Somewhere in my late teens, I started to develop a sensitivity to bleeding. Not to the bleeding from minor cuts and scrapes I got while doing work in my yard or from nicks caused by my razor while shaving, but to the bleeding from deep cuts or wounds associated with some unseen internal damage. I would feel lightheaded if something had cut me deep enough to hit bone. I once passed out while paying for dental work I just had because I was bleeding heavily from the gums where two wisdom teeth were removed.
Worst of all were nosebleeds. As a child, I never got nosebleeds and would wonder why some kids at school got them. But in my teens, I had a string of them for reasons I didn’t always know. For example, I didn’t know you could get them from blowing your nose too vigorously. So when I woke up one night while in the midst of a bad cold with the sensation of blood trickling freely down my nose and lips, I immediately felt the room spinning and my skin developing a cool sweat. I guess nosebleeds represented the greatest form of unknown internal damage for me. I could never tell if I was bleeding from raw nasal passages, something broken higher up, or if I was hemorrhaging from my brain (which has never been the case as far as I know). I’ve gotten better about managing the syncope (fancy medical term for passing out) associated with a nosebleed. I find that sitting or lying down when I start to bleed nearly eliminates the lightheaded sensations I get. So when my nose started bleeding unexpectedly a few days ago while eating dinner, I relocated myself to the living room couch to lie down for a few.
The cause of this nosebleed was no surprise. A bad sinus infection that started two days before had me blowing my nose frequently. I rolled up a small piece of tissue and twisted it into the effected nostril and held a small Ziploc bag with a few cubes of ice in it over the bridge of my nose and forehead to help stop the bleeding. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply – I find that controlling my breathing and heart rate also helps me keep the syncope at bay. Lost somewhere between my breathing and feeling the cold of the ice spreading through my skull, I almost forgot where I was. That is until a tiny and familiar hand found its way on to my cheek.
When I opened my eyes, Sam was standing in front of me with a quizzical expression on his face. I expected him to find the tissue in my nose and face covered with a bag amusing. But when I studied him a bit further, I found something I didn’t expect. He knew that something was not right. He had a genuine expression of concern sprawled across his chubby cheeks and the rounded lines of his 19 month old face. “Hi, Daddy,” he said with a hint of uncertainty.
“Hi, Sam,” I replied without moving a muscle.
“Up here?” Sam asked while pointing to the couch. I knew what he meant – it’s the way he asks to be helped up on to the couch. I reached my left arm down, which he promptly used as a rope to climb up, and he nestled himself between my outstretched legs. He sat there for a while staring at my face and then to the TV and then back at my face again. “What’s at?” he asked while gesturing to my face. To the laymen, ‘at’ can equal ‘that’ depending on the context.
“Daddy has a booboo,” my wife remarked from the kitchen.
“Booboo?” Sam asked to confirm.
“Yes, bubba,” I said.
Sam looked down at his lap for a moment clearly contemplating the significance of the sights and words that had been thrown about in the last few minutes. After completing whatever line of reasoning his little mind endeavored on, he looked back up at the television and started to watch his program again. Thinking he was going to get absorbed into the program, I turned my eyes away from him and towards the television as well. What happened in the next few minutes astounded me.
I felt Sam’s little hand again, this time just holding on to my own. He doesn’t do that very often – when he grabs my hand, it’s usually to pull me in whatever direction he wants me to be going with him in. I looked back at him to find that he was still watching the television, but that he had decided to hold my hand. I couldn’t help but think that he was trying to comfort me in the same way I comfort him when he isn’t feeling well. It’s an amazing feeling when you experience your young child trying to connect with you on a more practical level – applying their fledgling understandings of the world in meaningful ways. But beyond that, it is nothing short of pure magic when your child’s love and care for you becomes tangibly evident. As parents, we’re always giving to our children – be it food, discipline, comfort, first aid, or basic knowledge. When I felt my little boy’s hand on mine for no other reason but to comfort me, it made all the giving I had done for him worth it several times over.
