Uffda: Interjection signifying exhaustion, weariness, resignation, or overwhelm, especially used by those of Norwegian descent; see 'oofda'. (The Norwegian-American slang equivalent of the Yiddish term oy.) Black: Me
To me, the pinnacle of being a successful person is the way that you can go back and affect your community. Whether it is the community that you grew up in or the community that you currently live, the ability to use your platform to affect one or more kids. Some people choose to give back monetarily, some choose to work within the community, I have chosen to start the Father of the Year Foundation.
Contrary to what is displayed in the media, there are many fathers that want to do what is best for their children. Whether that be volunteering to coach a children’s team, doing their part to fulfill a need in the family household, providing discipline and/or structure, or promoting positive childhoods for their children and children in their communities.
Growing up, I was lucky to have a father who took the time to teach me how to be a man. But, my father was a very hard worker, which meant that he was not home as often as he would have liked. Luck for me, I had a group of men who help mold me into the person I am today. This group of men consisted of coachers, fathers, businessmen, and community members who believed that it takes a village to raise each child. The Father of the Year Foundation believes that fathers play a pivotal role in the development of not only their own children, but children within the community. The mission of the Father of the Year Foundation is to promote positive fatherhood by providing opportunities, support, mentorship, and fellowship to men so can be the best fathers (or father-figures) that they can be for their children and children within their communities.
So, there you have it. I am starting a foundation. I am not sure where this will take me and I am not sure of the impact that I can make. But, however small, it is the best avenue for me to feel as though I am making a difference.
Weatherman: Breaking news, there is a thunderstorm warning for the following counties… I said thunderstorm. Let me spell it:
5 minutes later:
Lets look at the doppler radar. A thunderstorm is moving through the region. Not the next region, this one. I am going to get you back to your show, but I need to first tell you about the type of trees that may come down with these strong winds.
(names all species of trees)
10 minutes later…
So once again, I need to tell you all of the towns in each county that are effected…
(names 80 counties with populations for each)
So that is it, back to your regularly scheduled programming.
We have a new cooler radar to show you. Look at that swoop…see that? That is called the narcissistic swoop it happens every time there is turbulent weather. Not sure why it is named that though…
10 minutes later.
That’s it for now. I am not going to interrupt until 30 minutes from now.
3 minutes later.
Whoa, one more county is under the thunderstorm watch. If you do not know how to spell it, it is:
I have been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by The Modern Dad. What is that exactly, I am not sure, but, because of its creativity, I think it would be cool to pass this story (created by The Modern Dad) along.
However, none were as bad as AOL. In that walled garden, creepy dudes asked A/S/L, bored teens waited for topless photos of Claudia Schiffer to download over 28.8 kbps modems, and Dragon’s Gate burned millions of minutes of metered access. The only light residents could see was reflected from the surface the billions AOL Free Trial CDs they were forced to mine.
To break through those walls, to see the blessed light of the Digital Economy and Dow 36,000, they created a way to recognize greatness. The name of the original recipients have been lost to history, but their selfless sacrifice to the god of Web Twopoint-Oh allows us to see the promised land and shatter the stranglehold of the Peacock and the All-Seeing-Eye on our brains.”
Part of my responsibilty to to answer 11 questions that The Modern Dad posed. Giddy up!
1. What have your kids done to embarrass you this week?
My first born was good at soccer when she was 6. By good, I mean that she would kick the ball away from the scrum and outrun everybody to the goal (no skills). One day, one the way to a game, she said, “Dad, I think I am going to score 6 goals today.”
I must have forgotten to teach her about sportsmanship because she scores the sixth goal, turns around, and in front of dozens of parents holds up the number six as if she is the best thing since sliced bread. Here’s proof:
2. Did you embarrass them back? If not, why?
I live to embarrass my kids, so yes, but not to the degree that I want – yet.
3. Who’s the reason you got a call from school about something your kid said: You or your partner?
My life is an open book (insert Instagram plug here: UffdaBlack), so most people who follow me know that the phone calls that come home are usually because of something I did or said in the past.
My second born is a very old soul. She is 7 and is really personable. So personable that she often gets to hang out with women who are 30+ years old.
“Oh she is such a delight to have around!”
Meanwhile, she’s telling them all kinds of stories. Even in school.
4. What about parenting is still a problem for you? Having kids is not an acceptable answer.
My major problem is with them growing up so fast. I am the dad that has a picture of everyone, every event, and everytime. So much so that I have to pay for a Dropbox. Yes, I do enjoy life in reality, but I think it would be so cool for my kids to look back and know that their parents were there.
The negative to that is, when you look back 5 to 10 years ago, you soon learn that everybody was right and your kids grow fast. My babies are not babies anymore and that is extremely hard to accept.
Well, that, and the fact that every time I say to one of them, “You’re not doing it right, hold my beer!” I end up in surgery.
5. What advice did your own father or father-figure give that was useful?
I was not only fortunate enough to have my own father in my life, but I had many other male figures (coaches, friends’ dads) who were instrumental to who I am today. I think I was on the tail-end of the “I don’t care if you are not my kid, you do what I say and stay out of trouble” “takes a village” era.
One piece of advice came from my high school basketball coach. He was a very caring man who could be a straight-up asshole on the court. If you were doing something wrong, expect to hear about it (along with everyone else in the gymnasium). He would say, “I am hard on you guys because I love you. Sometimes, the truth is just hard to hear; and sometimes it hurts. But I will always tell you the truth and anyone who would do that truly cares for you”
I don’t know why that resonated with me, but it is something that I try to do in my everyday life, especially when parenting.
Yup, I am an asshole parent.
6. What was completely useless?
I have no clue what information was/is useless. I think I will leave this question unanswered until 2035, when my last child is out of my house and attending college.
7. What personality trait of yours do you not look forward to seeing in your kids?
My attitude. Most people will tell you that I can get animated, but, for the most part, I am an even keeled guy. That took years for me to master. I have a bit of a temper. When angry, it becomes Hulk-like. I have seen it pop up in my children. Couple that with the adolescent mind and whoa! Look out!
8. What craft/artwork have your kids done that you were impressed by? Anything that made you suggest engineering?
I once watched my oldest some build a whole village out of a Melissa & Doug train set. It was back when he was totally infatuated with Thomas & Friends. I bought him a whole set (maybe two) for him (really me). I thought it was going to be like pulling teeth. Nope. He was totally into it. Next thing I know, darn-near recreated the island of Sodor.
9. What was the last toy you stepped on, and where did you bury it?
That is a tough one. It has to be this bear (pictured). It is not like it hurts or anything. I just seem to always step on it after my son goes to bed. Worse yet, it is always on! I wish that I could bury it, but I cannot because it was a favorite with all of my children and they will know if it turns up missing.
10. What was the most recent request from your partner or kids that you agreed to then immediately regretted?
I feel as though my wife is way better suited to answer that questions for herself.
Two years ago, I needed to have the front landscaping done – and we are talking about a complete overhaul. I wanted to price it out and get it over with as I was in the middle of taking my comprehensive exams. My ever so cheap wife saw the estimate and started rubbing on my bicep…
“I am sure a big man such as yourself can take care of a job like this for way cheaper – can’t you?”
Next thing I know, I am the middle of my landscaping with a scoop shovel, steel-toe boots and sweats on in 95+ degree heat (yes, sweats. I hate being bit by mosquitos and any repellant I applied would soon be sweated off).
11. Why did you agree to answer any of these questions?
It made me feel like I was an interesting person. The question is, why did you actually read my answers?