I’m on the record many times about being a person that likes routines and order. I like having a plan. I like figuring out what we are going to have for dinner over my first cup of coffee in the morning. This…trait can be helpful in many aspects of life but I do find myself saying ‘No’ a lot because it’s not on the to-do list or it’s not on the menu.
I can easily defend saying ‘no’ as doing the responsible thing, the necessary thing but is it the best thing as a Dad? If this strange summer has taught me anything it’s that you just never know how long you have. Why not say ‘Yes’ a little more. More chocolate chips in those pancakes? Sure. A neon red slushie at 11 a.m.? Sure. Going for a walk on the beach at 10 p.m.? Sure. It might drive my ordered mind temporarily insane but I’ll forget. The girls will remember those slushies.
The girls started back to school this week and I’m feeling…stressed and anxious? Probably not completely uncommon but I realized after a little tiff with Cecilia over homework on Day 2 that I really prefer Summer/Camp Dad to School Year Dad.
Not that Summer Dad never gets upset he just seems to listen a little more and snap a little less. I don’t want the one time I’m really present and focused on my kids for the next six months to be only about homework. I might learn a lot about base-10 number systems but maybe not so much about my child.
So, as we talked about the new school year, expectations and goals over dinner this week, I set one of my own: to let go of some of that anxiety and frustration and try to be more like Summer Dad all year long.
Just without all the sunscreen each morning. I won’t miss the sunscreen.
There were a lot of weird things that happened in the 80’s: Bunnicula, Mr Belvedere’s employment situation, those weird vinyl E.T. dolls, Noid, Muppet Babies, but somewhere up near the top of the list must be the musical Cats. How did this become a hit?
It would be easy to blame Michelle, but I really only have myself to blame for this one. As a joke, I put on the cast recording in the car one day and later showed them a few YouTube clips. Cecilia was appropriately horrified. Allison, on the other hand, was smitten. This was the greatest thing since glitter tattoos and warm chocolate chip cookies.
She has spent the entire week begging to listen and learn more about this strange tribe of cats. She has been prancing around the house singing Magical Mister Mistoffelees. I have spent it cursing Andrew Lloyd Webber.