Let me explain. I’d been feeling as if the Coach Daddy name didn’t fit anymore. Like, I’d cycled out of it.
I’m still a coach.
I’m still a daddy.
I’m just not … Coach Daddy.
I drove to the restaurant where Camdyn works to pick her up after her shift one night. I pulled my flashy gray Hyundai into a parking space and texted her, as I do when picking up any of my girls: I’m here little one.
(They love when I do this.)
And I waited. There were tables to wipe down, or she forgot the Coke Zero (no ice) she always gives me for picking her up. And three boisterous women approached my car.
Well, one did – the other stayed back.
Are you our Uber? she asked in that too-loud voice that often accompanies a night of Bud Light tallboys. I laughed. Nah, I’m just a dad, I said.
Are you our Uber? she asked in that too-loud voice that often accompanies a night of. Bud Light tallboys. I laughed. Nah, I’m just a dad, I said.
I explained that I was there to pick up my daughter, who works there. You can all the way out here late at night to give your daughter a ride? She asked, swaying only a little now, because this was serious.
THAT IS SOOO SWEET!
You know when things are extra – funny, sad, anger-inducing, delicious, whatever – when we drink? Well, to her, this simple act of picking up a kid after a dinner shift felt like Dad O The Year material.
She smiled at me sweetly in that loving way that many of us do after the second margarita.
YOUR DAD IS SOOO SWEET! The lady told Camdyn as she walked to my car. Dad, those girls were SO drunk, Camdyn muttered after waving and smiling.
She’s right, you know, I told my kid. We drove off and they waved.
She has no idea she had just renamed my blog.
I am just a dad now, and that’s fine. I didn’t want to stop being my kids’ coach, but some things are out of our control. I coach a group of boys and girls who feel like my kids. But my teams always do.
As Just a Dad, I do cool shit. I drive my oldest to California … in three days … in a beat-up Subaru … with a cat in the backseat.
As Just a Dad, I’ll go to my middle daughter’s match in the middle of the week and get easily talked into Mexican food afterward. (Enchiladas = ❤️)
And I can pick up my daughter at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night. What else would I be doing? And if a tipsy chick wants to think that’s pretty all right, well … I’m good with that, too.
A man can accomplish much in life with basic life gear.
Cover him with a ball cap from his beloved baseball team. Anoint him with a distinctive after shave. Place him behind the wheel of an automobile he’ll name, shine, neglect, restore, and trust to transport those he loves and carry him to buy corn tortillas and shin guards.
Arm him with a cast-iron skillet, and don’t be late for dinner.
Weekend cooking’s my thing. It’s easier on weekends free of soccer. Sunday night, I returned to my roots. Yes, those roots (enchiladas), but also the roots established in frontier days, when a guy’s essentials included a fast horse, a scruffy beard, a miner’s hat and a skillet.