It's our first time playing the game Pie Face!Read More
I've been writing to my son since he was an infant.
While I was growing up, I lost my father, and I've lived the rest of my life wondering about the kind of person that he was. What would he have thought about things that are important to me? Where would he stand on issues that matter to me? How would he have handled things that I've faced? What advice would he have had for me in specific situations?
Don't get me wrong; I had a 'Dad'. JD Greene married my mother and adopted me as his own when I was eight years old. He was a great role model, particularly when I became a Dad myself.
When Hudson was born, I got to thinking about my role in his life. I thought about what kind of father I wanted to be and how I wanted to be available to him through the important parts of his life. I started a project where I found myself chronicling my thoughts, feelings, and future advice that I would have for him, in case something ever happened to me and I wouldn't be able to do so myself.
The content is truly stream of consciousness writing with sharp breaks between categories. The letters are mostly put together in a manner that makes sense, but sometimes stories are told from different perspectives. Some sections have been edited over time with new perspectives because, as Hudson ages, I'm learning, he's learning, and the kinds of things that I think are important evolve along the way.
I've written hundreds of thousands of words and had given instructions to two of my closest confidants where to find and how to access the entirely if anything ever happened to me. Their instructions are to deliver the incomplete work to Hudson when he turns 18.
Some of it is more personal than I expect I would ever be comfortable sharing in a blog environment, but some are fun and interesting enough that I would like to publish it. I will be deploying an infrequent series called: 'Letters to my Son' that includes some of this content, starting with this post. Maybe one day, I will put them all together as a book for him to have as a keepsake.
In the meantime, stand by for the beginning of what is shaping up to be a weekly series to get started.
Thanks for reading!
After Hudson broke his arm, we needed to find things that he can do that are fun, but don't require the full use of his bum right arm. Enter: PUZZLES!
This is a great puzzle. The pieces are big and there are a lot of repeating patterns so it's tougher than it looks. It took us about 45 minutes to finish it!
When I was 13, I almost drowned in a wave pool in Montreal. Not once, not twice, but three times in the same afternoon. We were there as part of a SEVEC student exchange where I was welcomed into a home in Trois Rivieres, QC for two weeks and then my host was welcomed to my childhood home back in North Bay for two weeks.
Every day, we would go on some adventure with the entire group where we would need to help each other to communicate and grow as people. On this particular day, our outing was to LaRonde theme park in Montreal.
I was intrigued by the wave pool. Nobody else from our group was interested, but I wanted to spend the afternoon coasting around in the waves. Almost right away, the waves started, and I was having the time of my life. But I found that the pounding waves were a little too much for me. Lucky for me, there was a lifeguard nearby who was able to throw me a lifesaving buoy. I would guess that she was about 16 years old and she was absolutely beautiful. She rescued me, and she pulled me along to the shallow end of the pool where she made sure I was OK before heading back to her lifeguard duty.
I remember the feeling of being overwhelmed by the waves very clearly. It was terrifying, and while I first I tried to find it my body simply gave up, and I went weak like a dummy. If the lifeguard hadn't been there, I'm sure I would've drowned. You think that would be the end of the story, but it's not. As soon as I felt strong enough I headed straight back out into that wave pool and, of course, I was again completely overwhelmed by the waves. Lucky for me, the same lifeguard spotted me right away and saved me again. We laughed, and I was embarrassed but OK. Sure enough not a few minutes later I find myself waiting out into the wave pool for the third time. By now, my hero lifeguard had moved on to help someone else who was having a hard time in the pool. This time, as the waves overwhelmed me, I was on my own. I went under, and I remember thinking this is it. This is how I die.
I went completely under, and I lost track of which direction was up. Then, as I'd given up hope and resolved that this was the end, I felt hands reach under my arms and pull me up to the surface and drag me to the shallow end. I laughed again and thanked her for the third time, but she turned to me and said: "maybe you should go and play somewhere else for a while. The wave pool is not your friend today".
This wouldn't be the last time that I would get myself in over my head. When I first learned how to snowboard, I was too impatient to wait for the lesson that came with my package in the afternoon. I figured how hard can it be and I strapped on the board and headed for the top of the hill. On my first run, I fell so hard that I'm pretty sure I dislocated my elbow. I was in so much pain that I thought my day snowboarding would be over. Then the lesson started a few hours later, and I decided to participate so I could learn where I had gone wrong. I was tentative because of my tender arm, but in five minutes I discovered where I had gone wrong. The quick tips and tricks that the instructor gave us for snowboarding were all I would've needed to hear at the beginning of the day to prevent injury and have a great day overall.
