Friday, October 23, 2015

Is my teenager a teenager??

I scrolled through my daughters Instagram account. There were things about school, her siblings, her parents and her loves. It was her. Her emotions. Her feelings. Her thoughts. And I was hurt and angry. In that fifteen minutes that it took me to read posts and comments about how life, and school sucked, I thought, how could this be? Why does she doubt herself? Why doesn't she see what we see? She's beautiful, smart, witty, strong, independent. We've given her everything we possibly could? We provide, we support, we love. Why is my teenager uncomfortable in her own skin? Why? 

I wanted to respond to each post. But I didn't. I wanted to make smart ass comments. But I didn't. I wanted to argue. But I didn't. For the rest of my day I thought about the things she'd posted or said, and somewhere along the way the answer of "why" finally came to me. 

Because she's a teenager. 

I'm not of the old adage that boys will be boys, or in this case, teenagers will be teenagers, but I do remembered the days of me against the world. I remembered how that one girl didn't know I existed. The feelings of insecurity, loneliness, anger, and love as a teen. Sure it's a bit different now because of social media, but she's still a teenager trying to figure it all out. And to add insult to injury, she's in a new school this year. A big school. A school that already has cliques and popular kids and barriers. 

I want all my kids to be able to "find" themselves. To be who they are because that's who they want to be, not because that's who I tell them to be, and because of this I stopped following her account (her mother still does). 

Back in my day we had journals and diaries to bitch about our parents and schools. Today they have social media and blogs, but it's still the same life struggles. It's still teenagers being teenagers. 

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Parenting, Sports, and Time Travel...

The clock is yet to reach 8:30am and I just finished my third cup of coffee. I think I'm more drained today than tired. Today is one of those days that as I stumbled out of bed I told myself I didn't care if I was running late, I couldn't move any faster. I made it on time... 

Parenting is a Sport....

I feel like most of the time I'm doing parenting right. But parenting is like sports. Nobody seems to remember when you came home after a long hard day and spent an extra two or three hours working on the house or helping with homework or fixing what's broken. Those are like regular season games. Nobody really cares about that stuff. It's expected. You're expected to fix the garbage disposal. You're expected to put new brakes on the car. But when the lights come on and the little red light shines do you perform? When the weight of a franchise is resting on your shoulders are you at your best? When the tough questions come up, are you parenting right? 

This past weekend was the 4th of July. We spent a good portion of the weekend in Cincinnati. It was nice. We took in a Red's game and spent time at an aquarium. I was proud of my oldest daughter when during the National Anthem at the ballgame I saw her put her hand over her heart and genuinely show respect. It wasn't to long ago that we'd had a conversation about our country and the men and women who've served and sacrificed for us. It wasn't exactly a conversation, it was more of a dad yelling at daughter thing, but on Saturday I was proud of her. And it made me feel like, at least on this day, that I'd taken my team to the playoffs. 

Put in a full day...

It seems like I've been doing a lot of yelling lately, both out loud and in my head. Maybe if you ask my family they'll think it's no more than usual, but these past four months have been a roller coaster of emotions for me. It seems like as I get older me and roller coasters don't mix to well. 

Jim Valvano said in his 1993 ESPY speech that we should do 3 things every day. We should laugh. We should spend time in thought. And we should have our emotions moved to tears. He said that's a full day, if we laugh, cry, and think. I feel like these last four months I've had more full days than ever before.  

Photo Credit

Time Travel...

I spent majority of my day today traveling back in time. Not literally. Today I went through and deleted old emails from my phone. Long story short I'd reached over 10 thousand e-mails in my inbox, and it was driving me crazy. I'm a bit OCD sometimes and today was one of those days that they had to be deleted. Right. Now. Some of the emails I'd read previously, but most were junk. It was like traveling back through time as I re-read emails from nearly five years ago. Comments people had made on my blog, on Facebook, and e-mails between the DW and I. It made me think I wished I could go back and redo some of the events of the past few months. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Why Don't Bad Guys Ever Win???

Ask me about my youth and I'll tell you of a boy who had a hard time growing up. A boy who at his core struggled with confidence and discipline. Ask me about being a teenager and I'll tell you my struggles continued, which led me down many a wrong path. 

Why don't bad guys ever win???

In my youth my struggles with discipline, parental guidance and overall authority quickly got me labeled. I wasn't exactly a bad guy but I wasn't winning either. 

My son asked the question the other day, why don't bad guys ever win? I wasn't sure how to answer him. Real life logic tells us that bad guys, truly bad guys, like bullies and politicians win all the time.

Then one day someone comes along... 

Ask me about my wife and I'll tell you that she's an amazing, beautiful woman. I'll tell you that after 13 years of marriage I'm still crazy about her.

Bad guys don't win in movies or in life because in the end they make bad decisions and wrong choices. Or maybe it's because they never meet someone that changes their life forever....