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Blog Parenting from the voice of experience.
john's blog
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Every family has their own traditions on the Fourth of July. Ours start early in the morning with an old wooden barrel full of water in the back yard. My dad soaks it so the wood will swell up enough to tighten each joint.

By John Bradfield

It’s late—the office is quiet except for the hum of the cleaning crew’s vacuums, and the music and rattle-tap-tapping emanating from my computer. It’s one of those days when the list of things I have to do at work is competing with the list of things I need to do at home. I know my wife is tired from her day with the kids and I need to be there to help her—to listen to my girls tell me about their day—to kiss them goodnight. Just a few more projects to complete and I’ll go.

When I was a kid there was never a question about what we were going to do for Memorial Day. We were visiting cemeteries. On Friday night my parents packed us kids in the car, tossed blankets and pillows on our laps, loaded the trunk with flowers, and we drove south.

As parents, we love to see our children grow. We smile at their independence with each new accomplishment—the first time they roll over, their first step, their first day of school…their first date. In the beginning, these milestones are exciting and cute.

Growing up in a rural setting surrounded by mountains, farmland and outdoorsmen, I developed a great love for nature and the serenity you find by simply stepping outside. Almost nothing could keep me indoors—not even the Atari gaming system with its cool square basketball.

It’s tax season. By now many of you have already done the math, filled out the forms, pulled out your hair, and dropped your paperwork in the mail. Was it as simple as you hoped it would be?

Does your family hit the road for Spring Break? We have. Vacations are important. It’s good for us to take a break from the grind, if for no other reason than to realize how much we like our daily routine.

Leap Day should be an international holiday. There’s no other day like it—an extra day that we completely forgot about. It’s sort of like finding a $10 bill in your jacket pocket. It’s not every year that we have a February 29th. Let’s soak it up.

Leap Day dates back to the time of Julius Caesar, when he added extra days to the existing calendar (and named a month after himself). Since it takes 365.2422 days for Earth to rotate around the sun, Caesar added an extra day every four years to catch his calendar up.

I’ll never forget the bath I gave each of my daughters in the hospital room the day they were born. I tested the water with my forearm and then carefully held their heads as I gave them the best one-armed washing I could muster. They seemed to like the warm water.


What do you think of when you think about taking a break? You probably imagine yourself sitting in a comfortable chair with a refreshing beverage, but I promise you, that’s not your average kid’s idea of a good break.