Making friends as a 36-year-old with an 11-month-old baby isn’t quite the same as making friends as a 26-year-old single guy. One new dad shares his hard-won tips.
News has just broken that current Toronto City Councillor, and former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has passed away at the age of 46, after an 18-month battle with cancer.
He leaves behind his wife, Renata, and two young children.
The Ward 2 City Councillor’s Chief of Staff had released a statement late Thursday night last week saying Ford’s family was by his side and that he would be in palative care while waiting for his body to strengthen enough before another round of chemotherapy.
Ford was diagnosed with cancer in September 2014. He then pulled out of the mayoral election campaign, opting to run for City Councillor instead which he easily won.
During Ford’s tenure as Mayor of North America’s 5th largest city, he gained worldwide noteriaty for his appearance, his strong fiscal conservative stance and his enjoyment of alcohol and drugs which were exposed by The Toronto Star.
Once under the microscope, Ford was regularly recorded when in public, and in his private life, reporters were stalking him at his home, peeking over his fence and taking pictures of him and his family inside.
He continued to make headline-grabbing comments about his sex life, and he admitted to crack cocaine and alcohol abuse which resulted in him being admitted to a rehab facility.
The Ford family has released the following statement:
With heavy hearts and profound sadness, the Ford family announces the passing of their beloved son, brother, husband, and father, Councillor Rob Ford earlier today at the age of 46.
A dedicated man of the people, Councillor Ford spent his life serving the citizens of Toronto.
The family asks that you respect their privacy and join them in their grieving and their prayers.
The family will not be making any statements to the media or taking any questions.
Information will follow at a later time regarding memorial services.
Current Mayor John Tory released the following statement:
I am saddened to learn of the passing of Rob Ford: husband, father, city councillor, and former mayor of Toronto.
The City is reeling with this news, and my thoughts are with his wife Renata and their two children, as well as Rob’s brothers Doug and Randy, his sister Kathy, his mother, Diane, and the rest of their tight-knit family, including TDSB Trustee Michael Ford.
I have known Rob Ford for many years. He was a man who spoke his mind and who ran for office because of the deeply felt convictions that he had. As a councillor, mayor and private citizen, Rob Ford reached out directly to people across the city with a phone call, an offer of advice or support, and I know there are many who were affected by his gregarious nature and approach to public service.
I had a chance to visit him not long ago and while he was clearly not well, he was happy to hear me say I looked forward to his return to City Hall. Sadly, that won’t now happen but whatever differences we had, he knew I meant it.
His time in City Hall included moments of kindness, of generosity to his council colleagues and real efforts to do what he thought was best for Toronto. He was, above all else, a profoundly human guy whose presence in our city will be missed.
On behalf of the people of The City of Toronto, I offer my sincere condolences to his loved ones at this time.”
If only I could record everything that my children say which is either clever, hilarious or unexpected… They’re awesome and I love having conversations with them, or just listening to them, as they grow up.
The ride home from school was no exception. It began with my play-by-play recap of my ball-hockey game last night, actually both my ball hockey games – back-to-back, but thinking about it now, I’m not sure they asked so much as I wanted to tell them. LOL. During the first game, I was one of three defensemen then moved to become one of 5 forwards. There was a lot of running and there is nothing I like more than getting my money’s worth and running my ass of at these games!
What I wanted to tell my kids was about one play where an opposition player ran a pick play on me, and then my reaction. My hope is always that by taking the higher road, I can teach my children how to react in situations like these and keep them from doing or saying something which can cause them pain or suffering.
So on this play, and I’m a big guy, the opposing player caught me with a knee in my thigh as I was chasing his teammate around the net trying to scoop the ball off of his stick. That hit sent me flying and I was upset there was no penalty called because our team needed to score and the power play would have helped, not because he took a cheap shot which hurt like heck.
I thought I could still draw the penalty, so I called the guy exactly what I thought he was… a clown.
He flipped out. He said to me, “What? You called me a clown?”
“Yes” I replied. “You’re a Clown! Who else knees someone in the thigh while they are chasing someone… a clown. It suits your playing style and ability since they’re both a joke.”
He thought about it, and laughed.
