Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Unexpected Sharpness

He left behind his best pair of shoes. (I know they're comfy because we're the same size.) She left behind almost everything. (One can only take so much on a plane but I'm happy she has her guitar.) Let's be honest though. What they mostly left behind is this: me.

That's why there's an unexpected sharpness today, a lonely sharpness. I knew it was coming but I'm always easily surprised. My children are grown and gone. One moved about 8 hours away, one moved about 48 hours away. And yes, they will be back: Thanksgiving, surely Christmas, probably next summer, I don't know.

That's the thing: I don't know.

For the past week I've been talking with myself about this but I haven't much been listening to my logic. I knew it was coming. My daughter has already had two years of university six hours away. This isn't really new. Yet the difference this time seems to be that both of them are gone. And that's what I don't know: as a parent, who am I and how do I cope if both of them go?

I don't have a choice. I have to let go. But that also means I can't protect them. I can't be in charge. I can't see their faces in the morning and at night and I remember in the early years, that was the best part. I can't read Harry Potter aloud at bedtime anymore. I can't sing We Three Kings every night. And I can't make burritos, one without onions, one with everything, both with avocado and just sit and listen and laugh and nag and argue and question and challenge and debate and laugh and just look at them and just enjoy family life every day because that was the routine for so long and I barely remember a time without that routine.

That's the other thing: I don't know the new routine.

Wow that sounds old and anal. But honestly, my wife and I have built this sturdy structure, a sort-of scaffolding and now construction isn't complete but we've certainly finished this phase. And I know this is just all my stupid selfish tender heart because I'm also equally excited for them to find their own paths. My own path led to much happiness: marriage, children, career. They've earned this. I want this for them.

Yet I don't quite know my own path now.

Friends help. They remind me of the times I couldn't wait for my teens to grow up and get lives and at times, stop being assholes. I'm also told these relationships will evolve in deeper ways. I hope so. But will that happen for sure? I don't know.

Here's what I do know though: they don't need me to pine for them. They need me to be what I've always tried to be: Dad. So, just like from the very beginning of my life with them, that's what I will figure out how to do and how to be and who to be in all the ways they need me to be.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

this is a banana with a hair band attached to it (retrieved from my daughter's backpack--the one she last looked inside 4 months ago).


Tuesday, August 12, 2014


According to the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, over 3700 Canadians die by suicide each year: 10 each day. And it is estimated that between 6 and 28 people are deeply affected by each suicide. I know from personal experience that's true.

It amazes me how people sometimes conspire to ensure others are happy. Thank goodness for sneaky people who notice, especially when laughter disguises and deflects.


"Comedy is acting out optimism." ~Robin Williams

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Friday, August 8, 2014

Swim it out.

Do this. It rocks. 
What builds muscle mass and improves endurance? What protects us from joint stress and strain? What helps alleviate arthritis? What improves cardio-respiratory fitness and burns calories almost as efficiently as cycling? What works almost all our muscles? What is effective when we're old or injured? What cools the body (and the mind)?

Ice cream (especially root-beer floats).

I wish. Actually, if you were thinking eating of any kind (instead of swimming), sadly that is incorrect, but I like the way you think.

This year, one of the hottest I can recall, I have gone swimming in
a.       a pool.
b.      the ocean.
c.      with a bear, literally (thankful he kept to his own side of the river and left fairly quickly).
d.      in that shimmery-shade-of-sugary-blue glacial water.

This was weird. I seldom swim. For me, clothing is rarely optional and water and I haven’t always been in a trustworthy relationship. Yet, in that water whether it was salty or freezing or a little too populated, I couldn’t help but unwind. And it made me wonder:
1.      Maybe flying is actually floating.
2.      Maybe swimming washes away more than we realize.
3.      Maybe swimming resets perspective.
4.      Where else can you pee your pants in public?
5.      Maybe swimming makes us young again.
6.      Maybe it’s impossible to be unhappy in the water.

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), it’s always our self we find in the sea.” –e.e. cummings

Go swim. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Recent Selfie

Yup. It's me.
At the end of this month, both my teens will move away to University/College. This recent selfie will help them remember what I look like (and what I mostly do.)
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