Reveling in that moment, I did not expect what came after. And what came after dampened my eyes. Two little words in the form of a question tugged at my heartstrings.
Sam turned towards me, climbed onto my stomach, touched my cheek and asked, “Booboo finish?”
I was floored by his thoughtfulness and concern for me even after several minutes of watching his television shows. What’s more is that this little exchange with my son actually made me forget about my nosebleed entirely. I was amazed that in a few minutes he had done for me effortlessly what I put so much effort into doing for him when he’s not well – making him feel better.
I pulled the bloodied tissue out of my nose, wiped away a tear from the corner of an eye, smiled and said, “Yes, Sam. Booboo finished.”
Maybe one day I’ll tell him that he made nosebleeds a little less scary for me.
The late afternoon skies above New York City on Tuesday were a dull and lifeless shade of gray. Small raindrops fell from the sky with no real force or purpose behind them, as if they were the remnants of tears that rolled off a large face somewhere in the heavens. I held an umbrella in my hand as I walked to the train station, but did not bother to open it. There was something that felt right about the cold raindrops that clung to my face. They served as the tears I was too shy to openly shed in public.
Earlier that morning, my Godfather died suddenly from a heart attack. He was 62.
In stark contrast to the day he passed, yesterday’s funeral service took place on a picture perfect early summer day in Philadelphia. Pillowy white clouds slipped effortlessly across the shiny blue surface of the crystal sky. A soft breeze blew from time to time, just strong enough to rustle the leaves of the surrounding trees and curve any blade of grass tall enough to do so. The air was sweet with the scent of nearby blooms and was invigorating to breathe in. What was more beautiful, however, was the moving eulogy delivered by my Godfather’s son that day.
He spoke about the amazing parent, inspiration and friend he had in his father. He shared how his father would set anything aside for him if he needed his help. He moved us with an account of how his father not only eptiomized strength in his eyes, but instilled within him the belief that he could be just as strong as his father, if not stronger. Then, with tears in his eyes, he proclaimed to the gathering this his father was his hero.
I knuckled the tears out of my own eyes and glanced over to my left. There, across the aisle, sat my own hero. Though a slightly smaller and diminished version of himself, my father is still a giant in my eyes and every bit a hero to me.
For the next few moments I wondered what it is that makes so many fathers heroes to their children. Not many dads possess above average, let alone superhuman, physical strength. Few dads find themselves in situations where they need to rescue their children from burning buildings. And I can’t think of any dads who are faster than a locomotive or can leap tall buildings in a single bound. So why is it that the word ‘hero’ comes so effortlessly when we describe how we perceive our fathers? I searched my memories trying to get to the bottom of it – looking for some amazing, out-of-the-ordinary, pivotal event in which my dad became my hero. Surprisingly, I couldn’t think of even one. The eulogy ended shortly thereafter and my musing along with it.
Late last night, my 10-month-old son woke up in his crib and started screaming hysterically. He was extremely tired from the day’s activities and travel back home, so I was surprised he woke up so soon after I put him to bed. I rushed to his room and scooped him up in my arms. At first, nothing seemed to appease him. My only guess was that he had some horrible dream that tore him away from his slumber. He held himself upright with his eyes closed tightly and kept screaming. Tears covered his plump cheeks, now red and flush from his cries. I brought him into the bathroom to gently wash his face with some cold water, hoping that would calm him and help him snap back to reality. It didn’t work. My wife came over and tried to calm him by cradling him, but that didn’t work either – he kept twisting and turning with his arms outstretched in my direction. I took him back into my arms, walked down into the living room and just started talking to him. I started rambling on about how Daddy and Sam were going to check everything in the house and make sure we were safe. We opened cabinets and the refrigerator looking for any signs of trouble. We turned lights on and off to ensure that everything was working properly. We ended up stepping out the front door into the cool night air to make sure there were no bears on the prowl and that our street was safe. While we progressed through this hastily concocted safety protocol, my son’s screaming came to an end. The redness in his cheeks subsided and his tears dried up and disappeared. At one point, I saw the trappings of a smile on either side of the pacifier in his mouth. We locked up the house, turned out the lights and went back to our bed. His eyes closed the instant his little head touched my pillow and he drifted off to what seemed like a better dream world – one that was not so frightening.
