One of my favorite things about being a dad is watching my kids play and discover the world around them; their imagination is entertaining and inspiring and my wife and I do not want to stifle it. So, when it comes to our parenting style, we try to create an environment where our kids can have as much fun as possible, explore, take chances and still be safe.
The calendar tells us that summer starts on June 21. But for me, summer starts on Memorial Day weekend, when I join aunts, uncles and cousins at the beach to open our old family cottage for the season.
Whether it’s in motorboats, sailboats, kayaks or canoes, there’s a good chance most of us will be hanging out in some kind of boat this spring or summer. After all, it’s one of the best ways for family and friends to spend time together and experience the freedom that comes from cruising on lakes, rivers and oceans.
My family has always been large, but in the last few years we’ve grown significantly as my generation has made the transition from being the kids to being the parents. This just makes our time together even more enjoyable especially when we head to one of our favorite places: the beach.
There is nothing that I can remember loving more as a kid than riding my bike with all of my friends. Every ride was an adventure and we would stay out as long as we could.
Now as an adult, I still hop on a bike every opportunity I get – and it’s especially fun to ride with my nephews, Jake, 4, and Nathan, 7, who are actually starting to keep up with me, which is saying something.
There are so many good things that come from riding a bike – good exercise, a sense of freedom, it’s good for the environment – so we want to encourage all kids to strap helmets on their heads and pedal off to the park, to a friend’s house or to school.
Every spring, weather nerds like me wait anxiously for cold air from Canada to collide with the warm air rising out of the Gulf of Mexico. And like clockwork, we watch mesocyclones (big thunderstorms to most people) build and build until they drop one of nature’s most deadly events, the tornado.
I still remember getting my first bike. It was a lovely fall day, and I was celebrating my 5th birthday at the local park when my parents wheeled it over. And it was beautiful – a light pink frame and white tires with a white basket on the front adorned with purple, blue and yellow daisies, and shimmering multicolored streamers flowing from the handlebars.
One of the best parts of my job at Safe Kids is working with families who generously share their stories to inspire other parents to get involved. The following story is one of my favorites because it really shows what our work is all about – the little things you can do that can make a big difference.