Yes, 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.
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?
So, my friend Tiffany wrote about teenagers a while back.
It 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.
There are all kinds of convergences going on around here.
We’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!)
He 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.)
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.
It 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.
What do you think of those Facebook memories things?
Crazy, 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?
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.