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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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.

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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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Go ask daddy about sports stuff, pie construction and song evolution

stormtrooper car back seat decal
photo credit: kennethkonica IMG_8255 via photopin (license)

I’ve spent a lifetime of halves on a sideline.

GAD GRAPHICMore than that, if you count the days as an athlete. Back then I warmed the bench. I had a uniform, though. I loved sport. I sucked at it. But I loved it. I romanticized it and I relished it. And I could do it just well enough to make the team. Not an atom more.

I tend to stand on the field a bit, which is illegal.

I’m short. I have to do it. I get out of the way when the ball comes my way. Unless I don’t. One day I was slow to retreat. The ref gave me a look. The opposing coach hopped and pointed fingers like I’d just stolen his fortune cookie.

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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.

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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.

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Weekend Reads I: Travel, Nostalgia, Love

stormtroopers skeleton jungle
photo credit: Chris Blakeley “I’ve got a bad feeling…” via photopin (license)

Who skips over a weekend, honestly?

I did. Not intentionally. There’s sometimes just not even cable cars to carry everything. I’ve tried to recognize just how many cable cars I have a day (or to-go boxes, whatever), and not overfill. Last weekend, that meant leaving Sunday reads behind.

I’ll share seven this week, spanning last week and the week before.

I’m doing this Friday afternoon, so those of you so inclined can check things out Saturday morning. I’ll be back at the soccer fields with Hayden’s team camp, grateful for a random stray Wi-Fi signal that allows me to turn the picnic area into an outdoor office.

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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.

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