What do you mean I can’t go to my sister’s school performance dressed like this?
I have often joked that if Hollywood made a movie about my life, the actor that would play me would be whoever is best at walking around the house turning off lights and forgetting to put a new trash bag in the can. It’s funny how paying an electric bill can turn you into your own father. I used to always wonder what the big deal was during the summer when he would yell at us to SHUT THE DOOR! Now any time a door is open for more than 4 seconds it just looks like a $10 bill waving goodbye. So I get it dad. It took me a while but I totally get it.
I also get that sometimes you need to let your kid help with a home repair project even if all you let them do is hold the flashlight and sigh when the space in the cabinet under the sink goes dim right as you get a grip on the part of the disposal you were working on just to see your kid shining the flashlight into their mouth to see if it will come out of their ears and nose. Sometimes being a dad means you have to take your daughter into a public bathroom and answer questions about the urinal or suck it up and smile while you fork over $18 for a bag of popcorn at the circus. Other times being a dad means you have to tell them no when they want to put lip stick on the dog or bring the fish with us to the grocery store, “can’t we just put them in a bag like when we brought them home from the pet store?”
For me, being a dad of daughters means that sometimes I have to ease out of my comfort zone and play “bad cop” even when they act like not letting them push the button on something just ruined their entire life. It also means helping find missing shoes and honing my negotiation skills trying to talk my little one into putting down the magic marker. It can be about explaining why you can’t just put down a Popsicle on the table because climbing onto the kitchen counter requires both hands and it can be about threatening to turn the car around and drive home when you are 4 hours into a drive to Disney World and back seat sibling rivalry has reached an apex.
Being a dad can be about cleaning up messes and saying no and checking prices of diapers on Amazon instead of perusing watercraft on boattrader.com. Fatherhood can include all kinds of stuff that I could deem “weak” but guess what? Those kind of problems are like hardly having enough room on your bedroom floor to set up the GI Joe Aircraft carrier. They pale in comparison and are blown away by the awesomeness of fatherhood. The sweet always outweighs the weak. The good guys always win.
Being a dad means you get to freak your wife out with stuff like this.
You see, being a dad means getting to carry 40 lbs of unadulterated happiness on your shoulders while you feel her ice cream cone drip on your head. It means seeing the magic that only lives inside of a Christmas morning smile. It means getting to be a hero, prince charming, and the guy that can make everything good again.
I’ve been a dad for 7 years and although I didn’t know it when I was a kid hoping to be a baseball player or an archaeologist (I spelled that on the first try by the way), this is what I wanted to be when I grew up. Being a dad means seeing tears dry when you kiss a boo-boo and standing alone in the street yelling “you’re doing it! you’re doing it all by yourself! keep peddling!” It means putting up a tent in the living room or making a pallet of blankets and watching an ordinary Friday turn into the greatest day ever.
I remember when I was a kid that no matter how bad I messed something up or how hard a task seemed, when dad came to help I knew it was going to work out. Now I get to be that guy. The one that in two little pairs of blue eyes, can do no wrong. I know it may only be in the opinions of my kids but I’ve got to tell you, it feels pretty awesome to be awesome. It can be a lot of work and the return on investment may not always translate on a spreadsheet but when the fruit of your labor is rewarded with smiles and cheers and “I love you daddy’s” there isn’t much this planet has to give that is any better.
I don’t do it right all of the time and agree that being a parent can be the hardest thing in the world sometimes but if I had any advice to share with other dad’s out there it would be to not rush past the pay off. Realize that what you do not only matters but it shapes those little people who call you daddy and has a pretty huge impact on the kind of people that they will become. Don’t let fatherhood feel like nothing but a job. Enjoy the pay-off of your labor. Smile with them, laugh with them, put a flashlight into your own mouth and see if it will shine out of your ears and nose. Recognize in the moment that this is what it is about and don’t rush onto the next. Take the time to make a snuggle sandwich and feel how they have the amazing ability to be the ones that make everything all right with you the same way you do for them. Those moments can heal you just like your kisses on scraped knees. Remember them, enjoy them, there is nothing sweeter.
Sure, go ahead and be the bad guy when you need to but remember, you’re not really going to turn the car around and drive all the way home so let those times be the ones you dwell in the least and then remember to slow down and enjoy the part where someone laughs at all of your jokes and somehow even an average guy like you is capable of magic.
Happy Father’s Day.
What can I say, I’m a pretty lucky guy. Doesn’t get much sweeter than this.
31 Comments | tags: daughters, Disney, family, Father's Day, fish, Happiness, humor, ice cream, magic, meme, mom, photography, root beer, sappy, Simon, sisters, star wars, sweetandweak | posted in Uncategorized
Being a Kid at any Age
I will be 34 years old later this month. Perception of that age lies solely in the beholder as I am still a spring chicken to many and old man river to others. I don’t have any issue with getting older and have been sporting that distinguished salt and pepper look for close to a decade now. One of the reasons I don’t worry about getting older is because by now I have realized that there is a part of me that remains a perpetual child. I do my fair share of grownup stuff like pay bills and taxes and schedule parent teacher conferences but even in a deep-sea of responsibility I cannot escape certain Peter Pan type tendencies. I don’t do these things as a concerted effort to “stay young at heart” but I know that they probably help. Here are some of the ways my inner child escapes no matter how old I get.