As my son’s little hand rested on my face and I heard the faint whistle of his breathing while he slept, I felt like I was starting to understand how children come to think of their fathers as heroes. It doesn’t begin with a grand gesture or death defying act. It begins with a father simply being there for his children in their hour of need.
Thinking along these lines, I could recall hundreds of situations in which my father was a hero to me. It became plain to see why I regard him as my hero to this day.
Watching my son sleep peacefully, now safe from whatever terrible dream had plagued his slumber before, I smiled thinking that maybe his perception of me as something more than just his father had already begun. I found myself hoping that he too might use that short little word to describe me one day: Hero.
A few minutes before 6:00 PM two Wednesdays ago, I scurried out of my office in New York City as I usually do, trying to catch the express train back to my home in New Jersey. I walked as fast as my dress shoes allowed me to. Designed for a very different type of use, they caused my shins to strain and my feet to ache as I plowed through the flood of people on the street and headed for the entrance to the underground PATH train. I made it to the entrance in about 10 minutes, as usual, and proceeded to quickly tread the L-shaped staircase down into the stop. Everything about my post-work walk to the PATH up to that point was as it usually was…relatively uneventful. However, what transpired in the next 5 seconds would change every walk I took in NYC from then on and gave me a perspective I will take with me to my grave.
As I turned the corner and descended the second leg of the L-shaped staircase, I heard a sound that yanked my attention away from my feet and had my eyes desperately scanning the space around me to find its source. My legs continued to carry me in the direction I was already headed in – muscle memory surely to blame – but the sound pulled my face in another direction entirely. My heartbeat quickened and I no longer felt any of the aching in my feet. I was consumed by the sound. It felt as though the sound had affixed handles to my face and spun my head around at will – the movements of which felt more instinctive than voluntary. A moment later, my eyes locked on to the source of the sound. What I saw induced a mix of slight relief and immense sadness.
On the floor, a few feet away from me, an infant cried in her mother’s arms as she begged the commuters for money.
I was relieved when I saw the baby was not alone. I was overcome with sadness when I saw the state that baby lived in.
Already by the turnstile to enter the train platform, I paused a moment to reach into my back pocket for my wallet. It was desire that drove me to do that – I was already keenly aware that I had no cash or change to spare. As one might expect during the rush hour commute, a small line of people started to form behind me and urged me to proceed through the turnstile. I gave into the pressure and pushed my way through. The final click the turnstile made as my hip passed through it seemed so final – as if it had just judged me for my response to what my eyes just witnessed.
Moments later, I was on the PATH train headed to my next stop. My thoughts were hardly focused on going home. I could not get the sound of that child’s cry out of my mind. It kept ringing over and over again in my head. I briefly struggled with why I was so moved by what I witnessed. I have seen suffering and poverty before and was no stranger to it. Spend a day traveling through countries like India, and you will find it hard not to notice the plethora of infants and children living in extremely poor circumstances.
Having exited the second train and walking to my car, the sight and sound of that child’s plight tugged mercilessly at my heartstrings. At some point during this commute home, my mind started to periodically substitute the face of the child I saw with my own son’s. I felt myself on the verge of tears every time that happened. Thoughts of where and how that child slept at night, of whether it ever starves, of its overall health and happiness raced through my mind in an endless loop. And with each one, the feeling of helplessness in being unable to help that innocent child grew within me.
I went to bed that night with an immensely heavy heart – heavier than it had been in a long, long time. Lost in the seemingly infinite loop of the disheartening sights and sounds of my commute home, I drifted off to sleep wishing for a way I could help change that child’s life.
