They just don’t know


My kids are ten and five (boy/girl twins) and they live a life I could not have imagined when I was their age.

When I was ten I lived next door to a bar called Skipper’s Tavern which was on the corner of Ontario and Second St in Albany. My family didn’t have much. Six of us stuffed were into a small second floor two-bedroom apartment with a flat tarred roof and no shade (which, in case you are wondering makes for a very, very hot summer).

My wife grew up a little different. She lived in a nice suburban home in a small city called Lockport, NY. She lived, basically, in the polar opposite environment that I did.

And now my kids live in a similar place to where my wife grew up. It’s great for them and I thank the universe every day for them not having to go through some of the things that I did (no details, maybe one day).

Between my wife and my kids, they just don’t understand.

Example, my kids were complaining that I was telling them they had to stay outside for a while because it was such a beautiful day. I said, “For the life of me I cannot understand how you people don’t want to play in this backyard all of the time. When I was your age my backyard was the size of the deck your standing on…”

I don’t say this to make it a competition like, “oh hey, I had it SO much worse than you…”

I say it because my brain cannot reconcile them having something so incredible.

And it is incredible.

To me.

They don’t know any different and I am thankful that they don’t.

I don’t remember being my kids age and thinking about how horrible it was. I didn’t know any different, just like they don’t now.

Madison Theatre reopening!


This news makes me off-the-charts happy.

I was born in Schenectady, but my family moved to Albany when I was 5-years-old. I spent most of my youth and young adulthood in Albany. I love the history of the city I grew up in and thus, I love the Madison Theatre, formally known as the Norma Jean Madison Theatre.

That’s how I knew it, the Norma Jean Madison Theatre.

The first movie I ever saw in a theatre was Terminator 2. My parents took my brother and I. I was 9-years-old.

It was so.fucking.hot. I remember sweat dripping down the side of my face.

I didn’t care.

We didn’t have a lot and to see a movie on the big screen was a huge deal. A BIIIIG deal.

Later on, my brother and I and our friend Jerry saw many…many a movie at the Madison Theatre. We would walk there from our house on Ormond St. Some of my fondest memories are those walks with my brother and Jerry.

So, needless to say, seeing news that the theatre that brought me so many incredible childhood memories is reopening brought a huge smile to my face.

I had already planned on taking my oldest to see the new Star Wars movie, with this news, we just might be seeing it at the movie theatre of my youth.

I don’t like my kids


Just kidding.

Sort of.

I always love them. Always love them. I would die for them.

I would listen to Baby Shark for them or watch this nonsense. Or Masha and the Bear which is on Netflix now (and dubbed into English), but was only on YouTube back when Will Jr was three or four years old and he would sit and watch this show as all the characters spoke Russian. Will doesn’t know Russian. He still watched it, over and over.

I’m getting off on a tangent which my wife hates with all her being. I’m doing it again.

Anyway, like I was saying, I don’t like my kids. Sometimes. Not all the time, just some of the time.

Like tonight when my wife went off to run to the store and meet up with a friend. No worries, I’ve been with the kids by myself plenty of times and had no problems.

I’m not saying they were little monsters, but, I mean, I told Eric he had to stop running and he growled at me like he was in the new Godzilla movie and he was about to battle Mothra or some shit.

As I attempt to sternly tell Eric “you don’t growl at Daddy!” I was interrupted by Nora snatching Will Jr’s blanket and running away with it. So Eric is growling at me like a damn rabid dog, Nora is running out of the living room cackling and Will Jr is running top speed after her.

So I tell Nora to stop running, didn’t yell, barely raised my voice.

Tears.

What did I do to deserve this? For the rest of my life she is going to do this to me and I will never not (double negative and I don’t give a fuck) feel bad. Sometimes I give her a sharp look when she is saying or doing something she shouldn’t and I get, “w-why are you yelling at me?”

Jesus Christ. What in the hell am I supposed to do with that?

Will continued to run and Nora was stopped, standing still in the kitchen. I was yelling at Will to stop running and Nora to stop crying all while Eric provided soothing background growls.

I did stop Will from smashing into Nora and kicking my night into that extra special territory we rarely see.

Long story short, Will got his blanket back, Nora stopped crying and put her pj’s on herself (shocking) and I had to forcibly get Eric into his pj’s. Don’t underestimate the sheer strength of a small child that really doesn’t want to do something.

I’m gonna go finish my drink now.

So about that Gillette ad


My wife is out of town for work and she sent the link along for the new Gillette ad.

I watched it and I immediately understood what it was going for and I loved it. I loved what it stood for and the message it was trying to convey.

After watching it I just assumed everyone would get it and apparently I am naïve.

I guess I should have known better in this day and age.

I mean, how could anyone be offended by a commercial, much less a commercial that’s basically just saying, “Don’t be a dick.”

