Thoughts on my 2nd Webisode filmed exclusively for BravoTV.com

Back when Alex & I seriously discussed whether we’d sign up to appear on a Reality TV show one of the things we thought we’d get out of it were professionally produced home videos to provide us great memories of our young children’s lives. And so far these webisodes are just that! This second webisode, which captures a school morning when Alex was away traveling, perfectly encapsulates the interaction between the chums & me. The great things about catching just regular slice of life stuff with the boys is that they can just turn off from the knowledge that there’s a film crew of 6 or more people around us, as they are comfortable in their own environment just doing regular things…..basically REAL life!

Getting the Boys Out the Door 2nd Webisode

In one of the talking head shots I discuss losing my own father when I was just 5 years old. I have certainly been affected by my father’s early death, but I’ve also tried not lo let it define me as an adult either. On page 34 of our book “Little Kids Big City” I wrote

One of the challenges I expected to face as a father and perhaps I’m not there yet is that I have no immediate role model from my own life to emulate (or to not emulate as the case may be). Two months before my sixth birthday my father died and my mother, at the young age of 32, was suddenly the sole parent to four children whose ages were 13 months, almost six, nine and 11 years old. She didn’t remarry until 18 years later and so throughout my entire childhood and the remainder of the time I spent living in Australia my parenting was solely conducted by a woman. Sure I watched Fred McMurray in My Three Sons as a young boy, but I’m not sure that those second-hand childhood memories of a fictional TV program featuring fatherhood in America were going to help me much when it came time to be a dad myself.

My father Francois Johan Walter van Kempen, with my then baby brother Adam, and me on the right

My father Francois Johan Walter van Kempen, with my then baby brother Adam, and me on the right.

I suppose the abiding promise I made to myself and Alex (and silently to the boys) was that I was determined to last on this planet long after their sixth birthdays; and 16th and 26th and perhaps even Johan’s 36th as well. Here’s hoping.

And I can’t deny that I get a thrill being the Dad that I never had, and long may it stay that way!

Last September, Francois transferred out of our local zoned public school to attend a selective citywide public school much further out into Brooklyn.

This means that in order for him to arrive at school by 8.30am he joins 25 or so other kids on a school bus that we, their parents, all chip in to pay for the bus, driver & also a matron. The school Francois attends is currently only kindergarten through 2nd grade but will go through to 8th grade, and Francois will be in the first graduating class. Whereas, last school year, both boys would leave at around 8.25 to go to school together, Alex or I now have to leave the house at 7.25 to take Francois to his bus and then an hour later walk Johan the three blocks to his school. Suffice to say for Francois, then six years old, that was a big adjustment to be up and out that early; and it was a big change for Alex & me too. What it does allow though is an hour each morning of one on one time for Johan with either Alex or me or us both. This gives our younger son a chance to be the big kid in the house without his older brother’s input.

If you haven’t seen the 1st webisode then look for it here and make sure you give some feedback to Bravo on what you think of these webisodes. The 3rd of 7 will roll out on May 19th when I think a snowman might make his debut!

If you don’t already follow me on Twitter and make sure you follow BravoTV as well and tweet them your thoughts on these webisodes and whether you’d like to see more TV like this!

In the meantime check out some other stories about us from the past week

Interview of me on Gothamist

An interview Alex gave to TVGuide

and lastly an article about a dress Alex donated to Ace New York for their shop Use Your Head

By the way you do know I released a song “I Am Real” don’t you? And look for some live performance dates to be announced VERY SOON!

