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?
It’s eight – times something. Eighty? Eight thousand? Eighty-eight thousand? That depends on if you count car keys and wallet as two things, left behind regularly, or one for every time. I wouldn’t want to do that math.
If God had a cosmic lost-and-found bin, even The Great I Am would assess me a storage fee.
I’ll forego listing the plastic dinosaurs I buried beside my house just before dad put on a sidewalk, or the UNC Charlotte sweatshirt left on the bus in Louisville. Same, too, for the stormtrooper Tervis, the actual stormtrooper from my youth, a few tons of innocence …
Like, red in the Colorado flag, to symbolize the state’s red soil. Or the Mandala, to stand for eternal harmony. Or even a blue star on the side of a silver helmet. This stands for a team allergic to playoff victories.
Symbolism isn’t lost on me in the kitchen, either.
Here’s the recipe for my Brown and White Sugar Waffles. They’re representative of my children, actually, part brown like dad, half white, like mom. In perfect harmony, ironed to light and crispy perfection, with a hint of vanilla.
Back in my day, there wasn’t such a thing as a spoiler.
Well, unless you went to see The Cannonball Run before everyone else and could tell your friends how Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. place in the race. So that was me, age 9, in the middle of a Greeley, Colo., movie theater, with mind blown.
Before mind blown was even a thing.
I was watching The Empire Strikes Back – Episode V, for you dinkledorphs who insist upon that – when one of life my life-altering utterances occurred right there on the big screen. [It was hokier than I remember. See it here]. When Leia tells Han that Luke is her brother.
Three girls. A blog following. Up, kind of. I’ve grown a sometimes-unruly mop of hair, eyes on potatoes, and a ragtag soccer team or three. Growing, though, isn’t always a slam-dunk. I’ve grown restless, I’ve grown weary, I’ve also grown impatient now and again.
I’m talking about a beard, guys. A magic potion that will help me grow something rad, a face rug that extends ear to ear, a beard worthy of lumberjack status. At least of Kenny Loggins or Kenny Rogers but probably closer to Roger Rabbit.
Would it shock you to hear that even though my blog has collected moss like a molasses-slow manatee, I feel more on top of my game than ever? I feel a better grip on my carry-on? I do.
I have faith that this wresting back of control will lead me to hit the publish button soon, and often.
I have ideas – with no expiration dates, thankfully. I still want to write about elephants. I have a Go Ask Daddy thisclose to finished. The six words express steams on. I’m in talks with fantastic writers about guest posts.
In all of the uniform fitting nights for all of the soccer clubs in America … she walked into the uniform fitting for the soccer club I’d been coaching for.
She’s Dana Mather, Crossfit trainer. That night, though, she was Dana Mather, matchmaker. As her sons tried on the club’s new kits, we talked soccer. Pay attention, and you can learn volumes about someone in a single, initial conversation.
My impression of Dana: Optimistic, energetic, in all the way in all she did.
Dana carries a quiet confidence that falls short of swagger, mostly because of her humility. A mom, wife, and athlete, Dana surprised me by asking lots of questions about my own coaching. That night, my coaching future was uncertain.
Part of the net gain we parents get from having kids is the comedic return.
You know. When they do or say something so abhorrently inappropriate you want to blog about it. (Or send it to Readers Digest, depending on your generation.) Thing is, I’ve told my kids I wouldn’t. Well, mostly. There was the time Grace yanked my soccer pants down at halftime.
Mostly, the embarrassing stories happen to me.
Do you know Katy, the Experienced Bad Mom? She writes a kickass blog. She told stories of things her kid did to make her laugh. One involved a bra. The other stemmed from first-grader handwriting, a virtual fountain of fun, if you know where to look.
My name and I made one bettor some green one Super Bowl Sunday.
I worked at the Hilton for Super Bowl XLII, between the yet unbeaten New England Patriots and New York Giants in 2008. A boisterous man, upon check-in, clapped his meaty hands together – Gator style, although I don’t know where he matriculated – when he saw my nametag.
“I’ve been wanting to bet on the Giants all day!” he broke his happy white-boy clapping to say. “Your name is Eli? This is a sign! I’m betting on the G-men!”
Hours later, the Giants, a 12-point underdog, pulled of a classic upset.
Life’s like that, too. I struggled over the timeout I tried to call Friday. It’s been a weekend. It started with the ultimate blogger whine of “I can’t do this right now” and led to other failures and misfires. Among them were:
A lost parking pass
A dollar-store cool-looking charging cord that doesn’t actually charge
The decision to actually write a Monday post at 1:09 a.m
I like that there are no timeouts in soccer, though.