The Parent Code

We live with a three-year-old and an 18-month-old who never listen when we tell them to stop fighting, but who have a supersonic sense of hearing when we mention a food item they may like.

We we can’t say “cookie” or “ice cream” at our home, unless of course it’s time for them to have that, therefore, my wife and I have a bunch of abbreviations that won’t fool the NSA, but do keep our kids in the dark for now.

Not in any particular order, here are the most secret items in the Sanchez household:

  • Cookies: “C’s” As in: “Did you remember to buy the c’s?”
  • Bananas: “B’s”
  • Almond Milk: “A-M”
  • Ice cream: Helado (Spanish for, you guessed it, ice cream)
  • Teddy Grahams: TGs
  • Pancakes: PCs
  • Sandwiches: Sands or S-A-Ns
  • Juice Pouches: JBs (because we call them Juice Boxes)
  • Chicken Nuggets: Nuggs

I know there are more, but that’s all I can think of right now. As you may have noticed, there’s no need to come up with a code word for vegetables. Our kids are not jumping up and down for some kale soup.

Do you have any code words in your household?

Being Different

A couple of days ago I was at the checkout counter at my local grocery store when the young cashier looked at me and asked, “What did you do to your face?!” It wasn’t really a question. It was more of a demand in the tone of, “How dare you do that?!”

This caught me off-guard, so I asked her to repeat the question.

She pointed to her eyebrow with the same look of disgust. “There, what did you do to your face?”

I smiled, but I sensed my face go red. “I was in a car accident over 15 years ago.”

She said, “Oh.” And then I saw her face go red and avoided eye-contact and any further conversation for the rest of our forced awkward interaction.

Was she wrong in asking me this? I don’t know if it was wrong, but it was certainly inappropriate and her tone was in bad taste. It reminded of being in high school, fresh after my car accident, when I had to wear a patch covering my left eyebrow and part of my forehead. Strangers would stop and ask me with the same expression and look of morbid curiosity in their eyes.

I sometimes wonder if people look at me and form an idea about me, about the kind of man that I am because of my scar. Before going to job interviews, I always think about this. Would they think I was part of some gang where their members shave their left eyebrows? Would they think that I was in a bar fight or something like that?

Thanks to this blunt cashier, at least I know that people do wonder.

Sometimes I tell people about it without them asking just to get it out of the way. I just want to get the elephant out of the room as quickly as possible.

Next October, it’ll be 16 years of having this scar. That means that I will have lived the same number of years with and without the scar. Sometimes when I look in the mirror that’s all that I notice. Sometimes I try to ignore it. But as my wife likes to point out, it’s a symbol that God saved my life that day. And for that, I am thankful.


I love to learn. I wish the days were longer and I could learn everything there is to learn in this world. I wish I could memorize entire encyclopedias and become an expert in almost everything useful and good.

While I can’t obviously know everything, I can spend some time to learn new things. Now that I’m off school, I can actually dictate what I want to learn.

After I got my degree in Mass Media, I thought that jobs would be lining up for me. I thought that with my experience (three years in Mass Media field) plus my degree, I would have people calling me and asking for my services. Over thirty applications later, I still have not received a call for an interview.

How does this relate to learning? Well, it seems that a lot of the better paying jobs nowadays (and the future) deal with computer programming (and I’m including website stuff here). And for me, this is not just a way to make some extra money, but I do actually enjoy learning about how websites, the Internet and computers work.

When AOL ruled providers and Geocities ruled the web, I was a teenager and taught myself HTML and created a couple of websites from scratch. Over the years, I’ve learned some basic CSS, but I stopped there. I didn’t have the time or the drive to further my education.

My new project is to learn JavaScript. In order to truly be able to create and customize websites, JavaScript (along with HTML5 and CSS) is the way to go. This will only be the beginning of course. There are plenty of computer languages out there that I need to learn, but I have to start somewhere.

I will be sharing my successes and failures in this blog and I would love for you to join me. And, if you plan on learning something new, please share it with me!

Being Honest with Yourself

I love writing, but one of my biggest issues is fear. There, I said it. I lack the discipline to turn off Netflix and all the many other distractions and start writing because of fear. What do I fear exactly? I fear failure. I have this dream of becoming a best-selling author and as long as I keep putting it off as a dream (and not really work hard for it) then I can’t fail.

But as I write these words, I realize that not trying is the real failure. I should be afraid of that. I should be afraid of looking back and regretting not trying.

I have this unshakable belief that my books will be read by thousands if not millions of others. I just need to do the actual writing.

I need to kick the fear of failure in the butt.

What are you afraid of?