I have a Wife and a Girl Friend

First off I want everyone to know that I'm committed to my wife and we're totally in love.
But I have a girl friend.   

Eva

Eva

We recently moved from Bowmanville to the north west side of Brampton.  Originally we planned to move when Cru started school in 3 years. However, things quickly changed when Eva went back to work. The 240km daily round trip to Mississauga wasn't gonna work anymore with a toddler. Eva was missing Cru way too much. The next 40days were a bit of a whirlwind. we bought a house,  sold our first home, and moved. And just like that, everything we knew was gone. The main reason for the move was obviously to shorten Eva's commute. She went from 120km to 18km. Which has been amazing.

We met our neighbors Helen, Scott, and Elena when we first arrived. Right away they said to us they had bought a house in Georgetown, and they were moving. Like they were telling us this so we wounldnt get too attached to them. LOL. I told them we had too many friends and weren't interested into them anyway. Classic Damian.  From there we started hanging out practically every day.  Walks after dinner, late night drinks with baby monitors. Turns out Elena and Cru are only 3 days apart, which has been great for comparing every aspect of their development. Like everybody does. We all do it. "Oh, Cru's walking now," I'd say. Helen would reply "Elena's saying two words together now."  "Cru say your ABCs" Eva would say.  Helen "Elena, say your ABCs in Cantonese". Constant banter back and forth between the two families. It's been great. I think Eva and Helen have already discussed an arranged marriage for our kids. 

Cru & Elena

Cru & Elena

Helen and I started hanging out a little more when the school year ended. Helen is a teacher and of course has summers off.  At the beginning, we would bring the kids outside to play and socialize. On really hot days when the weather was too nasty for the kids to be outside we would play inside. Which was actually a pleasant surprise to see how other people live with a toddler. Disaster zone. Just like us. We would laugh about how at night when the kids go to sleep we would tidy up, then at first light, it was like a tornado had gone through the house. When Helen's sister would visit them, she would bring slippers. Helen would say "whats with the slippers?" Sisters response "there's crumbs everywhere" 

Elena, Helen, Cru, Damian

Elena, Helen, Cru, Damian

Our daily hangouts turned into grocery shopping and little adventures with the toddlers.  Our spouses seemed pretty cool with the hangouts and encouraged it. Midsummer we took the kids to Canada's wonderland. Which was surprisingly super fun for the toddlers. Lots of rides for them to go on. And they had a pretty cool park with slides and swings. We decided to take one vehicle. It just seemed to make more sense. when Cru and I picked up the girls, Helen's mom was there to see us off. As we were driving away I said to Helen "does your mom think it's weird that we're going together?" Helen says "you're the only one that thinks its weird, stop making it a big deal." Apparently, I brought this topic up way too much.  I was always asking her if her friends thought it was weird, or if Scott was cool with us hanging out. Because Eva was. In the past, I would have thought this behavior was borderline inappropriate. Especially for two married people hanging out without each other's spouses.  And I'm sure some people do think that. I think our spouses know how much the kids love just being around each other, and the importance of interaction between toddlers. I believe the reason our dynamic works is because Eva and I met Helen and Scott at the same time and became friends together.   Plus our kids love each others company.  It's not like this is some random woman I met at the park, and is some mystery to my wife. Or maybe it works because we're older now, and a little more mature, and get it. I guess whatever works right. I mean we're hanging out, our spouses are cool with it, our kids love it. 

Helen & Elena

Helen & Elena

One of our highlights from the summer was an outing to the Bramalea City Center. At this point, we're practically BFFs. We're at the food court, Cru projectile vomits Jimmy the Greek all over the floor, and me. Puke everywhere. Helen hands me a few wipes, and like it was nothing, kept filling her face with some vegan salad. I say to Helen "Eva and I break up,  who do you choose to stay friends with?" Helen while still shoveling salad in her mouth - "Eva, she's my girl."
 

What's in a Name: CRU

People who hear the name always ask: "So where did the name Cru come from?” 

                                                                                                                     Cru

                                                                                                                     Cru

I first heard the name Cru when I was eight years old, in the 1986 cult classic movie Rad. The movie starred a very young actor by the name Bill Allen who played a small town paper boy/BMX rider named Cru Jones. That's all people know this guy (Bill Allen) from as an actor. No offence Bill, but I'm right. lol.  I mean I know everything you've ever done, like playing in a band called the Pipe Fitters with Lou Diamond Philips and being best friends with the late Brandon Lee.  But for the average person, not so much. When I tell people about the movie, I always say "you know Rebecca from Full House, she's in it." oh and "the guy who directed Smokey and Bandit. That guy directed it." So a real quick synopsis of the movie: Rad takes place in a small town called Cochrane. Cru is a paperboy and has a 1986 Mongoose BMX bicycle by his side at all times. When a BMX event (Helltrack) comes to town, Cru has to decide between taking his S.A.Ts or trying to qualify for the race. 

                        Rad 1986

                        Rad 1986

I remember the first time I saw the movie.  We had gone away on a  camping trip with the family Bonair pop-up trailer.  Leaving for a camping trip and being away for a weekend was kinda a big deal growing up in the 80s. We had a dilemma. we were going to miss Saturday morning cartoons.  80s cartoons were the best. You know it.  Not knowing at the time but Dad had set the VCR to record them for us. After the trip, of course, the first thing we did was watch the cartoons that we missed. At the end of the 4 hrs of cartoons, the VHS tape kept recording. Result; The 12 o'clock movie: Rad. We must have watched this film a hundred times, falling in love with the story and of course all the characters. 

