Archives for June 2010

The Posterous Problem

I have a secondary blog that I run on Posterous. I set it up about a year ago as a place that I would use on sort of an experimental basis and have found it to be quite useful. Along the way I decided to import the posts from Random Thoughts to it. I thought that it would be a good way for people who discovered me on Posterous to get a better feel for who I am and that it might also serve as a way to back up the main blog.

It would have worked out quite nicely but I didn’t know that Posterous didn’t have a mechanism in place for discerning which posts had already been imported. The system was designed to work as a primary blog not a secondary. It imports posts beautifully and with great efficiency. So my moment of genius actually created an issue because I have a Posterous blog that has multiple copies of my posts.

I did manage to keep the blog up to date but I also created a ton of duplicates. I felt a bit like the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. So now I have this beautiful Posterous blog that requires a fair amount of maintenance and repair.

So the question I am asking myself this fine morning is whether it would be easier to simply start over or if I am going to take time to pick out the duplicate posts….one…by….one.

Posted via email from thejackb’s posterous

Goodnight My Children

Time and circumstances have taken me away from my children. Earlier today I hugged them tight, kissed their heads, whispered a silent blessing and said goodbye. With some effort I turned and walked away, each step taking me closer to a car that will lead to a plane that will take me farther away from them than I am right now.

If fortune smiles upon me the time apart will be brief and the moments that lie in between will be quick. I go off to take care of grown up things that they know nothing of and have no part in. That is as it should be. They need to be children for as long as they possibly can because once childhood is gone there is no way to turn back the clock.

Innocence is only ours but once and then experience has its way with our eyes and they never see things the same way again. Sometimes that is a good thing. There are moments in which innocence lost is a treasured gained.

Today I looked in my son’s eyes and I saw a boy who was determined to be tough even though it wasn’t what he really wanted. So I wrapped him up in a giant bear hug and shook him. And though he protested it wasn’t with real effort and we both got what we wanted.

The dark haired beauty was a different story. She wrapped her arms around my neck and pulled me down to kiss my cheeks. It was a demand, not a request and one that I gladly acquiesced to. Dark eyes looked into mine, searching for something that she never did verbalize.

And now hours past and hundreds of miles later I sit here at my computer digesting the day and playing back the mental movie of the moments that were. Somewhere in beds far from here they are asleep, these children of mine.

I spoke to them moments after they brushed their teeth and listened to stories about dinner and what they had seen. I promised to see them sooner than they thought, telling them that I would greet them in their dreams. And then, I said goodnight- told them that I loved them and hung up.

Soon I will shut the computer down. I’ll turn it off, unplug it and walk upstairs to a bed that is not mine and close my eyes. And just before I fall asleep I will picture the place that I promised to meet my children. Even now I am already beginning to visualize it. So you’ll forgive me if I cut this short, I have a date that I can’t miss.

Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #17

2010 is the year of the daddy blogger and as such it is time again for the Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience. Here we are in week 17 of our ongoing journey throughout the daddy blogosphere. The Traveling Jack Band has been on the road for well over a week and I have just about lost the remaining vestiges of my mind so I’ll apologize now if this reads like a Fodors’ Guide Book.

DC Urban Dad:10 random lessons learned from moving
Always Home and Uncool: Certifiable
Luke, I Am Your Father: The Terrible Myth
Pacing The Panic Room: Joyous Steps is What She takes
Daddy Yo: Real Talk: Being a Man of Courage
SAHDPDX: Can I put my brother in the chipper?
Almighty Dad: Housecleaning: Who Rules the Roost?
Dadwagon: A Week on the Wagon: Embowelment Edition 
Daddy Files: What If? 
Real Men Drive Minivans: I’m in love with another woman
SAHD in Lansing: It’s game time
Rebel Dad: NYT Goes After Pampers on the Dad Thing
Mocha Dad: A Modest Proposal
Clark Kent’s Lunchbox: A Dad’s Resume As Read By His Son
The Mommy Daddy: They’re Trying To Kill Me
Raleigh Daddy:Smarty pants
NY Dad: Looking good kid…
A Dudes Guide: Traveling Wilbury 
Dad Today: Off we go!
The Dad Pad: Chick-fil-A’s Daddy/Daughter Date night
Techy Dad: Aloha Friday: Obtaining Recipes From Restaurants
Dadvocate:  Dadvocate Podcast Episode 11 – Dad of Divas
The DaddyBlogger.com: Yet another drop-side crib recall

If you like what you see here then please consider becoming a fan of the blog. Have additional questions/comments? Send me an email at talktojacknow-at-gmail-dot-com.

