Category Archives: Thoughts

Dipping My Toes into Stay-at-Home Parenthood

As I write this at midday on Monday, my son is asleep. I had just changed his diaper and his clothes–since he peed all over himself and them–and I set him down in his bassinet for minute so I could brush my teeth.

He had gotten quiet for more than a few moments, so I checked on him and found him asleep. I decided to use the opportunity to take a shower, and it felt like a victory.

Apparently, this is what being a stay-at-home parent feels like: small victories during the course of an otherwise unpredictable day. Continue reading Dipping My Toes into Stay-at-Home Parenthood

On being a Dad, and Also being Selfish

Having a son has taught me a lot. I’ve learned how to put a diaper on a baby tight enough that they don’t pee around it. I’ve learned the various phases of infant defecation. And I’ve learned that making my son smile for the first time—and I mean really smile, not a muscle reflex—is one of the most fulfilling moments of my life.

But I’ve also learned that being a dad is really just an endeavor in ego-feeding. Very caring, loving, and dare I say selfless ego-feeding. Continue reading On being a Dad, and Also being Selfish

Friday Write-Day: Revisions Are Coming

This was another one of those weeks where it felt pretty busy/hectic, but I don’t really remember specifically what happened.

[Thinking…]

We had a lot of visitors and things going on around the house. That’s why it felt busy. I didn’t have much time for writing due to this, but progress is not always measured in word count

Continue reading Friday Write-Day: Revisions Are Coming

15 on the 15th – In my Tennessee mountain home, crickets sing in the fields near by

So I’m trying a different style for this Tennessee playlist. Consider The Civil Wars as a trailer for the rest of the CD, where all the other songs play out the story from song 2 to 14. Notes written below each video are just for amusement. 

The Civil Wars

Quick Notes: Originated in Nashville, tragically disbanded in 2014. TRAGICALLY. Hopefully one day they’ll get back together and go for that fifth Grammy… Continue reading 15 on the 15th – In my Tennessee mountain home, crickets sing in the fields near by

Officially an Officiant: Thoughts Post Performing a Wedding

I’ve been pretty MIA for awhile now. Overburdened with promises I made without really considering how much they would personally tax me. One of those, really the one with the most to gain/lose, was my agreement to officiate a good friend’s wedding ceremony.

It transpired this past weekend. It went…. far better than I could have hoped, to be honest. My heavy reliance on my ‘inner wolf’, as I jokingly call my tenuous confidence, pulled me through a situation that terrified me.  Continue reading Officially an Officiant: Thoughts Post Performing a Wedding

Baltimore Comic-Con Reconaissance

I went to my first convention on Sunday! I knew that fellow author and blogger MLS Weech was going to be there, so I wanted to take the opportunity to stop by his table.

But I also wanted to start preparing for my next big move in book publishing: selling my book at conventions.

Continue reading Baltimore Comic-Con Reconaissance

That Time When Dad-Life Kicked Down My Door

This has been a whirlwind few days in the best possible way.

My wife’s water broke on Sunday evening, a full three weeks (and more) before her projected due date of 9/27. Because she was technically pre-term (by four days), we had to report to the hospital rather than the midwifery where we wanted to give birth. Continue reading That Time When Dad-Life Kicked Down My Door

For Grandpa D’Adamo

My grandfather passed away on August 17. Before driving with my wife and my dad to the funeral on August 22, I asked my aunt if I could read a speech. The wake came, and I didn’t feel comfortable reading the speech. Then the mass came, and I had to stick to the traditional biblical reading. Then the repast came, and my aunt finally encouraged me to at least give a toast, which was basically a brief version of what follows.

Grandpa bottle-feeding me.

I am one of Grandpa’s four grandchildren, and I felt compelled to say a few words about him.

Grandpa was hard of hearing for most of his life. He started having hearing troubles at age three, and it only worsened as he aged. Because of this, I think, he was a generally quiet and reserved man. I think he enjoyed the everyday chatter of life, but years of having trouble holding a  typical conversation taught him to only pay attention when he had to, or when people spoke loudly enough for him to understand. So when he spoke up, you listened.

At least, I did. He would sit with us at the table and just stay quiet four hours, sometimes. But every now and then, unprompted, he would start talking about something from his past. His mother, his cousins, his friends from Brooklyn, or maybe one of the numerous jobs he worked.

You could tell by the way he spoke about people and places that he was naturally curious about the world around him. I always wondered if that was innate, or if he learned to be observant because that was how he could most easily engage with the world. Maybe both.

My cousin and me “wrestling” with Grandpa.

When my sister, our two cousins, and I were younger, he seemed to love nothing more than to spend time with us. We would stroll up and down the boardwalk in Cape May on lovely summer nights, and he never hesitated to pay for dinner, buy us ice cream, or give us a $20 to go play the arcade for a bit. He was happy to buy us gifts from the shops, even when our parents said no. We might have taken advantage of that kindness a time or two, but it didn’t seem to bother him.

He also crafted plenty of gifts for us in his basement workshop. After working as a machinist well into his seventies, he finally retired when my grandmother became sick. After she passed, he dove headfirst into his woodworking hobby. I think we all have several decorations or pieces of furniture that he made.

An eagle that he carved. He later used the same design to adorn shot glass racks he made for my collection.

No matter how beautiful the pieces were, Grandpa never believed they came out right. “Ah, it’s too short,” he’d say, or “I couldn’t get this piece here right.”

But more than anything, I think he just enjoyed sitting around the dinner table or a good card game with us. He would just watch us talk, laugh, and grow together — enjoying each other’s company as a family. The rarer times we saw him laugh — and I mean really laugh — he’d lean back in his chair, lay his hands on his belly, and shake until his face burned red.

And if we were lucky, he’d surprise us with a witty line or a story, like a fleeting memory that nearly passed over him.

Grandpa helping me in his workshop.

Grandpa was always one of my biggest role models, and I’ve thought recently about what that has meant to me, what it will mean to me.

So these are the lessons I will try to carry forward, in tribute to Grandpa, as we grow our family:

Speak and act thoughtfully. Others will value your words and your heart all the more.

Give generously, even if it’s just to put a smile on someone else’s face.

Work diligently and be proud of your accomplishments, even when your creations didn’t quite meet your own expectations.

Make time for those you love. Be present in those moments, and cherish them.

He was 96 years old, and his second and third cousins still referred to him as Brother Ralph. I love you, Grandpa.

Ralph D’Adamo

July 8, 1922 – August 17, 2018