It never occurred to me that my tendency to be over confident in my abilities before developing the necessary skill sets would be something I could pass along to my son. Until, that is, this week when he broke his arm playing on the monkey bars.
He had been practising monkey bars for the entire summer, and he's falling off more times than I can count. I was never particularly worried because the base underneath the monkey bars at his favourite park is a thick, soft sand. On that fateful day, I watched him traverse the monkey bars back-and-forth twenty bars each way at least half a dozen times. Then, I watched him do something that another child had done the day before. He reached out instead of grabbing the next bar in the row and tried to skip a bar and go two at a time. Between overextending himself and the change in how your body bounces when reaching that far he was able to catch the bar but not hold on. I watched helplessly as his entire body weight swung through and he lost his balance and went tumbling towards the ground.
He landed directly on his right hand snapping his elbow back further than it's meant to. Immediately, I jumped the fence and ran in to where he had collapsed and was now writhing in agony and grasping his arm.
After a visit to the hospital, he now has a cast. He's not really in pain because the cast stabilizes his arm in a comfortable position. Next week, we will be back at the orthopaedic clinic at the Hospital for Sick Kids where he will get a more permanent version of the cast. He will be 'the kid with the cast' for the first week of school next week, and I'm sure he'll love all of the attention.
I've managed to go my entire life without learning that I need to beef up my skills before trying something new and I've hurt myself or nearly killed myself sometimes. At this point, I'm torn between whether I should be guiding Hudson not to try things because he might get hurt and encouraging him to be like me and sometimes leap before you look. For now, monkey bars season is over and so is scooter season and the season for playing around and not paying attention.
Hudson will be forced to be careful to protect his arm until well into the school year.
We had a great day at the CNE on Saturday. About 5 hours was all we had and we really made the most of it. We played games, hit up some rides, explored some of the buildings, participated in a special media event for Turning Mecards and, of course, ate our fill at the Food Building.
we might have to make a return visit before it's gone!
A couple of the boys headed our for a group ride to test out my birthday gift from Susie and Hudson: A new Gimbal for my GoPro!
Check out the beautifully stable footage that I can now get access to! Production values are going up folks!
This is our adventure on our last full day in Hawaii. Susie kissed a frog and we look back at some of our food choices. The folks at Turtle Bay send up a bottle of champagne to celebrate our 8th anniversary.
Today was a family day, enjoying each others company as we horsed around at the pool and the beach all day. Hudson tries his first time behind the camera as well.
We explore some of the 12 miles of hiking trails around Turtle Bay to see some sweet coastline, forest, golf course, and other grounds.
Travel Day 7
We arrived at Turtle Bay a little late in the afternoon and decided to wait until morning to explore. We decided to make today a pool day for the morning and the signed Hudson up to have a "Pony Experience" in the afternoon.
Travel Day 6 - We visit the Dole Plantation on Oahu
We stopped here briefly when we did our tour of the island but didn't have much time to explore because we were with a group. It was directly on the way between our hotels, so we decided to stop to check it out properly.
Today was really mostly a travel day because we were moving from Waikiki to the North Shore or Oahu.
Yesterday was a very full day so no video editing was done at all. We were picked up at our hotel for a small group tour, then we explored the Polynesian Cultural Center. We finished our day off with a Luau and powerful show at the PCC.
Travel Day 3 - Mother's Day in Hawaii
Since we are still getting used to the time change, we were up and at it early anyway. I could not believe how busy this hike was first thing in the morning. I recommend it to anyone who is up for a mild challenge. It's far more intimidating than it is difficult.
Travel Day 2, but Day 1 on the ground on Oahu. We decided to simply explore and see where the day would take us.
Heading to Honolulu with the family for a little adventure, rest and relaxation time. My goal is to produce a video every day, whether it's a travel-style video or a new addition to our Hudson's Haul series.
Headed out to catch some sunrise timelapses to use for the vlog and for the Hudsons Haul project. Also, met up with my brother Damian to go for a ride on the Evolve electric skateboards.
We had some fun with different camera perspectives and multiple camera shots to see how it would work out. I really want to pick up a Gimbal to make the footage much smoother.
I went on an early morning sunrise mission to grab a few new timelapse videos to use in the Hudsons Haul series that we are producing.
The deeper we get into this project, the more mistakes I make. I thought I would try a 'run and gun' vlog on the fly but clearly, I don't have the skill to be able to shoot that style. The vlog I shot was terrible, but when I stripped out all the serious stuff and parsed together what's left, well, this is what you get.
The first 'behind the scenes' approach to making videos with my son where he can open and play with toys. I am supporting his goal of appearing on YouTube Kids. In the meantime, I'm using this as a project that we can do together and an excuse to brush up on my video editing chops.