Talking to the girls about our trip this summer:
Heather: You know what? We are going to go in an airplane!
Afro2: Can I give the ticket to the conductor?
Heather: The pilot.
Me: The stewardess.
A2: The conductor!
Me: The stewardess.
A2: Conductors can be anywhere!
A2: A band! They can be on a train, and in a band…
Back when my wife was pregnant for the 3rd time…
In the doctor’s office:
Me: Man, there are no men’s pregnancy magazines. I should make one that deals with men issues.
Heather: There is one.
H: Yeah, it’s called “shut the hell up!”
Nurse: Good one!
Did I mention that she absolutely loved pregnancy.
Afro Daughter #2 has misplaced her blanket.
I offered several suggestions and then started to ignore her rant in the name of “natural consequences” and “take care of your own crap.” My silence was not well received.
AD2: WHAT IF I TOLD YOU YOUR MOM DIED AND YOU COULDN’T EVEN GO TO THE FUNERAL!?!? THAT’S BASICALLY WHAT IT’S LIKE!
At first it was cute. Then they get a little older and things get a little more competitive. You see their stregnths and weaknesses and you try to correct them – only to be met with eye rolls and less-than-stellar effort. What is a parent to do? I read somthing in John Wooden’s book that helps me through:
A Parent Talks to a Child Before a Game
This is your first game my child. I hope you win.
I hope you win for your sake, not mine.
Because winning is nice.
It is good feeling.
Like the whole world is yours.
But, it passes, this feeling.
And what lasts is what you’ve learned.
And what you learn about is life.
That is what sports are all about. Life.
The whole thing is played out in an afternoon.
The happiness of life.
The miseries. The joys. The heartbreaks.
There is no telling what will turn up.
There is no telling whether they will toss you out on your first minute,
or whether you will stay for the long haul.
There is no telling how you will do.
You might be a hero.
Or you might be absolutely nothing.
There is just no telling. Too much depends on chance.
On how the ball bounces.
I’m not talking about the game my child.
I’m talking about life.
But, it is life that the game is all about.
just as I said.
Because every game is life.
And life is a game.
A serious game.
But, that is what you do with serious things.
You do your best.
You take what comes.
You take what comes.
And you run with it.
Winning is fun. Sure.
But Winning is not the point.
Wanting to win is the point.
Not giving up is the point.
Never being satisfied with what you’ve done is the point.
Never letting anyone down is the point.
Play to win. Sure.
But loose like a champion.
Because is not winning that counts.
What counts is trying.
Do I remember the message of this piece in the heat of the battle when the score is close and we have a chance to seal the deal? Absolutely not. But I guess the last line of the poem rings true for me also. What counts is trying.
Throughout my life, sports was a way for me to travel and network. Many of the relationships that I hold dear to this day are ones that were kindled by my participation; whether it be in the form of coaching or direct participation. That is the only thing I want for my children – those same experiences that I had.
Accomplishments vs. Realities of being a man (so far):
1. “I am 18, I am a man.” vs. receiving a selective service card and knowing what it actually means.
2. “I have my own apartment, I am a man!” vs. “Why the hell is the food bill so high? I just bought condiments!”
3. “I married this woman, I am a man!” vs. The wife: “No one gives a damn about your past accomplishments.” “Your decorating skills suck.” “You smell.” “Oh that looks nice — in the crawl space.” Etc.
4. “Look at my first born. It is only the best for her (him)!” vs. “24 newborn diapers = $25.00 — 10 size-4 diapers = $25.00. How does that work?
5. “I have a family, I am a man!” vs. “Life insurance? A will? You mean I am going to die at some point?”
6. “My kid is going to dominate at sports!” vs. “How much for (pick a sport/activity/lesson)? My kid isn’t even that good!”
7. “I am going to work to support my family, I am a man!” vs. Daycare bill. (Note: My children attend a very good daycare and I am not above a giving a plug — for a discount (unlikely)).
8. “Look at this house! I have all of this play area for my child.” vs. “Now how in the hell do I fix that?”
8a. “Look at this house! I have all of this play area for my child.” vs. The wife :“Whelp, we are pregnant with number 2, and we need a bigger house.”
9. “Look at this paycheck! I have made so much money!” vs. “Look at this paystub! This can’t be all of the money!”
I think I’ve just depressed myself.
When your son says, ‘scuse me daddy, pushes the footrest from under your feet and places his mother’s feet on top instead.
He is going to make some woman very lucky some day.
If I don’t kick his ass first.
Tips for many aspects of living
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