I might be prone to excessive examination at times.
Especially 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.
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.
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?
A little more than a year ago, I stood outside with my 11-year-old as she took pictures of a rare winter landscape here.
“I am where I am,” I said, of course, in 27-degree weather wearing shark pajama bottoms with a curious child who goes out of her way to spend time with me. It’s also where I am, at the bottom of stairs looking up at where I hope to be or at least feel like I am someday.
Yes, you’re way down here, I told myself, but you’re looking the right direction.
Who knows what path I’ll take. But parenting, the divergent routes and surprises and development and growth and discovery of ourselves on the journey will power me upward. Meredith, who writes the blog The Mom of the Year, inspired this post.
Of no fault of my own, mind you. Our schedule set kickoff against the team we’d consider our biggest rivals – if we could beat them, that is. We set off to arrive at 5:15 for a 6 p.m. kickoff on the lush grounds of Gray Stone Day School.
Only, the game was to start at 4:30.
I let Gaby the reborn Pontiac Grand-Am take the country roads between us and them with patience and grace, not willing to imperil myself, my daughter or her teammate – or Gaby, really – because of a “miscommunication.” We’d get there in time.
It’s instituted because, 100% of the time, winter, spring, summer or fall, at night and by day, from school, from training, from detention (no, they don’t actually get detention), the girls, each of them individually and together, enter my car and my day with two words:
If there’s something on the way home, we’ll stop. (As long as we haven’t slumped into overdraft yet.) Grace has begun a subliminal campaign (whispering QT, for QuikTrip and their slushies and donuts, when she gets in the car with me.)
That’s soccer lingo for new uniforms. We’ll play our opener Monday. New kits, new coach, new season. I have a good feeling about it all. Every time I think it’s time to retire, something like this happens. Some place asks me if I’ll teach. And I say yes.
I’m particular when it comes to kits – I don’t have a say in this case, so I hope for the best.
I have a few hang-ups. Quirks, really. Harmless. I’m partial to prime numbers. That’s not so strange, but perhaps that I was once a fan of multiples of threes, then made the switch to prime numbers? Maybe that makes it strange.
I tried to hop back in the news cycle over the weekend.
Not a full-fledged jump, but just a peek, just a bit of what’s going on in the world beyond the scope of my new glasses frames. I’m out of practice, the as you know. I’ve traded in my NPR loves and headlines everywhere for audiobooks and meditation.
Y’all’s world? It’s nuts.
I haven’t felt that lost since … well, any math class I’ve ever taken. Severe lack of comprehension. I didn’t recognize the hashtags and references, the shots and pans. I saw little room for light and peace.
It’s on Instagram and SnapChat. Right? Maybe What’sApp, but that’s less likely. Anyway, I know it’s like a place where people can, I don’t know, write something like a blog post? It’s kind of a big deal, I gather. Yet, no, I don’t know its parameters.
That’s okay – I’m 45 after all.
Like the Washington Redskins, I sometimes get lucky, with the terminology. I coach teenagers and work with millennials. The most awkward thing I can think of this side of Elizabeth Banks reading my mind would be to appear to try to be acting young.