Sunday, June 16, 2019

Happy Father's Day

Image result for happy fathers dayHey dads, today's our day!  Let's celebrate us and fatherhood!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Summer DA

Image result for to-do listFor the older kids, school's out.  Which means...Daddy Academy cranks up a notch for the summer.  Here's what Aaron and Jada need to do every weekday that they're not off at sleepaway camp or on vacation:

1. Read 1 hour (I've downloaded books for them from Free Library of Philadelphia)

2. Write a 1/2 page each on 2 writing prompts (I've provided them with 100 to choose from)

3. Exercise 1 hour (treadmill or spin bike)

4. Watch 1 documentary or 1 hour of a documentary, whichever is shorter (I've given them a list of about 25 from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube)

5. No more than 2 hours of leisure screen time

Sunday, June 09, 2019

Happy Gotcha Day to Aaron

Image result for gotcha dayTwelve years ago today I greeted Amy and a little bundle of joy at Philadelphia International Airport, and just like that Aaron came crashing into our lives.  His arrival in his new home is when we officially mark his "Gotcha Day," and we are thankful to God for the perspective and role we have as he grows up before our eyes.  Love you, son!

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Gotta Throw the Older Dogs a Bone Sometimes

 When we do stuff together as a family, like go out or go on a vacation, we're kind of beholden to Asher, and not just because he's a little tyrant.  He's the littlest, so we are constrained by his limitations, needs, and schedule.  And that's fine, because that's how family works.

But sometimes you gotta throw the older dogs a bone.  So I took just Aaron and Jada for an overnighter a couple of hours outside of Philly. 

The first day, we made a beeline for the free tour at Hershey's Chocolate World, before going to the hotel to swim in the pool (with a two-story water slide) while waiting for our room to become available.  Once we could check in, we unpacked, walked across the street to a Sheetz for food, and then ate and watched TV.  We then headed out for twilight hours at Hersheypark, where we got our money's worth of water slides, amusement rides, and all around fun.  We got back to the hotel well past 10, which if you know us is very late.

The second day, I let the kids sleep in while I hit the hotel fitness center for a workout.  After breakfast, we did a round of mini-golf in the hotel's rec area before returning to the room to chill for a minute.  We then packed up, headed out, and made our first stop at the National Watch & Clock Museum, an interesting last-minute decision on our part which we were glad to make.  After that, we hit Sky Zone Trampoline Park, at which the kids reveled in literally bouncing all over the place, while I was glad to do just enough bouncing to work up a sweat but not enough to injure myself.  We then headed for Bird-in-Hand, to partake of the farmer's market, antique shops, and buffet, before driving home and getting there in time to reunite with Amy and Asher over dinner.

We had a blast, and I was glad for the quality time with our two olders.  Not sure when time will permit something like this again, but I know I got to do it every once in a while, and was glad to have taken this opportunity.

Monday, June 03, 2019

Hats Off to Jada for Graduating from Penn Alexander

Today our oldest graduates from Penn Alexander.  She got the last kindergarten spot nine years ago, and is still friends with many of the same kids she started her school experience with.  They're all older and wiser, and soon off to high school, and Amy and I are left to wonder where has the time gone. 

We are so thankful for everyone at the school for helping Jada along the way.  And we are beaming with pride at the young woman she has become.  Listen for us later today as we whoop and holler at her graduation ceremony!

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Friday, May 31, 2019

Huang Family Newsletter, May 2019

Quite a month!  Lee had business trips to Pittsburgh, Toronto, and New Orleans (as well as Ocean City, Bucks County, and Trenton).  He started teaching again as well.  Amy had to be on her toes more than usual, because I was out of town a lot and Asher was on and off sick, making juggling work and home responsibilities even more dicey.  Jada performed in her school musical and is gearing up for her end-of-year choir concert.  Aaron competed in one last swim meet for the season.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Schoolyard Dynamics

Image result for schoolyard fight
Earlier this month I posted the following on social media:

At school a boy punched Asher. Teacher said “punch him back.” So Asher did. The boy punched Asher again. Teacher said “punch him harder this time.” Schoolyard dynamics are so tricky. Parents of black boys, I’d welcome any advice as we navigate how to raise our Asher.

The post engendered considerable discussion, all of which I appreciate and take to heart.  People weighed in on whether the teacher should be disciplined, if and when violence in response to violence is ever justified, and how similar situations, and what has created such a culture of bullying.

Of course the thing I care about most, though I care about all of those other things too, is Asher's safety, both now and in the future.  Schoolyard dynamics are so tricky, especially when it comes to black boys, because there are so many other layers I have to worry about.  Will he get singled out, will he get labeled, and will violence escalate to a point of extreme danger are three things that I was privileged to not have to worry about when I was navigating my childhood.  These are not privileges that now extend to Asher and so they become things that I as his father now have to worry about.  

Thank you for journeying with me on this journey.  I have learned so much, which I hold in my heart with much gratefulness.  But I also hold a lot of worry in my heart.  Dear God, please protect my sweet Asher and all little black boys who are similarly navigating a world that is all too often unfairly dangerous for them.