I’d wanted to write, during this A to Z Challenge, about my girls’ stuffed animals.
All three have one that has meant something to them over the years. Haven’t we all? I had a stuffed dog I found in a park when I was a boy. I named him … boy. I loved him until he fell apart.
One of my girls loved a German Shepherd, so big she could use him as a pillow.
Another slept with a bear named Daddy. I last saw him tucked behind her headboard. Unceremoniously. A third girl kept a rasta monkey I won her at her bedside. I scrapped the idea, although to read the first four paragraphs here, you wouldn’t know it, right?
Instead, I’ll talk about unconventional loves.
We all have them. Maybe these animals – the bear, the German Shepherd, the rasta monkey – could be deemed unconventional loves. Just because my girls are such fierce girls today.
10 unconventional things I love
I nearly gave her up after it was reported she drank pee on a reality show. But I love her brand of brilliance. And I’m not even sure she really did do it. For as much as I love Diana Krall and Norah Jones, Kesha remains my unconventional musical love.
In an age when texting and Snapchatting became the norm, I prefer old longhand. Well, longhand in the digital age. There’s something to be said for an email exchange. It feels more personal. Also, I have a bigger keyboard to work with than texting.
3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
See, they came into vogue long after my childhood. But, I still took to them. Maybe it was their artist’s names – Donatello, Leonardo, Michaelangelo, and Raphael – or their love of pizza. They became my unofficial posse.
4. Kim Possible
Again, just an era outside my youth. Kim Possible represented all the coolness I wanted my daughters to have – long before I ever became a dad. Maybe she just showed up before her time. I love her, though.
My father one year came late to my birthday party because he had to work late. He brought me two Star Wars figures: Han Solo and a Stormtrooper. He’d taken the figures out of the packages and put the guns in their hands.
The best memory of that birthday was the thought of my dad fumbling around in his truck to do this. Stormtroopers here are in tribute to him.
6. Late nights AND early mornings
I work best when everyone goes to bed, up until and sometimes past midnight.I fall asleep often as I write, as a price to pay for that. I also love the early mornings, that 6 a.m. hour before everyone gets up. It’s when I write best, those two times.
7. Random generators
I wrote my first small fiction piece with the help of random generators, from personality types to names to places. I used them to formulate the premise for my next fiction endeavor, about a woman who strengthens her Christian faith through Buddhism.
8. My girls’ scraps
No, not pizza crusts, although those … those should get a spot on this list. Drawings the make, and discard. Clay figures. Craft projects that went awry. I keep them when I can. To me, they’re precious.
9. My Pontiac
She’s got lots of miles, chipped paint, and becomes petulant when I ask her to gear up to second on a cold morning. My mechanic says she’ll be good for another 75,000 miles if I take care of her. I will do all I can. I love that car.
10. Long commutes
I once used them to think. I then spent the time learning about the world on NPR. Then, the world, at least as the media fed it to me, lost my interest. Now, it’s filled with audio books or, even better, conversations with my daughters.
11. Meat-free Mexican food
When I go to restaurants, I’d prefer cheese enchiladas, with rice and beans, and a flour tortilla or two. I am a proud carnivore, but when it comes to my people’s food, I prefer the tastes of avocado, mole, cheese, beans, and rice. Delicious.
I love to coach, I love to converse with writers and my daughters. I love my family. I also love being away from it all, on a disc golf course, on a long ride, in moments of meditative reflection.
13. Myself. Just a little
I’ve come a long way. I’ve a long way to go. I find love and beauty in so many things, the least of which is myself. I’ve found grace in quiet moments, but still feel deep-rooted angst and discord. Gravity sometimes works against me.
I want for better. I want for happiness and peace. I want for knowing. I want for forgiveness, and forgiving. I notice the absence of these things at times. I hope that those of you whom I love will know that I do, always.
In an unconventional sort of way.
The rest of the A to Z to this point:
A is for Addiction to Devices
C is for Interview with a Cat
D is for Do What I Do and Eat What I Eat
E is for Eight Things I’ve Left Behind
F is for Foods That Bring Me Comfort
H is for Halfway There
I is for Ice Cream
J is for Justification for the Blog Life
K is for 7 Women I’d Sing Karaoke With
M is for Men I Forgot to Be
N is for the New Plan
Q is for Quote Challenge
R is for Blogger Recognition
S is for Six Words
T is for Teenagers