#AtoZChallenge: W is for What Fatherhood Did

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You guys, I’m not usually this ultra-focused.

WYes, there are moments during the World Cup, or when I’m picking out cheese at the grocery store. In the past few days, fatherhood – and parenthood – have hunkered down, front and center, in most of my thoughts. And writing.

Fatherhood did many things for me.

Do you know Dana Schwartz? She’s a terrific writer who posted about how motherhood obliterated her. Such poignant words, such a vast feeling. Beautifully honest. How utterly unprepared we are at this parenting game.

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#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vague Differences Between Protecting and Sheltering

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I might be prone to excessive examination at times.

VEspecially when it comes to the philosophical, or soccer, or cheese. So many moments as a dad, acting in the moment and considering the impact later, at night, when I should be writing or sleeping or at least eating graham crackers.

Who am I kidding? I’m eating graham crackers anyway.

As I vacillate between the college kid soccer girl and the high school soccer girl and the budding musician/soccer girl, happy to have spots in their worlds, I think about how I parent, vague (or subtle?) differences in what we do.

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#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves

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I’d wanted to write, during this A to Z Challenge, about my girls’ stuffed animals.

UAll 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?

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Teenagers

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So, my friend Tiffany wrote about teenagers a while back.

TIt was more than two years ago. I kept the link because even back then, I lived among the mess of a life with two teen daughters – then 17 and 14. It was as if Tiffany, who writes Sounds Like Life to Me, had looked into our window. Tiffany even included comic strips depicting life with teenagers.

You know, those awkward yet lovable collections of our DNA and parenting skills and 80% other factors we have no control over.

Teenagers are like those cool tropical fish you get after you’ve mastered goldfish.

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#AtoZChallenge: S is for Six Words

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photo credit: Kalexanderson Preparing for christmas via photopin (license)

There are all kinds of convergences going on around here.

6 words graphicWe’re up to the letter S in the A to Z Challenge. That’s the spot where my six words post will fit in – although it’s a few days earlier than I’d let on to friends (if you have an outstanding invitation, don’t worry – I will add them after this posts!)

For those of you who don’t know about six words

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#AtoZChallenge: R is for Blogger Recognition

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Lots of you know Eric.

RHe writes a dad blog called All in a Dad’s Work. He’s a good dude and an Orioles fan. (It could be much worse.) He and I share tons of common friends. He writes a post called Go Ask Your Father, which looks a lot like Go Ask Daddy. He’s a good guy.

(My lawyer says I should ask for a taco for every Go Ask Your Father post he publishes. I like the idea of getting tacos mostly.)

Eric nominated me for a blogger recognition award long ago. When these things happen, I give thanks and disclose my plan to someday – someday – do the challenge, whether it’s posting pics or writing underwater, etc.
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#AtoZChallenge: Q is for Quote Challenge

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Quotes are kind of like recycled words. Right?

QLaura from the blog with the longest and coolest name ever – The Real Adventures of Becoming (Whatever This Thing is That I Am Presuming is the Authentic and Genuine) Me – nominated me for a quote challenge, around the turn of the century.

It’s about time to pay the piper.

Here’s how it works: I will share with you three quotes, and nominate three bloggers to do the same. I’ll go one better, and share a story with each one. Because I’m a notorious non-follower of rules (except when it comes to the speed limit).

I chose these quotes at random from the hundreds I’ve used at the bottom of posts.

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#AtoZChallenge: P is for Too Many Projects, Not Enough Time (a Guest Post from Kathy of the Second Half of My Life)

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I will never catch up.

PSome of my friends will never understand that. They can’t fathom a life of to-dos and deadlines and commitments and unexpected obligations that pack the hours of 6 a.m. to midnight and sometimes beyond.

When does soccer end? they’ll ask.

They might not understand that after a work shift that starts before business hours and after a day truncated by travel and training schedules that sometimes I look at my phone and can’t even imagine trying to tap out anything cohesive on that tiny keyboard.

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#AtoZChallenge: O is for One Day from Payday Spicy Skillet Chicken

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Just one more day.

OIt gets that close sometimes. It’s the day before payday, the man has taken most of your take-home, and, well … the kids insist on dinner. Rather than break out the plastic to break bread, I’ve found another way – and I suspect you have too.

Inspiration often comes from the show Chopped.

Last week, I nabbed a pack of chicken from the freezer (cut into tenders and stored in zip-lock bags, because we’re out of freezer bags), and mulled over the random assortment of canned goods and other tat lining the shelves.

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#AtoZChallenge: N is for the New Plan

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What do you think of those Facebook memories things?

NCrazy, right? The damn site looks back at what you posted a year ago. It’s like finding a stormtrooper figure in the pocket of shorts you haven’t worn since last summer. Or, something. (This happened to me last week, I confess.)

Depending on the user and the posts, they’re also a peek into our former selves – or current selves, if we’re still in the same currents.

Spring’s often been a time of loss for me, and only sometimes could I blame another slow start from my beloved Rockies. (Who are in first place at the time of this hacking, I might add.)  It’s also, then, a time of renewal, right? If we’re looking with a positive light?

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