The message of the ad is all good. ALL good. It’s not attacking anyone, it’s showing that to be a man, a real man, that it’s okay to not get into a fight to show someone how tough you are, or to cat call or marginalize women.

How is it wrong to support an ad that says to be a real man one should just be a decent human being? HOW?

How do people have an issue with this?

You know why when I watched the ad I wasn’t offended or defensive about it? Because I’m not a dick (mostly, no one is perfect). I was shocked at how defensive some were about this. Maybe I shouldn’t have been. Maybe I should have expected it.

To the people that have an issue with this ad – you do realize that there’s no set parameters to being a man, right?

Outside of “being a good human being”, it’s pretty wide open.

I pray my sons are not demeaning or dismissive to women, or that they cat call or sexualize women at every turn. I pray they don’t think getting into a fight actually proves toughness, or that crying is a bad thing.

My oldest son is nearly 9-years-old and I have explained to him many times that he should never be afraid to cry because he is sad, or be afraid to tell a friend of his that is bullying someone that it’s not okay.

The backlash to this ad is mindboggling to me. All it does is force me to realize how behind the curve we are. And by “we”, I mean “men” (generally speaking).

And if you just read that or this blog and are offended? Good. That means you’re the problem. Now you can take a moment or two of self reflection and question what it is to really, and I mean REALLY, be a man.

I cry when I am sad, I do my best to teach my sons to be respectful of women, and I am a man. Are you?

The kid with the hearing aids


First things first, I lied.

Now that I got that out of the way, I have felt like I want to write more…again. Last time I felt that way I managed one extra post after the original post admitting I should write more.

Sometimes I sit and open the laptop and go to the blog and intend on typing. Then I get lost in any number of things including, but not limited to, wrestling my dog, watching TV, drinking beer, playing video games, and on and on.

This particular time I opened up the laptop because I could hear my son Eric upstairs in his room. Eric was born profoundly hard of hearing. He has hearing aids. He doesn’t speak as well as his twin sister Nora. He lives his life at 3 and a half years old at 100 mph. From the moment he wakes up he is ready for the day.

It’s unbelievable.

Going back to when we found out, it was hard to deal with. I can’t speak to the level at which my wife felt it, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.

When the audiologist sat us down and laid everything out (hearing aids ASAP and for the rest of his life barring a breakthrough in medicine or technology) I held it together while in the office. Once my wife and I got to the car, I broke down.

All I could think about was how he was going to be behind everyone else and how much harder life was going to be for him. And the kids? I know it’s not their fault, but kids are assholes. They can be unrelentingly cruel. They were to me and I didn’t have anything as glaring as hearing aids or delayed speech. Kids are going to make fun of him.

It upset me. It still does, though not to the extent it did then. Mostly because it was so raw and new, and somewhat because I see him as he is now. He’s a spitfire, a raging inferno of energy and love and kindness.

Now I try not to think about how the assholes are going to try and break him, to break his spirit, to keep him from trying and being the kind, loving kid he is now.

I try to be ‘a man’ about it and act like it doesn’t bother me, but it does. Sometimes it eats at me when I see him playing with his friends. Kids now are asking “what is that in his ears?” with a quizzical face. It’s okay. There is no malice in it, but there will be.

There will be.

 

Just call me ‘step dad’


familyNot really. It’s just a joke. I am actually their biological father.

The issue is, none of them look like me. Sometimes I get a kind, “Oh I saw this one picture of *enter one of their names here* and with the sun hitting their face and their face all scrunched up they look just like you!”

Thanks, but you’re a liar. A big…fat…liar.

It’s okay.

I admit, when my first born was a baby until the time he was about three it was a definite sore spot to know your child doesn’t resemble you.

Maybe it’s a father thing. Maybe it’s just me (probably).

Going to my in-laws house when he was young was a trip. Nothing like hearing from every one of my wife’s family and their friends, “OH MY GOD HE LOOKS JUST LIKE TOM!”

Tom is my wife’s father. Always been good to me, but I just didn’t want to keep hearing how much my son didn’t look like me. It started out as an annoyance and ended up in me just leaving the room whenever it came up.

It wasn’t their fault and I wasn’t mad at any of them for thinking it, it was the truth.

Don’t worry, I am over it.

I don’t know why it bothered me so much. It just…did.

Was it wrong of me to feel that way? I don’t know, probably yes. It was just a selfish feeling of wanting my kid (now kids) to look like me.

Maybe I just remember growing up and hearing how much I looked like my father and how I felt pride in that. I did look like him. So does my brother. A lot of people to this day think my brother and I are twins (we’re not, I’m fifteen months older thank you very much).

I’ve been stopped on the street by someone that hadn’t seen my father since they were just out of high school and he asked me, “Do you know someone named Kelly King?”

“Yeah, he’s my father.”

“No shit, you look just like him!”

Really I’m just being dramatic. The little monsters are only 7 and (almost) 3. There’s so much more growing and changing for them to go through.

