Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Things one should never outgrow:

(grand) baby love. 

No words yet, but she's already a story.

She's comedy: she will suction cup to her Mom's face if necessary. She's suspense: during road trips, will she continue to sleep or will she wake and go all chaotic good, neutral, evil or ALL OF THEM AT ONCE? She's horror: sometimes she maintains eye contact while she fills a fresh diaper. She's a love story: she smiles and giggles and cuddles and clasps her hands over your fingers and plays a game we invented together I call "stand up & fall down." So much fun! She's a documentary: curious to engage with almost everything, she inspires me to exceed my reach and (re)discover anew all that's rote. She's definitely the main character (House Slytherin, maybe? haha), the star really, and she's riveting—she tells a story I and the other so-called grown-ups forgot: how mind-bending and joyful first perseverance and determination is—a theme this world needs times one hundred. 

I can't wait for her words. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Things that deserve the stink-eye:

Honest (albeit odd) observation: as much as I love sunflowers, it's a tad creepymaybe even intimidatinghaving a staring contest with a flower taller than me. I've never had to punch a sunflower, but I will if it shit-talks me. Just sayin. 

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Father's Day?

For the first time in many years, I had to work this past Father's Day. I was a bit bummed, and then I remembered: father's day is kind of stupid. Right?  

Sure, pick any day to get together and celebrate, if you want, if you can. Give cards or gifts or drink beers or facetime. Whatever. It's all good. Unless it isn't, because let's be honest, some fatherswhether it's a temporary phase on notare shite. 

Speaking of a stench in the room, for me, father's day smells like my ever-present imposter syndrome. Perhaps I'm not a shite dad, but I've had some episodes that should have meant cancelation. Sigh. So my struggle with the day is the struggle with the label. I am uncomfortable with the traditional father paradigm, and I cannot peel this skin off. It's rooted deep. Like so many boys, we once compared our fatherstheir physical strengths, their numerous accomplishments, their effortless confidence, their undeniable prowess. Eventually we recognized our dads were human and yet we were determined not to make the same mistakes. But we did. And somewhere in there, those original unrealistic notions became ideals and manifested themselves in toxic ways because fatherhood has a way of highlighting one's inadequacies, selfishness, and all the dormant flaws. Big time. Becoming a father, I felt it alllove and gratitude and joyalso overwhelming bewilderment and fear and frustration. Why couldn't I get my shite together and fix things?

After many years now, and especially this year, fatherhood feels different; I'm a grandpops. Thanks to time and space and experience, I'm finally free to embrace an ongoing and (much-needed) progression of fatherhood (manhood, personhood), inspired by the essential aim to EVOLVE. I am in love with evolution these days! Hence, I continue to shuffle off those old ideals, redefining fatherhood, hoping this version of me is still enough for my grown kids. In the spirit of ongoing imposter-soaked honesty and authenticity-seeking, following are those times (thanks to my daughter and my son) I felt most like my definition of a father: 
  • when I cut your cords
  • when I read with you and sang with you
  • playing RAWRRRR!
  • watching you sleep
  • "Did you give me a hug yet today?" 
  • that time you sang at the concert in Grade 3
  • that time you broke the rocking chair at the school assembly
  • skiing & snowboarding
  • all our holidays together, including that weird hour we spent in Crooked Bush, and always, always, always catching frogs on the farm. 
  • your wedding
  • snowmobiling with you
  • peeling your drunk self off the driveway in front of our home
  • searching a shallow stream for your cellphone
  • when you drove me home from Edmonton once (and made fun of me)
  • watching horror/comedy movies with you
  • giving you a hundred dollar bill
  • whenever I say, Jesus.
  • e-transfers (Jesus.)
  • when you got tattoos (Jesus.)
  • making cookies for you
  • when you phone late
  • when I’m far away from you
  • when I apologized
  • right now. 
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