While we were eating dinner the other night, Gabriella was thumbing through one of last year’s Christmas gifts: The Disney Princess Cookbook. While debating on making Bull’s-Eye Pizza (Brave) or Ham and Cheese Biscuit Braids (Tangled) in the future, the girls simultaneously saw something that they both wanted to make. Since it was easy and we had all the ingredients, it looked like after dinner the Calkins Family would be making Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo Magic Wands.
As any parent will know, your children are always watching you and picking up things from your behavior (for better or for worse). Because of this, you always need to be on your toes to ensure that your children are picking up the right values. Sometimes you get lucky though and can show these values through your normal actions. This happened a few weeks ago when we attended back-to-back fundraisers, with my daughters learning the values of helping support others.
A couple weeks ago, Elaina’s best friend, Elora, invited Elaina and Gabriella over for a play date with her and her sister, Emma. Since we had not already planned our activity for that Saturday, the girls gladly took them up on the offer, “scheduling” a home-and-home (for all you college football fans) with her parents for this and the following weekend.
The girls got to pick dinner on Friday and they chose pizza. Since I was not about to take them back to Peter Piper Pizza so soon, we compromised on making pizzas ourselves. After a quick trip to the commissary, we were ready for our family pizza night.
So the big day finally arrived to pick up our kittens from the Pima Animal Care Center. Yes, you heard that right: plural. We ended up adopting two of them, both roommates at the center (in fact, the girls had me already calling the center before I completed my previous post). In my opinion, it could not have gone any better. Here are the first 24 hours with the newest members of our family, Merlissa, a six-month old female Tortie (Tortoiseshell)/Brown Tabby, and Aurora, a six-month old female Orange Tabby.
My girls have wanted a dog for a while and we have slowly been inching towards adopting one. They want a Chihuahua and I want a Beagle, Bassett Hound, or Labrador Retriever, so obviously we had to meet somewhere in the middle. Unfortunately, after the fifth visit to an animal shelter, they finally figured out that maybe a dog is not right for them at this time (“Dad, why is there so much barking?!?”). So, also for the fifth time, we took a stroll over to the cats, and Elaina and Gabriella met the (soon to be) newest member of our family.
One year ago, I started this blog for the following reasons:
“The first is to be a productive outlet for my family and myself by highlighting how much fun you can have when you put family first, regardless of your family structure. The second is to inspire and give hope to other single fathers out there, especially those that are the primary custodians of their children.”
While only other single fathers (or even single mothers, for that matter) can answer if I met my second goal, I can with absolute certainty say that this first goal was a success and it exceeded my expectations. From our amazing trip to Walt Disney World to our weekly adventures in the greater Sierra Vista metroplex to our lazy days around the house, we are showing day after day what a loving, caring, and fun family looks like. And if this was not enough, Elaina got recognized at school this week.