I really don’t know. What’s a dad supposed to do when he raises his girls to be strong, independent, decisive yet kind, compassionate, but at the same time calm-natured, and courageous enough to actually spread her wings and fly?
And then she does fly.
Or, she will. All the way to California. A 40-hour car ride you’ll take with her, your oldest girl, the first you fathered and coached. The girl you helped find that college home she wanted – just a place in the mountains where I can play soccer, she said.
That might sound odd to those who know me and my Coke Zero ways, but I’ve been in a lot of coffee shops in the past year or so. That’s where realtors like to meet, and I meet realtors to write freelance stories for a local magazine.
I’d just wrapped up an interview and stopped to sugar up my cup – and 30 minutes later, I had a new friend after an intriguing conversation.
Chelsea is an enthusiastic environmental educator, community organizer, and naturalist. I stole that from her LinkedIn profile because I struggled to categorize her with any semblance of brevity. She cares a lot, she does a lot, and she teaches.
You know. Staying in the present. It’s how I’ve managed to keep the train on the tracks when all else fails. I remind friends of this when they cling to the past or fret about the future. Frame where you are now, and be fully in it.
If one of those friends said that to me now, back, I’d see how impossible it feels.
Madison is moving to California next month. I’ll take a 40-hour road trip with my oldest and her cat, Munch. I wake up at 4 a.m. every day worried about it. But I’m getting better. She’s excited. I’m excited for her, and I’ll work extra hard to buy plane tickets to visit her early and often.
How many ideas – GREAT ideas – are milling around in your head?
I’ll wait … okay, so it’s not important to count them. But, why are they still ideas? I’m not passing judgment. I’ve got many crammed in my cranium too (and some aren’t so great.) When you can put an idea into motion, though …
That’s exactly what today’s guest on #GirlsRock did.
Meet Elizabeth Denham. Life has taken her on quite a ride, from the classroom and a first marriage to rediscovery, a second marriage and a new career. but it’s all led to her role as publisher of Franchise Woman magazine. Please give her a warm CD welcome.
Not the first one. One of the last ones. Maybe the last one. There was this epic battle between the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex (sorry, my generation gave the big guy his due – no T-Rex) battled a mega super ultra mean swole somethingasaurus.
I kept thinking, what could they possibly do to top that?
And then this sea monster pops up and eats that bastard like he’s a potsticker. That’s kind of how 2020 is feeling right about now. You think you’ve wrapped your mind around your circumstance, and then … well, sea monsters.
Sometimes, interesting parallels emerge in Go Ask Daddy questions.
They’re chosen at random. From a list of about 200. When the first two contained the words “alcoholic drink” and “crack cocaine,” I began to question the universe. Namely, what is intends for me. Then, more pressing … did my girls ask these questions, really?
Every week, I try to pick out five questions the girls asked (over years and years) to answer in this space right here. To continue the controversy, the Dallas Cowboys appeared on this list, too. And a doozy of a fifth question. Check it out.
But let’s be honest: The pandemic has me spending a tad more impossible income on spirits. I was disappointed the ABC store sold me a bottle of rum and tequila but didn’t serve them to me in paper sacks.
But it has cachaça, which isn’t on my Walmart pickup list. The Cherry Bourbon Smash sounds like it should have a holiday named after it. I learned a lot reading about this Easy Cherry Lemonade – and it just made me thirsty.
Hayden has extensive knowledge of drugs, thanks to a high school course. She rattles off facts about cannabis, ecstasy, and hallucinogens the way I did about Ankylosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops back in the day.
Cocaine comes in both powder and rock, kind of like there’s a Triceratops and a Zuniceratops which look similar.
They call it cocaine or coke when it’s a powder, and crack or crack cocaine as the rock. I looked up how it’s made, and I won’t go into it in detail, but it sounds a little like how you make rock candy. Which is kinda messed up.
They call it crack because it crackles when it’s cooked.