Prior Editions:

Festival Of The Fathers- A Blog Experience
Festival of The Fathers- A Blog Experience Part 2
Festival Of The Fathers- A Blog Experience Part III
Festival Of The Fathers- A Blog Experience Part 4
Festival Of The Fathers- A Blog Experience Part 5
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #6
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #7
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #8
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #9
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #10
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #11
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #12
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #13
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #14
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #15
Festival of Fathers- A Blog Experience #16 Father’s Day Edition

Sometimes When You Win You Lose

The few readers who truly know me understand that while I take certain liberties with my stories there are some things that I don’t exaggerate. I don’t fear confrontation and rarely back down. In a disagreement I am more than a handful and I prefer not to be involved in stupid disagreements.

If arguing with a fool means that you are an idiot than I have earned the title of “stupid idiot” because I have wasted more than a few words and minutes in disagreements with fools. Fortunately age and life experience have helped to educate me so that I find myself in such foolish predicaments far less frequently than ever before.

Most of the time I try very hard to avoid engaging in such silly situations. I have nothing to prove and no reason to waste my energy dealing with those people that create disharmony in my life. But sometimes I find myself drawn into it and forced to remind myself that sometimes when you win you still lose.

Such was the situation I found myself in this afternoon. Stuck between a rock and a hard place I responded to the intentional provocation that was thrust upon me. My response leapfrogged ugly and went straightnow  to nasty. It is not something that I am proud of. And though I had made it eminently clear that if this disagreement ever came about it would flow as it did I am still disappointed.

What have I gained from it? Not much, if anything. If it were a prizefight you would have seen the judges announce my name as the victor by knockout. It wasn’t even close and it probably never should have happened.

And now to quote my grandfather (may he rest in peace) I’ll play out the hand using the cards I was dealt. Only time will tell if this disagreement was truly worth engaging in or if it was something other than that.

The only upside to it was that it provided a great lesson for my children, especially my son. He didn’t see it and knows nothing about it, but it was the source of my thought that sometimes when you win you lose. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed that if nothing else he learned something from our conversation.

That wouldn’t fix everything, but it would be a bit of a mitigating factor. But for now we shall just wait and see.

Children Need Coping Skills

A thousand years ago during the days when no one called me dad and I was just your run of the mill single guy I had lots of opinions about children. In particular I had strong feelings about how they should behave in public and thought poorly of parents who couldn’t control them.

It seemed to me like there were far too many examples of parents who didn’t care what their children did. Restaurants, airplanes and movies seemed to be filled with children running wild and parents who were oblivious to the chaos their offspring were creating. I didn’t understand why this was so. It wasn’t how I was raised and had my siblings or I tried any of that our parents would have stopped it immediately.

Now years later I understand that sometimes there are situations that arise in which parents find themselves struggling to keep their children from running amok. Sometimes it is because the child has a behavioral issue that makes it more challenging to be well behaved in public. Other times it is because the kid/parent has reached their breaking point and they are melting down.

I get it. I understand. I have been there. Been at that place where I am so exhausted I feel like I can’t deal and the kids get a moment to run wild. I have been there when they have lost it and aren’t able to get themselves in check.

So I have some understanding and sympathy for parents. My rule of thumb is if you are trying to help your child you get a break from me. But what I cannot tolerate is when parents don’t do anything. I can’t stomach the idea of children running a household because mom/dad aren’t willing to do the work.

Discipline comes with the job, it is part and parcel. And discipline doesn’t have to mean corporal punishment. You don’t have to beat a child to help them learn what is wrong/right. Corporal punishment merits its own post- I don’t want to get caught up in that now.

Rather let’s talk about coping skills for a moment because it is a key element of parenting. If you don’t teach your child how to lose you are failing them. If you don’t teach your child how to deal with not getting everything they want you are failing them. If you don’t teach your child how to deal with hard times you are failing them.

Those are hard lessons that aren’t easy for adults. They aren’t easy for anyone, but they are critical skills to learn. We can’t protect our kids from everything. We won’t always be there to save them from “life.” So it is up to us to give them the tools to deal with whatever comes along.

Coping skills make for happier children.