My Greatest Masterpieces

My closest friends understand how passionate I am about my craft. I have to tell you that no matter how hard I try to better myself in project, employment, career… it pales in comparison to what I have at home, my son Bill and daughter Katie. If I met my fate tomorrow, I would leave this world knowing that I have left a young man and teenage girl that are talented, happy, unselfish, loving, honest, and hard-working.


My son amazes me every time he picks up a guitar, microphone, or mixes his own music on his PC. He's starting at IUPUI, taking on a Physics degree and he may minor in any number of areas, including French, Acoustical Engineering, or Political Science. You'll need to listen to some of his music on his site to hear his talent, but I think you'll agree.

Each weekend or so, the kids spend cherished time with their Mom. Though we've been divorced for over 5 years, it's a good relationship that we all have and each of us holds the other in high regard. The kids never have to hear us battle, since our entire goal is for them to be happy and do whatever we can to make it so.

One example, I ordered some graduation cards for Bill to raise some money for him for college. He needs a car and will need some money for books, I think he'll be okay on tuition but it may take a loan still. We'll see. Anyways, his Mom sent all the announcements out to her family and friends and my family and friends. That's pretty cool. (To any parents getting divorced or that are divorced… it's ABOUT THE KIDS!)

We spend the 45 minute drive singing our brains out. People driving by must think we're crazy and the rare guest on the drive usually jumps right in the show with us. Our favorite is Bat out of Hell by Meatloaf… but we listen and sing to everything. There are a couple 70s and 80s stations on the way so nothing is off limits.

And when we sing, we put everything into it… the more theatrics and ear-piercing wails, the better. (We do interrupt the singing once in a while for my favorite game, “Guess that roadkill”). By the time we get to Exit 50B, we're usually out of breath, out of voice, and laughing like crazy.


A couple months ago, my daughter took part in an Indiana singing contest in Bloomington. It was almost a catastrophe – the first key landed and Katie forgot the entire song. She cried, composed herself, and started singing again. I didn't help her – I knew she had to pull herself back (but boy did we hug after she was done). Katie wound up doing a beautiful job and landed the Gold.

Tonight was the Spring Concert at Greenwood Middle School for the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade choirs. Katie had a solo, “Portrait in Blue” and has been singing it for a month around the house. I gave her one tiny piece of advise before she went on tonight – find a spot and stare at it. There was a couple hundred parents and students at the concert tonight so I knew she'd be nervous. Before she went on, she told me that she was singing the song for me.


I've been thinking about Katie all day today and how well she would do. And boy, did she! Her solo bellowed in the gym and peoples' heads turned. I don't have a very good video camera but I did pull out my PDA camera phone and recorded the event. I apologize for how terrible the quality is and the sound isn't very loud, but you can sure hear Katie singing the blues.

I would be lying if I said that I didn't have tears in my eyes. I can't express in words how incredible it was. People around me turned and said, “Is that your daughter? She was fantastic!”. One look at Katie and I could see how happy she was. My kids are my greatest masterpieces.

Nothing will ever come close.


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    It’s just amazing how fast kids grow up.

    And as the quote of the day: “Heredity is what parents of smart children believe in.”

    And, hey, wasn’t it you who blogged about hosting one’s own content? Yet the last two videos where both youTubeGoogled?

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    Beautiful post Doug. I have a son on the way, and I can only hope that I’ll be able to be as good a parent to him.

    I also think it’s wonderful that you are able to maintain such a healthy relationship with your ex-wife. As you say, it’s for the kids, and it really doesn’t help if you’re fighting all the time and playing the kids off each other like some sort of twisted mind game. I had friends growing up with parents like that, and it’s really sad to see.

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      Congratulations Brandon! I’ve made a ton of mistakes on the way, believe me. I’ve said things to my kids that I know hurt them when I was angry and sometimes I don’t give them the attention they deserve. But every time we’re going to be away from each other we tell each other we love one another – even when we’re angry. And we hug… a lot!

      I’ve also been honest with my kids about the mistakes I’ve made and I apologize when I’ve done things wrong with them. As much as I can, I allow them to make their own decisions and then we discuss the consequences of those decisions.

      My son jokes about how close our friendship is. We hang out as much as any of his friends do. For IUPUI, he’s actually going to live at home! I’m still the boss (for now).

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        Thanks Doug – I’m really looking forward to being a parent, but find myself worrying about doing a good job and not screwing my kids up.

        I think what you say about being honest with them about mistakes you’ve made in your own life, and letting them make their own decisions is definitely the way to go. There are some lessons that you just have to learn for yourself, even if it’s the hard way.

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