The Dad Blogging Dance
One day when my children ask me to tell them what kinds of books, movies and stories I like to write I will show them the scene above. I will tell them that it is the sort of moment that makes their dad sit up and take notice.
I’ll tell them that it taps into a million different thoughts, dreams and moments. I’ll say that it touches me and it makes me feel and that this is what I want my writing to do for others.
And then I’ll show them a few more clips like this one
and this one
That’s because dad has been dancing in the fire for a thousand years and probably will for a thousand more. It is what I do. It is who I am. It is a part of me and I no longer remember when it wasn’t.
Life Isn’t Fair
The kids and I have been talking again about what is fair and what isn’t. I have done my best to protect their innocence but I haven’t lied to them about life being unfair.
It is not fair. It never was and it never will be. There are moments where it is cruel, merciless and downright mean.
But that doesn’t mean that there is no magic nor majesty. Â It doesn’t mean that we should lie down and give in to the hard times because that is not who we are either.
The point Â and the purpose of talking to them about it is to set the ground rules. They need to understand that are responsible for our own happiness and obligated to work hard to get what we need and what we want.
There is no shame in that. Accomplishment is to be celebrated.
Last night the three remaining men in the family went to see Spiderman. Â Three generations, grandfather, son and grandson took a few moments out of the day to share and celebrate.
I spent a chunk of the night watching the look on my son and father’s faces. I did it because that was magical to me. Happiness radiated from the two of them and I couldn’t stop watching them continue to build the sort of relationship I once had with my grandfathers.
It was beautiful and I loved seeing it grow.
If you are among the long times readers you know that I miss my grandparents, especially my grandfathers. You know that I got to be quite close with them both. They were important to me for a million reasons not the least of which is that I never stopped learning from them.
So how can I not feel my heart swell when I see it happening again. Maybe that is why they both showed up in my dreams last night.
We talked about life and I told them things that I won’t share here. They said what they had to say and I listened.
When I woke up I was happy to have had the time. Don’t care if it was a real visitation or just my imagination because it doesn’t matter. What matters is that I woke up with a deeper understanding of some things.
The dark haired beauty is counting down the days until her actual birthday. She throws her arms around my neck, kisses my face and tells me to shave because my face is too scratchy.
I rub my face against hers and she squeals with laughter. She yells catch me and takes off running.
For a few minutes we run from room to room and I make sure to almost get her but not quite.
This girl of mine tells me to sit down because she has written songs and she wants to sing them to me. She makes a point to brush my hair so that it meets with her liking and then she tells me that they are romantic songs but not written for a boy.
When I ask why she is writing romantic songs she smiles. The whole point is to get a reaction from me. I know this game so for a moment I keep a blank expression and then I tell her that I am going to punch all the boys in the nose.
She roars with laughter because she thinks she has me. Ok, maybe she does just a little bit.
I think of a scene in Spiderman in which a father catches a boy in his daughter’s room and think about days to come when that could happen. I am not ready for it, but she wants to grow up now.
Life has been busier than I like and far more complicated. Â I need to restructure things so that I get more time to write. There are words to be written and stories to be told and I feel the proverbial grains of sand slipping through my fingers with ever increasing speed.
So I am doing my best to capture these moments and burn them into memories.
It is what I do because sometimes I just write.
ChopperPapa July 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm
I dare anyone to tell me that Gladiator isn’t the greatest movie of all time.Â
TheJackB July 12, 2012 at 8:23 am
Â @ChopperPapa That movie has so many good lines and great scenes, love it.
JanBierens July 11, 2012 at 11:17 am
It’s funny in a way how we pass things on to our children. Things we have learned from our parents – elders and so on and each generation tries to do it a little better than their own parents. Eventually kids will become perfect and that’s great, and scary at the same time. The interaction and surprises kids have us handle make things so much more fun.
I would rather be part of a fun world that a perfect world.
TheJackB July 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm
With a little luck we pass along the good things and not the bad, not that I have any bad traits to pass along. Who me? Â No way. 😉
I am with you- fun world is far more interesting than perfect.
BetsyKCross July 11, 2012 at 5:37 am
I had a very “real” dream last night.Nightmare, actually! A friend called sobbing, telling me his wife had electrocuted herself and was gone!! I tell my kids all the time, “No chocolate before bed! You’ll only have nightmares!” So, I made these bacon / caramel brownies and ate one after dinner….maybe that was the culprit! LOL! Still, I’ll call her today just to be sure she’s still around!
Good for you being the kind of dad a daughter needs, too. A very out-spoken friend of mine told me that she said recently to another friend who she caught yelling at his daughter, “So, it’s YOUR fault when she marries an abuser…you’ve taught her well!” A little melodramatic…but maybe she’s on to something?
Anyways, who cares if life is fair? At least it saw the necessity of leaving me for another few minutes? HA!
Have a great day!!
TheJackB July 11, 2012 at 4:16 pm
Chocolate causes nightmares? Well that is one that I hadn’t heard before, but I like it. My daughter will thank you for the new reason I say not to eat sweets later. 😉
A lot of my dreams are quite vivid, so I have more experience there than I sometimes like.
Got to take care of all the kiddies. Boys are easy for me, I follow the thought process effortlessly, but girls take a bit more, but I am good with that.
AnnImig July 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm
I love that you watched your family watch the movie. Beautiful image.
TheJackB July 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm
Â @AnnImigÂ Thank you Ann. It was quite the evening, I loved the moment.
Gina1 July 10, 2012 at 6:24 pm
These are the posts of yours that I love. The ones where you “just write” about life stuff. I know you were close to your grandfathers and what a blessing that your son and your dad are developing something all their own. I would be watching their faces, just like you. I have, especially when going to a movie with my kids. I still do it now.
TheJackB July 10, 2012 at 11:46 pm
Â @Gina1Â I like these posts too. I never get tired of writing them, but I sometimes wonder if my readers do.
My dad had a triple bypass two days before my daughter was born. A few months earlier he was on life support and we weren’t sure if he was going to make it. I am eternally grateful that he did and that I have been privileged to watch him and my son build this world together.
It is cool. Dad was a very good father, but he was a hard man in many ways. My kids don’t realize how soft he has become in his old age. It is nice.
As for you, well you are proof that you never stop being mom, no matter how old your kids are. That is cool too.
Harleena Singh July 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm
Life surely has it’s own twists and turns Jack!
But what’s most important is how we take it and look at it. It can be very beautiful or just the opposite, depending on how your outlook is – just as I keep saying so often, it’s all in the mind. :)It does become tough to explain all these details to our kids though, because at their young age they really don’t follow such things, just as we didn’t till we grew up. But I love the way you manage to take out the time to spend with your kids and share those precious moments of togetherness.
Thanks for sharing more of you with all of us. :)Â
TheJackB July 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm
Â @Harleena SinghÂ Hello Harleena,
We have the benefit of life experience and each other, fellow bloggers. That makes it easy for us to see that the most important thing we can give to our children is our time.
It doesn’t matter where we live or who we are. Culture, religion, race- they are all the same when it comes to the need our children have for our time.
I am not surprised by it but I am pleased to be part of the community and to know that my challenges aren’t that different from so many other parents.
It is a joy to raise children, even when they make us crazy. 😉