Some guy on Twitter came at me with a series of jabs that were supposed to get under my skin so that he could finish up with a knock out shot.
“What kind of father are you?”
It was an indictment and not a question.
The kind of “gotchha” statement that must have sounded amazing in his head but didn’t have any impact in real life.
Not because my skin is so thick or because I don’t worry about people I don’t know calling me names but because what he condemns I revere.
And because I have asked and answered that question more than once and probably will again.
Today I am the kind of father who goes to sleep knowing I have done the best I could to be a good parent to my kids.
What Kind Of Father Are You?
Sometimes I feel like I have failed them because I didn’t go after certain goals and dreams of mine with the kind of single minded focus I encourage them to use.
If I am to lead by example you ask if this is a problem or perhaps you might unpack it further to get the full story and determine whether guilt is deserved or assumed.
Given the opportunity to go back in time I would make a few changes and do some things differently but that is the benefit of hindsight.
Since hindsight doesn’t provide foresight I can’t tell you things would definitively be better or worse, just different.
Some itches wouldn’t need to be scratched with such ferocity they keep me looking for future opportunity.
What kind of father doesn’t look backwards and forwards for ways to make things better. Sure some of us are secure with where things are at and confident that nothing could be better but that is some of us.
The thing to remember is the desire to improve things isn’t an indicator of a bad situation. Sometimes it is just acknowledging there is an opportunity to move closer to roping that moon.
What I know is I can take Otis’ lyrics and apply them to my life in multiple ways. I am a man of great experience which is how and why I can say I know things.
You Ought To Know
You ought to know this might be one of the weakest pieces of fiction I have written or so I think today.
There might come a time when I feel differently, but I can’t say it will happen nor will I spend time wondering about it.
You ought to know I am sharing this thought because it provides a platform to say I am certain some people will disagree.
Some will say it is far better than I say and some will declare it much worse.
That is part of the joy of writing.
If you are not writing opinion pieces it can be challenging to predict what is going to resonate with people and what is going to make them scream What the fuck did I just waste my time reading.
Some of you have told me you hate when I use curse words and that it turns you off and some of you have said it adds flavor and helps flesh out my voice.
You didn’t ask if the story of Scoundrel Johnson sold more than a 100,000 copies nor did I offer any information other than I am the kind of father who might have taught his children more than one four letter word.
Sometimes I am the father who wanted to ask where the ketchup was on the page with the spinach frittata but didn’t because sometimes I ignore people.
It took some effort not to say that frittata is a word that means monkey in Medieval French but I wasn’t sure if my words would be understood to be teasing and didn’t feel like getting into an unnecessary fight.
Is it because I am a lover and not a fighter?
Depends on the time and day–sometimes I am both and sometimes I am neither.
Did I mention I am the kind of father that isn’t just one thing.
So Close But So Far Away
Make a circle with your fingers and put the full moon inside them.
When you are young you look at the moon and wonder what might happen if you squeezed your hand shut.
Would you find yourself holding it or would it stay rooted in the sky?
Confession: sometimes I still think I can find a way to grab it and pull it out of the sky.
Ask Neil deGrasse Tyson is he can help me build a shrink ray and I’ll pull the moon out of the sky.
Hell I have already promised someone the moon, this would make it much easier to follow through.
I do hope they would choose to share it with everyone and not just keep it as a piece for their private collection.
That’s what I pushed up and down on the bench press today. It is a far cry from what I used to be able to do but the most I have comfortably done in a while.
The point isn’t to be focused on what I used to be capable of but to focus upon being the best I can be now.
That acknowledges the frustration of knowing I have lost a step physically while recognizing life isn’t stagnant and who I am now isn’t who I have to be forever.
Someone call Neil deGrasse Tyson and tell him my plan is to get back to throwing up 225 like a rag doll.
He’ll probably do the math and tell you how far off I am from being able to pull the moon out of the sky, let alone push it.
But that doesn’t mean I am going to just give up, this father remembers Archimedes and how he said with a lever he could move the earth.
Sometimes that is what you do. You move heaven and earth to find yourself so close and yet so far away.
The children ask me more questions about my past, my present and the future.
They’re different than they once were–reflective of their age and sophisticated enough for me not to be able to finesse.
That’s ok with me because life isn’t filled with easy answers to hard questions but sometimes I wish I could do better for them.
When they move into comments and conversation about people I cite Jane Austen say if we are lucky we find people we wouldn’t mind be trapped on a desert island with and not those who would inspire us to build coconut swords.
That is the kind of father I am.