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Monday, May 31, 2010

Build a ladder to the stars, climb on every rung

There's a ton of things that excite me about being a pappy, & there's probably just as many things that quite frankly scare me to death. Depending on my mood, sometimes the things that excite me pop into my brain easier, other times it's the other way around.

I'll always remember the first days of kindegarden & the new shoes I had. I can picture them now, they were brown faux leather with stitching around the edges, pretty stylish considering the velcro. I remember avoiding the sandbox during the first days of recess, so as not to get my new kicks dirty, until Ms. Kolver & my mother told me it was okay to go in the sand. My wife will be the first to tell you that little things like this persist in my adult life. I wonder where these things come from, my father was never afraid to get his shoes dirty. I often wonder whether or not my child will have these little pieces of neuroses. Are these things biological? Learned? A little of both? I know we are our parents' children, & we are also influenced by those around us. I'm sure we pick up many traits all on our own without any influence. I can't help but wonder whether I should go with instinct & keep my child's hands washed at all times or if I should teach them not be be afraid of germs & have them lick a gasoline pump right off the bat. If anybody has any suggestions, I'm not being rhetorical here, I'd love to hear it.

On to something positive, I'm looking forward to playing with my kids. Really playing. Making up a stupid game & playing it for hours the way my sister & I could see how many times we could throw a ball across the room with only one hand without dropping it. Or the time we'd lay upside down with our head hanging off the couch & calling it "truck". I'm sure this will drive my wife crazy, & I have to admit it, I'm looking forward to that too. I'm looking forward to scheming with the kid & Winston to figure out how we can wake her up in the morning, too.

I'm looking forward to taking the kid for a walk & explaining to them everything we see, even when their only a few months old. I don't think I'll be too good at baby talk, maybe that will change. I'm looking forward to playing the kid classical music & jazz when they can't sleep at night & I'm looking forward to them rolling their eyes at me when I play the same music when they're 15. I'm looking forward to reading them stories, 'cause I know I'll be just as intrigued by the stories as they will be. I've already bought Frog & Toad All Year.

I'm worried about not being able to show the kid how to work with their hands. Let's face it, I'm not the handiest dude in the world. Maybe I'll have to take them to grampy's for that. Speaking of grampy, & I'm not trying to be mushy or sentimental here, I'm worried I won't be half the father he was to me. My old man was my hero when I was a kid, & has been ever since. He had a way of showing me what it means to be a man in every sense of the word without ever opening his mouth. When he would stop & shoot hoops with me, even for just a few minutes when he was walking home from work it made me feel like I was on top of the world. He & my mother had a way of making us feel loved & cared for without spoiling us. I worry about striking that balance between giving my kids everything they need without spoiling them. I guess, maybe if I can figure that out the rest just might fall into place.

Five Favorite Songs of the Day

Naked As We Came-Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days

God's Small Song-Bonnie "Prince" Billy, The Letting Go

Here At the Right Time-Josh Ritter, Monster Ballads

Hang Me, Oh Hang Me-Deep Dark Woods

Up a Tree (went this heart I have)-Cotton Jones, Paranoid Cocoon

Happy Memorial Day, friends...



Christie said...

This made me smile...except for the licking the gasoline pump part. Please don't do that :) There is a happy medium for everything, and you are going to make a terrific father!!! Just please don't try to scheme on me too much, Paybacks are never fun ;)

Pam said...

What a great way to start my morning! Your wife is wise--"a happy medium" were the exact words that I was going to say for that question. As for the other questions (implied or otherwise)
1. nature, nurture, and "not sure" - the joy is in the wondering.
2. Dispense with the "baby talk". It will only make them think that's the way the world talks.
3. Love a lot, pray a lot, and fly by the seat of your pants - we've all done it.
4. Give them what they need, but help them learn to work for what they want. (not always an easy thing to do). What do they need? Unconditional love (yours and Jesus'), guidance, prayer, food, clothing, shelter.
5. As far as handy work - let him/her see you're not perfect, just forgiven. And learn together.

I'm confident that you will be a terrific "pappy". I can't wait!

That's all the parently wisdom (for what it's worth) that I can impart in one sitting.

Joyce said...

When it comes to being a heroic dad, you're a shoo-in. Mike recently said, it's hard to remember what it was like before he was a dad. (It must not have been important) My favorite parenting advice is: "All you've got to do is make sure your face lights up when your child enters the room."

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Grand Haven, Michigan
the sun shines on a dog's ass every now & then...