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

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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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I Believe … XIII

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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.

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Our Greatest Adventures, in 6 Words

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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:

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#GirlsRock: An Interview with TV Reporter Caroline Vandergriff

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I’ve known who news reporter Caroline Vandergriff is for a while.

cd-interviewsBesides having a cool name, Caroline did a story on a hero of mine, Mildred Meachem. Mildred played in the All-American Girl Professional Baseball League. I knew Mildred from my time as a member at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte.

When Mildred died in January, Caroline did the story for Spectrum News.

Caroline treated my friend like the treasure she was. I expressed my appreciation, and told Caroline I wish she could have met Mildred, a pioneer for women’s sports whose accomplishments paved the way for girls like mine in athletics.

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5 Random Smartphone Photos, Part VII

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So, that number was completely arbitrary.

I’d like to do these once a week, so why not? There’s a divide between my old, beat-up phone and the new replacement. My Google photos won’t sync. So I have pictures on my new phone I can’t get to online, and I can’t get my online photos from my phone.

First world problems, right?

I’ll pick just five at random, and luckily, I have 300-plus to choose from. Amazingly, none are from the trip Camdyn and I took to Jacksonville last fall to see the Denver Broncos play. That trip has made it into every random smartphone post I’ve done!

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Go Ask Daddy About Saxophone Glory, the Cost to Watch and Celestial Endings

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So, this one time, in marching band …

GAD GRAPHICWe got to play at halftime of a Colorado State football game in Ft. Collins. It was Band Day, and they played the University of New Mexico. I played baritone sax. I was first chair, I might add. The cheerleaders came with us.

Stick with me … this will tie together eventually.

Her name was Kaylie. (It was actually Shawna, but I don’t want to use her real name.) She was dreamy. Silky, curly brown hair, hazel eyes, braces. Sigh. The universe had a little fun that day and put Shawna – I mean, Kaylie – next to me on the bus.

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Guest Post: Katherine, of Welcome to the Nursery, on How Her Kids are Slowly Destroying Their House

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photo credit: Chris Blakeley that’s some hat, stitch via photopin (license)

Want to know if a guy is a parent?

guest postTake a look at his face, his car, or his home. All will have sustained some degree of damage in the process of fatherhood. Worry lines, spray stains on the ceiling of his car, and a host of tell-tales in his place of residence.

Busted furniture, chipped wall paint, crayon marks on … everything. Markers, too, and stray bits of strawberry, Goldfish crackers, and even beef jerky, in a man’s car, behind a man’s couch, and stuck in a man’s hair.  That’s just the beginning, as any of you who parent know.

Katherine writes a blog called Welcome to the Nursery.

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Guest Post: Rebecca of Ninja Librarian, on How to Get Kids Outside

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One of my players will study in college to become a librarian.

guest postI think it’s quite cool. She’s a studious sort, who found herself determined to try out for soccer in high school – and make it. She did just that and even scored a few goals along the way. She was inspirational to her teammates and to me.

Today’s guest writer is a librarian – but a ninja variety.

Rebecca writes the blog The Ninja Librarian. She’s the coolest librarian you’ll ever know. (Even cooler than that dreamy one at the Mint Hill Library.) Rebecca writes about writing, and of course reviews books for kids and adults.

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Where We’d Take an Alien, in 6 Words

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When I was a kid, I wanted to be friends with Elliott.

6 words graphicHe’s the boy who befriended E.T. in the movie. He just seemed like the kind of kid I would like to hang out with. Looking back, I believe I probably admired his loyalty and courage in all that happened when E.T. came to town.

Every month, I collect responses for a post I call 6 Words.

If you’ve been around here a while you know Ernest Hemingway inspired this idea when he said all stories could be told in six words. I ask friends, strangers, bloggers, and strange blogger friends to respond to a prompt, in six words.

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Seeing the World Through Grrs and Greats

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Some ideas are so great it’s great to use them more than once.

(Using the same word in the same sentence twice isn’t a great idea. Oops. I did it again.) Think about some great ideas in history. Playing football on Thanksgiving? Great. Let’s do it again. The beautiful and comedic Elizabeth Banks on a real estate commercial?

Yes, great.

You can’t have greats without grrs, however. A grr is … playing football in a stadium like Heinz Field in Pittsburg, where it’s impossible to kick a field goal on one end. Ever. Or … persistent ads on Pandora for problems of men my age.

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