#AtoZChallenge: U is for using up all your subs (Go Ask Daddy)

stormtrooper milkglass 2018 pretty antique store

I can’t help it.

AtoZ2019U (1)When the kids say something about subs at a soccer match, my mind goes to steak and cheese. Or turkey and avocado. It’s just how it is and I can’t change it. But the distraction is mostly temporary.

When I sub a kid into a game, it gives us a bit of a forum to talk that we don’t normally get.

You’re my mom’s favorite coach, but not my dad’s one girl told me. A new player told me how nervous she was to get in. Hayden didn’t spend a lot of time there, but as she waited to go back in after getting her first yellow card, we both tried not to snicker too loud.

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#AtoZChallenge: T is for Three Hundred Writing Prompts (Guilt)

stormtrooper love 2018 opp antique store

Way up here, there’s no Wi-Fi.

AtoZ2019TWhich is good. That means I can’t check email or get lost on Instagram. Again. It means it’s a good idea, while I’m on this flight, for me to have packed a couple of books loaded with writing prompts on my way to San Jose.

I got a little help from the girl next to me on the plane – after we’d sufficiently gushed over how incredible the cookies they give out are (I even scored three extra packs from the flight attendant – and folded up an origami peacock in appreciation).

My seatmate chose two prompts for me to write on from the book 300 Writing Prompts (Piccadilly 2017):

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#AtoZChallenge: O is for old people, other police dogs and one business day (Go Ask Daddy!)

stormtrooper globe 2018 travel antique shop

My kids are savage when it comes to my age.

AtoZ2019OThey’ve been rounding up for years. When my hair thinned just a hair, they declared me bald. They joke that my social security number is 47. Thing is, I’m probably the youngest 40-something dad among any of their friends.

The best old-guy insult came by one of Hayden’s friends.

\We’ll call her Anabel. I sat with Anabel and Hayden in an amphitheater at Carowinds theme park. We were visitors with the choir and band, I think. We were waiting for the show about dinosaurs to begin – and they were running late.

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#AtoZChallenge: K is for Kickass Kindness (to go with #gratitudeandshit)

stormtrooper mirror 2018 photos antique store
This one should be a country music album cover.

I mean …

AtoZ2019KWe do #gratitudeandshit around here. Why not #kickasskindness? Kindness kind of gets a bad rap. Like, me, in middle school, when someone started the rumor that I curled my hair. Psh. It spreads like wildfire. Or negative Yelp! reviews.

Anyway. Kindness.

People equate kind with weak. But that’s not always so. That’s why I like when one of my players trucks another player then helps her up. That’s sweet, right? It’s like, not in my neighborhood, !@#$!, then, you okay, sister?

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#AtoZChallenge: J is for Journalist, a #GirlsRock Interview with Esther Robards-Forbes

stormtrooper scarf 2018 photos antique shop

It’s cool when I run into someone in the biz.

AtoZ2019JNo, not showbiz. The newspaper biz. Usually, you can tell by the scuffed shirt cuffs and clothes bought in 1986. Used. Not in this case, though. Esther Robards-Forbes and I both worked for the Charlotte Observer back in the day.

She’s now in public relations at the University of Texas.

We had a conversation years ago that would have been one of the earliest #GirlsRock interviews. Instead, it sat in drafts, like those old archive rooms back in the newsroom. It was an awesome find for me.

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#AtoZChallenge: H is for Habit of Peace

stormtrooper birdhouse 2018 photo opp antique store

This peace stuff ain’t easy.

AtoZ2019HEven though sometimes it feels that way. A friend in need recently asked if I could just put the Zen on a shelf and be pissed off with her. Yes, I can. My girls’ team said, coach, you know, you can be pissed at us sometimes. We need that.

Oh, I’ve been pissed at them.

I’ve been mad at my team not for bad results, but subpar effort. I’ve been ticked at dudes who are crap puddles to female friends of mine. I’m angry about the Rockies’ rocky start and that if Kobe Bryant farts, it gets the headline over any Denver Nuggets victory.

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#AtoZChallenge: E is for Every Day Gratitude

stormtrooper pepsi 2018 thirsty antique shop
I’m grateful for photo ops in antique stores when I happen to have a stormtrooper in my pocket.

My journal has taken a beating.

AtoZ2019ELiterally and figuratively. Before last night, I hadn’t written in it for weeks. Also, the back cover has fallen off. There are about five pages left in her, and it looks like it spent a season getting kicked around on Gilligan’s Island.

Gratitude is easy to come back to, it seems.

It wasn’t as if I’d abandoned #gratitudeandshit. It’s part of every day. It just wasn’t getting written down. So I had some old things in there. Things such as, I’m grateful for new episodes of Silver Spoons and I’m grateful for my new calculator watch.

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#AtoZChallenge: D is for Drawing the Line

stormtrooper stegosaurus 2018 photo op antique store
You don’t have to be a star, baby, to be in my show. 🎶

Note: This post comes from a prompt in the book 300 Writing Prompts. On a flight from Charlotte to Phoenix last June, I asked the girl in the seat next to me to choose a prompt from the book for me to write about.

AtoZ2019DWhen I finished, the topic sparked an interesting conversation I’ll never forget.

The prompt:

Are there any lines that you simply will not cross?

Yes – although I can’t promise I never have, or I never will.

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#AtoZChallenge: #C is for Cursive, Cats, and Chinese restaurants (Go Ask Daddy about ’em)

stormtrooper fuzzy 2018 opp antique store

Before we get to the Cs for Go Ask Daddy and the #AtoZChallenge, let’s start with … Can They Do It?

AtoZ2019CAs in, can the high school team I coach rebound from a 1-9 start to the season to … make the state playoffs? It’s possible. And after our second win in 11 games, while the rest of the state might not notice … it feels entirely possible.

This is part of the game I love most – the sheer hope.

The way you can get your dander up just by winning a game. I’ve never wanted a team to score as much as I did for Queen’s Grant today. Down 2-0 in the second half … you could just feel it coming. It started with a score that bounced ugly around the goal.

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Go Ask Daddy about native communications, stars and stripes, and soccer stars

stormtrooper 3 feb because gatlinburg
Just a ‘trooper canning Js. On a bridge. In Gatlinburg.

The questions are anonymous.

GAD GRAPHICI mean, you can narrow it down to three girls who look a little like me. But as far as which kid specifically asked a specific question? There’s protection for the innocent. As you’ll see comes into play for No. 3 today.

The questions come in droves in everyday life.

For the unfamiliar: I try to track every question my girls ever ask me. Sometimes they’re easy (How come you can’t push a receiver in football?) and sometimes they ain’t (What does a Skye Terrier look like?) There’s about 250 at the moment on the list.

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