- If I stop at the grocery store on my way home from work I still get the kid cart with the race car because, hello? race car!
- Though not often down south, if I am ever driving and it starts to snow, I pretend I am taking the Millennium Falcon into hyper-space.
- The only downside to two daughters is toy shopping, that’s OK though, I bought a suction cup dart blow gun last week that is suuweet!
- BOO! If given the chance, I will always lurk in the shadows so I can scare you when you walk in. Then you will slightly pee yourself and I will crack up.
- Race Ya. To the mailbox, folding laundry, cleaning up toys, I am always up for a good race.
- Chasing the ice cream truck. This is way less embarrassing now that I have kids with me but one day I will be frantically searching for loose change in my room at the home when I hear that thing rolling up the street.
- Licking the spoon. (no explanation needed)
I could go on and on because to be honest I still probably do more kid things than grown up things but I will start the list with these and let you add your tips on staying young and feeding your inner kiddo. I once had a dream I was licking frosting off of the mixing spoon when I heard the ice cream truck coming down the street, I looked at my wife and she said “race ya” and it was totally sweet.
How do you keep from growing up?
I didn’t Know That was There Until it Hurt So Bad
Man, I am getting old. I know this because after working in the yard all day yesterday it hurts to type. Yeah you read that right, my hands are sore. As much as I may be a perpetual kid inside, there is no mistaking the fact that the new car smell has worn off and some of the features of this thing don’t work like they used to. I often joke about the 20-year-old me shaking his head in disappointment if he heard some of the things I say or think today. For example, I now place real value on something called a good night’s sleep. There is no escaping it, somewhere inside of me is a cardigan sweater, the faint smell of Ben Gay and the desire to cut out things from the newspaper. I hold that person at bay the best I can but here are some of the things that remind me that I am no spring chicken any more.
- When people come over I want them to take off their shoes and stand on our new memory foam bath mats.
- I researched toothbrushes online and read reviews.
- I know better than eating too many cucumbers. Ever get indigestion when you were 22? didn’t think so.
- I know that if I took acetaminophen 3 hours ago and my back still hurts, it is OK to take ibuprofen now.
- I know the names of different kinds of medicine.
- Food guilt. (Like standing over the sink inhaling leftovers at 11:45 at night and not being able to look in the mirror later.)
- WebMD isn’t just for finding gross pictures anymore.
- I walk down the cereal aisle and think “it can’t taste that different and 43 cents can really add up.”
- Having a birthday coming up makes me think about getting older instead of hoping I get a 4 wheeler.
Sadly, I can probably fill this list out faster than the first one. What are some things that remind you that you are getting older? Realizing it would probably be a good idea to invest in a pair of work gloves is totally weak.
313 Comments | tags: blogging, family, food, getting old, humor, ice cream, medicine, pain, parenting, Random, star wars, toys | posted in Uncategorized
Food used as dishes.
I am talking delicious broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl and fruit salad in a watermelon viking ship. Nothing says a cleaned plate like no more plate at all. Is there anything better than breaking off pieces of that taco salad tortilla bowl soaked in the residual awesomeness that has trickled to the base of your edible dish and infused its flavors into your once bland taco vessel? The ice cream cone is probably the king of edible dishes and for good reason. Sometimes I would rather scrape the towering two scoops off into a trash can and avoid the whole liking ice cream off of my elbows as it melts to enjoy the crunchy goodness of the cone. But alas, the cone only reaches it’s apex of cuisine once the ice cream has had the time to settle and fill every nook and cranny. Food as a dish makes me happy. Red bell peppers full of veggie dip, halved oranges full of sweet potato souffle, ground beef plates with hamburgers on top……wait. Food as a dish gives you a subtle assurance that once you are done with the thing you are eating, you don’t have to be done eating. That soup was good but this soup drenched bread bowl is the piece de resistance.
Little flashing lights.
If I dream about space it is because once the last light in my house is turned out for the night my bedroom looks like mission control for a shuttle launch. Two alarm clocks, multiple phone, ipad, camera, computer chargers, routers, monitors, etc. The list goes on and my wife and I often are up in the middle of the night turning things to face away from us or folding squares of paper to cover the lights. My favorite is hearing my wife ask “why did you move that chair?’ “What chair? I ask.” The desk chair that blocks the light from that usb thingy hanging out of the computer, you moved the chair about 3 inches and now the light is flashing right in my eyes while I try to fall asleep!” I hate to complain because I love technology (like a lot) and our household enjoys lots of conveniences and entertainment that technology brings but Jeez Oh Pete tech companies, you can design something that puts everything in the entire world in my pocket but we still have to have a little blinking green light waking us up at night?
5 Comments | tags: bread bowl, food, humor, ice cream, technology | posted in Uncategorized