Prompt 116: Describe an unexpected gift. One that didn’t come in a brightly colored package.

Prompt 117: Describe an unexpected gift. One that didn’t come in a brightly colored package.


The best-unexpected gift I’ve ever received is my two youngest children. I prefer not to give their names.

My son is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life. He was reading at two years old and at three taught us all the way to turn the vacuum on. He’s always been somewhat of a neat freak. When the children lived with me he would always thank me when the cleaning service came to our house,

His younger sister was always a bit slow. While he was walking at 14 months, she did not walk until she was 18 months. She speech and toilet training also came much later. She is shy and timid. Her three older siblings much more outgoing and extroverted.

When she was a young toddler and other three were being typical kids, rambunctious interacting and having fun, she would often take a book go in the corner and “read”. She is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. Although not necessarily affectionate, I don’t ever remember her being mean or very defiant.

Getting pregnant with the twins was a shock. There mom and I were in denial for probably two and a half months. We didn’t find out she was pregnant until about 14 weeks. We had just had a baby and it was hard to deal with for both us.

When we had our first child it felt like it was for us other than giving him life. Our second child was to give him a sibling. The twins we just a bonus. My hope is that all four kids will be each other’s best friends for life.

My ex and I often wondered how the relationships would play out. We figured that it would be the boys and girls or single births and twins. It turned out that number two and three were the closest.

They had a very special bond when I had custody. Due to an extremely contentious divorce, I have not seen them in over two and half years. Any of the time I had with them and will have with them in the future will be an incredible gift.

There is nothing better than having a child that is not expected.

Prompt 115: This is the one thing you’d change about your best friend

I don't have one best friend. I am fortune enough to have a few that check in on me. One calls everyday and another once or twice per week.

The one thing I would change with most of my fiends would be to see them more often. The one that calls once or twice per week I see only a few times per year.

We only live about 20-30 minutes from each other. He's busy with work and his family. It would still be nice to see him more.

My other friend I see about once per month. He's always on the road as a salesman so he can talk on the phone a lot while he's driving in between appointments.

My truest best friends I used to get to see everyday. That was my children. Losing them was devastating. I would desperately want custody back and to see them almost everyday.

I wanted their mother to be my best friend. Her sister would always seem to intervene with anyone in her life that would be closer to her than she was.

We would have disagreements and my ex would say her family or my family. I would always respond I care most about our family.

Looking back in never really felt like we had our own family. Influence from both sides was heavy. I would have loved for us to move somewhere to be able to be ourselves.

She said she couldn't do that to her mother or friends. They always seemed to have priority over me and our children.

The biggest thing I would change is the ability to be in a strong relationship and have my partner be my best friend.

I really hope to find love again. The next time I want to experience what a true best friend and life partner means. I'm often negative but not when it comes to love. I try and believe we all have someone out there to share life with. Someone that loves us for who we are and not what we might become in their mind.

Nothing would bring me greater joy than being able to find that and having my true best friend in my life everyday. I hope to reunite with my children as well.

Prompt 105: A time you’ve been ashamed of yourself

The time I was ashamed of myself was when I was arrested for trying to reason with a utility worker who came to my house.

One of our utilities was turned off. I thought my then wife had paid the bill and she thought I did. A woman came to our house to reinstate the utility. When she went to turn it back on, she said she was unable to do so.

I tried to reason with the woman. I closed the door to my house and asked the woman can’t we work this out. She called her dispatcher. I immediately opened the door and let her out.

I said some things I now regret. After calling her dispatcher, the police were notified. They came to my house and I was charged with keeping the woman against her will. The entire thing was 30 seconds.

It is something that changed the course of my life. My eventual conviction has kept me from finding work, played a major role in the end of my marriage and likely cost me custody of my children.

One 30 second mistake has influenced the remainder of my life. We all have things in our life we are embarrassed or ashamed of. Many or most don’t have to have it have a major impact on the rest of their life going forward.

I wish potential employers, romantic interests, and the court could look past my mistake. I regret it tremendously. I did not hurt anyone. I hope if someone commits the same mistake in the future they will not be judged as harshly as I was.

We often judge people based on a piece of paper. One action in our life should not define us as a person. We should be judged by the entire sum of our actions throughout our lifetime.

I hope that in the future this will be the case.