Days later, I encountered the woman and child again during my commute home in the exact spot I had found them the first time. While I was happy to see the child was sleeping peacefully in her mother’s arms, I was dismayed by the fact that I had no cash or change with me again. To make matters more challenging, I was in a rush to catch the connecting train as I had left from work later than usual. Despite my hasty march towards the train, I lingered in view of the woman and her child long enough to notice a small cardboard sign that sat next to her which shed some light on her situation. It stated that she had lost her job, had 2 kids, no working papers, and no money for rent. A moment later, I found myself by the turnstile once more, reaching for my back pocket in search of the wallet I knew had no money in it. This time, I pressed through the turnstile with less hesitation. The sense of failure I felt made it easier to do so. Failure, because I was unprepared to help the woman and child despite the very powerful emotions I had for them just days earlier. This time, the finality of the turnstile’s last click came from the judgment I passed on myself; the acceptance of my own failure.
Somewhere before I boarded the train, I silently vowed that I would not be so unprepared the next time I saw them.
Day before yesterday, Friday, I was pleasantly surprised when my boss came over to my desk and said that I could leave work early for the long Memorial Day weekend. I looked forward to getting home and spending some extra time with my wife and son. I don’t get to spend as much time with them now that I work in the city – the commute in and out combined takes up about 4 hours of my day. I quickly packed up my things and set out into the humid summery afternoon to go home.
It had been over a week since I last saw the mother and child. I started to wonder if they were prohibited from being in the subway stop by police. Either by their absence or my own preoccupation with my daily grind, my thoughts about them were somewhat more subdued. I did think of them every day without fail. Every walk to the train stop came with a splash of anxiety about what situation I would find them in if I came across them again. I suppose the passage of time allowed me to accept their situation a bit more, as well as my ability (or inability) to change it.
About a block before the train stop, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye that slowed my pace. Between the flow of people on the sidewalk, I noticed the mother and child sitting at the foot of a building. The child lay sleeping in her mother’s arms. In an instant, the thoughts that were subdued rushed back into my consciousness with more intensity than ever.
As in past encounters, my legs had already carried me past them – the byproduct of walking at a New York City pace. This time, I turned around and headed for them while reaching for my wallet. I pulled out all the money I had in it – just a few dollars – and handed it to the mother. She looked up into my eyes and smiled. She seemed to be in good spirits despite her situation. Being closer to the both of them than I had been before, I took a moment to glance at the child. Her face was lean in appearance. And though she looked peaceful in her slumber, the expression on her face made it hard to determine whether she slept willfully or from exhaustion. My heart crumbled. I started to move away from the mother while my eyes were still fixed on the child. My mind registered the mother’s expression of gratitude, but I did not acknowledge it. My mind had already set itself on another purpose and functioned to that end alone, fueled by the appearance of that child and the instincts that come from being a parent.
I desperately surveyed my surroundings looking for something very specific. I found it a moment later across the street, and rushed towards it – a pharmacy. Once inside, I walked up and down the aisles until I found the baby supplies. Along the way, I picked up a basket. My ‘Daddy Instincts’ had taken over completely. I was immersed in a storm of questions and calculations. How many pounds is she? How old is she? Is she ready for foods other than milk? Does she need formula? Does she have diapers? My basket filled up quickly with the answers to my questions and calculations. Diapers, wipes, baby food, formula bottles, disposable spoons – that’s all I could find in the aisle in my frantic search. Frantic, because I wanted to make sure I got back to them before they moved on.
