Jayden was born when I was 20 years old.  While he was planned & I was ready, what I thought was ready anyway. A lot of advice was given to me in those months leading up to him being born. Not that he is 9 & now that Autism changes the way I go about teaching him those life lessons that my dad taught me with a belt or a smack to the back of the head I’m learning my self still what is the best way. While the delivery to the kids may be different the lessons I want for them are pretty much the same, be men! Be a man but don’t be an ass! Believe me, its a very fine line as I’m sure you all know for one reason or another.  It’s a line that I, even now a few months before my 30th birthday, jump back & forth on both sides of. That being said I have a voice that always seems to make perfect manly sense to me! Ron Swanson! That’s right, from Parks & Recreation. No I don’t literally want them to go that direction but being a guy that smothers his kids to death a dose of manliness now & then wouldn’t kill them, you know since they have a dad who still insists on Eskimo kisses before bed not because they want them but because i need them. A dad who is so neurotic that when they blow me kisses I put my clinched hand into my pocket & open it like I’m saving them for later, but I do that as I walk down stairs where the kids can’t even see me, so that’s just one of my crazy ticks!

Lessons On Parenthood: By Ron Swanson {real quotes from Ron on Parks & Rec.}

1.} On one side of this is the lesson I my kids MUST learn; Do your best! There is another great Swanson Quote that says something like “Don’t half ass two things; Whole ass one thing!” On the flip side is one I just really want them to learn & with the Asperger’s I don’t really have to worry about Jayden. Those goofy saying & analogies, I hate ’em!
2.} Stand up for yourself. I’m not saying they should fight but if someone is in your grill (as we used to say in ’94, thanks Fresh Prince for the hip hop lingo lessons) then you should….well, if need be fight! Granted this is coming from a dad who was never very tough & while you have heard of Lovers & Fighters, I’m more of a “Run you over with a car” kind of guy but if stuff happens you have to stand your ground, know when it’s time to fight, & when it is time put the other guys nose in the dirt.
3.} Friends are rare, acquaintances are many. A good lesson I was taught is “You have to be friendly but you don’t have to be friends.”

4.} This is one I have a hard time with. I’m a yes man! I can be right in the middle of doing something for my family at our house & then someone calls needing help or a hand at something, even if it’s not really important I’m headed over there. Only to realize I’ve put someone else before me & my family. I have done the same thing with my job in the past & it’s something I have to keep in check. It’s nice to help but make sure you & your family is okay first!
Extra Life Lessons:

Call ’em like ya see ’em

Say what you mean & mean what you say
Don’t be a baby
Talk is cheap