#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vague Differences Between Protecting and Sheltering

stormtrooper real fab four

I might be prone to excessive examination at times.

VEspecially 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.

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Teenagers

stormtroopers guns labels

So, my friend Tiffany wrote about teenagers a while back.

TIt 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.

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#AtoZChallenge: N is for the New Plan

stormtrooper r2d2 charge cord

What do you think of those Facebook memories things?

NCrazy, 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?

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How to Recognize Your Past to Appreciate Where You Are

stormtrooper egg easter candy

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.

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Go Ask Daddy About firewood, Kickass quarterbacks, and loooong shots

stormtrooper skateboard skater

We tell the kids stuff not to do all the time. Here’s 42.

GAD GRAPHIC

  1. Don’t eat cookies in bed. Share them on the couch with dad.
  2. Don’t leave the door open!
  3. Don’t leave the fridge open.
  4. Don’t drink daddy’s soda.
  5. Don’t drink daddy’s rum.
  6. Don’t play your saxophone after eating a KitKat.
  7. Don’t run in the street.
  8. Don’t pick the cat up by the tail.
  9. Don’t text in church.
  10. Don’t quote Macklemore songs in church.
  11. Don’t use your tablet after you’ve eaten a rack of ribs.
  12. Don’t yell, “don’t listen to coach!”
  13. Don’t wear sweatpants with words across the arse.
  14. Don’t wrestle by the fish tank.
  15. Don’t leave your soccer ball at the bottom of the stairs.
  16. Don’t use a throw pillow as a placemat.
  17. Don’t spit sunflower seeds in the living room.
  18. Don’t retaliate for a foul.
  19. Don’t leave bubble gum in your pockets.
  20. Don’t talk to the refs.
  21. Don’t pick your nose if the Kiss Cam is going.
  22. Don’t grab a catfish around the fins when you’re taking the fishhook out.
  23. Don’t use the same hand to eat Double-Stuft Oreos as you do for baiting your hook.
  24. Don’t change the station if Electric Light Orchestra is on.
  25. Don’t sneak pizza slices into your jacket pockets at CiCi’s.
  26. Don’t fall down in the shower the morning of game day.
  27. Don’t try to call time out in a soccer game.
  28. Don’t pop more than three M&Ms, or any candy, in your mouth at once. Savor them.
  29. Don’t root for the Seattle Seahawks, externally.
  30. Don’t let go of the Wii remote.
  31. Don’t pass up a chance to watch soccer on TV. Or in person.
  32. Don’t walk barefoot in a dog park.
  33. Don’t disparage your president, the pope or Kesha.
  34. Don’t put an egg in the skillet, and go upstairs to paint your nails.
  35. Don’t pay retail for banana chips.
  36. Don’t forget to stand up for your friends. And even those who aren’t your friends.
  37. Don’t sing or cry with your mouth full. In church, at least.
  38. Don’t skimp on the cheese.
  39. Don’t forget mother’s day.
  40. Don’t say anything bad about Samantha Ponder within earshot of daddy.
  41. Don’t drink dad’s rum when it’s in his Coke (Thanks for this, John).
  42. Don’t burn crepe myrtle.

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A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal: Unfinished Business

a to z reveal lead stormtrooper

Last night, I was late to kickoff.

theme reveal 2017Of 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.

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Go Ask Daddy About Pizza Placement, Tropical Trappings and Straight Shooting About Strawberries

#GoAskDaddy
photo credit: M’sieur Sub ! Photo de famille via photopin (license)

We have this silly rule, the kids and me.

GAD GRAPHICIt’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:

“I’m hungry.”

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.)

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Go Ask Daddy About Undergear, Chinese Manufacturing and the Battles That Can Rage in Our Mouths

gad-lede-2-23
photo credit: DocChewbacca Sacred Water of Fuji Temple via photopin (license)

We’ll get our new kits today.

GAD GRAPHICThat’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.

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On Positivity, Peace, and not Politics (Not Really, Anyway)

possibility-lead
photo credit: Zeljko Stjepanovic Maybe it’s another drill via photopin (license)

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.

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5 Words I Know (That My Kids Know I Shouldn’t Know)

words-lede
photo credit: Thorsten-Koch Stormtrooper in Vienna via photopin (license)

Here’s the thing – I don’t know what a story is.

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.

I’m not young.

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