I feel like I have lots of mileage for a dude who just wrote how he’s halfway there.
If stop-and-go city driving miles push a car to the auto salvage yard quicker than country miles, maybe parenthood miles push a dad to pasture quicker than childless men’s miles. I’d so much rather take on the wear and tear than not to take this path, though.
Rather than a car, I am, as a dad, more like a skillet with age.
The seasonings of use and heat and duress enhance it for the next meal. I’m better off for that. I can look back at the men I meant to be for my girls that have fallen off along the way like pine needles on a Christmas tree when you strap it to the roof of your car with the tip pointing forward, not the trunk.
I know this. In the middle of the night, I must choose: Start on my post I wish I’d written earlier, or get to my reading routine? I have a reading routine. It’s complex and it’s regimented, and tonight, I’m actually choosing the more selfish path – I will write this, rather than read more blogs.
However, I hope that by sharing some recent blogs I’ve read, I’m bending the karma.
I’m in a vortex of incredible work. It comes from the A to Z Challenge, but also the top six commenters on my blog. I find great reads in the WordPress bloggers I follow. And I’ve just joined a Facebook group, small in number and perfect in tone, to associate with.
Always have. At first, it was Judy Jetson, then Ms. Truesdale, the kindergarten teacher’s aide. All of a sudden, I’m drinking whiskey, eating sunflower seeds and writing blog posts about seven famous women I want to sing cheesy duets with.
Just like that.
Two years ago on the company trip, I sang La Bamba. Sally, the tall, winsome blonde from our Dallas office, swayed back and forth, stage left, and let me take center stage. I might as well have been the Mexican Mick Jagger. (Meek Yagger, as it were.)
I’ve crammed to the edges an entire day with Chick-fil-a chicken minis and meetings that flew over my head. I included lunch with a co-worker and a roast beef sandwich that got some looks as I walked with it on a plate. It ended with Rogue One and an episode of Hawaii 5-0.
And now, when normal men would check sports scores (Nuggets and Rockies win!) or gawking at their favorite Weather Channel meteorologist (Hi, Kelly Cass), I’m starting a post for the letter J in the A to Z Challenge, hours after Australian bloggers have put their posts to bed for the day.
Trying not to jinx myself, but I’m not that sleepy. I’m jumping right into this post, hoping to hit the jackpot for what I want to say. Today’s J-word is justification for the blogging life, and my 12:52 a.m. start time for this post ought to be exhibit A.
Like, when I’m awake. Between meals, or during, actually. I wonder what a psychiatrist would say about that. For today’s A to Z Challenge, I went with, “what would go on your dream ice cream sundae?” I wanted to keep it light today and went with dessert.
But not light dessert – because that’s just gross.
I set out to ask my girls what would go on their dream sundaes. I checked in with Madison, the college girl, first. She, like me, keeps a quadrant of her brain trained on food. It’s what we do.
Her answer might or might not surprise you – but it’ll show you the ice cream scoop doesn’t fall far from the counter. A shit ton of chocolate said she, and gummy worms.
Three cities, technically. And all three play soccer in three different towns, too, sprawled from the Appalachian Mountains to the Carolinas Piedmont. I’m in halfway through it all, one daughter engaged, another a budding star in high school and club soccer.
The third – who knows what limits she’ll push, in a greenhouse or on stage or with a ball at her feet.
It gives the illusion of my importance in being halfway there. I’m not lifting my youngest to my shoulders for a ride, but not yet ready to give away my oldest to her future groom. Take your time, I urged them the day they showed us the ring. Take your time.
Some days, a dude’s gotta eat. You know what I’m saying?
You just can’t wait to get home, soak in a hot shower, pull on some Avengers pajama pants and eat. Not just anything. Not a fist full of Saltines or – yuck – kale chips. You need scrumptious, on a day getting your arse handed to you on the soccer pitch or you forget to wear a belt all day long.
It’s not just after a rough ride that you’d like a plate of mouth-stuffing goodness.
Hell, when the Rockies bullpen holds a lead, or I get to work in less than an hour, or I see tons of commercials with Erica Piccininni in them, or your scrappy soccer team gives the conference champs all sortsa hell and high water, well, that makes you hungry, too.
It’s eight – times something. Eighty? Eight thousand? Eighty-eight thousand? That depends on if you count car keys and wallet as two things, left behind regularly, or one for every time. I wouldn’t want to do that math.
If God had a cosmic lost-and-found bin, even The Great I Am would assess me a storage fee.
I’ll forego listing the plastic dinosaurs I buried beside my house just before dad put on a sidewalk, or the UNC Charlotte sweatshirt left on the bus in Louisville. Same, too, for the stormtrooper Tervis, the actual stormtrooper from my youth, a few tons of innocence …