How to Remain Kind (Even When the Universe has Assigned You to the Dipsh*t Quadrant)

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Waiting out a weather delay at Quail Hollow Club during the PGA Championship – on an ice cream cart. (Hayden Pacheco photo)

A bearded doofus stepped right in front of Hayden and me and a dozen other rain-soaked volunteers as we waited to board the bus last week at Quail Hollow Club.

A man short on words but high on intent drove a shoulder into my side as he sought a spot next to his wife and in front of me. A handful of other fellows jostled for position as we filed onto the bus, fighting for space that meant nothing – there was plenty of room.

Men, Hayden breathed out dismissively, and I couldn’t argue.

Embarrassing, not only for my gender, but for the human race. We’d volunteered to man an ice cream cart at the PGA Championship for the day, asking $5 for cherry explosion fruit ice and M&M ice cream sandwiches, and getting nothing but friendly responses.

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17 Ways I Know I’ve Done Okay as a Dad

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You might have come to conclusion I’m kind of proud of my girls.

It’s not all about athletic accomplishments, although that’s part of it. Their character emerges all the time, in moments especially when no one else can see. I’m most proud in those moments.

Those moments are by no means proof of parenting perfected, of course.

The book List Your Self For Parents (Andrews McMeel Publishing, by Ilene Segalove, Paul Bob Velick and Garreth Esersky) includes 90+ prompts for lists parents compile for a series of snapshots of life with kids. I’ve held a copy for years.

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Weekend Reads I: Travel, Nostalgia, Love

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photo credit: Chris Blakeley “I’ve got a bad feeling…” via photopin (license)

Who skips over a weekend, honestly?

I did. Not intentionally. There’s sometimes just not even cable cars to carry everything. I’ve tried to recognize just how many cable cars I have a day (or to-go boxes, whatever), and not overfill. Last weekend, that meant leaving Sunday reads behind.

I’ll share seven this week, spanning last week and the week before.

I’m doing this Friday afternoon, so those of you so inclined can check things out Saturday morning. I’ll be back at the soccer fields with Hayden’s team camp, grateful for a random stray Wi-Fi signal that allows me to turn the picnic area into an outdoor office.

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I Believe … XIII

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Stormtrooper in a Denver storefront. Photo courtesy of Rhea Merck

It’s been a while since I’ve done an I Believe post.

Not that I don’t still believe, because I do. Some days, it’s easier than others to see it. Every day, though, we carry with us beliefs. Mine pop up in conversation, email, texts, comment responses, court depositions.

Kidding on that last one.

What do you believe? I’m only slightly (and very slightly) embarrassed that probably 37 of 42 statements here are food-related. Forty-two, also, is not by accident. It’s supposed to be the answer to the universe.

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What Will You Do With the Treasure You Have Found?

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photo credit: DocChewbacca Scouting Ishigaki Beach via photopin (license)

Madison pounced like the keeper of old recently on a balmy night on the soccer field.

She’s not playing on a team anymore. Her injured hip couldn’t completely heal. The life of a goalkeeper takes and unforgiving toll sometimes. Trainers worked their magic, but ultimately the pain outweighed her ability to carry on full time.

A limp and grimace were all that remained.

This day, though, she dove, sprung and stopped shots in a workout with my high school team. She’s a legend to those girls, object of fables told to girls who came after her by girls who played with her.

Reports of yellow cards, 36-save matches (a school record), and college life.

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I Resent How Resentment Made Me Feel

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I said a ton of bad words in a tight time window.

Not as good as Jennifer Lawrence, but in the same area code. I’d just chucked one of my favorite discs into the abyss of ivy and pricker bushes, all because some dinkeldorf in the group ahead of me jacked up my throw.

The boy in the neon green tank top and his vaping doofus best friend were long gone to the next hole, far from earshot of the verbal assault.

Stupid !@#!% I muttered as I crunched over broken bottles and terrain that, to burrowing snakes, would look like prime real estate. You turned right around and saw my ass waiting for your slow, vaping asses to finish up, and you could have let me play through …

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Sunday Reads V: Authentic Living, Savvy Writing and Cookies You Won’t Believe Actually Exist

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photo credit: chris favero StormTrooper Bucket shot via photopin (license)

Never raise a hand to a child, I read once – it leaves your midsection unprotected.

Comedy writer Robert Orben said that. I’ve never raised a hand to any of my children. I have, however, left my midsection – from the bottom of my rib cage to my upper thigh – vulnerable. I’ve been kicked by kids in shopping carts a thousand times.

I should be writing this post in falsetto.

There are better, healthier ways for a dad to remain vulnerable. It’s crucial for us to exude strength to our kids; we often want to take it to the extreme, though. There’s a balance to discover, between The Terminator and The Cowardly Lion.

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Go Ask Daddy About Football Laundry, Wacky Words, and Our Next Outdoors Adventure

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Referees and me. Hmm.

GAD GRAPHICYou know me. I’m mostly the agreeable type. Sure, I mutter insults to people who tailgate me and blow past me on the highway – all while snapping chats on their mobiles. But for the most part? Live and let live.

Except for, maybe, refs.

Not all refs, mind you. I’ve had enough run-ins with our striped adversaries to write a post on it. I’d be itchy afterward, though. I don’t really want to get into it. How bad does it get?

I wouldn’t go to Sports Clips for awhile because the stylists wore referee shirts.

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No More Waiting for My Real Life to Begin

IMG_20170709_170402I’ve been hiding a long time.

I had to go with that opening line, because I’d promised someone I would. I’m glad, though, because this friend suggested it as we talked about how things are going for me now, and it perfectly tells the story.

No, I’m not coming out of the closet.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. You might have noticed more of a mindful bent on Mondays around here. I can’t help it. Between meditation on Wednesday, yoga on Friday (something old and new), and prayers for world peace on Sundays …

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Sometimes You’re El Maestro, Sometimes You’re Most Definitely Not

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I’m going to tell the team to call me maestro next season, I mentioned to Hayden.

It was in jest, of course. I’d been listening to Mitch Albom’s The Mighty Strings of Frankie Presto. In it, the main character calls his teacher, of course, maestro. Hayden gave me the look. No, she protested.

We could go with guru instead, I offered. They both mean teacher. (I had momentum.)

If you do, I’ll tell the school that you did something awful that you didn’t really do, Hayden threatened. And they’ll have to fire you. This, incidentally, ended the conversation. No maestro. No guru. Just coach, and I’m grateful to have that!

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