After eleven Father’s Days, my one piece of advice to my fellow Dads is to embrace and accept that you are not in control anymore. It’s not that the kids have all the control, it’s more the fact that you now have other lives to care for beyond your own.
It’s both freeing and humbling. You no longer have to decide the priority of things. It’s not a choice. You ARE driving to dance practice. You ARE making the lunches. You ARE watching another episode of Full House (cut. it. out.)
Embrace it and enjoy it. It’s not changing anytime soon. Or ever. I imagine even after they graduate or move out. You are still on call.
Cecilia is her own unique human being. That blinding realization hit me this week. That seems obvious, right? But I think I needed to really fully recognize and grasp that simple fact in everyday life, not just as a fuzzy truism. I’m trying to be a more positive parent in 2018 and a big part of that will be understanding that Cecilia is not a copy of me. She doesn’t learn like me. She doesn’t like the same things as me. She doesn’t react like me.
The more she is out on her own in the world the more she is developing her own individual personality and chosen path. Instead of reacting with frustration or anger when she struggles or approaches something differently or unexpectedly, I will try to be supportive. This will mostly come up with homework. I simply don’t remember learning to read nor do I know all the new math strategies. When she takes, what I perceive, as the roundabout way to an answer, I need to be patient.
All of this doesn’t mean she gets free rein. I’m not insane. Limits are a very helpful and useful parenting tool! I just want my reactions to be more compassionate and understanding that she is her own person and will develop and learn at her own pace. <sigh> So easy to write, so hard to do.</sigh>
If you ask Ally, her Dad doesn’t like Christmas. For the record, I do like Christmas. I am not particularly fond of Christmas music and I’m really not fond of Christmas music in early November. I’ve had a ‘No Christmas Music Until after Thanksgiving’ rule in our house dating back to ’02. I like to enjoy one holiday at a time. The girls and their enabler of a mother like to try to find opportunities to sneak carols in, but I hold the line. The turkey has to be cool and the mashed potatoes covered in foil before I let those holiday playlists ring.
Of course, we have now crossed the Rubicon and the girls are delighting in assaulting my ears at every opportunity. I can only grin and bear and occasionally threaten to write Santa about their deviant behavior.
I was ready for some bourbon in my coffee before kick-off. The honeymoon period was clearly over during my second week as a Pre-K soccer coach. The excitement and novelty of this strange game that held them transfixed during week one was not going to cut it for week two. Allison was still fired up and plowed through quite a few boys and girls to get a goal, but at least half of the other team clearly had better places to be on a gray Saturday morning.
Clearly, I’m going to have to come up with some new tricks for these last four weeks or these kids are going to use their little cleated feet to kick me to the curb. God bless teachers for dealing with these little monsters 180 days a year.
It was a cold, gray, damp blanket of a Saturday. We have packed agendas with First Communions and dance recitals the next two weekends, but this weekend was low key. One birthday party today, but nothing else on the docket.
Michelle had a surprise baby shower in the city yesterday, so I was flying solo most of the day. Any time this happens my main goal is to exhaust the kids so much that bedtime by 7 pm is not only logical, but an absolute necessity as the kids melt into a puddle of incoherent insanity.
I started planning potential events and activities on Thursday to be sure I could sap the little monsters of their life force and have the wine opened by 7:15. Here’s how it all went down.
For the first time in almost a month, no birthday parties on the calendar for the kiddos this weekend. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a party on the agenda though, as Michelle is off right now at an 80’s party school fund raiser. Since there were costumes involved, I volunteered to stay home with the kids and save the babysitter money.
Here’s what the rest of the day looked like…
One year ago this week, I took the plunge back into the water. Sure, I’d taken the requisite swim lessons as a child and, twenty-five years later, I could stay afloat if my yacht capsized and hack together a stroke for a short distance if shark fin appeared on the horizon, but, despite my run fitness, one pathetic pool session was all I needed to tell me I was not ready to string together the laps necessary to train for even a sprint triathlon event.