I took two or three steps away from him – walking towards the bench – when I turned, looked back at him and said “I HATE clowns.”
He flipped out.
The referee stepped in to keep him from getting to me, and he was yelling all kinds of stuff but all I heard was, “blah, blah, blah.” He eventually got a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. I was sore, but all smiles on the bench.
The rest of the game he kept his distance from me.
So I told this story to my kids – explaining how I didn’t fight, or try to hurt him, because that is not nice, and I didn’t yell or swear at him, because we don’t do that. I expected a meaningful dialogue about respect, sportsmanship, and playing hard but not going over the edge, or about keeping emotions in check… But instead I got this question right away;
“Daddy, if you don’t like clowns did you like former WWF (now WWE) wrestler Doink the Clown?”
“No”, I said. “Only when he turned bad and became evil Doink.”
Then this came out of my mouth…
“I mean clowns might as well be called what they really are… Jerks. I mean who else hides their face under white make-up, a wig and a fake nose so that they can spray water in your face or make you shake their hands where they have the hand buzzer… A jerk does that.”
My other son then asked; “What about Dink? Doink’s son?”
I replied, “I think naming a wrestler “dink” is always a bad idea since when I was growing up a “dink” was either the name kids called their penis or a name for a small metal car (dinky cars).”
“So Dink was a penis?” my brilliant child asks?
“No”, I said. “It’d be like saying Penis’ Penis… Oh, forget it.”
Then I changed the topic.
I’m working in the Starbucks this morning and I cannot help but overhear the discussion behind me because the couple are really loud and seem to forget that they are sitting in a Starbucks. At first, I thought they were breaking up, then I thought they were hooking up, but now I really have no idea what is going on and, to be honest, neither do they!
Here are some highlights of this loud and public conversation;
- Oh, you’re taking advice from him? Of all the guys I’ve wanted to beat up for looking at you, he is at the top of my list.
- You’re dressed like you run drugs
- Look at yourself… Don’t you have any shame?
- I’ve gotten over you twice.
- I’m going up north for a week of total partying. Nothing else. You’re not invited.
- Between last week and this week I made a lot of plans with people and they all fell through so I need to make plans about how to make better plans so they won’t fall through.
Then his side gets kind of weird and awkward…
- These plans that fell through messed up my son, because, he needs to nap and stuff… He overheated, had sand in his ass and stuff
- My son hates water ever since I pulled his feet out from under him and he went under the water… He hated that.
- He won’t even bathe.
- He must have a red ass, or stuff that he doesn’t want cleaned.
- He’s cried in the bath every time for months…
Since he did most of the talking…
- We should go dancing!
- Oh, I hope he’s okay.
- You’re not supposed to do that to kids
- You have to clean him up
- Where will he be while you are partying?
- Can I come with instead?
- I’m not running drugs. I’m not a whore. I like the way I look. Look at you? You’re in a Starbucks looking like that… Eww.
- Oh yeah?
- Can we get out of here?
And off they went… Together.
The guys at the table beside me started to clap and said that would make for a great soap opera.
I’m more concerned that this father thought it was a good idea to pull out his kids feet from him while the kid was standing in the bathtub. He was trying to explain to the girl that he tried pushing the kid down to the seating position but the kid is really strong. He wanted him to sit and this was the only way… Sure, he could have smashed the kids face into the side of the tub, or worse give the kid a complex / fear of the water having almost drown. But this kid is dirty, red and smelly and the dad needs to start again and get this kid into the tub before the kid grows up afraid of the water because his dad is a partying moron…
What have you guys overheard in public space before?
I’ve always said there is a fine line between being smart and being a smart-ass, and as parents, it is our responsibility to make sure our kids stay on the smart side as much as possible because children usually do not have capability to determine if their smart-ass comment was actually funny, or if it is offensive.
Grandfather to child who has just returned from 2 weeks away at sleepover camp: “How was camp?”
Grandfather: “Did you have a good time?”
Grandfather: “Will you go back next year?”
Grandfather: “How was bus ride home?”
Grandfather: “How long?”
Grandfather: “Oh, did you make any stops along the way?”
Child: “Yes. At stop signs and all red traffic lights…”