Sunday, May 27, 2012

Storms Test Foundations

Never allow anyone to lay a finger on you. Never. There is no excuse or reason that warrants forgiveness of such an action. It is like the saying "give them a hand and they will take an arm." Once you set a precedent of forgiveness they will start one of abuse. The finger is not only a physical one as there are dozens of ways to hurt another person without having to strike them physically.

A house is only as strong as its foundation. If you build the house of your relationships, friendships, and the like upon a foundation that is rotten the house is bound to come crumbling down. The storms that are sure to come will not allow a home with a rotted or otherwise weak foundation to last.

In nature the storms consist of tornadoes, hurricanes, and the like. In your life it is your mother's wrath and your father's rage. This earth has not seen fury like we would unfurl upon those who wish to hurt you. We will raise you as best we can and may God grant you wisdom to make good choices and keep you from bad company. As you get older I will tell you more as to why things must be so.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Are You Ready?

I am going to push you to be the best you can be. 

I was trying to teach you how to spell one word at a time. Then **bam** something hit me. Why do I want to teach you how to spell words? In reality I could care less if you could spell, phones and computers can do that for you. I want you to learn how to think and communicate. I want you to be able to read and learn. To be able to manipulate thoughts, understand, analyze, create, and beyond.

So why teach you words?

I decided that I am going to teach you to read and write sentences (which involves words). Instead of teaching you small parts of the puzzle and later on bringing all the lessons together I am going to try something different. I am going to show you the whole big problem, the big picture if you will, and challenge you to try to find a way to beat it. I recently showed you that the same words that are in your princess books are also in my books. Come to think of it reading A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin tells me that like you I like stories about Kings and Queens; we won't talk about the differences for at least another 15 years though.

Kids are smarter, stronger than we think.

I have seen a hunger in you to learn. I have also seen that you are able to recall information weeks after you have heard it even when you only heard it once in the midst of a lot of distractions. Time to push, time to challenge, time to see what my baby is made of. If you are anything like your mother and your father it will be an interesting adventure. I have plans to teach everything that I know and then some. I want to have to Google things in order to answer your questions, to have to consult with experts to satisfy your curiosity. 

Are you ready? Tomorrow bootcamp begins!

Friday, May 18, 2012

5 Years

Today was your fifth birthday!

It is amazing at how fast these past five years have come and gone. I can close my eyes and feel like I am still there in the hospital awaiting your arrival... holding your mother's hands... looking at the heartbeat monitor... Five years ago my life was changed forever! Every day ever since has been filled with joy and happiness that is hard to describe.

It was an amazing day. Amazing.

At the time of your birth we wished you happy birthday. You woke playing with your cousin. Cupcakes at school. A party with your friends and family after school. Quality time with your parents to end the day. So many smiles, memories,  moments were created today. Your mother and I are extremely happy and grateful for having you as a part of our lives.

Thank you.

For being such a sweet and loving daughter. For being the sunshine that cuts through the clouds when our days seem overcast. The reason to smile when things are not going right. Thank you for being you, my daughter. I love you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


There are so many things that as adults we can do that we take for granted. Things that we have been doing for so long that we could hardly remember not being able to do them. I have very vague memories about learning how to tie my show laces. So vague in fact that I have no clue who taught me or at what age I learned to do it. I just know that if my laces are untied I can can do them before my face meets the pavement.

I believe that children should learn at their own pace. As parents your mother and I try to keep you challenged, allowing you to push yourself to be better. Being that you are our child I know how stubborn you can be. Don't even think about arguing about that one. Stubborn as mules we Santos are. We do keep an eye out when you are in the mood to experiment or want to learn something and then the pushing begins.

Although you are almost turning 5 in a couple of weeks we had not really pursued you learning how to tie your laces. Sooner or later you were going to want to learn. Last week your mother made a comment and heard you mention that you would like to learn. I took off my hoodie and showed you what you needed to do to tie your laces:

  1. make a bunny ear with your right hand, and pinch it with your left hand. (since you are right-handed this works better than pinching it with your right)
  2. with your right hand pick up the other lace and put it over your left thumb
  3. bring the lace down and around your left index finger
  4. push the lace through next to your left thumb
  5. pull both bunny ears
In my haste and desire to teach you I hardly noticed that you were hungry and salivating at the dinner plate your mother put in front of you. I looked to the right and got "the look" from your mom that said to stop. I quickly repeated the instructions and proceeded to have dinner with my wonderful girls.

After dinner I told your mother that in a week you would be tying your laces. She reminded me that we had to make sure that you kept practicing or it was not going to happen. Busy as life has been, me not feeling well, and us having so many other things to work on that we did not practice. I was going to have to eat crow since you were not going to be tying your own laces.

Then this morning...

Pressed for time and trying to get you to school on time I asked you to put your sneakers on. I said I will tie your laces as soon as I got out of the shower. However, a light bulb went on in my head. I said "why don't you put them on and try to tie them, if you need help I will do so after my shower." You then asked me "don't you want to watch me do it?"

Here is where most parents, dealing with the hustle and bustle of life, mess up and don't take the time to enjoy the small pleasures that life offers us. I decided to watch. In complete disbelief I watched you perform the instructions I had given you a week earlier flawlessly. In less than a minute you tied your right pink Converse. Maybe a fluke. I was not going to celebrate prematurely. Then you quickly moved on to the left pink Converse. This time faster than before you executed the instructions as if you had always known how to tie your shoelaces. 

The hollering and celebration ensued!

My baby is growing up. Small little steps. I am most amazed at how much dexterity you showed with those laces. Truth be told I was more impressed with the way you remembered my instructions a week later when I was sure that you were not paying attention to me. With every passing day you surprise me with how smart and capable you are. I am looking forward to our next challenge, to our next achievement.

Oh yeah here is a video of the second time you tied your laces...