The Uncle: Valentine’s Day

(Getty/Suzy Hanzlik Photography)

It’s almost that time of year again, folks! No, I’m not talking about tax season. Don’t get me started. W4, 1099A. What am I fulfilling a civic duty or playing freakin’ Battleship over here? No, I’m of course referring to Valentine’s Day. That one day a year where the romantically-involved and the romantically-uninvolved can look at one another and say, “Wow, that looks really nice for a few months.”

Last year, I’d hit a bit of a rough patch around this time of year. Valentine’s Day was fast approaching and I was dead broke. I was with my at-the-time girlfriend, Denise, when I received a letter informing me I’d been summoned for jury duty. Cha-ching! One mistrial and forty bucks later, Denise and I are having a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner. She dumped me the next day due to “irreconcilable differences” and for “sympathizing with the suspect in an arson case.” I haven’t seen Denise since.

So when my nephew, Ronnie, told me today he was worried no one in his 5th grade class would give him a Valentine. It hurt. I remember those days quite vividly. I’d stay up all night decorating my Valentine box. I’d glue construction paper to a shoe box, cut a slit, write my name, adorn it with Ren & Stimpy stickers. Nothing too showy.

My biggest worry was Kevin. Kevin was the coolest kid at Stoneybrook Elementary. Suave, funny, handsome… like a young Wesley Snipes.

Hey, speaking of Wesley Snipes, how about that whole tax evasion mess, huh? I mean, 1040A, I-9? Folks, I don’t know if these are tax forms or Bingo balls! Wow! Wonder what happens if you forget to pay your taxes. Not much, I hope.

Anyway, all the girls in my class had crushes on Kevin. It didn’t help that his box was much, much nicer than mine was. I was fully prepared to go home with few, if any, Valentines.

But quite the contrary! SIX girls came to my desk to drop Valentine cards in my box. Beth. Kelsey. April. Megan. Amber. Allison. I was stunned. Relieved. Elated. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I didn’t know how to contain my joy. I had to rub it in Kevin’s face.

“Hey, Kevin,” I shouted as I walked over to his desk. “Read ‘em and weep,” I said, turning my box over and dumping its contents onto Kevin’s desk. It was at this moment that I realized, oh, right, I forgot to bury my dead pet hamster. Kevin very un-cooly starts crying as I make a mental note to open the shoebox I use next year and confirm nothing is already inside it.

If Kevin is reading this, just know that I sincerely apologize for what happened that day. Also, it’s been a while! Shoot me an email if you ever want to catch up over a beer or help me forge some Office Depot receipts or whatever.

Artist Wife Illustrates The Drastic Ways Her Husband’s Life Changed After Kids

(Facebook/MessycowComics)

Chen Weng, an illustrator who goes by the name The Messycow, has created a series of comics showing just how much things change when one becomes a father.

Which do you relate to most?

(Facebook/MesscowComics)
(Facebook/MesscowComics)
(Facebook/MesscowComics)
(Facebook/MesscowComics)
(Facebook/MesscowComics)
(Facebook/MesscowComics)
(Facebook/MesscowComics)

Check out more from this series on The Messycow’s Facebook page and website.

Dad Dinosaur: Prehistoric Reunion

Dad Dinosaur’s high school reunion is fast approaching, but will he be able to win the big dance contest – or are his moves stuck in the past?

Subscribe to The Dad on Youtube

Father Figures: Risky Business

“As the garage door closed behind me, I heard a muffled whimper.

“What is that?” I wondered. Another whimper and I noticed eight fingers on the lid of one of the garbage cans in the corner. I spy a set of eyes, then a nose and finally my oldest son’s face.

“I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it.”

“What happened? Where is your brother?” No answers, just sobbing.

He moped toward the door and I followed him into the kitchen. I half-expected to see CSI investigators hovering over a chalk outline.

We walked around the corner by the refrigerator, and only then did I see his brother and allow myself to take my first breath. Then I saw a hole in the drywall the size of a young boy’s torso.

They had been running & sliding, in their stocking feet, across the marbled kitchen floor. Obviously a bit too exuberantly! I was relieved that they were both okay, but I still mustered enough anger to quash any future escapades.

Each blamed the other, of course. I used to say I couldn’t always tell when my kids were lying, but I could always tell when they were telling the truth.

