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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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Entries in Cole (5)


Made our own pots and pans moment

About an hour after I wrote 'Pots, Pans, Baseball, Fathers and Sons' I decided that Cole and I should make our way down to Citizens Bank Park to make a memory of our own. Game one of the 2011 NLDS between the Phillies and Cardinals was without a doubt the most exciting live sporting event that I have ever attended. When Ryan Howard hit this home run to put the Phillies ahead Cole was standing in front of me, I put my left arm across his chest and we jumped up and down together, screaming like maniacs... I still don't have my voice back.

I hope that everyone gets to do something like this at least once... it's unlike any other communal experience I've ever encountered.

I've added some of the pictures that I took at the game to the Visual Record, I hope you enjoy them!



Pots, Pans, baseball, fathers and sons

Chase Utley, the player Cole models himself after. Photo by me.

I grew up in a small suburb just outside of Philadelphia. My family enjoyed baseball but they weren't rabid fans. We cheered for the home team and watched some of the game's best play. There were far more bad seasons then good and only one great one... 1980 was the year that our team, the Philadelphia Phillies won the World Series. I was nine years old the night they won, I remember that I was awake past my bedtime when Tug McGraw struck out the last batter to bring the Phillies and Philadelphia fans their first ever World Series title.

What happened next is maybe one of my most found memories of my Dad. He erupted, ran to the kitchen and then outside. My father, a man that didn't show a lot of excitement normally, stood outside of my home banging pots together as if the act was going to save the world. I was confused for a moment but when I walked outside to figure out what was happening, I realized that my dad wasn't the only one abusing cookware. There was a symphony of pots clanging, it's a sound that I never imagined existed before that moment and it filled the night air as if the noise was playing over a stadium loudspeaker. The celebration seemed to go on forever and it felt like joy channeled through pots and pans.

As the years passed I stopped watching and following baseball, I'd lost the passion for the game and I never really considered going back to it, until 2008. Now I know what you are thinking... that I jumped back on the bandwagon but my return to baseball didn't have anything to do with my wanting to watch Major League Baseball. I started watching again for my son, Cole.

Cole has been playing baseball since he was four (he's eleven now), we could see since he was two years old that he may have an talent for the game. Kelly asked me to sign him up early even though I wanted to wait until he was five. She said, "he's so good at it... we should let him play" - and she was right!

Sometime in 2008, about four years after Cole began playing baseball I noticed that he sometimes, despite his natural ability, looked a bit lost. Then it hit me, "we don't watch baseball, how would he know?". So I turned on the television and you know what I saw... the Philadelphia Phillies were a really good baseball team - I honestly didn't know. Initially we watched so he could see situations and understand the flow of a game better. Initially.

Three years later Cole and I watch baseball together a lot, we go to the Phillies games when we can and share the game in a way that may defy understanding unless you're a father or a son. It turns out that it's not the game that I loved as a child, it was watching it with my dad.

Citizens Bank Park 2010

We've seen some amazing baseball together but I've most enjoyed watching him play. Cole is a five time all-star in our town, an amazing outfielder, a wonderful middle infielder and he plays in a way that any fan would appreciate. I've never had to remind Cole of a game or a practice, he doesn't complain about the heat in the summer or the cold and rain in the fall. He constantly turns down offers to play other sports so that he can play as much baseball as he can squeeze in. He's a fantastic player and an even more amazing son.

Lead off double - Fall 2011

I'm telling you about all of this because baseball deserves for me to...

The other night we left Cole's practice and rushed home to watch the last 2011 regular season Phillies game together. The girls had the living room television when we arrived so we went upstairs to my room and turned on the game. The Phillies were down 3-1 when we turned on the TV. I told Cole that I had a good feeling that they'd find a way to win since they were playing to set the franchise record for wins in a season (102). Cole moved close to me and put his head on my chest like he did when he was much younger. We laid there together and watched as the game went into extra innings, it reminded me of how we'd nap together when he was a baby. 


2002, the first year we saw him swing a bat

It's been said a million times before but bears repeating, there is something magical about baseball. I'm going to post this now and then go to the field to watch Cole play this afternoon. When we get home tonight our entire family will watch the Phillies play game one of the NL Division Series against the Cardinals. Hopefully in a few weeks, I'll bang some pots together with my son. 


Cole is negative!


Arden’s brother Cole gives his blood every year to aid the research that TrialNet does...

Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet is an international network of researchers who are exploring ways to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of type 1 diabetes.”

Cole’s blood is especially helpful because he is the sibling of a child with type I diabetes. His letter arrived today with his test results and he is still negative for "diabetes related autoantibodies'! It’s a happy day and a sad day all wrapped into one.

If you’re the sibling or parent of a type I child please check out TrialNet to see if you can help. 


TrialNet results for Cole

My son Cole (not a type I child) participates in a TrialNetNatural History study for the development of type I diabetes. It tests for “diabetes-related autoantibodies”.  Cole’s result was again negative, meaning that, “no diabetes related autoantibodies are present at this time” in Cole.  This doesn’t ensure anything in the future but it is wonderful news today to say the least.  Cole will be re-tested yearly until he is 18 yrs old.  


I would urge any siblings of a type I child to participate in TrialNet’s study. The information that they gather helps scientists understand so much about type I and can help a child that is at high risk to develop type I to stave of the disease.


That said, I received Cole’s letter today and opened it in the driveway.  I was choking back the tears of joy and guilt that I experience every time Cole gets this news.  I’m of course thrilled that Cole is not at an elevated risk of developing type I but at the same time I feel terrible for being happy while Arden suffers.  Anyway, back to it... I was choking back the tears when my neighbor came out of his house and began asking me a question, I was barely able to escape that conversation with my dignity when Arden’s nurse called to go over her lunch time insulin.  She too must have thought I was insane.  So to my neighbor and to Arden’s school nurse, I’m sorry if I cut our conversations short, I was trying not to cry.


And to a future Cole that I’ll one day let read this, I know we tell you that this test is to help Arden and other kids with type I but it’s also for you.  I’m sorry that I can never tell you your good news, I just don’t want you to worry.  This is one of the few times that I keep something from you.


That’s about as much transparency as I’ve got in me today...


To the rest of you, be transparent, test in public, your openness will grow understanding and I believe, quicken the path to a cure.



Day One: 11:33 am... Cole wanted a snack

Arden and Cole

Well 19 minutes later and an issue has come up.  It’s something we all take for granted... Cole got hungry and wanted a snack.  Now Arden is eating again.  This means my dream of a BG around 160 in an hour is shot.  I now have to watch how many tortilla chips Arden eats so I can factor them into her next shot.  

I can’t give her insulin now to cover them for a few reasons. 1. I don’t like to give insulin on top of insulin if I can help it. 2. She could change her mind and stop eating the chips.  3. She’s about to get a bath and as odd as it sounds her BG always goes down when she gets a bath. 

So Cole wanting a snack is a giant obstacle in my day.  It’s also why I eat standing at the counter in the kitchen with my back to Arden (I usually pretend to be cleaning).  

Fun Fact:  Complex carbohydrates bring Arden’s BG up slower but farther then a simple Carb does.  Also sometimes a simple carbohydrate drives her BG up quickly but then plummets again.  You only need to over correct for one simple carb high to learn that lesson.