They put that song on Thursday night and danced and by “they” I mean my children. I just stood in the back of the room and watched them sing, dance and laugh.

These two have a love/hate relationship which probably isn’t that different from many siblings. Of course when they come to their old man to complain I laugh and tell them I had more than twice as many siblings to deal with. And then for good measure I tell them how their aunts used to team up to take me on. That is part of the fun of being the only brother.

Every now and then at family gatherings the aunts will try to convince my children that I deserved it. They talk about how I locked them all in a bedroom or share other stories in which I allegedly terrorized them.

Dear reader, I have to tell you these scandalous fabrications and distortions of reality disappoint me. I was never anything but their trustworthy and loyal brother. I was their stalwart companion and defender. You couldn’t mess with my sisters and all of my BILs know that you still can’t or you will deal with me.

Call it the Animal House approach to dealing with sisters, “You can’t do that to our pledges, only we can do that to our pledges.”

Dancing Children

These dancing children of mine are a big part of why I have been somewhat disconnected from the blogosphere. Since they went back to school there has been a lot going on and it has required more time.

I don’t mind at all. It is part and parcel of being dad.

There have been big changes for all of us. I was an insider at the old school. I knew who was doing what and felt like I had plenty of influence within the PTA and elsewhere. Of course I could be wrong about that but my perception is that I wasn’t and I was good with that.

I don’t have that now, at least not yet. I am busy working hard to figure out how things work at the new school. I like knowing who has influence and who doesn’t. Part of that irks me because I am not a fan of politics.

But what I don’t miss from the private school world is knowing that the person with a bigger wallet has more influence than I do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be stroked or need a plaque with  my name on it.

The sort of influence I want lies in trying to help facilitate fundraisers and school activities.

A New Rhythm

So we are in this new world where we are figuring out a new rhythm and a new routine. Instead of one school there are two and that presents other challenges.

Speaking of rhythm that son of mine has a little and I have almost none. The little mister who used to tell me he would never get married and said that girls were the devil is changing right in front of our eyes.

If we are watching a movie and there is any sort of kissing he turns his head away and groans. Sometimes out of the corner of my eye I see him trying to watch and I see the future coming. I hear the conversations his friends have and I remember being 12.

Girls are slowly changing and it won’t be long before I have a new challenge to deal with.

That has never been the case with my daughter. She has always liked boys. She tells me that she likes a few but assures me that she doesn’t want a boyfriend. Sometimes she’ll try to get a reaction out of me by saying she thinks one day she’ll want to kiss one.

Princesses and Ponies Meet Soccer

The little rascal still loves her Disney Princesses and still wants to ride the ponies but I see the future coming with her too. Soccer practice hits twice a week and I watch my girl run through other girls to get to the ball.

Her ponytail bounces along and she is intent on getting to the ball before the others. I love watching her play and here I will admit that I love that she plays with the same mindset as I do. It is a joy to watch.

My son plays differently and he is also a joy to watch. He is more of a thinker and I see him plotting out what moves to make. He does that in all aspects of his life and I love it too.

But I will confess that I hope he learns to love the contact side of the sport too. If he does that it will enhance his game and he’ll really take it up a notch.

Professional photograph of a person/group from...

Professional photograph of a person/group from around the turn of the 19th/20th century: siblings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes my crew look as happy as these two do, but the moments I remember most are of them dancing like they were the other night. Those smiles were electric and that is the kind of charge I can’t ever get enough of.

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  1. Seattledad September 3, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    Are you kidding? Back then that picture was most likely those kids at their most joyous. Anyway happy, silly kids having a lot of fun is one of the best things in life. It really is, and it’s even better when it is your kids.

  2. Harleena Singh September 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Love to read about you and your kids Jack!

    It’s such a pleasure to go through the way you write about them and more-so all that you undergo, watching them grow gradually. That’s what makes great fathers. 🙂

    I remember the time when my kids were that age and how we too would try and understand what went on in their little minds – but it’s never easy to know that. And now that they are in their teens, there’s so much you wish they would share with us, which they do but only when we make an effort to sit down and have a family talk-time or over the weekends or holidays! So, make the best of being together and sharing things with one another as you can, because it’s well known how most teenagers prefer keeping to themselves and their friend circle.

    Thanks for sharing more about yourself with all of us and may you always enjoy watching them dance, sing, and evolve into beautiful people. 🙂

    • Jack September 4, 2012 at 10:55 pm

      I can only begin to imagine some of the challenges that come with parenting teenagers. Every age has its challenges but I am guessing that when the children get to be “bigger and older” it has to be a little bit harder to try and work with them on some things.

      Eventually I’ll learn for myself what that is all about and I am ok with waiting for that day. It is made a bit easier when I get to read your stories and hear some of the things that your children do and what you do to.

      Always glad to have you here, especially when you are able to comment.

  3. Gina September 3, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Great post. Sounds like these two are a lot like mine. Out of the corner of my eye I will see them get along at times. It’s going to be weird, at first, for you not having the same involvement with their schools but in someways, it frees up your mind too. Enjoy those dancing moments. They go quickly and then they are kissing and dating….

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm

      It is a mixed blessing not having the same connection/insights at the new places. I know that middle school is definitely not going to have the same involvement so I am prepared for that, but not completely ready to let my daughter’s school off the hook yet. 😉

      That kissing and dating thing is going to be hard. I am glad that I have some time not to worry about that because it its yucky. 😉

  4. Kaarina Dillabough September 3, 2012 at 10:22 am

    May you never miss an opportunity to watch them sing, dance and laugh! Cheers! Kaarina

  5. Kristen September 3, 2012 at 10:13 am

    Hey Jack – I always love the way you write about your kids. It’s clear to me, thousands of miles and a whole Internet away, how much you “get” them.

    Hope the transition to the new schools and the new school year goes smoothly for all of you.

    • Jack September 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Hi Kristen,

      I hope your eyes feel good now. I love writing these posts too. It provides an opportunity to try to burn the memories and the moments into the old memory banks. And since I am inscribing them here it helps to make sure that they are recorded for posterity.

      Thus far the transition has been pretty good. Hope yours is good too.

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