When Dad Bloggers Howl At The Moon

* Howling at the Moon *

It sounded like six shots in the night. Six different moments laid one next to the other, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop…pop.

Was that what I heard or was it a car back firing?

Seconds before I finished an episode of Sons of Anarchy, number 11 in season 6. Maybe the violence in the show affected my interpretation of a car backfiring but somehow I doubt it.

Safe neighborhood or not sometimes things happen and six shots if that is what they were is not indicative of danger but still I made a quick loop of the house and checked the place out.

The 22 pounds of sleeping mutt led me to believe no one was close because he loves to bark when anyone approaches but still it made me think, reminded me of the Reaper video that so many have shown on Facebook.

I watched that Reaper chase people and wondered why no one turned upon it. Wondered if I am the crazy one for thinking about standing my ground and not being chased in that manner.

Friday afternoon another boy put my son in a headlock and refused to let go. It took two elbows to the ribs for the kid to release him. The situation was handled and my son pulled himself out of it, but I still wrote the other father.

He apologized for the behavior of his son and I told mine that we would let it go.

“It is not a problem until it is.”

“What does that mean dad?”

“It means we give him the chance to show that it was just a silly misunderstanding because that is what I think it was.”

“What do I do if he does it again?”

“You defend yourself and you make it clear that there are severe consequences for his laying his hands upon you. No one is allowed to do that. You asked him to let go and he didn’t. He is lucky nothing worse happened.”

When Dad Bloggers Howl At The Moon

When I was in 8th grade I would have been horrified if my father had gotten involved the way I did. It would have made things worse for me which is precisely why I hesitated to get involved here.

But the headlock happened on the Friday and the things that led up to it took place on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Friday was the culmination of misbehavior.

Thirty-two years after my entry into 8th grade it was ok for me to insert myself. The response I got from the other dad was appropriate and I really do feel comfortable with it but I still needed to make sure my son knew we have his back and that he is to defend himself.

I don’t want it to be with his fists but there are times when it is appropriate.

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
― Dr. Seuss

It is too bad the good doctor isn’t here for I would like to speak with him. I would love to sit down and talk to him about creating. I would love to speak with him about his process, his ideas and his thoughts.

I would like to talk to him about writing children’s books and his time as a political cartoonist. I would like to tell him how much that quote above resonates with me because right now life feels complicated.

It feels more challenging than normal and yet it feels easier. It is a contradiction I feel inside, which I suppose fits with complicated questions and simple answers.

These moments that pass in which I wonder and worry are accompanied by a sense of everything working out provided I just let go and have faith. It reminds me of kayaking down a river. I don’t know where or when I am going to put to shore but I know the boat will carry me and as long as I keep my eyes open I should be able to steer around most of the rocks and tree roots.

Maybe I don’t have as much control as I might like but I can be the captain of this ship or conductor of the train and avoid the wreckage.

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.”
― Stephen King

The Jewish New Year approaches, soon it will be Rosh Hashanah and perhaps this is part of why I feel unsettled. It happens around this time of year, reaches back into my childhood.

I first started exploring it in blogging when I was part of my first group blog. Every year I think about it and the impact of my actions. I suspect if I really dug into what I have written about time of year I would see an evolution in my thought, or so I hope.

It would be good to see growth.

Last year I wrote How Often Do You Really Face Your Fears?

Many of the things I talked about there still reside inside my mind. I still wonder how many people will go to shul because they fear not to go. I wonder how many will go because of community and how many understand what they say.

At some point I’ll have another discussion with friends about Unetaneh Tokef and ask again if they know the words in English.

“On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.”

The purpose isn’t to demean or diminish those who do. I figure if nothing else this is a good time for introspection. Time to shine a light on the darker corners of my mind and see what I find.

Running With The Moon

I am not howling at the moon, now, I am running with it. If there are wolves around I am not worried because they are either part of my pack or smart enough to mind their own business.

Still don’t know what those noises were but I can assure you they aren’t part of one of my stories, there is no fiction here.

A few more days until the chagim, the holidays start and we get to see what the new year rolls out. A few more days until the children and I have another discussion. My guess is they’ll see the video again in Hebrew school and that will be a starting point for another discussion.

I am good with that. It is good for them to think and to be asked why they think as they do.  Thinking is important.

Some of my favorite moments come from these conversations.

It is after midnight here, time for bed. I hope that other boy follows through on his promise.

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