There is no truth to the rumor that you can find any of the dad blogger cliques or mommy blogger cartels in the photo at the top of this page.
Hell, I used that shot because it looked like the perfect building for a Scooby Doo mystery or some other cool drama to be shot in.
Don’t ask me to give you more information about the cliques or cartels because some people go nuts whenever I suggest that there is any such thing in blogging.
No collusion, no nepotism–nope it doesn’t happen.
People just like working and hanging out with their friends or so I am told. Nothing to see here, just move along.
Truth is I would rather ask you to look at the photo and tell me if you can see the mysterious figure looking out from the far window.
Who is that person and what are they doing up there?
There could be some great stories tied up in that or it could be as simple as it being the guy cleaning the windows.
Yeah, a simple window cleaner. Nothing to see here, keep up with your tour guide and move along please.
Someone asked me to describe myself in under two minutes and I told them I needed more time to think about it.
Because I took it seriously and like most people I wanted sound cool, erudite, collected and interesting.
I wanted that description to be more than “Jack is a fire-breathing dragon who is unfiltered, unfettered and free to do and say anything to anyone, anywhere and at any time.”
I wanted to tell them to check out the archives and say these posts tell you everything and nothing about me.
I wanted to tell them to ask my closest and friends and survey my readers so that they would get a double dose of reality.
But none of that happened because I asked for time to think about it.
Parenting A Teenager
You can blame some of this upon what happens/comes with parenting, especially a teenager.
Because if you try to be mindful of it all you start to realize just how many of your beliefs are arbitrary and have come from your having accepted what was spoonfed to you.
Some of them come from your having had life experiences that make you realize you don’t accept or believe those things anymore.
Or they come because some genie in the sky connected their cable to your melon and they were downloaded into you.
But for me, mostly they come from the last ten years of life or so it seems to me.
The combination of some crazy life experiences personally and professionally and the trials and tribulations of raising a teenage boy who is exactly as I once was and so very different.
Reminds me of the time I looked The Shmata Queen in the eyes and told her she was the greatest and worst thing to ever happen to me. I understand everything and nothing.
Steiner the minor will be 16 this year.
At some point we’ll start talking seriously about driving and his ideas about freedom will expand well beyond where they are at now.
He already senses the possibilities but he doesn’t completely understand what driving can and will do for him.
I know and think of it differently, both as the 16-year-old I was and the father I am today.
He sees endless highways and I hear a clock ticking.
We’re Both Changing
Part of the uncertainty surrounding this moment in time is because we are both changing.
The ticking I hear isn’t meant to be a bad thing, it is more of a wake-up call telling me that it is time to focus and refocus upon some areas.
I don’t have unlimited time and even though I expect to live for another 90 years or so I can’t depend upon that happening.
The only thing I can rely upon is change and my ability to manage whatever comes during that time.
But I know I have a perfect record of having survived every bad day I have ever had.
When I tell him he has the same record he nods his head, but I don’t know if he completely buys into it or not.
Even though I am sincere about it I still push it hard because I want and need for him to internalize that because it will help him find his north star when both the days and nights are dark.
Given this has been the hardest two weeks I have had as a father it is more important to me than ever.
“I need you to believe what I am saying. I need for you to take that leap of faith and trust me. I can still carry you.”
“Dad, I am too big to be carried.”
Before he can say anything I throw him over my shoulder and start marching up the stairs.
“Fine, you can still carry me.”
I called my father Wednesday and asked a series of questions.
He listened and laughed, reminded me that I have got this.
“Jack, you’ll be ok and so will he. Take a deep breath and remember what a nightmare you were at times. You both have too much energy and spend too much time thinking. Just be.”
I hung up the phone feeling refreshed, a goofy smile upon my face.
Even though I had already hung up I thanked dad again for coming through. One day I won’t have that and the days and nights will be darker.
Vomit On The Page
Long ago a journalism professor told me not to vomit all over the page.
“Sometimes you overload your page with content and ideas. Some readers won’t be able to deal with it and they’ll leave.
But remember, some won’t. Some will relate to your puke, so vomit away.”
I thanked him for the contradictory advice and told him his shirt was a lovely shade of black and white.
And now I must run, it is time to listen to The History of Rock and Roll while I work. See you in the comments.