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*

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

Advertisements

For the faith and agony ahead, I’m actually grateful

stormtrooper unicorn fairy garden

My soccer boys must face a team next week that we angered greatly last week.

We did nothing wrong. Outside of beating them. After the match, they sat on the turf in various stages of disbelief. An older, more experienced team tested and topped by a band of upstarts. It’s a sweet feeling to pull out a win like this.

And now, we must go to their place.

Moments that shape us aren’t limited to wins. Moments of discomfort and fatigue and dismay contribute to that ever-changing DNA of self. No matter what happens next week, the team we will convene as the next day will in part become a result of this match.

Continue reading “For the faith and agony ahead, I’m actually grateful”

Who we’d go back in time to hug, in 6 words

stormtrooper darth vader hug
photo credit: Kalexanderson The imperial reunion (square version) via photopin (license)

Behold, the hug.

6 words graphicIs anything in the universe as potentially awkward and comforting as the hug? Humans (or many mammals) have the innate ability to express love or like, congratulations or condolences by simply opening their arms and pressing together their bodies.

I compile a monthly post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it when he said any story can be told in six words. I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt.

Here’s the prompt for August:

Continue reading “Who we’d go back in time to hug, in 6 words”

Weekend Reads II: Partnership, Peace and Parenthood

stormtrooper nascar jeff gordon

It’s not so much what I’m going to do this weekend that stirs the soul.

It’s what I’m not going to do. I won’t put in more seat time than a NASCAR champ. I won’t pry my eyelids open after another late night and early morning wondering when in the hell I’ll get to write on this blog again.

No, there will be seat time – on the couch, with the laptop, watching football, though.

I’ll throw golf discs and I’ll grill. Also, I’ll read. I want you to read too. This long holiday weekend, wherever you are, check out these posts. Each dropped a mic to some degree as I found them (has it really been three weeks?) and you’ll love them too.

Continue reading “Weekend Reads II: Partnership, Peace and Parenthood”

Go Ask Daddy About Dendrologics, Cool Ballers and Bikes vs. Cars

stormtrooper forest tree
Off the beaten path at Squirrel Lake Park disc golf course.

This week we say goodbye to our last kitty.

GAD GRAPHICBrownie, the runt of the bunch, survived two brothers and a sister. Leo, then Babyface and Cubbie preceded her over the bridge, as they say. Brownie beat them all by several furlongs, but suffered from diabetes and got increasingly weaker in the past few days.

The toughest decision is the one to make the call.

Brownie was one of four kittens I found while driving home from work nearly 14 years ago. They sat lined up on the sidewalk. I walked toward them and they ran away. I walked back to my car, and they came back to me, crying.

Continue reading “Go Ask Daddy About Dendrologics, Cool Ballers and Bikes vs. Cars”

17 Ways I Know I’ve Done Okay as a Dad

stormtrooper disc golf catcher

You might have come to conclusion I’m kind of proud of my girls.

It’s not all about athletic accomplishments, although that’s part of it. Their character emerges all the time, in moments especially when no one else can see. I’m most proud in those moments.

Those moments are by no means proof of parenting perfected, of course.

The book List Your Self For Parents (Andrews McMeel Publishing, by Ilene Segalove, Paul Bob Velick and Garreth Esersky) includes 90+ prompts for lists parents compile for a series of snapshots of life with kids. I’ve held a copy for years.

Continue reading “17 Ways I Know I’ve Done Okay as a Dad”

Go Ask Daddy About Friendly Hues, Exiled QBs and the Art of Naming a Road

stormtroopers animation ship
photo credit: Tom Simpson Animation cel from The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) via photopin (license)

Consider the impact of color.

GAD GRAPHICNo, this isn’t an NPR report on the effect of on race relations. (I think they did one on the Viewfield crater and its impact on we Hispanic people once). But the power of color is so powerful. It’s most noticeable to me in the sporting world.

When Camdyn and I watched the Denver Broncos play the Jaguars in Jacksonville last fall, we felt at home in a sea of orange.

The color silver, for example – stellar on the Detroit Lions’ helmets. Paired with black in oakland/Las Vegas for the raiders? Gross. Blue and white is golden with the Kansas City Royals – it’s deplorable with that ugly scripted LA logo with the dodgers.

Continue reading “Go Ask Daddy About Friendly Hues, Exiled QBs and the Art of Naming a Road”

I Believe … XIII

stormtrooper store front
Stormtrooper in a Denver storefront. Photo courtesy of Rhea Merck

It’s been a while since I’ve done an I Believe post.

Not that I don’t still believe, because I do. Some days, it’s easier than others to see it. Every day, though, we carry with us beliefs. Mine pop up in conversation, email, texts, comment responses, court depositions.

Kidding on that last one.

What do you believe? I’m only slightly (and very slightly) embarrassed that probably 37 of 42 statements here are food-related. Forty-two, also, is not by accident. It’s supposed to be the answer to the universe.

Continue reading “I Believe … XIII”

What Will You Do With the Treasure You Have Found?

stormtrooper shore contemplative
photo credit: DocChewbacca Scouting Ishigaki Beach via photopin (license)

Madison pounced like the keeper of old recently on a balmy night on the soccer field.

She’s not playing on a team anymore. Her injured hip couldn’t completely heal. The life of a goalkeeper takes and unforgiving toll sometimes. Trainers worked their magic, but ultimately the pain outweighed her ability to carry on full time.

A limp and grimace were all that remained.

This day, though, she dove, sprung and stopped shots in a workout with my high school team. She’s a legend to those girls, object of fables told to girls who came after her by girls who played with her.

Reports of yellow cards, 36-save matches (a school record), and college life.

Continue reading “What Will You Do With the Treasure You Have Found?”

Our Greatest Adventures, in 6 Words

IMG_20170521_111823

Who doesn’t love a great adventure?

6 words graphicSometimes, they’re set in the wilderness, or the big city, or even in a galaxy far, far away. Other times, they happen in the tortilla aisle at the local Aldi. No matter. Adventure can find us anywhere, and they leave behind a great story, at least.

I compile a monthly post called 6 Words. Ernest Hemingway inspired it by his assertion that any story can be told in six words.

I ask bloggers, friends, strangers, and a few strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt. Here’s the prompt for July:

Continue reading “Our Greatest Adventures, in 6 Words”