above).  Eric climbed the first hill — a bit dangerous in hindsight, but such a thrill for him.

It was a magical day that will always stand out vividly in our memory (my 37 year old Eric just had a good time reliving this day with me as I was writing this post).

It would be great to hear about your memorable day with your child.  Please share it in the Comment area.

My Memorable Day with Dad

Here's Mine - What's Yours?

A memorable day with just dad – father and son.  When that thought came to my head, I realized that there were not many such days in my childhood.

But there was one set of days.  By “set”, I mean that there was one special day each year when my dad took me fishing.  The day came each spring when the lilacs bloomed.

And each of these days occurring over a number of years was most memorable.

We would arise in the very early morning darkness.  We would pack the trunk with the fishing gear and the all-important cooler filled with drinks and food – a lot of snack food.

We would then drive from the Chicago area to a lake in southern Wisconsin, get our row boat and row out to our spot and begin the long vigil.

I loved watching the red and white bobber, anticipating when it would all of a sudden plunge down and I could start pulling in the fish.  I also loved eating and drinking from the cooler, a frequent pastime in between the fish “bites”.

But most of all, I just loved being with my dad – for this one day when it was just father and son sharing a little travel and fishing adventure.

Nothing very dramatic, but this special day each year for many years still stands out vividly in my memory bank some 60 years later.

I’ve shared my memorable day(s) with dad – please let me and all the other dads who read this know what your memorable day with dad involved.  Just drop a few lines in the comment section – and enjoy the memory!

Family Vacations as Lifelong Memories for the Kids

Be Creative with the Kids

Every year when our children were very young, we tried to have a memorable family vacation. And you know what – IT WORKS!

Our children are all now in their mid-30s, and often when we get together, we talk about and relive some of the great family vacations of the long ago past. Stand out memories are of 3 weeks in California, exploring beaches, the Big Sur Coastline, and tall redwoods; a 2000 mile RV trip through the Southwest, with many terrific free base camping spots we discovered; a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe area of Northern Minnesota; a houseboat trip for 3 days on a large PA lake; and the 16 day trip for the kids to explore their ancestral roots in Sweden and Norway.

And here’s the really neat part – we just completed in June the “ultimate Hamrin family vacation” when we all went on an African safari together. To make it really special, we chose a 5 days mobile camping safari — just our family, a guide, cook, andIMG_0238 asst. camping in the midst of the animals. Each one of us said it was the best vacation we have ever had.

So I hope that whatever the ages of your children, you start thinking right now of some neat trip or trips you can take with them in coming years.

The memories – and the family bonding – are PRICELESS!

Tim Howard — “Where Are You Going?”

Hint: It's Not Disneyland but something much better

Tim-Howard-children_zps9f7817c7

Tim Howard – no doubt about it – is the new sports superhero in the United States.  And very quickly, after all the quick recaps of his spectacular 16 saves in the World Cup game against Belgium, there was the inevitable talk of what multi-million dollar deals lay ahead.

BUT – Tim Howard’s mind was not focused on those deals — and certainly not smiling in a camera and saying he was now going to Disneyland.

No — Tim Howard’s focus was on being dad.  When asked his next move, his answer was a simple “back to Tennessee to hang out with the kids”.

That’s it? “Hang out with the kids”.

I love that.  Tim at age 35 and right in the midst of America’s adulation and fawning over him, has one simple desire:  to “hang out with the kids”

His kids are 8-year-old son, Jacob, and daughter Ali, 7.

Tim’s ex-wife Laura helped affirmed the close bond between Tim and his children.  “They are proud of their daddy, but at the same time do not comprehend how big the World Cup is or just how well their father played.  They just view him as an awesome dad that happens to play soccer.”

This close bond between dad and his kids did not make the headlines.  It did not even get a mention in most stories about Tim Howard.  But that’s the way the media is.

Fortunately, Tim has his priorities straight as a 35 year old dad — something many dads in their 50s and 60s desperately wish they had done.

When Tim is 65, he will cherish these times of “hanging out with the kids” when they were young a lot more than any multi-million deals.

Maybe you have your own “Tim Howard type of kids being a priority” story.  Please share it with the rest of us in Comments.