Parenting Is Not An Entitlement

Parenting was not an entitlement, much to my surprise.

My wife and I tried for eight years, spent our life savings, and risked failure. All in order to become parents.

Tomorrow, our son turns nine.

Who would have ever thought, all those years ago, that we would finally have a nine year old?

I know who.


Carpe diem, jeff noel 🙂

Cry Baby?

Cry Baby? I guess I am.

Driving this morning to Orlando International airport, listening to the “Z”, I cried three separate times.

Why? The music, especially the lyrics, really speak to me.

They reach a point in my spirit, my soul, that makes me feel so blessed to have everything I need.

In my weakness, I am made strong. It’s the same for everyone.

How do you get there? Many ways to be sure. My favorite is to listen to

Wish there was an easy way to tell others how to get there, but there isn’t. For me, it’s been a helluva journey.

Been to hell and back. Twice. For real.

While I love Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Buffett, Three Doors Down, Pink Floyd, etc., I love Z88.3 so much more.

To live without my music would be impossible to do, ‘cuz in this would of troubles, my music pulls me through.

Carpe diem, jeff noel 🙂

When Will You Be Happy?

It felt good to attend Mass this morning.

Having just spent a week in Finland, it felt uncommonly special this morning to be around familiar people and familiar routines. And Deacon Jack gave the homily.

“When will you be happy”?, he asked.

He spoke about experiences from being a young boy first going to school, to graduating and becoming a young man, to getting married, to having children, to having grandchildren, to finally retiring.

Each achievement along the way was supposed to bring happiness. Each one did not. There was always something more ahead that would be the better thing, the thing that would bring real happiness.

Until he retired and said, “Is this all there is”?

He asked all of us, “What will it take to make you happy”?

To make a long story short, he concluded with:

“We may never get tomorrow, so why not be happy today, right now? We should be happy to know that God loves each of us, but many ask, how do you know God loves you? Deacon Jack simply pointed to the crucifix on the wall behind him”.

Be happy today, it’s a choice. Perhaps it’s the only real choice we ever get to make. Carpe diem, jeff noel 🙂

Do you mind?

Yesterday, I was asked by someone I’ve known for about 20 years, if I would mind if they posted a link to my blog(s) on their youth soccer website.

I emailed back, “You just made my day”!

Keep in mind I’m in Lahti, Finland at the Master’s World Championships, so it’s really gonna be difficult to top any of that.

But top it it did.

Why? To think that what God inspires me to see, might be what some others may also want to see, especially youth and their parents.

Are you kiddin’ me?!

There’s an old saying, “It doesn’t get much better than this”.

Indeed. Carpe diem, jeff noel 🙂

Cat’s in the Cradle?

Our son, almost nine, just told me, “Your Family is the best thing you have”.

He’s in Orlando and I’m in Lahti, Finland.

I awoke at 4AM, which is 9PM in Florida, my wife and son were watching “So You Think You Can Dance”.

Two amazing things happened at his summer camp, as the Disney World-YMCA facility celebrated their fifth anniversary with a big party:

  1. He danced with other children in front of all the Parents, Staff and Guests.
  2. Using a microphone, he read a poem to everyone. He also wrote it.

It was great to hear his excitement when I told him, “I’m amazed you did those two things in front of all those people”.

He said, “I’m amazed that you’re amazed”.

I could tell in his voice that he felt he had done something out of his comfort zone, and that he felt more confident for having done so.

What I didn’t tell him, was the fact that being here in Finland is making me feel that way too.

“And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me
He’d grown up just like me
My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon
Little boy blue and the man on the moon
When you comin’ home son?
I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then son

You know we’ll have a good time then” — Harry Chapin

Carpe diem, jeff noel 🙂