ready to shake your hand

Six years ago a friend of mine met my darling son for the very first time. As I introduced him to Jessica, Daniel extended his right hand and as he shook hers he said, Hello, I’m Daniel”. And with a firm handshake, my friend and coworker met Daniel face to face for the first time. A day later, I received a message from Jessica telling me how impressed she was that my 7 year old little boy shook her hand and said hello. Clearly his introduction made an impact on her as she reached out to me to share.

Yes, that’s my boy. That’s who he is. Who he has been for as long as he has been old enough to respond when his mom would introduce him to someone.

Hello. I am Daniel.

My baby boy always would reach out and offer his right hand to say hello. Without hesitation. My boy. My baby boy.

Hi, I’m Daniel.

His Dad and I lost count this weekend how many times our son would extended his hand, without our prompting, to say hello and introduce himself to his father’s colleagues at Dad’s company picnic and then the next day to his sister’s co-workers at his niece’s birthday party.

Perhaps this is not what one might expect from the average thirteen year old kid given the reaction from the people who work with Bill and with Hollie; but this is my baby boy, my young man. This is who he is and who he has been. He shakes your hand…or he might reach out to hug you. Fair warning that if you choose to accept his extended hand and introduction he will follow with a discourse on Lego figurines, Nintendo game or, perhaps, the absolutely perfect birthday card he chose (by himself) for his niece. Just go with it. Accept it. Allow yourself to be educated, enlightened and consider yourself so damn lucky to enjoy a hearty handshake and introduction from this remarkable young man


photo dump: triple digits edition

Dear East Coast, I’m sorry you are dealing with all that annoying wet stuff falling from the sky and saturating your neck of the woods. What is it that you call it? Oh, yeah, rain. I think I heard of rain before. I might have even seen it…then again, I don’t know for sure. Perhaps it’s just what I seen on the evening news. Meanwhile we are hot here in the Central Valley and pretty much everywhere on the West Coast. Very hot. Very dry, miserable hot with sticky clouds up above that only offer dry lightning strikes in the mountains because what’s one more raging wild fire right now?


We’re going over to Casa de Scarborough-Jacques because they have a pool and it’s hot…freaking, broiling hot.

Yeah, this will work. This will work out just fine.

At the end of the day the added bonus for Hollie and Ben…

…sleepy water babies.

not wasted

Nothing brings me more pleasure that the the sweet, unaffected laughter of any of my circus clowns. It’s so bright and so pure. Something so perfect I sometimes want to catch and keep forever with me; which is why I am always so very happy when I capture a moment like this.

In spite of the heat and the dry, dusty wind that has caused my allergies to flare up in such a way that is nothing but miserable, it still was a wonderful weekend because through swollen, red, itchy, tear-filled eyes I enjoyed the laughter shared with my family and their friends.

As for today, I have Benadryl and Motrin and so much laughter in the images that I collected.

I’m good.

A day without laughter is a day wasted. ~ Charlie Chaplin

too tall and other squad adventures

The perfect time to get away from the dusty triple digit temps that is the Central Valley is right now.

And in Santa Clara at California’s Great America, today was practically sweater weather. Kidding. But it was literally 20 degrees cooler than Manteca. So sorry work for not taking that call to come in and work extra.

This guy was literally counting down the days until we could play at California’s Great America.

So was Abby

And Abby’s BFF, Maci.

It was a great day enjoying all the food, all the drinks and all the rides in the park, courtesy of Bill’s company. Bonus, Daniel was more than tall enough to ride any ride of his choosing.

Well, almost any ride of his choosing.

One disappointment in a day filled with adventure for this squad?

We’ll take it!

and this too

And this too I’m going to leave here.

history can’t be a sword to justify injustice or a shield against progress. It must be a manual for how to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past, how to break the cycle, a roadway toward a better world. He knew that the path of grace involves an open mind. But more importantly, an open heart. ~ President Barack Obama eulogizing the Reverend Clementa Pinckney