The cashier rung up my order a few moments later. I could not tell you how much I spent. My mind was set on making it back to them in time. I took the bag off the counter and darted towards the exit. I turned right as soon as I got out of the door and headed for the crosswalk. A few steps in, my body came to a complete halt at the sight of something I did not expect. Before me sat another woman with a child and a cardboard sign. I looked back and forth at them and the bag of goods I held in my hand, confused about what I should do. I had purchased everything based on the child I had seen first. This other child was older and bigger. Something inside me broke. I wondered if God was testing me. Was I supposed to go back in the store and buy something else for this other child? Was I supposed to give this other child something from the bag of goods I had so intently assembled for the first child? Still feeling the urgency of getting back to the first mother and child, and being unable to think clearly, I shook my head and proceeded to the crosswalk and crossed the street.
My footsteps back to the first mother and child seemed to have lost something. I felt defeated. Just a few minutes before, my sense of purpose and conviction were so clear. Now they were both muddled with indecision and questions. As I approached the mother and child, I tried to collect myself a bit more and think of how to communicate to her what I was giving her. I didn’t get the sense that she spoke much English. She looked up as I got close. I handed her the bag and said, “This is for the baby.” She smiled and accepted the bag. The baby still slept in her arms. Once more, I turned away before she expressed her thanks – which I registered out of the corner of my eye. I didn’t want it. I didn’t know what I wanted.
The feelings of defeat consumed me as I walked the rest of the way to the train stop. All of the experiences with this mother and child leading up to that point led me to believe that maybe I was placed in that situation for a reason. That all changed the moment I saw the other mother and her child. If I was there to help, why couldn’t I help them as well? How could I feel so strongly for one child one minute and be completely indecisive for another child in a similar situation the next? Could I have been so naïve that I thought that helping this one child was somehow a big deal in the grand scheme of things? Was the suffering I perceived real at all or was it a carefully orchestrated scam? Those questions plagued me all the way home.
As I put my car in park on my driveway and opened the door, I stepped out with an overburdened heart. I wasn’t sure of anything I had felt or done regarding the woman and the child. The weight of it all hung around my neck like a yoke. I didn’t understand myself…and that troubled me most of all.
Just then my wife opened the front door to greet me with my 9-month-old son in tow. Looking down at me from the top of the front steps he concentrated his gaze upon me, carefully analyzing who it was that stood on the driveway before him. The instant he realized it was his father, his expression changed. His eyes squinted as his lips pushed his chubby cheeks outward when he smiled widely. He waved his arms up and down as he slapped his little belly – his own way of expressing extreme excitement and happiness. I walked up two of the steps to greet him and he eagerly jumped into my arms. His little hands squeezed as tightly as they could as he clung to my shirt. Though unable to speak a word, my little boy whisked away the clouds that hung over my heart and allowed me to see things with a bit more clarity.
There, in that moment standing front of our small house while holding my son, I realized that everything I just experienced and felt was because I stood on the other side of fatherhood. The intensity of my emotions, the fact that I had felt so much to begin with, and my actions were all things I experienced because I crossed over from wondering what it would be like to be a father to actually being one. The experience with the woman and her child are one of countless other experiences I will have as I continue to grow as a person because of fatherhood. There was no right or wrong in what I did because it was more about me than about those I sought to help all along.
I wrapped my arms around my son’s little body tightly and kissed his head. I said a little prayer for the child and mother who lived somewhere across the Hudson River. I knew not whether I would ever see them again or if I would ever see how their lives turned out. What I did know was that I would do all I could for the little life I was entrusted, who I held in my arms at that moment. I carried him inside our house and thought to myself in silence…
You will never know suffering while Daddy is here with you.
We are raised from childhood to place significant emphasis on our future. Socially, academically, professionally, physically, romantically – we are brought up with the need to predict the outcomes of our future lives in these aspects and take the necessary steps to ensure that those predictions become reality. In a sense, our parents, elders and teachers hand us the mandate to determine how the story of our life should go so that it has a happy ending. We are engaged in this endeavor from the time we are first able to speak and have substantive dialogue with our parents. By the time we become mature adults, we are well-versed in this way of thinking – each day we live is treated as another opportunity to author our story. As we continue to mature, it seems all of our thoughts are influenced by or dedicated to crafting the perfect ending to our story – we become consumed by it, though we seldom acknowledge we’re doing it.
