The Best Way Through? Write On


timeout lead
photo credit: Dogtrooper via photopin All rights reserved by the author

In soccer, there are no timeouts.

Life’s like that, too. I struggled over the timeout I tried to call Friday. It’s been a weekend. It started with the ultimate blogger whine of “I can’t do this right now” and led to other failures and misfires. Among them were:

  • A lost parking pass
  • A dollar-store cool-looking charging cord that doesn’t actually charge
  • The decision to actually write a Monday post at 1:09 a.m

I like that there are no timeouts in soccer, though.

There are few timeouts in life. Things keep rolling. Planets spin and Broncos win and my Stormtrooper cup constantly needs refilling.  It’s like that in parenthood.

You have to wait for those chances the ball goes out of bounds to catch your breath.

timeout rest
photo credit: sleepy polar bear via photopin (license)

I smartly heard a coach for a club I don’t care much for yell to his players “get where you belong first, then rest.”

You look for those moments to catch your breath. Sometimes, it’s just for a moment, when your sidekick horses around on the No. 11 tee pad with a huge tree branch she found. Or when she stops to snap pictures of moss growing on the trees. And then, you notice the moss, too.

When that ball flies out of bounds, you don’t have time, but you assess.

You realize your baby is now a senior in high school. Not the freshman phenom (maybe her sister will be?), but a tried and true leader, THE goalkeeper, and the homecoming queen.

That her sister will be a teammate. She’s a freshman with an upperclassmen’s glare. I like that.

timeout growth
EP

And also that the youngest is now into double digits for age. That she’s in that beautiful age when intelligent conversation roams about, but also hand-holding and all-around general snuggling-type activity.

Big enough to think, small enough to need her dad. And boy, does her dad need her. It’s been a wonderful ride with that kid.

Not that I will them to stay small.

I revel in their growth. Seen and unseen. To see one so in love. To watch another heighten her beast skills. Yet another dump out a box of LEGOs when I’m around. It takes time to create and build and it leads to time together and great conversation. And if we can’t stop this world from spinning, at least we should create and build and love and grow.

I kiss my girls on the forehead a lot. The middle girl said, “why do you always have to smile at me and kiss my face?”

“When you have kids, kiddo?” I tell her, “then you’ll know why.”

With no timeouts, even.


 

There Goes My Heart, a post by Michelle Terry on her blog, Lipstick and Laundry served as inspiration for this post.

timeout quote

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55 Replies to “The Best Way Through? Write On”

  1. There’s nothing like being a parent-I’ve learned so much from my kids. Seeing them as young adults in their twenties, but still wanting to be needed, I think, is the life right now. Thank you for sharing this. You’re right, “life has no time outs.” Brilliant post!

    1. It changes you, doesn’t it? Kids transition into such independence, but if we’re lucky as parents, they never forget their path back.

      Thanks for the kind words. I was uncertain where it would go.

  2. A little bird told me there is a new post to read around here 🙂

    In hockey there are 30 second time outs. And yesterday that time out led to a tie with only a few seconds to go, and our team ultimately lost. But the time out, the goal and the opportunity to play overtime (even if they were shorthanded which killed them – I digress) was totally worth it.

    I do think there are time outs in life – but you have to be your own coach and actually call them deliberately on a regular basis. Like that half day of no interruptions per month.

    Good to see you back, Coach Daddy!

  3. You think your kids are great, and you love to smile at them and kiss them on the forehead? Well, all I can say is you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, and are in for a real treat when your grandchildren come along in future years. There is nothing like it when your three year old granddaughter hugs you around the neck so hard you can’t breathe and then says, “I love you to the moon and back Grandma.” (LOL well, in your case Grandpa or Poppy) or your 18 month old grandson gives you the biggest grin and then throws his arms around your knees. So blessed to be a parent and grandparent 😀

  4. Glad you were able to write your way back. While we can take a timeout from blogging or working or some other specific thing, life still goes on for everyone else. If only we could all take a time out at the same time! 🙂

  5. One of the best questions I can imagine a kid asking us, Eli. Well done on raising those kids with such lovely sets of questions in their heads and I’m glad to see you back on here in your usual rare form!

  6. I’m glad you found inspiration to write. Being a parent is a great experience. Before I was one I didn’t realize just how much they would teach me. I hope your girls never grow out of accepting forehead kisses. My younger son will be 10 this week and he’s still a snuggler… my 13 year old son is adept at dodging hugs and kisses so I’m getting better at sneak attacks.

