parenthood

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Passing on… Passing.

Friday, June 13th, 2014

The boy and I have been spending more time together lately, as my awesome wife has been in evening rehearsals for her return to the stage. So every day after work, little man and I go on some sort of adventure. These evenings sometimes challenge my “no whining… ever…” policy, but mostly this has been a fun time.

A few days ago we stomped around in the forest looking at rock climbs. I realized just how much I miss clipping into a rope and watched him observe climbers and potential climbs with real intrigue. All of this encourages me that the days to come will offer the chance to pass on some of my interests to our little guy.

What I didn’t anticipate was the things I would teach him as we drove up out of this canyon, taking an amazing back road toward home. Of course, these days you put me on a mountain road and I only have one setting. Attack. The weight shift in a corner and the fun of a heel-toe gear-change is genuinely therapeutic any time I have the opportunity. Meanwhile, the boy is generally unfazed by my driving, more likely to ask me to turn around and look at something than comment on the ride.

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It’s a Small World… I Suppose

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Long before my wife and I took our son to DisneyWorld he heard the iconic, catchy, and terrible song “It’s a Small World” and believed the lyrics to be “It’s a Small World, I suppose.” We got a great laugh about it and looked forward to taking him on the actual ride so he could learn the song correctly. However now that we’ve been to the Magic Kingdom together, I think he might have been right all along.

A visit to any of the Disney parks reveals the world isn’t small, but quite obese. Over-indulgent consumption is on display everywhere and the only magical thing about it is the realization it crosses boundaries of race, budget, and culture. In any part of the park the number of strollers (which is immense because of the kid-centric world) is nearly matched by the number of wheelchairs. And it’s not what you think…

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Let’s Make Friends

Monday, April 14th, 2014

As I continue to walk through parenthood, I do everything I can to be a great father. My son deserves a father who will equip him to stand on his own, know who he is, and reach for great things. We all deserve that. The trouble is all fathers are imperfect, so we fall short of what our little ones need and deserve.

As we discover shared interests it’s fairly natural for me to instruct and guide the boy in something I already enjoy. We’ve had some fun bonding moments of late. Now that he’s skiing and becoming more active, I expect there will be many more.

The struggle for me is trying to guide him in areas I don’t like or ways where his wiring runs counter to my own circuitry. Some are already clear, and his personality is stretching me in ways he doesn’t even realize.

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Service Agreement – Reflections on Marriage

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Recently, a single guy I know posted an link on Facebook to an article about marriage. The author was a woman who described the typical day with her husband, surviving their kids and life’s madness, and she came across very overbearing and controlling of the man she married. This story resonated with this single guy and he stated it sounded like every marriage he’d ever seen. So, he asked Facebook “What’s the point of a man getting married? What’s the benefit for a guy?”.

Because if you want to start a heedless and angry discussion, just ask your Facebook friends.

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A Father-Son Story

Monday, November 11th, 2013

My son’s introduction to Star Wars now has new twists I didn’t imagine the last time I shared my ineptitude.

I continue to be surprised by the things that stick in our little guy’s mind. Luckily, there are few things that are scaring him, but plenty to obsess over. At the moment, Darth Vader (Dartha Veda to those of you following along) continues to be the coolest thing in the Universe thanks to the boy’s incredibly cool Halloween costume and a successful trick-or-treat adventure as Mini-Vader.

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Geek Tragedy

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

I consider myself a fairly tame member of the geek world. I’ve never attended Comic-con. I don’t dress up. Many video games and TV shows have passed me by without my time or concern. Yet I can still hold my own in conversations about those worlds and fantasies that marked my life experience and shaped my love for story. As a child of the seventies and eighties, Star Wars tops the list. And without effort I have maintained a strangely encyclopedic memory of the characters and events a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

But now I’m facing the dilemma of Geek parents everywhere; introducing my young son to Star Wars and the other fantastic stories I enjoyed at his age and still enjoy today.

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4 Decades, Part 1 – 0 to 9 years

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

I’m going to be a cliché for a little while. I’m turning 40, and I’m reflecting back on my life. However, this isn’t bemoaning my current situation or longing for by-gone days, but a genuine desire to remember.

So to that end I’m going to post a piece on each decade and tell a few stories of unique or strange experiences that made the biggest impression on me or seem like something few can say they’ve done.

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Lessons in Spit

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Going out to eat with my son is like trying to lead a prayer group with a strobe light. It’s distracting to say the least, and never a calming experience. He’s not much of an eater and would rather use the booth as a jungle gym. But not long ago we’d been out to dinner and my son had eaten almost as much as I did. It was strange and exciting. But, I guess I should have known something else was coming.

My wife was fighting sickness so she crashed early and I was on monitor duty in case the boy exploded. Turns out, that wasn’t far from the truth.

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Eating Plastic

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

My son got a kitchen for Christmas. I don’t mean we remodeled a section of our kitchen for him or that he’s discovered how to use our kitchen properly. He received a molded-plastic play kitchen that will be taller than him for the next few years. It’s filled with plastic food-replicas of all kinds and a plethora of items making various cooking noises.

This new pastime has launched me headlong into a strange experience and realization. Click to continue »

That’s My Penis

Monday, October 1st, 2012

I’ve realized that when it comes to bodily functions, I’m a bit of a puritan. In junior high when boys decide that all the best jokes contain waste, I was always the first to be disgusted. And then in college we had a guy in our dorm nicknamed “the phantom shitter” because he liked to leave piles in conspicuous places. Everyone was disturbed, but I found this so unfathomable that I concluded the culprit had to be the evolutionary missing link.

Truth be told, it goes beyond shit jokes and poor bathroom skills and extends to public nudity and even propriety in my own home. I don’t skinny dip, even when my friends have been drawn to the taboo or freedom of the moment. (Or in some cases those friends who take any excuse to be naked and really have no business doing so.) In fact, I try to not even pee in front of my wife. I don’t have anything to be ashamed of here… I just don’t like to. Call me a prude.

This is a real problem once you have kids. Human or otherwise.

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