Or so it was for me, until I became a father.
Not a day has gone by since my son was first placed in my hands where I haven’t looked into his eyes and asked myself, “How will his story end?”
Sad in a way, isn’t it? We parents are entrusted with these precious lives with their own stories to tell – the endings to which we will not (hopefully) know. We will spend the better part of our lives laboring for our children, trying to instill good values in them, and teaching them how to live…yet we are not supposed to see how the stories of their lives completely unfold.
I struggled with this realization for a long time. It is an extremely difficult thought to ponder – one that conflates our aspirations with our own mortality. You cannot think of it without confronting the inevitability of your own life’s end, nor can you think of it without feeling the limitless optimism a parent must have when contemplating the future of his or her children. It is a juxtaposition of your story’s ending and the beginning of your children’s stories.
Somewhere in that struggle, however, something wonderful happened. I discovered an immense source of happiness in my new role as co-author (at least for now) of my son’s story. In helping him write his story, I find that the lines of my own story are being rewritten. How amazing it is that in just a few months, the tiny little life entrusted to me - incapable of uttering a word – has started to alter lines of my life’s story which took me years to compose.
No, I do not know how my son’s story will end. Though I will always be curious about it, I hope I never know how it ends. Instead, my hope is that my son sees the ending to my story and how he helped shape it. And while I do not know how my own story will end, I do know for certain that it requires one sentence to make it a happy ending…
He taught his son how to write a good story.
Between the diaper changes and crying fits, I spend a lot of time watching my 8 month old son and musing about what kind of man he will become one day. I watch him while he sleeps and while he plays. I watch him as he figures out how to use his little fingers and toes. I watch him watching me as I’m getting ready for work in the morning. A few nights ago, I was watching my son as he wiggled in my lap from arm to arm, treating me like his personal jungle gym. At one point, he abruptly decided to dive backward from the standing position he was in facing me. Without a thought, my arms and back adjusted instantly to compensate for the shifting of his weight and the change in his body’s shape. A second later, he was comfortably laying with his back across my lap, secure in my arms, and playing with corner of my t-shirt. I turned to my wife – who had been witness to what just happened – and said, “Isn’t it amazing? He just always assumes that I’ll be there to make sure he doesn’t fall.”
No sooner did those words leave my tongue than I started to ponder the wondrous depths of that observation.
My son is not able to speak, communicate thoughts, or fully comprehend the complexities of our Father-Son relationship. However, being able to do all of those things pales in comparison to his ability to express unequivocally who I am to him and what he feels for me – something we grown-ups struggle to do and spend years trying to get better at. By leaping backwards while in my arms without the worry of falling or the fear or injury, my son expressed his pure perception of me.
Daddy is safety.
No ornate words are needed between us – no gifts of appreciation to be exchanged. My son simply lives unfettered in the light of the fundamental truths he has gained from his experiences. There is no reasoning or process of deduction he goes through to determine how he should be with me.
Daddy is safety. I can do anything when I am with Daddy.
He does not recognize the existence of those who would harm him. He does not ponder what is good and what is evil. When he stretches his hands out to me to pick him up, when he clings tightly to me when we’re around strangers, when he falls asleep in my arms – my son proclaims his view of me over and over again.
Daddy is safety. I can do anything when I am with Daddy. I am safe with Daddy.
We adults go to great lengths to learn how to express ourselves in such pure ways. At practically every retreat or team building event I’ve been to, I’ve seen or participated in the trust building exercise where one person closes his or her eyes and has to fall backwards into the arms of a partner. Those who participate as the one who must trust in the exercise often look back before falling – visually confirming that their partner does not have the intention of letting them fall and measuring the distance between them and their partner to minimize the chances of an accidental fall. And if the one who falls is caught – which they always are – he or she is awash with relief and joy that they weren’t hurt even though the chances of any serious injury were slim to begin with. So it amazes me all the more that children not even a year old can do this with such ease.