9 Responsesto “Thoughts on my 2nd Webisode filmed exclusively for BravoTV.com”

  1. joseph says:

    Alex and Simon….Jill needs to be put in her place:

    You said it correctly…Jill says she is the queen of accountability but she is really the queen of BS. Let me know if you need help prepping for the reunion I have amazing arguement points to put these girls in their place. I am very proud of you and Simon this season being a gay couple living in NYC and the Hamptons it was nice to see that you were representing an amazing cause…thank you

    What I wrote to jill (this comes from ramona’s BravoTV blog):

    I am sorry Jill but Ramona is right…You didn’t mention that you sold your home until SEASON THREE. You sold your home in 07 a year before the show started. Seasons one and two clearly say it’s your house “Jill’s sag harbor house” (even though you are renting your previous home from the new owners)…you allude to the fact that you own the house, and the 5 rental cars in the driveway which is an exaggeration of the truth … Ramona is referencing when you called Brad out on him not owning his home which is exactly the embellishing or exaggerating that Ramona is speaking about you doing as well. The only difference is that you called brad out on national television when you are guilty of the exact same thing. This guy Brad is supposed to be your friend??!?!?! Why do this to a friend? I don’t understand that? What was the harm in letting Brad have his moment?

  2. Tiff says:

    Those boys have gotten so big.They r so handsome!

  3. Hugs from Houston says:

    Dearest Simon,

    I am so glad to have this outlet for communication from you. It appears that you are being somewhat marginalized on the show this season, much to my dismay.
    You and Alex have always been my favorite couple on RHONY. My husband would occasionally watch the show with me during passed seasons. Now that you are no longer on screen as much, he does not watch it at all with me. In addition to your reduced appearances, he is completely repulsed by the “Sonja” female. Due to her duplicitous nature and absurdly horrific episodes, I now have to record the show and watch it after my husband has gone to sleep. (He finds her behavior unacceptable and demeaning to women further expressing that the implications for her daughter are almost abusive with Sonja as a role model.)
    That being said, I want to encourage you and Alex. We, both my husband and I, applaud your efforts to maintain a stable environment for your immediate family while filming and networking professionally.
    The last show my husband viewed with me contained the scene where you refer to yourself as “IT Director” for Alex. My husband can relate to this role in our household.
    Regarding your parenting skills, please know that it is abundantly evident that you love, provide, and protect your children with zealous intent. As a husband, you are a role model for men everywhere. Please continue wholeheartedly; your actions will most certainly bear good fruit in the coming years.
    Be Blessed!
    Hugs from Houston

  4. Texas Viewer says:

    Simon. I love both of the webisodes that have posted. I keep posting on Andy’s website that people would LOVE to see a show of you and Alex and the ‘chums’. Your life is something that we can relate to and also enjoy watching. Also, you have wonderful opportunities to go to places we can’t go and do things we can’t do and that is enjoyable. I love the ’causes’ that you both support and lend your time and efforts to. People will tire or all of the meaness and bitterness and the Housewife shows WILL go away. I am so thrilled that we have Bethenny in a funny, wonderful show and can continue to enjoy her and hope the same for you and Alex. I would hate to lose you guys. Love to your family and HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to Alex.

  5. Kappy says:

    Loved the webisode!!! Just wanted to say…..the first year you and Alex were on the show…well I didn’t really like you guys…..Now… I adore you both. I think you are both amazing, down to earth people and parents. I have a five year old and I’m 44. I can totally relate to y’all raising busy, smart, sassy little people. Keep staying true to who y’all are and I’ll keep watching your show!!!!

  6. HiSimon says:

    Who syb? Simon’s blog?

  7. syb says:

    adorable. nearly brought a tear to my eye.

  8. HiSimon says:

    where is my comment?

  9. HiSimon says:

    Just to let you know honey, we try all the time to comment on Bravo, tried for years, and our comments never get posted. Pleaser tell Alex not to be so upset with the scenes. You two should be proud parents that your kids are in to the things they are in. It don’t matter where you live, as you saw from Adrainne in Bevery Hills, don’t matter if you live in the nicest mansion in Beverly Hills , kids will be kids. My twitter buddy just said all she wanted for mothers day is for them to clean their own room lol. Be lucky you don’t have girls lol, with Mommy Alex’s esen$ive ta$te. Then again, I think you $imon are responsible for that. :)
    I really enjoy you two and your family. So glad after 4 years we got to see your cats in episode 1. Hey, Jill won the poll last night, wonder if she stll claims your robots are responsible?

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