I really don’t know. What’s a dad supposed to do when he raises his girls to be strong, independent, decisive yet kind, compassionate, but at the same time calm-natured, and courageous enough to actually spread her wings and fly?
And then she does fly.
Or, she will. All the way to California. A 40-hour car ride you’ll take with her, your oldest girl, the first you fathered and coached. The girl you helped find that college home she wanted – just a place in the mountains where I can play soccer, she said.
You know. Staying in the present. It’s how I’ve managed to keep the train on the tracks when all else fails. I remind friends of this when they cling to the past or fret about the future. Frame where you are now, and be fully in it.
If one of those friends said that to me now, back, I’d see how impossible it feels.
Madison is moving to California next month. I’ll take a 40-hour road trip with my oldest and her cat, Munch. I wake up at 4 a.m. every day worried about it. But I’m getting better. She’s excited. I’m excited for her, and I’ll work extra hard to buy plane tickets to visit her early and often.
Not the first one. One of the last ones. Maybe the last one. There was this epic battle between the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex (sorry, my generation gave the big guy his due – no T-Rex) battled a mega super ultra mean swole somethingasaurus.
I kept thinking, what could they possibly do to top that?
And then this sea monster pops up and eats that bastard like he’s a potsticker. That’s kind of how 2020 is feeling right about now. You think you’ve wrapped your mind around your circumstance, and then … well, sea monsters.
I had an appreciation for an art appreciation prof.
Call it a crush if you must. But I have never had perfect attendance in any course I took in college, except for hers. I appreciated art, too, but I appreciated how she delivered it. And, you know, her.
Anyway, why fuss over the details?
I used to go to all the Saturday extra-credit visits she’d set up at the local museums. All the other boys were there, too. Some girls, too. But through all the haziness, the experience also enhanced my love of art, of all forms.
Feels like a far-off memory. And I’m not even talking about me. I’m the one who graduated during the Pliocene Era. I’m talking about our kids. They got out of school, then went on spring break (at home), and then learned they won’t be back until fall.
No more pencils, no more books …
Thing is, when you’re Coach Daddy, the learning don’t never quit. The questions keep rolling in. Most of these were from the past, picked from a list of about 200 at random. The most recent: the one about fried ice cream.
When we were kids, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was the bomb.
It was quite a hike. The zoo is literally on a mountain. In Colorado Springs. But when you’re young and spry, it doesn’t matter. We might not have done all the cool things the white kids in our neighborhood did, but this one was awesome.
As a dad, I got to bring my girls to zoos, too. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden. Greenville (S.C.) Zoo. North Carolina Zoo. Knoxville Zoo. Man, those are some great memories.
This is another prompt from the book 300 Writing Prompts. As you might have read, it’s a book a friend gave me when I left Red Ventures. I carry it with me everywhere. When I’m on a plane, I ask someone to pick a prompt for me to tackle.
It usually goes well, the ask.
The person who helped me with this one was in for a huge change in life. I’m going to send her the link to this, so I don’t want to give all the details. It was a great conversation and I have a feeling she’s doing wonderful things where she is.
I got sick of the normal X words. As if X words are normal. I’m sure somewhere someone is writing about xylophone adventures and xenophobia. More power to ya.
I say, let’s go with 10.
You know, the roman numeral for 10, X. Quick story here: I was a no-soccer-experience soccer coach at first. I made my own formations and positions, such as junker. (It was like a sweeping fullback, full of badass.)
You know, one that would have all the stuff I do. So I typed it all out. And it turns out, I’d have to reduce the font size to 0.0003 points, or expand the card to 37 cubic yards.
We have roles, y’all.
But there’s got to be one that stands out. That defines you, as much as you want a role to define you. At least, be the color you color with. A writing prompt in that book 300 Writing Prompts takes on this issue. And with help from my flying friend, Jeffrey, I took it on. (He doesn’t have wings, but he did sit next to me on the plane.)
Are you seeing this too? Some days are good. Some not. Like the Raiders’ draft history, there appears to be little rhyme or reason to it. But Wednesday? Wednesday, I felt calm. I felt … vital.
Walt Disney is a dude lots of you know, and he said something kind of profound about making dreams come true.
He cited 4 Cs – curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy. (I’d have added cheeseburgers, but he didn’t ask me.) The greatest of all, Walt said, was confidence. (Again, no opportunity to pimp cheeseburgers.)