Maybe they will all end up looking like me, but I’ll just settle for one!

I should write more


I keep putting off writing.

I keep giving reason’s why, excuses really. I had a teacher in high school that when presented with a poor excuse from a student he would say, “You have a hundred excuses, but not one good reason.”

Therein lies my truth. I want to play video games, or watch a tv show, or the kids or the wife or….

One hundred good excuses, not one good reason.

So here I am writing a blog post about why I have been whining about not being able to write a blog post.

Or something like that.

I have wanted to write about things in my life that have passed, like my dog Prince having cancer and dying, or the infertility that is now my twins, or my love of Fudge Rounds (never mind, I did this one, kinda), or how my wife just bought a new lamp for the living room! No really, it’s great.

The reason is writing about what I would like to write about it mentally draining. I think so intensely while I am typing about what I want to say that by the time I am finished I legitimately feel fatigued.

But writing is cathartic. It is for me. So to the four or five people that will read this, I will be putting forth an effort to fight the fatigue and write more. I have missed it.

So I turned 35


No really. I did.

Last week.

I work with a bunch of (mostly) older, near retirement people who asked my age, “I’m 35…”

To this I would get the standard, “Oh you’re just a baby!” or “I wish I was 35!”

No. No I am not. I have three kids, a wife, in my second house and I have a partially torn rotator cuff (just thought I’d mention it).

I mean I understand their point of view, they are almost all in their 50’s and so 35 is, for a lot of them, 20 years ago.

My response to their standard comment was, “You didn’t want to be 35 when you were 35.” It’s all about perspective.

This is the first year that I thought about my age and went, “well…fuck…”

I don’t feel particularly old, but something just seems bigger about being 35. When I was 25 someone that was 35 was, well, old. I knew that they weren’t, not really. It’s just that I am in the middle of my middle 30’s. I can remember my father yelling at me to not swing under the railing going out our back door when we lived in Schenectady. That was twenty years ago.

It’s going to get worse, I know.

As an example – my parents came over to my house to sing “happy birthday” and have some cake (the real reason they came, don’t let them fool you…) and I had this exchange with my father;

Father: “Wait, so how old are you again?”

Me (incredulous): “35…”

Father (puts hand on his face): “Holy shit…you’re getting up there.”

I’m gonna go finish off several adult beverages now. Bye.

Adulting with kids


Almost every adult you know is adulting.

Almost.

Not all, but most. If it’s not most you need to find a way around some new people.

Adulting, in general, isn’t hard. It’s really not. Adulting just means your decisions carry more weight.

Like, when you were ten years old the question may have been, “Should I, or should I not, eat this entire box of Fudge Rounds?”

Now, as an adult, you know the answer to that question (clearly yes, you eat ALL the Fudge Rounds because they are insanely fucking delicious), in addition to asking new, harder, questions like, “Should I spend my last five bucks to buy this box of Fudge Rounds? Or use these last few dollars to get gas since I’m on E?”

You already know the answer.

Fudge Rounds.

Now, adulting with kids? That’s the hard one.

When you enter this phase of adulting the gravity of your decisions is critical.

For instance, “Should I give some of these Fudge Rounds to my children? It will make them happy and they enjoy them as much as I do, or…do I hide them and gradually eat them one at a time in a separate room or after they have all gone to sleep?”

I consider myself a good father.

That being said, option two all day.

I mean, they’re FUDGE ROUNDS. Come on.

I shake my head every day


Every day I shake my head.

I shake my head in disbelief. Three kids? Uh..what?

I remember when my wife was pregnant with our first, Will. It was a sobering experience to say the least. You go from really just doing whatever you want, in that you aren’t responsible for another human person. Just that thought was weird. I could barely pay a bill on time, now I had this whole other person that I had to take care of.

Not that I didn’t want it, I did, but it was…unexpected. When I was informed by my wife I said she was lying. I laughed and went back to playing a video game. She them politely informed me that, no, she was not lying and was very upset she wouldn’t be able to partake in the booze cruise for my brother’s birthday.

Times have changed. After years of trying and failing to have another, singular, child we finally got what we worked so hard for. Except it was, also, unexpected. There is always a (very, very) small chance of multiples with IVF, but we never imagined that would be us. Obviously we would accept two (or more) if such a thing happened…beggars can’t be choosers.

Thank the good Lord we felt that way because on the first ultrasound, of what we have decided would be our last try for a while (as we were both mentally drained from the process and loss), the tech nonchalantly says, “…and you do know there’s two in there, right?”

No. No we did not.

And now here we are. I’m a father of three.

I can’t help but to think sometimes about how imperfect I am and now I’m tasked with helping three other tiny humans with becoming all that they can. It’s exciting, unbelievable and frightening. It makes me shake my head. I’m literally shaking my head right now. Makes it hard to type.

Now this is what I’m stuck with –

15078602_10154766030974628_1937558432435430093_n
Three of them…Jesus…