    1. Me too, Janna. Being a parent defines me more than all else, writing included. The lessons are about 50/50 between a parent and their kids.

      I often must sneak-attack to get the kiss in. I’ve been given the stipulation that it cannot be messy.

  7. Ahhh, this might be one of my favorite posts you’ve ever written. You’re very philosophical at 1:00 a.m. 🙂

  8. The forehead kisses.. yes. I always think that I’d want someone to do that for me, and I can’t resist doing it for both kids. Cheeks too. Especially Des with his baby-ness still somewhat intact. He just thinks he’s big.
    But yes, we can’t stop the world from spinning and all we can do is revel in it.

    1. It’s quintessential, isn’t it? My forehead also isn’t often kissed. Cheeks either. I think I’m here to do that kind of kissing, not to receive it.

      Just wait until Des gets all angular. I just hope he maintains the coolest collection of T-shirts in the free word.

      I’m just gonna hang on and write, Tamara. Feeling retro – like, to capture that vibe I felt a year ago now, when life was so good.

  9. I think we all need a time-out sometimes whether we get them or not- from blogging, for parenting, from life. No shame in that. Beautiful post.

      1. Hope it sorts. As for writing, I took about a month off from the blog. It was … odd. But good. I’m ready to get back to it now. I figure when it starts to feel chore-like, that’s a sign.

        All the best!

  10. Life is pretty boring when you spend all your time on the fairway. We are i between stages with our two boys. The 8 year old is done with toys while his 4 year brother still wants him to play. One has just outgrown Disney Jr. Cartoons while that’s all the other watches. Whatever time you wrote his should become your regular writing time. Apparently writer’sblock doesn’t stay up as late as you do.

  11. We seem to share a common theme – the need for time to reflect and recharge. While you’re writing on…I’m watching for stars! Either way, we’re moving forward while living in the “now” – that’s what really counts! Blessings.

    1. I think the time to reflect happens maybe too much for me? Life goes on and writing goes on, that’s what I’ve learned. The now doesn’t always feel forward, but it’s now. blessings to you too, Jenn.

  12. I’m a rebel by nature I guess: I’m hitting that pause button. I’ll force that time out – LOL. I don’t know if that quite gives you the quality you might be looking for though; as it’s not “organic” so to speak. I guess it’s more important to know that when I do that… it is time to Just Breathe. Recenter. Focus. From there is where the magic happens – hopefully. And this was magical. 🙂

    1. You take better care of yourself than most, Rore. You’re much more self-aware than we in the masses.

      What’s really organic? Breathing isn’t the issue (unless it’s right at bedtime), but the spontaneous sighs that escape in a day.

      I got good and angry yesterday, but a bout with yoga cured that! Yoga and anger don’t mix.

      Here’s to a hope to stumble into some magic soon.

      1. I can’t take all the credit – I certainly didn’t come out of a box this way, and definitely had some help along the way. I’ve been listening to some of Anand Mehrotra’s talks and I find him so helpful. He has one called “Emotions Series” and it has one on anger too. But I really like the one on Fear; that was a big one for me. You can find his videos under Sattva Yoga on YouTube.

      2. I will definitely check it out. I’ll try anything. I used to feel like I had a little wisdom, a little humor. Now, I find it hard to seek wisdom or find humor. Seems like there should just be a spark plug to replace or carburetor to clean out.

  13. What a beautifully written post, Eli. I could feel your full heart in and between the lines. You have no idea how honored I am that you would reference my piece. Like you, there is nothing that makes my heart beat like my children.
    As for the timeout, I’m happy you didn’t leave us. I understand – I truly do. Whenever that feeling to disappear engulfs me, I usually walk away for at least a few hours or days, engage in my “real” life, and let the emotions even up a bit. There is a power to ‘writing yourself through’ – thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    1. Thanks Michelle. There’s always a story between the lines. I’d socked away the link to your piece because I knew I wanted to write on it – Sunday was the day.

      I think a trap with our kids is that we don’t think twice about bragging on them in ways we’d never brag on ourselves.

      Times become so rocky at times that you want to let go of even the things that mean most to you, just to brace yourself, but in my case, I realized writing wasn’t something I could drop, because it wasn’t a possession, it was part of who I am.

      The emotions threaten to get the best of me when I *don’t* write. My journey feels like it has purpose again.

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