If that makes any sense to you, I’m guessing you’ve raised at least two boys.”

  • Ron Fuller

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Son Surprises Ailing Dad With Tickets To College World Series

Father’s Day is a special time to celebrate your old man, and show him how much you appreciate the role he’s played in your life all these years. Especially since, as we get older, our dads do too, and they may not have many Father’s Days left.

Matt Lea recognized that this Father’s Day, and so went out of his way to make it a memorable one, for both him and his father, both former college baseball players who bonded over the game as Matt was growing up.

Matt’s father Billy suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease, and the symptoms have been accruing rapidly. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for more memories, and Matt used the latest Father’s Day as an opportunity to do just that. The 36-year-old drove 12 hours, from Florida to Mississippi, and surprised his parents at their doorstep on Sunday.

He was bearing gifts as well, bringing his dad the jersey of his favorite baseball team, Mississippi State. But that wasn’t all. Matt brought tickets too, to see the College World Series in Omaha in person.

In video of the exchange that Matt posted on Twitter, his dad was clearly taken by surprise.

“I figured it’s probably not good enough just for us to watch the game here,” Matt says in the video as he produces the tickets. “How about we go to Omaha? Do you want to go up to Omaha and watch the College World Series together?”

“Golly,” an emotional Billy responds. “You’re gonna break my heart, here.”

Matt’s gift for his dad received a rapturous response from Twitter, where it’s been liked 46,000 times and retweeted 11,000 times.

Matt seemed as surprised by the response as his dad was by the gift, as everyone who celebrated Father’s Day yesterday knows, there’s nothing better than sharing meaningful memories with your dad, which is exactly what Matt did. An article on Omaha.com details Billy’s baseball past, the initial diagnosis of his Alzheimer’s, the VIP experience Matt treated him too over the weekend.

Matt’s Twitter account showcased the rest.

Happy Father’s Day!

Amazing Street Artist Uses Everyday Objects As His Canvas

(Twitter/tombobnyc)

Artist Tom Bob doesn’t see the world like other people. Where you and I might see sewer grates or metal pipes, he sees ghosts and saxophone players.

Check out some of the amazing ways he’s transforming parts of New York City into works of art.

(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)
(Twitter/tombobnyc)

Check out more of Tom Bob and his unique artwork here.

Father Figures: Heroes

“On February 2, 2011, my daughter was born. The whole thing started pretty normally about 2:30 am or so, my wife woke me up and said, ‘Honey, it is time to go,’ so we went to the hospital in a snowstorm.

That was the easy part.

When they put the belly monitor on her they noticed that the babies heart rate would drop to low whenever my wife would have a contraction. She needed emergency C-section, but the doctor could not make it due to the storm, and when he finally arrived it was rush rush rush!
Well when my daughter Emily did arrive, she had internal bleeding throughout her body, which included two grade 4 brain bleeds. We could not touch her because she would bruise and start bleeding.
They had to life-flight her to the university, where she spent 5 1/2 weeks in the NICU, which left her (you may want to sit down) deaf/blind, with hydrocephalus, a shunt, cerebral palsy, and seizures (at age 6, she needed a baclofen pump because her CP got too bad to handle without it). She is doing great today. She is happy, loves life, and everyone who meets her says that she makes their day and she is beautiful.
To pay back our little community, I became a first responder, mostly a firefighter, but I did help with EMS. Never got my certification, but that is where I found out that in the U.S. we do not have any training for first responders to deal with children with special needs.
I have made it my personal mission to teach first responders about kids with special needs.
I have taken to Emily to every EMS/Fire station in the five counties around me. I have taken her to the police and sheriff’s departments to train them, and now I have a waiting list to get trained.
I don’t know if I am the hero here, but I needed to tell the story.”

– Mike Kuyper

Want to share a story about fatherhood? Email fatherfigures@thedad.com

Low Cost Cosplay Guy Makes The World A Better Place

(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)

Anucha “Cha” Saengchart, the genius behind “Low Cost Cosplay,” has amassed millions of followers with his incredible reimaginings of famous fictional characters.

Whether you’re planning on portraying your favorite anime character or a Marvel superhero, this guy can show you how to do it effectively and on a string budget.

(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)
(Facebook/Lowcostcosplay)

Can’t get enough? Check out more creative cosplay on his Facebook page.