Prompt 104: Write about a Time a Parent Gave you Bad Advice

When I was a senior in high school I was going to a football game with my friend. Because the game was in the city my mom would not allow me to leave the house in shorts. The temperature that day was 75 degrees. 

When I was a senior in high school I was going to a football game with my friend. Because the game was in the city my mom would not allow me to leave the house in shorts. The temperature that day was 75 degrees.

My mom grew up in a very proper and well off family. My grandmother especially expected things to be done a certain way. We grew up a town over from where my mom did.

Her learned from my grandmother that when you go to the city you wear pants. This should not apply to a football game. To appease my mother I wore jeans. I either wore the shorts under the jeans or brought them with me in the car.

When I got to my friend’s house to pick him up I shed the jeans. The high temperature that day was 75 degrees. It felt much warmer. From that day forward I never wore pants on a hot day again.

There are many times when we should listen to our parents. The way we dress when we get to a certain age should not be one of them. The game was played the day before I turned 18.

My children are currently much younger than that. I would always let them pick out what they wear. I would hold veto power and still let them choose the alternate outfit. Sometimes I would have to lay out two outfits and make them pick.

One of my daughters is very strong willed and stubborn. She likes to wear dresses but refused to wear skirts. I learned quickly as a mostly single father that it was not worth it to argue over that. What was most important is that still is comfortable.

As long as my children look somewhat presentable I work with them on what to wear.

Prompt 89: Something You’ve Stolen

Something I’ve (we) have stolen was diapers from Target by accident.

Something I’ve (we) have stolen was diapers from Target by accident.

When we had only one child, my ex and I were at target. We put the package of diapers on the bottom of the cart. In the rush of paying for the rest of our items, we must have forgotten it was there. We noticed in the parking lot and she didn’t see the need to pay so we went home.

Prompt 85: When you were young, what would you have found if you dug around in your mom’s drawers, in those places she put things she hoped you wouldn’t find. What did you find, since surely you did that…?

My grandfather once told my mom she was square and my mom, in turn, told me to loosen up when I was a teenager.

My grandfather once told my mom she was square and my mom, in turn, told me to loosen up when I was a teenager.

My mom suggested to me to get my ear pierced. It wasn’t for a lack of trying to find what my parents might be hiding. My mom doesn’t really drink, she smoked cigarettes until I was 15, but on the whole, she is pretty much on the straight and narrow.

The only thing I truly remember finding that my mom hid was Payday bars. It’s definitely her favorite Candy Bar. After we were out of the house she had them in plain view in her pantry.

I took a few every so often, but if she came into my house and took something I’d be very upset. Parents hide a lot of things from children, some more than others and vice versa. It’s debatable if this is good or not. How honest with each other do we need to be.

It’s the old age of lying versus not sharing the entire truth. There are some things in life we don’t need to share with everyone except a partner. Hiding something from a spouse or the person we share life with destroys trust and can erode a relationship.

With parents, it’s debatable if trust should be earned or expected. It goes both ways, how much should a parent trust a child and vice versa. I am glad with my mom, the only thing we found her hiding was a candy bar.


Prompt 84: A Moment When you were happy to be the age you were.

The moment I was happy to be the age I was was the first year of my relationship with my ex and the first years after we had our first child, a son.

The moment I was happy to be the age I was the first year of my relationship with my ex and the first years after we had our first child, a son.

I discussed at length in the last post and throughout the blog how much I dreamt of having a family. I still hope to become a writer and dreamt of being a broadcaster growing up and in my twenties, but nothing meant more to me than becoming a husband and father.

The first year of my relationship with my ex and our honeymoon, then three and a half years later when we became parents through right before we had our second was an amazing and special time in my life.

How much do we truly enjoy the special times in life in the moment? Some have a better ability to do that than others. We strive for more money, a bigger house, more friends and especially for a better life for our children.

I loved that time, but probably not enough. I wanted more. I saw others that had more than us and I wanted that. How can we truly be happy if we look at everyone else instead of appreciating what we have?

It’s often hard to see value while we are living life. If we can be happy to be the age we are at a specific time we go a long way towards enjoying life more. That can be a lot easier said than done.

Patrick Stewart’s character Captain John Luc-Picard in Star Trek the Next Generation once spoke about the importance of living in the now and said:

“Time is a companion that goes with us on all of our journeys and reminds us to cherish every moment….After all, We are only mortal.”