The Parenting Experience. Two Kids. Four Kids. Six Kids
My wife, Heather and I have two kids. Four kids actually, if you count spouses and that’s something we do around here. Six if you count the 21st century additions.
My son Dan was born in 1979. My daughter, Star (nee Charlotte), was born in 1984.
Both kids had the advantage of being raised by both their parents in a home with a full time mom. Both kids are extremely smart and are becoming wise as they grow older.
They went through a pretty normal middle class childhood. They had everything they needed. They did lots of stuff like singing in a choir, baseball, figure skating, skiing, music, lessons, acting, gaming you know all that middle class stuff.
They had their problems with me after they became teenagers. That’s my bad. I had a lot of trouble adjusting to them being able to think for themselves. That was a tough one.
My Son, Daniel
My son Dan left home when he was 18 for the wilds of British Columbia. He ended up in Whistler where he worked on the mountain and lived rent free because he cooked meals for the rich guys he lived with.
When he came home a year or so later, he bounced around a bit and finally ended up deciding to open his own baking business. He had a recipe book that his mom gave him for his trip to BC and in it were a lot of recipes for treats.
Using these recipes as a base, he started innovating with them and coming up with his own variations.
We called his enterprise Boy O'Boy, which was really a variation on his family nickname which was simply ‘Boy’. (I guess that would have never come about if we were black. LOL.)
He started to make contact with some of the local coffee shops and food markets and eventually built up enough revenue to sustain himself over an 8 year period. But after he got married about 6 years ago now, he found that was just not enough to fund the family he and his wife Melissa (Mel) wanted to have.
So one day, after a bad experience throwing in with a local bakery that was, as he found out the hard way, owned and operated by a genuine corn flake, he decided that he would check out a bakery franchise with Cobs Bread.
By this time, he was pretty much a master baker and in control of his craft. The franchise cost was pretty steep, and for a while he thought about re-opening Boy’O Boy, which he could have run out of a local supermarket.
As fate would have it, the Cobs people called him back and told him that they had never really had anyone apply for a franchise who was actually a baker. And so they offered him a job as bakery manager for a location they had opened in the Beaches.
And that was the end of Boy O’Boy.
Dan went to work on the Beaches location and built the sales up to the point where someone wanted to buy the franchise. So they moved him out to a suburban location where he did the same thing with another low producing bakery.
Finally, the owner of one of the most successful franchises in the company, offered him the opportunity to build from scratch and open a second franchise for her.This one was on the Danforth, about fifteen minutes from his house, and that’s where he is as I write this. The lady he’s working for is very smart and hired Dan because he’s very smart too.
Dan has now learned most of the ins and outs of running first class bakery operations, and he will likely either open his own bakery or be his boss’ right hand person as she expands the number of franchises she owns.
Needless to say, I’m really proud of the adult he has become. He has two beautiful boys and really is the world’s greatest dad to them. His marriage to his wife, Mel (Kid # 3) is solid and his future is as secure as these things get in this day and age.
Like he’s fond of saying: “People gotta eat, and a whole lot of them like to eat good stuff.”
My Daughter, Star
My daughter Star, nee Charlotte, is a writer like her dad. She writes short stories and novels and has just received her first cheque from the publisher who bought her first novel. She is also talking to the same publisher in New York about releasing her book in the US.
Needless to say, we are all over the moon about this. Getting your first book published, (not self-published) is right up there with breaking into pro sports on the degree of difficulty scale.
And she really earned it by playing the game diligently, Submitting stories to web sites and contests all over the place and finally being able to attract an agent in London England, who is opening up these doors for her.
The road that brought her to this is a long and winding on and believe it or not covers a lot of miles on this planet.
When she was about 16, she decided she wanted to be a writer and for practice she wrote the better part of a pseudo Harlequin romance novel.
When I read it, it made me feel a bit uncomfortable like any man who is reading a book designed for women.
The other thing it made me feel was a jealous. Having tried my hand at novel writing and appreciating just how difficult it actually is, I was blown away at just how natural the story she wrote seemed to flow out of her.
But of course, being a teenager she was interested in a lot of things and put the novel aside in search of other interesting stuff.
She was going to the Etobicoke School of the Arts at the time, and her connections there landed her some acting jobs on TV and a role as the host of a kid’s show, the name of which I can’t remember.
Then off she went to see the world. For the better part of a year, she was on a mission to visit all the spiritual hotspots she could find, working her way from England to Egypt and then South America.
When she came back she hooked up with a couple of people and lived with them for quite a while. As it turned out these people were strange ones and were, in their own small way, seeking to build a cult.
While she was living with these people we completely lost touch, but during that time she met her soon to be husband Ben (Kid# 4) . They got married and Ben, who is a very smart cookie, realized what was happening to them, and extricated them from this situation.
A lot of estrangement and emotional stuff happened as a result of her captivity But Ben got her out of there and they started rebuilding their lives. One of the key elements was re-connecting with her parents…Same for Ben.
It took a lot of work on their part and a lot of pretty deep conversations between parents and kids, but today I believe that both of them have found their way back to their families.
And once they did, my daughter found what appears to be her true calling as a writer.
Today we see them all the time. We are all best friends. But I believe that it was the strength of their love for each other that got them through what was a very dicey situation and back to something resembling a normal life.
Star and Ben are fixtures on Queen Street where they live. Ben is a film editor, and an extremely good one, and my daughter, Star, is a real deal writer with a great future.
So these are my kids. The baker and the writer.
The baker has some of my qualities but a lot of his mother’s. The writer has a lot of my qualities and some of her mother’s. That’s the way it works I guess.
Other than to be able to express to my kids just how proud I am of them for having the fortitude to plow through a lot of stuff to get where they are, knowing that they are both in a good place with people who love them is pretty much all you can really hope for from the parenting experience.
Hope you enjoyed this post. As usual, all like., comments and shares will be sincerely appreciated by me and the Fabulous Mur Brothers (Kids # 5 & 6) pictured just above.
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