In our current society, there is huge emphasis placed on diversity, equality, and respect for differences. I wholeheartedly believe in all of it. In fact, I have built a career where I coach leaders on how to embrace this value within their corporations. We teach our children that they should be unique, we respect those who dare to break the mold, and we encourage language that avoids labels.

Twins have a connection. I am witnessing it every day. Yet, looking back on these past few months I am realizing that their bond started before they were even born. When I was 26 weeks pregnant, I went for a routine ultrasound and was told that twin A had very little amniotic fluid and she was not growing. They were unsure if she would survive that week.

The other night, for the first time in almost a decade and half, we watched our wedding video. Aside from the novelty of seeing what a videotape was, my kids were fascinated by seeing their mom as a real-life Cinderella. I always knew that I was a lucky guy, but when I compared the woman next to me on the sofa, to the bride on the screen, I was in awe. Aside from a different hairstyle, my wife has not changed in 17 years.

hockey-mom When I was pregnant with my first child I was terrified. Once I got over the shock and the excitement began to settle in, I knew I wanted to find out the sex of my new baby. As much as I had hopes and dreams of tutus and ribbons (as many women do), I knew inside that I was going to be blessed with a boy. After all signs pointed to a healthy baby, this was of course confirmed. Okay, I thought, so it won’t be pretty in pink. Maybe next time.

I’ve been very fortunate over the course of my career. For over two decades, I've been working with and consulting senior executives at some of the world’s most well known companies. I’ve spent a lot of time in the boardroom. I love it.

And almost every time I sit at a boardroom table, take off my suit jacket and roll up my sleeves, there's a slight moment of silence. Because under my shirt, I have a full sleeve (a tattoo from shoulder to wrist).

[caption id="attachment_23002" align="alignleft" width="225"]This is actually hanging above my kids' toilet. It doesn't work. This is actually hanging above my kids' toilet. It doesn't work.[/caption] It’s my birthday today, and as a special gift to me, I asked my kids to flush their toilet.

You see, my three children (ages 15, 15 and 12) share a bathroom and it’s a rare morning when I don’t have to flush for them.

Maybe it’s the muscular exertion required to depress the flusher that stops them. Maybe it takes too much time out of their very full schedules. Maybe, and very likely, they’re trying to drive me insane. Because despite the constant nagging, yelling, threatening and even signage, they consistently fail at this one very simple task.

I bat my eyelids and suddenly my daughter turned 7 months old. The rate at which time is marching is really quite mind-boggling, and when people tell me, “enjoy, it goes so fast”, they weren’t kidding! As I despondently packed up all her 3-6 month summer dresses and pink frills, I found myself thinking into the future… what will she be when she grows up? What will she be passionate about? How will she impact the world?

“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” - Lou Holtz When I think about my life, I think of it as chapters of a book. Some chapters I want to read over and over again, such as getting engaged, getting married, and completing my Master’s degree, but some I want to skip over and never open again.

“You need to lay off your kids!”(he was referring to my yelling at my kids during a water polo game) is what an eighteen year old lifeguard told me several years ago at our community pool.  That statement although very unwelcome at the time (what does this young punk know about my kids and parenting?) was a HUGE wake up call for me and thankfully led me to make some important changes. 

  lice 2When I was in grade school, I had very long, thick hair. I would love to wear my hair in pig tails and then a pony tail and if the mood was right, I would even braid my hair. As I hit my teen years in the eighties I was not immune to the influences of pop culture (who could resist Wham?!?) and my hair went big and a lot of hairspray was used. All that to say, with the exception of a few years of short hair à la Princess Diana, I never had issues with my hair. Fast forward to being a mom of two kids. I noticed a change in hair culture when my kids started to go to day camp. My daughter came home from her first day and announced with a huge smile that she was lice-free! What? Stop everything and hold the phone.

My daughter is my first-born, and as with all mothers of firstborns, I didn't know any differently. I knew she was a hard baby, that was evident-- she was the type of baby to make a fool out of sleep training, a baby who learned to fake cough at 12 weeks for attention-- but I had no idea what I was up against until her emergence into toddlerhood coincided with the birth of my easygoing son. Not only did it strike me that not all babies are that exhausting, but I also came to understand what it meant to have not just a toddler, not just a hard toddler, but to be the parent of a strong-willed child.

[caption id="attachment_22762" align="alignleft" width="258"]blog pic Sidra[/caption] As we round the corner into another season I am hesitant to put away my white skinnies and favorite rompers. I lovingly wear each of my favorite summer pieces one last time and start to move the merchandise around for what's to come. The lure, however, of Fall's rich color tones and awesome looking boots is hard to ignore. Northern living.

I hate September. I hate the tinge of cool in the air that reminds us fall is almost here. I hate the change of routine; from the easy, schedule-free, long summer days to the frantic return to morning alarms, carpool, work and extra-curricular mayhem. I hate that September reminds me of the last days of my father’s life. September, to me, represents endings, not beginnings.

It always feels like I’m trudging through quicksand, desperate to stay afloat and make it to October when the routine settles and I feel like I can breathe again.

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I bid farewell to our night nurse (I’ll call her “Mrs. Doubtfire”) and I have been intermittently teary-eyed since. She had been with us since April and helped us tremendously with our now 5-month old daughter. Not only did she allow my husband and I to get 8 hours of sleep every couple of nights, but she also gave us something that new parents so desperately need: reassurance.

2015 is only half over and yet it has been a rather trying period for me (as was most of 2014), both personally and professionally. Although many people would actually not have a clue the extent to which my resilience has been tested, but it has been. It’s funny because I mastered the art of the “all is well” nod and smile that truthfully it would not be obvious to a sole. I don’t even know if those closest to me understand the depth of my trials and tribulations.