Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Carter's Greatest (Online) Hits: Part 2

Keeping it going with some tribute to my first born son Carter. It was his 5th birthday on Sunday, and he sort of gets the shaft these days with all the attention we have to give to Bennett and all his problems we need to solve.

So yesterday I started with some message board posts that a friend of mine had saved from the Palisades days. In case you didn't know, Palisades Toys was a toy company I worked for from 2001 - 2005. Fantastic place to be. Loved it. Eventually I made the decision to leave and move to Ohio.

It was the best job I have ever, ever had, and it was tough to actually walk in and tell people I was leaving. Found this post from Maria's saved stuff of that old message board that has me answering a question someone asked about why in the world I could actually leave what they all knew was one of my all-time favorite things.

Written on the Palisades Message Board June 28, 2005
It was not an easy decision to say the least. A year ago, things changed dramatically for me when Carter, my son, was born...and I do mean dramatically. As he began to grow and change into a real person, and as he spent some time with his family in Columbus, Ohio, I began to get a real sense of need to get him surrounded by that familial atmosphere.

See, a little back history...I never had much of a family growing up. Still don't really...just a Mom. But on the other hand, my wife has a family that is voluminous. Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Second Cousins, Brothers, Sisters, all Grandparents alive and kicking...and they all get along, which blows me away. They have get togethers all the time, even have to rent a hall at Christmas just to get everyone in. Seeing that, and seeing the support structure it would afford my son has been pretty significant in altering the way I now view my career.=

Now, because of that lack of family, I tended to, when I came here five years ago, see this group of misfits, and still do, as my own sort of family. Working in this environment tends to do that to people...well, it did for me anyway, as I tend to get emotionally involved with my work, because of how I feel about it and those connected with it.

So what it boiled down to as time went on was making a choice between two families, and in the end I decided that the real decision maker should be what was best for Carter, not what was best for me.

What was best for ME was to stay right here. Very few people ever walk away from a job like this...and it is a great one. I am leaving the best job in my life to go to no job at all, with no security and no plan in place really.

But in the end I had to consider the needs of my son, my wife and the rest of my family. Being in Columbus not only gets all of them together on Jen's side but puts me 50% closer to my mother. It would be nice to spend more time together. So in this case, the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few, or the one...so to speak.

We all (immediate family...the moms and dads and bros and sisses and their spouses/fiancess...twelve in all) spent last week together, in a cabin in the Smoky Mountains. It was bliss actually, and we celebrated Carter's first birthday. As I taped him reacting to the people singing and clapping and carrying on for him I got totally teary eyed it was so amazing to watch the world, if for a few moments, through his innocent, wondrous eyes. This is coming to you from a guy who even when I found out Jen was pregnant and all the years leading to that was adamantly opposed to the idea of being a father.

Anyway, sorry for the digression...but I wanted to answer as completely as I could.

Palisades is a great company, has great licenses, makes great product, allowed me a ton of freedom and autonomy to shape the product and Mike Horn has had about the biggest influence as anyone on my life. A very good person to work with and for, and I owe quite a bit of my growth, both professionally and personally, in this process to him.

Palisades, the people, Mike and anything else here are not the reason I made the final decision to move...that was inspired by a little boy who has totally changed my perspective on how to live my life and how to put him in a position where he can have every advantage possible.

And move we did...who'd have thought how CRITICAL that would be to our present day lives, huh? We could not get through this all with Bennett without the help of Jen's family. Though one major bummer about move aftermath...my Mother ended up being closer only for a short while. Moved twice as far away last year. They're happier and it was the right move for them, just makes seeing them less frequent.

But yeah, yeah...I gotta wrap this up for today...so let's close on some of my faves from around his first birthday up to and through the time we moved.


  1. Any time you question what kind of a dad you are to your kids, remember that you walked away from the greatest job you'd ever had so that they could grow up surrounded by loving family. I don't know how many people would have made that choice, and I really admire you for it.

    Love those pics of Palisades, btw. I'm sad I never got to visit in person!

  2. Nice one. I had never read your reasoning for the move...it makes perfect sense. You married very well.

  3. Isn't it amazing how much our prospectives change once children enter the picture? We suddenly stop living for us and start living for them. And, strangely enough, there are no regrets. It just feels right.

    Despite what you may think, THAT makes you one hell of a DAD!

  4. Thank you, Ken, for the peek inside your life. There are times I look at where we are...not by our own choosing...but just because that's the way life rolled. And think...wow...this is right were I need to be. Much like you guys.


  5. Yes, Ken....You are the most UNSELFISH father...Carter and Bennett are so very fortunate....I know I have said that before, but it bears repeating...over and over...You and Jen put them first...As it should be....And evidently, you have made the right decisions at the right times for EVERYONE....

    Thanks so much for sharing more about your precious Carter...

  6. Thanks for the blog comment. I'm glad to know that you'll be following (and I promise not to always copy and paste from the forum to the blog :).

    Your blog was the first one I found after our diagnosis, so I've been here often since then.

    I totally understand feeling like you're blog-neglecting your healthy child, and I said something similar last week. However, my dear friend commented to assure me that people understand why so much time and words are devoted to updating about the sickness.

  7. Tink:
    Yeah it was a fun place to work, that's for sure.

    Thanks buddy.

    I got lucky. Besides, you were already spoken for you hunky stud.

    Thanks...yeah, fatherhood did really work over my priorities.

    That's a good way to look at it SIS....

    Not really...I mean, I spend more time writing in a blog than playing with my boys, how good of a Dad can I be really? :)

    Thanks...and its cool if you copy/paste, sometimes that's the way its gotta be. :)


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