Go ask daddy about driving rules, alcohol in the kitchen and illegal football moves

stormtroopers elephants (2)
Inspecting the elephants at our Airbnb haunts in Fredericksburg.

I couldn’t wait to get my permit.

GAD GRAPHICI was just a dumb kid in Colorado with the delusion that acquiring my permit would automatically result in:

1) Getting a brand-new Pontiac Fiero;

2) Driving my butt from Greeley, Colo., to Seattle

3) Actually making it back home.

How could I forget? I was also going to pick up my cousin, Raquel, in San Francisco. All this, before I’d even learned to parallel park. But I was ready. Kids these days? They’re not so ready. Why be ready to drive, when you parental Uber toting you around?

I’m okay with this.

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I pray it won’t take me this long to pray again

stormtrooper moss fredericksburg (2)
Just outside the Fredericksburg Cemetery.

Hayden and I talked fantasy football while I fixed her scrambled eggs Sunday morning.

I know, you’re not supposed to talk fantasy football. Maybe it’s okay with the people you play with? Anyway, Marcus Mariota, you see. He’s projected for mad points this week, but is questionable for the game Monday. Should I stick with him?

I prayed about it last night I told Hayden.

I actually hadn’t. On two other occasions, I’ve prayed for trivial things (that didn’t feel trivial in the moment) only to see them granted. I tried to remember the last time I did actually pray. It might have been in acid-washed jeans.

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Go ask daddy about human formulation, matrimonial dissention and the state of American soccer

stormtroopers plants (2)There’s a rock rolling around in my dashboard.

GAD GRAPHICI plan to do nothing about it. I log tons of miles in my new (yet unnamed) Hyundai Elantra. Some days, more than five hours worth. Phone chargers, makeup, snack wrappers and slides get left in my car every day.

One child picked up a rock recently.

I won’t say which one. It took me back to days when I had young children (and better hair.) Rocks and toilet-paper rolls with stickers and construction paper adorning it made for the best gifts a dad could get.

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Why we’d be in the Guinness Book, in 6 words

stormtrooper beach
photo credit: Pawel Maryanov Left via photopin (license)

I coulda been in the Guinness book.

GAD GRAPHICNo, really. My plan: To coach soccer for 24 hours straight. Twenty-four one-hour sessions, with kids signed up around the clock. (I’d get college kids to fill the overnight hours.) One boy on my team wanted to camp out and participate in as many hours as possible.

It never happened.

We’d planned it as a fundraiser for a teammate who’d been diagnosed with leukemia. The Guinness folks said if it was tied to a charity, it wouldn’t count. And that’s okay. That teammate? He went into remission.

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On a day with my girls at the auto fair, it kind of felt like dad was there

stormtrooper car neon black
photo credit: DocChewbacca Back to the past via photopin (license)

All my dad needed was a glimpse of a tail light.

He could tell you the make, model and year, just from that. Just from a red glow, a glance of it. That’s when cars had cool names, like De Soto and Falcon and GTO. Not Prius and Altima and Cruze. Those aren’t even words, let alone cars.

Dad and I picked out a 1962 Buick Skylark for my first real car.

Maddie was white with red interior. Full-bodied, four-door, hardtop sedan. Sleek lines. We installed glass-pack mufflers with dual exhaust and low-profile tires with sweet chrome rims. She shined brighter than Grace Kelly, Debbie Boone and Brooke Shields.

Combined.

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Go ask daddy about grubbing, marathoning and butterflies. Gosh-darn butterflies

stormtrooper food chilies
photo credit: Reiterlied Seaside Lunch via photopin (license)

One surprising element of my time on the sideline is that I (mostly) stop thinking about food for the short term.

GAD GRAPHICWho am I kidding? I’m thinking about it then, too. Noon kickoffs are the worst, because that’s when I should be having lunch. And a big late breakfast and a big late lunch are the only remedy for a situation like that.

The girls’ first question got me thinking about snack food and even meal food on the playing field.

Although I don’t recommend the Cobb salad while playing catcher or the macaroni tuna casserole while playing midfield (ew – or any time), here are some ideas I dreamed up for food that ought to be kosher for a coach.

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How to teach your kids to take a compliment

stormtrooper golf pga championship

I keep a drawer of beat-up books that I like to open a lot.

One’s a book of coaches’ quotes. I gain perspective from my sideline squad. Another’s a book of lists for parents. I’ve scribbled in that a lot. Another is a pocket-sized, tattered book called “Father to Daughter.” It’s a collection of advice fathers have given.

Occasionally, I’ll grab one of the sentences in it and expound upon it.

My conversation with a T-mobile customer service rep that turned to fatherhood inspired this. I’d love to hear your take on the topic, from the perspective of a parent or having been that daughter with your father.

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A gray-beard’s advice to a first-time dad. Also, happy birthday, Camdyn

cam vols
Camdyn made this photo illustration for me for a post I wrote about late University of Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summit.

I’m all out of little kids.

Officially. Today Camdyn turns 13. It’s only one milestone in nature’s reminders that I ain’t as good as I once was (but I’m as good once as I ever was.) This means that yes – just as the moon moved into position a coupla weeks ago) there’s a cosmic convergence.

I’m dad of three teenage girls.

Let that sink in a minute. No, not for effect. Just so I can rest my eyes for a minute. I feel like I’m having a time reaching the caffeine quotient to make up for the sleep deprivation. My calculations had been spot on before *removes glasses and wipes them*

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5 random smartphone photos, part VIII

stormtrooper chocolate love valentines

Write time has come at a premium lately.

It’s 1:26 a.m. and I ought to be sawing logs. I just watched my Denver Broncos eek out a 24-21 victory against the Los Angeles Chargers. Also, the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks and I had nachos.

Can you blame a boy for not being able to sleep?

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a random-smartphone-pictures post. These are fun because I pick the photos at random. They force me to remember the day, the moment, and tell the story in a snapshot of text.

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Why you never NEED to have an Ezekiel Elliott

football

I did it.

I chose troubled Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott in my fantasy football draft. It’s not just any draft. It’s a league of four. That’s me and my daughters. The league winner gets a trip with me to an NFL game.

Madison said she didn’t want Elliott and she didn’t want Colts quarterback Andrew Luck.

The reasons were different. Luck is hurt. Elliott is in a battle against a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. They say he abused a woman he says wasn’t dating (not that it matters) but that evidence says otherwise.

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