#AtoZChallenge: W is for What Fatherhood Did

stormtrooper mask

You guys, I’m not usually this ultra-focused.

WYes, there are moments during the World Cup, or when I’m picking out cheese at the grocery store. In the past few days, fatherhood – and parenthood – have hunkered down, front and center, in most of my thoughts. And writing.

Fatherhood did many things for me.

Do you know Dana Schwartz? She’s a terrific writer who posted about how motherhood obliterated her. Such poignant words, such a vast feeling. Beautifully honest. How utterly unprepared we are at this parenting game.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: W is for What Fatherhood Did”

#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.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: V is for Vague Differences Between Protecting and Sheltering”

#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves

stormtroopers four.jpg

I’d wanted to write, during this A to Z Challenge, about my girls’ stuffed animals.

UAll 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?

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: U is for Unconventional Loves”

#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.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: T is for Teenagers”

#AtoZChallenge: R is for Blogger Recognition

stormtrooper stormtroopers four

Lots of you know Eric.

RHe writes a dad blog called All in a Dad’s Work. He’s a good dude and an Orioles fan. (It could be much worse.) He and I share tons of common friends. He writes a post called Go Ask Your Father, which looks a lot like Go Ask Daddy. He’s a good guy.

(My lawyer says I should ask for a taco for every Go Ask Your Father post he publishes. I like the idea of getting tacos mostly.)

Eric nominated me for a blogger recognition award long ago. When these things happen, I give thanks and disclose my plan to someday – someday – do the challenge, whether it’s posting pics or writing underwater, etc.
Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: R is for Blogger Recognition”

#AtoZChallenge: O is for One Day from Payday Spicy Skillet Chicken

stormtrooper skillet kitchen

Just one more day.

OIt gets that close sometimes. It’s the day before payday, the man has taken most of your take-home, and, well … the kids insist on dinner. Rather than break out the plastic to break bread, I’ve found another way – and I suspect you have too.

Inspiration often comes from the show Chopped.

Last week, I nabbed a pack of chicken from the freezer (cut into tenders and stored in zip-lock bags, because we’re out of freezer bags), and mulled over the random assortment of canned goods and other tat lining the shelves.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: O is for One Day from Payday Spicy Skillet Chicken”

#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?

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: N is for the New Plan”

#AtoZChallenge: M is for Men I Forgot to be

 

stormtrooper stand alone

I feel like I have lots of mileage for a dude who just wrote how he’s halfway there.

MIf stop-and-go city driving miles push a car to the auto salvage yard quicker than country miles, maybe parenthood miles push a dad to pasture quicker than childless men’s miles. I’d so much rather take on the wear and tear than not to take this path, though.

Rather than a car, I am, as a dad, more like a skillet with age.

The seasonings of use and heat and duress enhance it for the next meal. I’m better off for that. I can look back at the men I meant to be for my girls that have fallen off along the way like pine needles on a Christmas tree when you strap it to the roof of your car with the tip pointing forward, not the trunk.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: M is for Men I Forgot to be”

#AtoZChallenge: L is for the Last 3 Blogs I Read (and Why You Should, Too)

stormtrooper egg stormtrooper

Most of blogging ought to be reading.

LI 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.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: L is for the Last 3 Blogs I Read (and Why You Should, Too)”

#AtoZChallenge: I is for Ice Cream

ice cream sprinkles scoop

It’s easy for me to dream about food.

ILike, when I’m awake. Between meals, or during, actually. I wonder what a psychiatrist would say about that. For today’s A to Z Challenge, I went with, “what would go on your dream ice cream sundae?” I wanted to keep it light today and went with dessert.

But not light dessert – because that’s just gross.

I set out to ask my girls what would go on their dream sundaes. I checked in with Elise, the college girl, first. She, like me, keeps a quadrant of her brain trained on food. It’s what we do.

Her answer might or might not surprise you – but it’ll show you the ice cream scoop doesn’t fall far from the counter. A shit ton of chocolate, said she, and gummy worms.

Continue reading “#AtoZChallenge: I is for Ice Cream”