Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Don't Tell Dad.....

There is no doubt that men and women are different. But mommies and daddies are not that different. 

Recently my oldest daughter experienced the thing that every young girl goes through when her body begins to change into a women. I bring this up not to embarrass my daughter in any way, but to explain from daddy's point of view. 

After I found out, my heart hurt. It was a similar hurt I felt when she had to get glasses. I hurt for her. I didn't want her to feel different, awkward or self conscious about a change that she has no control over.  

Recently I drove by the dance studio where she took her first dance lessons. She was barely in kindergarten and so little. I remember thinking how I couldn't wait to watch her experience the joys of childhood. Opening presents on Christmas morning. Riding her bike with no training wheels, or getting excited over the tooth fairy. I wanted my daughter to have a wonderful happy childhood. And stay my little girl forever. 

And now it's over. Or at least so her body says. She's in the sixth grade now and I suppose it's time to hang up the Tutu's and bury the idea that she still believes in Santa in order to make room for mood swings and make-up. 

When I told my DW that I hated this for her. That I thought it sucked. That it was depressing. It was quickly explained to me that I didn't get to say that. As if I couldn't have a feeling about the subject because I'll never experience it first hand. But the truth of the matter is it's harder for us Dads. My wife explained to me that she wanted this to be a bonding moment between the two of them, and to an extent it is. But let's face it, there is no, let's eat chocolate together moment for Daddies at this time. There is no, if you have questions I'm here for you moment. There's no, I know how you feel moment for dad.   

In fact my daughter said Don't tell Dad

I get it. I get her embarrassment and not wanting me to know, I do. But it doesn't make it any easier for ol' Dad. 

Just Write

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Learning New Things...

Every so often in life, between sports events, band concerts, work and family, we learn a few things along the way. Here are just a few things that I've learned recently.

What I've learned: First, cats are not as smart as people think. The picture below is our cat; Cat. He has an actual name, but I'm not sure what it is. You see we started out calling him a girl name, then found out he was a boy and things got a little weird after that so now he's just Cat. So anyway, we were trying to actually potty train him. We basically shut off the clowns bathroom and turned it in to his little private domain. Which, as you can see from the picture was working.....well except he had problems doing the #2  in the potty. That's kind of a deal breaker. I'm not sure if he's just getting us back for the name thing or what. But chalk it up to something learned. My cat will not poop in the toilet.

What else I've Learned: I learned recently that a family of five needs two bathrooms. Period. Sticking with the bathroom theme, apparently someone in my family is really lazy. I guess actually putting the T.P on the holder is just to much to ask for.

Another Thing I've learned:  I learned that no matter how much you want them to stay little, you're kids will grow up. They will experience hardships, defeat, and embarrassment, and all the things you want to shelter them from. No matter what you do or how you try to protect them. It's just gonna happen.

Something else I've learned:  If you tell your wife you ate eight cookies for lunch and won the lottery, she will only hear that you ate eight cookies and make fun of you for the next two weeks every time you go to the kitchen. Not that I won the lottery or anything.

So here's to learning new things....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

But, can he play???

So even if you're not a football fan, I'm sure you've heard that a recent NFL prospect from Missouri, Michael Sam came out this past week and announced that he's gay. No big deal right? Well it shouldn't be, but the media wants to make it a big deal and as a society we tend to listen and believe what the media tells us.

So the young man, before he came out publicly, sent his father a text that simply said "Dad, I'm Gay".  His father, Michael Sam senior, who was interviewed after the public announcement, had this to say.

"I couldn't eat no more, so I went to Applebee's to have drinks, "I don't want my grand kids raised in that kind of environment."

Now let me just tell you the type of "environment"  his son, was raised in.

He is the seventh of eight children. Three of his siblings have died. He saw his older brother killed from a gunshot wound. His oldest sister died when she was a baby. His second oldest brother went missing in 1998, and two other brothers have been in and out of jail since the eighth grade, where they currently reside. He lived briefly in the back seat of his mother's car as a child, and to this day when he visits home, according to him, he usually stays with friends because his relationship with his family is complicated.

I just don't understand people. Is his own father really saying that he'd rather have his kids, or grand kids raised in an environment where murder, jail, and homeless is the norm? Or the better "environment"? Does this make sense?

Look, I really am indifferent about the subject. I just don't care. I know I'm supposed to one way or the other because again, that's what the media tells us. That you have to pick a side, but it doesn't affect me or my family so I really don't care. If this kid gets drafted to my favorite football team, my only concern is, can he play.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Old Man Winter...

I love the way the snow looks falling from the sky. It's heavy from last nights fall and with each scoop of my shovel I'm reminded of how old I've become. Just an hour ago I felt young and healthy, able to wrestle a bear if needed. But old man winter has a way of putting you in your place. I shovel four, maybe five scoops before resting. The cold air fills my lungs as I stand underneath another batch of fresh falling flakes. It's quite outside. So much so that I can nearly hear each new flake hitting the ground. He has a way of beating us down, old man winter. It's so different than the other seasons. There are no cars passing, no dogs barking, no kids playing. There is no green grass or flowers or colorful falling leaves. There is no hope in winter. There is no promise of warmer days or sunshine. No promise that rain will bring flowers or rainbows. There is only white ground as far as the eye can see. I look around at neighboring houses and just for a minute I enjoy it. The still. The calm. The blanket of fresh powder. With a grunt and a heave I thrust my shovel back to the ground. There are two levels of snow I attack. The first and hardest is the blanket of ice that my feet crunch with each step. The second is the  pure snow, now packed tightly thanks to the ice. I alternate the shovel in my hands depending on which side of my body I toss it over. Each time on my left side I can feel the effects of an old injury just below my ribs. There is no pain, but rather a reminder of a different time in my life. A few more scoopfuls and again I rest. My body is getting quite the workout as my breathing is heavy and my arms hurt. It's old man winters way. It makes me think of other men, other husbands, other fathers who have fought the same fight, but didn't win. The snow can kill, but I am determined to clear space. To beat it. I remind myself that I'm sure others had the same thought before they collapsed. Soon I've cleared a path that allows me to get out. I am no longer stuck. As I reach the road, a feeling of victory rolls over me, like Rocky after defeating Apollo. Take that old man winter.....Yo, ADRIAN

Just Write