Over the years I've met a handful of people who had also fallen in love with the movie Rad. Mike Gareau, I met in 2000 playing basketball at a local Peterborough park.   After bball, we sat and got to know each other. The movie Rad came up. Of course, the movie happened to be his favourite movie. Wow. He was a young father at the time and told me how he and his daughter Jayslyn watch Rad every fathers day together. I thought that was so "RAD". A few years back Spanky as everyone in Peterborough knows him by, surprised me with a autographed copy of Bill Allen's book "My Rad Career." Super Cool. 

                                                                          Cru Jones vs Bart Taylor

                                                                          Cru Jones vs Bart Taylor

I always thought that if I ever had a boy that his name was gonna be Cru. Only one problem; Eva. She has heard all the stories. how I love the movie, how I want to call a boy Cru if we were to have kids. "Absolutely not". That's what she said. The name means "Raw" Well, that didn't stop me, I kept pushing and pushing. No surprises here. 20 weeks we found out we were having a boy.  By this time Eva had a handful of names, and she's fallen in love with several of them. I had given up on the name Cru.  Right after we found out we were having a boy; I left for a short work trip with a long time friend; Mike Hale. I remember the conversation like it was yesterday.  I told him our exciting news.  His response: "You're naming him Cru right?" I said, "Eva doesn't really dig the name".  He pushes; "Dude, you've been talking about this name for like 15 years.  You're naming him Cru." and he was serious. 

                                         Cru's Halloween Costume 2016 

                                         Cru's Halloween Costume 2016 

It took a little more convincing, but Eva finally warmed up on the name.  January 5, 2016, we made it official when we named our son Cru Kaius Greene. Now the two of us could not even imagine calling him anything else.

And to think, if dad hadn't recorded those cartoons so many years ago, I might have never seen the movie at all. Our son's name could have come from my second favourite movie: The Goonies.   We could have ended up naming our son: Chunk.

 

Co-Sleeping - I'm never doing it!

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As long as I can remember I've talked shit about people who bring their kids to bed with them. It just didn't make sense to me. I thought it was weird. Why would you want to do that? Cru was great at sleeping in his bed. Every night 8-10 hrs. I kept thinking there's no way we're bringing this kid in our bed. 

So, fast forward to when Cru is 17 months old, and I find myself in North Bay visiting my mom for a 3-night stay. My wife is not with us; she's away working out of town. The four hr trip with just one parent is another story/nightmare altogether. I kept our bed time routine the same. Bath, story, cuddle, bed. I even had our owl nightlight with the white noise. 11 pm Cru wakes up crying. I rock him, put him back down, still not sleeping. I try that like five more times. Fuck it; I'm tired. I lay him beside me in the bed; he stops crying, we both fall asleep. Its official, I'm one of those people that sleep with their kids. The next morning I wake up to Cru playing with my face. Over breakfast I tell my mom. "guess who slept with me last night" she just shakes her head. She says "let him cry; he'll be fine." I didn't listen to my mom at 10; I'm not starting now at 38. Something about my little guy crying that makes me want to go in and save the day. Plus I'm lazy. So the next two nights are the same. Cru wakes up around 11 pm. I bring him in with me, and we both have a great sleep. And you know what? I'm gonna say it ... I liked it. Something about having my little buddy cuddled up to me felt good. His warm little body, his little heart beat, his little snores. I found myself playing with his hair and kissing his neck and arms.  

On the 4 hour ride home between Cru's naps, and the latest Splash and Boots album, I think I'll have to tell Eva that we slept together. Oh, No! She's going to be pissed. But forget that "Why all of a sudden was he getting up in the middle of the night?" and "Was the three nights we slept together gonna screw up the routine at home?". 

This is what I've come up with: The room at my mom's place is super dark, and cold, and kinda scary if you are 1 and a half years old. Plus, it's filled with toys. Of course, he's not gonna sleep. Who could sleep knowing all these awesome trucks and motorcycles and dinky cars are just feet from your bed? 

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I tell Eva. Her reaction; "Why did you start that?  Now he's never gonna sleep on his own." She took it pretty well though. That night, I bring him into our bed after we tried for an hour to get him to sleep. I put him in the middle of us and close my eyes. For the next five mins, I hear kissing noises. Eva's kissing Cru and loving him up. This, coming from the women that said: "Now he's never gonna sleep on his own." At some point I say to her, stop kissing on him so we can get some rest. 

It's been 30 days of Cru sleeping with us in our bed. 30 days of me telling Eva to stop kissing on Cruzy. I'm not sure who likes it more. Eva or Cru. I'm trying to convince Eva to get Cru out of the crib and into a big boy bed. I figure at least if he gets up in the middle of the night, one of us could lay with him in a twin bed, and when he falls asleep, we could sneak out. Eva-instant tears. She's obviously not ready for him out of the crib or is it out of our bed. 

One last hike with Dad

This is the final result of an assignment that I did while taking a course on how to use Adobe Premiere Pro.  All of the footage was taken using GoPro cameras manned by myself and my brother, Damian.  

The movie tells the story as best as I could at the time.  

This is my tribute to my late father.