It’s pretty highly concentrated, so it’s possible to get addicted with just one dose. If you or someone you know might have questions about addiction, they can call the American Addiction Centers at 888-969-0144.
3. Why are they in church on Saturday?
Maybe they lost track of what day it is like I have.
More likely, they’re Seventh Day Adventists. They consider Saturday the sabbath, not Sunday. While some Christians go to church on Sunday, others consider it a true day of rest – like, you can even sleep in on Sunday mornings. I like that.
It’s like those calendars that sometimes start on Sunday, sometimes start on Monday.
Some Jewish folks have services on Saturday, too. Some Christians say they should church on Sunday because that’s the day of the week of Jesus’ resurrection. I was just a boy then, so I’m not positive.
In 321, Roman Emperor Constantine said everyone should rest on Sunday, which is why that’s the one day of the week I won’t clock in for anyone.
4. Who was the guy who jumped into the Salvation Army bucket?
It wasn’t Constantine (because it was on a Sunday.)
That distinction goes to Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott. He hopped into an oversized Salvation Army kettle at AT&T Stadium after a rushing touchdown against Tampa Bay. What a donation
I’ve written negatively about Elliott on this very blog, but I also don’t believe in condemning anyone for life because of something they did or allegedly did.
Elliott has a childlike view of the game that I totally appreciate. He leaped into the kettle and it gave the Salvation Army a good bit of playtime. He wasn’t fined for this, and I agree with that. Donations spiked after his leap, and Zeke made a donation of his own.
The Salvation Army said it got $850,000 in online donations after that – which would buy 91,000 meals for those in need.
5. Why does ‘fine’ sometimes mean something great, like fine dining, and sometimes just so-so-, like, ‘you did fine’?
One thing I’ve learned as a man is that ‘fine’ has a ton of meanings and connotations. You mentioned fine dining – that’s elegant. Think white tablecloths and prices in tiny print on a menu. ‘You did fine’ is the other end of the spectrum – like, meh.
If you say “that girl’s fiiiine,” it means something – and when you do it in front of your significant other, and aren’t talking about her, you might be told that everything is ‘fine.’
I’d rather just PAY a fine for my mistake. It’s a fine line between just appreciating the human form in the form of your friendly neighborhood restaurant server, and committing a major infraction of … appreciating the wrong human form.
I had an appreciation for an art appreciation prof.
Call it a crush if you must. But I have never had perfect attendance in any course I took in college, except for hers. I appreciated art, too, but I appreciated how she delivered it. And, you know, her.
Anyway, why fuss over the details?
I used to go to all the Saturday extra-credit visits she’d set up at the local museums. All the other boys were there, too. Some girls, too. But through all the haziness, the experience also enhanced my love of art, of all forms.
Feels like a far-off memory. And I’m not even talking about me. I’m the one who graduated during the Pliocene Era. I’m talking about our kids. They got out of school, then went on spring break (at home), and then learned they won’t be back until fall.
No more pencils, no more books …
Thing is, when you’re Coach Daddy, the learning don’t never quit. The questions keep rolling in. Most of these were from the past, picked from a list of about 200 at random. The most recent: the one about fried ice cream.
When we were kids, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was the bomb.
It was quite a hike. The zoo is literally on a mountain. In Colorado Springs. But when you’re young and spry, it doesn’t matter. We might not have done all the cool things the white kids in our neighborhood did, but this one was awesome.
As a dad, I got to bring my girls to zoos, too. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Greenville (S.C.) Zoo. North Carolina Zoo. Knoxville Zoo. Man, those are some great memories.
This is another prompt from the book 300 Writing Prompts. As you might have read, it’s a book a friend gave me when I left Red Ventures. I carry it with me everywhere. When I’m on a plane, I ask someone to pick a prompt for me to tackle.
It usually goes well, the ask.
The person who helped me with this one was in for a huge change in life. I’m going to send her the link to this, so I don’t want to give all the details. It was a great conversation and I have a feeling she’s doing wonderful things where she is.