Sadly, losing the ability to express ourselves this way is a part of growing up – a casualty of maturation. Watching my son, I cannot help but wonder what kind of place our world would be if we never had to lose that ability. Perhaps Heaven is such a place.
But right now, I’m going to try and engage in a pure expression of my own. I’m going to stop thinking about how the expressions of my son – who is curled up in bed sleeping next to me – make him the personification of purity. I’m going to put away my laptop, wrap an arm around him and close my eyelids. Hopefully, this simple expression of mine will let him know…
Daddy is with you. You are safe.
Upon closer examination, we found them to be rather thoughtful and unique toys that had a ‘high-end’ feel to them. We ended up buying a set of their One Two Squeeze blocks for Sam – our rapidly growing (nearly) 8 month old.
Back home, we opened up the packaging and were delighted to find even more thoughtful details. In particular, each B. toy includes a small booklet of quotes of children on a variety of topics. They were sweet, and some were laugh-out-loud funny.
I was impressed with the construction of the packaging and product. It was especially good to see that these toys for babies were BPA-free, since everything they get their hands on go straight to their mouths. In terms of good design, these toys do not disappoint. The choice of colors and content were really pleasing to the eye. Whoever is designing these toys is really passionate about what they’re doing.
I don’t normally check out kids’ toy maker websites, but I found myself wanting to learn more about B. after seeing their products, so I went to their website – justb-byou.com. Beautiful website. But what impressed me even more was the amount of thought they put into their products…particularly with regards to the environment. All of their products’ packaging is fully recyclable. They’ve omitted packaging wherever possible. They even offer a line of ‘self-wrapping’ gifts - toys with cleverly designed reversible packaging that results in a ‘wrapped’ gift. As a Product Manager, I can’t help but be impressed with the amount of thought that went into this product line.
Lately, I’ve been trying to choose/buy products made in the U.S.A. (or at least North America) over those made overseas because I believe it does help the economy. Along those lines, I was a little disappointed that these products were made in China despite the company being based out of Plattsburgh, NY and Montreal, Canada. However, I am glad that the company addressed it openly on their website:
Our toys are designed in the USA then manufactured in China. Affordability is a big goal of ours. Our production partners in China allow us to offer our high-quality toys at prices most can afford. We have strong relationships with our production team overseas. We also conduct random on-site audits of factories to ensure the highest standards are met in manufacturing and in employee health, safety and human rights. We are happy that Target, our largest retail supplier, requires an equally firm commitment to human rights from any brand they carry. (You can read more about Target’s commitment to the global community.) Regardless of where our toys are made, we only use lead- and phthalate-free materials.
Additionally, our production partners have been integral in working with us to create packaging that has as little impact as possible on our planet. We treasure our overseas partners.
On a brighter note, one thing I was very happy to see was the company’s position to contribute $.10 for every toy purchased towards Free The Children. Good to know that your purchase goes towards helping and educating children who can use all the help they can get.
All in all, I’d highly recommend these toys to parents of small children or those of you looking to buy a good gift for little ones.
At 10:23 a.m. this morning, Samuel Robert Abraham made his way into the world, weighing in at 7 lbs. 4.6 oz. Both mother and baby are doing just fine. As for the father, he could not have asked for a greater birthday present.
-First lick since Fatherhood
About to go in for the procedure. God please keep both mother and child safe.
-Last lick before Fatherhood
Sitting in the hospital waiting room. Just a short while till I see my son’s face for the first time. I haven’t felt this kind of anticipation before. There is so much I don’t know about what is to come, but I do know one thing: this is the greatest day of my life.
-Last licks before Fatherhood
Looking back, it seems my dad always knew exactly what to teach me and when. It was like he had a playbook that he operated from. While I know he probably made it up as he went along, I think he did have some ‘set plays’ he wanted to run. Wondering what will be in my playbook.
-Last licks before Fatherhood