Let me rephrase that. I love the female spirit. I mean, yeah, I love Elizabeth Banks and Kesha and also that woman who plays Jack’s wife in the Jack in the Box commercials, but I am also an appreciator of the work and substance of woman.
X is for xenogenous, which means, of an outside cause.
Writing on courage – that’s what I’d like to do now, and I’ve considered spelling courage X-C-O-U-R-A-G-E so I can get down to it. Instead, I’ve chosen an X word – xenogenous – which I bet no one else has, and I’ll use it like a rebound romance to get to where I want.
My status as a man means that I must appreciate the courage of a woman from a xenogenous perspective. (see what I did there?)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
As a soccer coach, I’d love it if the tradition of root beer and a Cubano sandwich became post-game routine. I know that won’t happen, unless I make it work for myself. (Coaches who maintain a set approval rating could upgrade to cold beer and a Monte Cristo.)
Here’s 42 reasonable (and some unreasonable) items on this coach’s wish list.
In the midst of a work post, the utter stubbiness of my attention span – and ability to comprehend anything not about food, soccer or Star Wars – couldn’t be ignored. “They didn’t have as much stuff for you to learn back then,” Grace piped up.
“And they didn’t have all the ways we could learn stuff back then.”
Immediately I saw myself in my sabre-toothed tiger jumper, all Paleolithic-like in a schoolhouse like the ones on Little House on the Prairie. Oh, these kids.
It’s in the teams I coach. It’s in my teammates at work (of whom I’m old enough to be a big brother.) It’s constant, with my girls. Especially its evident on graduation day. One hundred-three seniors let fly their caps on Saturday, and look where one landed?
Grace served as an enthusiastic (and sassy) human hanger for Elise’s cap and gown.
Youth’s also still within me. I might creak and groan when I get up. Maybe I can’t cover ground the way I once did. I’m just as good once as I ever was, as the song goes. At times, I’m an old car with a fresh tank of gas, and that’s good to go.(That’s Elise, by the way, in the background, in the peach dress.)
Not always. I’ll still take my burger with cheese and bacon – and nothing else. Don’t let ketchup muddle up a piece of art. I like traditional pizza toppings – keep the barbecue chicken and sun-dried tomatoes on your California pie, mate. Notre Dame’s helmet. Acoustic anything.
Yet, those splashes, you know?
It’s just a dab of product in your hair. Vanilla in your waffles. (Just a capful, especially when you add a tablespoon of brown sugar.) It’s blue duct tape holding one headlight on my white Grand-Am. (That’s badass.)