Raising kids can be a dangerous proposition if your dad is Me. We have had some fun and some not so fun times, and some down right dangerous times. One time I got the idea to have our dog a strong German Shepard pull the kids on a sled, well it was going fine for a little while and then all of a sudden he took off full speed and dumped the babies into the deep snow, crying babies wet cold kids. just one of my good “ideas” that turned south. The next one that I remember was the time, Richard got a new fancy bike, we were living somewhere by O’Malley in Anchorage. I took him up the hill and let him go down, well the problem was that, although he new how to pedal but forgot how to brake, this could have been a disaster and possibly deadly, luck for us, he just ended up bumped and bruised. my theory was the same back then as it is now, That the physical is just as important as Mentally improving oneself, just did not have the wherewithal to know the proper approach. I once forced my daughter to run next to my truck, in the snow, I know the depravity, another time, I wacked Rich in the back of the head, he was wearing a helmet, but bad dad for sure. He went on to score the only touchdown against the toughest team in pop warner at the time a team from palmer coached by a mike, they were big kids. he did a quarterback sneak. those were great times. We moved to Arizona in 2003 and my shenanigan’s had just began. I think now about my mindset in those days and well, it is not pretty. I was trying my best, with the tools and skills I had, Sweet Mary was their protector, I was the beast. We were a team. We love them dearly. I just wished that I had been able to make things fun, without anger or criticism. nurturing without coddling, its a fine line. we used to go boating, and they had fun wakeboarding swimming, but my fear of them getting in the prop or getting hurt, brought out the anger beast, so much for fun, or pushing too hard. I think sometimes we want the life we never had for our kids. I see that a lot. No do overs. you get one shot. I also got the kids into riding motorcycles, more specifically dirt bikes. they sell these cheap knock offs, trouble is they hardly work good enough to ride, but I did have a Yamaha 125 and Honda cr250 and took Johnny out riding In the desert one day. this was a classic example of not learning from my previous mistakes. I was trying to tell him to stop, but he got panicked and crashed into a cactus, another potentially serious disaster averted, I am so lucky they still love me :/

I took them out cliff diving, not real high but John almost slipped and fell on his head. then there was the time we floated down the salt river, well we missed the pickup point and went further down river and it got dark, can you imagine, small kids with their dad floating down a river at night, there are quite a few drownings every year at the salt river. I think it was John, who was in a panic at the same river, thinking he was drowning, but It was only 3 ft deep, reminded of when I was a kid and jumped in the water and he thought he was drowning, very scary.

Some of these things have come back to haunt me, besides the normal worry of paying bills and staying healthy myself the always the fear of tragedy of my children has been evolved into the things that I had exposed them to, death hikes, when we first moved here, me and rich hiked to the salt river and back with no water, and were driven to almost drink muddy pond water. I have taken Sarah to bullfrog mountain, either side was death. she now regularly goes into such hikes, Richard now has a motorcycle. I reminded him of the time, that he said that I was selfish for riding a motorcycle, the danger, When I first started riding here, I had bright reflective clothing and still was almost street fodder daily. I am much safer, when I put it in my mind, that they “random they” are actively trying to kill me, and if you have driven in the “hoods” in phoenix it is closer to the truth that you think. No, I do not fear many things, death God, and wife and babies, although Sweet Mary is a Rock, tough as nails.