For the past week, here in New York City, the public schools are closed. I thought this would be a perfect time for me to do some bonding with my number three son. Since his mother and I are no longer together, this seemed like a great excuse for us to hang out with one another.

I coincided his time off, by taking some time off myself in the form of a vacation.  I am very fortunate to have a job where I can take time off when I need it. It also doesn’t hurt to have some seniority.

I feel that spending time with my kids is one of the most important things that I can do as a positive parent. I try to use these times to teach them what I think they need to know.  Those things include teaching them how to get along with others, teach them how to reason out their issues and show them that the only way to get ahead in life is through hard work.

It has always been clear to me that my kids watch me a lot closer that they listen to me. I always try to be aware of what I am doing. These experiences are important for me because not only am I the teacher, it also gives me the chance to critique myself. I feel that all positive parents should periodically do an inventory of themselves because since we have their young lives in our hands, it is important to make sure that we are on the same road that we want our kids to be on.

I picked him Friday the 17th at his mom’s job. It just so happens that we both work for the same company which makes it easy not only for me to get him but also for me to see him during the week.

I live about an hour away from work, which means that we will have to ride the subway. Those of us who live in this great city know that it requires a master’s degree in urban living to negotiate the NYC subway system.  I feel that in order for anyone to be a real New Yorker, they have to be comfortable and confident while using the subway system. This our second or third time together underground and as usual he was asking some very interesting questions about this whole experience. For example, he asked why we can’t stay on one train to get where we are going. He couldn’t understand why and that’s where it will be interesting to show him, over time, how to travel underground.

When traveling by myself I almost always let the first train leave because there is almost always an empty train that arrives a few minutes later. Sometimes my plan to get a seat does not work and this was the case on this day. We let a few crowded trains pass and it became clear that the empty train I was looking for was not going to make an appearance. I decided we would get on the next train and it was very crowded. We both had to stand for almost the whole trip. Since he was not used to this experience, it became a challenge to keep him focused. Throughout the trip I had to constantly remind him to hold on to the hand rail and not to fall asleep while standing up .Falling asleep on the subway is not unique to this 7 year old boy. Those of us who are skilled New York subway riders know about the pixie dust that fills the subway car that makes it all but impossible to stay awake. I can tell you about the many times I woke up just in the nick of time because a moment longer I would have missed my stop or I could wind up at the end of the line, in the yard where all the trains are stored.

We made it back to my place in one piece and had a nice week together. We spent some of the time playing a couple of board games I had purchased just for this occasion. We spent the remainder of our time together with him helping me with the other duties that I do during any given week.  This includes going to the grocery store and going to see my mom in the nursing home. He was a little uncomfortable going to visit her when she first got there but it is now a year later and he handles these visits like a trouper.

One of the highlights of the week was beating him in Trouble. I won 3 games. He won 4. Right now he is the world champion because I was robbed (LOL). The other highlight was while we were watching TV. He turned me on to the science channel. It’s channel 111 on Time Warner and I Iearned about a lot of different things. For example, I learned how military ships were built and how toilets were made. While we were waiting for a commercial to end, he would fill me in on what he learned about space and about animals. I was really impressed with what he knew and now I’m hooked on that channel.

It’s important to note that the learning process should go two ways. The positive parent needs to stay as open to new things as the want their kids to be.

I took him back to his mom on Friday (24th) and although he was a little sad that this visit had to end, I assured him that there would be many more in the future.

We arrived at his apartment building and he rang his bell. When the buzzer for the door sounded, he pushed the door open and went towards his apartment. He looked at me one last time and we both gave each other the thumbs up.

There was nothing more to be said. This was a great week.


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