Where Bloggers Fear To Tread

Dare To Be

The nameless and faceless talking heads who write about how hard the junior high or as they are known now middle school years don’t talk about how challenging it can be for the parents.

They’ll talk to you about the chaos and confusion that comes with puberty and how it can make kids a bit crazy.

They’ll tell you it is perfectly normal for your kid not to know when hair shows up in odd places and mention how hormones might make them act out a bit but they don’t say much about how you are supposed to handle it.

Or maybe they do and I just never bother to listen or read that stuff.

Either one of them might be accurate and it wouldn’t really matter much because I probably wouldn’t pay attention anyway.

Maybe it is ‘cuz I have faith in my ability to be the kind of father who figures things out or maybe it is because I have faith that my teen will figure it out.

The latter is where I place more weight because he has to live his life and part of living life is figuring out how to deal with whatever comes.

Doesn’t mean I don’t do my best to support him or that I won’t tell him because he knows I am there. It just means I know I am not in school with him so I can’t slap compassion into the mean kids or beat sense into those who are nasty.

But I can imagine it.

5 Songs

  • Day After Day-BadFinger
  • Sloop John B- The Beach Boys
  • The Night Is Still Young- Billy Joel
  • Can’t Find My Way Home- Blind Faith
  • Lay, Lady, Lay- Bob Dylan

Where Bloggers Fear To Tread

There are boundaries in blogging so I am cautious and careful about how much information I provide about the tales I tell that are no longer mine alone.

That boychik of mine is going through some growing pains now and it is hard for me to watch. But he is not dealing with anything he can’t handle and what he is dealing with he has to handle.

I can’t try to catch or carry him through this part because he won’t learn and I have to let him fall down sometimes so that he recognizes he knows how to get back up.

So I blur and obscure some details to try to protect him so that it is not easy to identify him and talk about how he says he feels invisible at school.

His old man has often felt like he was on the outside looking in but I never felt invisible. I always knew how to get attention if I wanted it and was dumb enough to find sometimes when I didn’t.

Steiner the Minor is his own man and I love that. I want that for him. He doesn’t need to be my clone. He doesn’t have to be clever, charming and handsome…I can handle those things and humility too.

We’re on the verge of high school and he is ready for changes and challenges. I am excited for him and impressed with how well he is handling the uncertainty of not knowing where he’ll be in school.

Could be here, could be 10,000 miles from here or somewhere in between.

Have I mentioned how magical it is to see these little creatures mature into people who can take care of their own affairs.

5 More Songs

  • Tougher Then The Rest- Bruce Springsteen
  • Can’t Get It Out of My Head- ELO
  • Kashmir- Led Zeppelin
  • New York’s Not My Home- Jim Croce
  • Hurt- Johnny Cash

Writing With Reckless Abandon

Sometimes I look at posts like She Saved My Heart and smile because I see the kind of writing I want to always see flow from my fingertips.

The kind that inhabits A Partial Tale of Two Liars because the words flow freely and without concern about whether people will like, love or hate them.

That is how I always want to write, with reckless abandon and the kind of honest authenticity that jumps off the page like an electric shock.

That is where many bloggers fear to tread. We don’t always give words free reign because we fear the consequences so we temper them and tamp down upon our feelings.

Most people fear to live but I refuse to let that be me. Sure there may be moments where fear slows me down or inhibits my willingness to do a few things but I am not the guy who won’t mix things up because I fear change.

Inertia is an enemy of living a deeper, happier and more fulfilled life.

That is why we are mortal enemies, inertia and I.

So every day I do my best to not succumb to the succubus who tries to lure me into complacency. Every day I work at trying to push myself one more step because the my biggest competitor is also my biggest critic.

Back To Middle School Madness

That teen of mine asks me to explain how I step outside of my comfort zone and to give him examples of things I have done.

I tell him about a time I looked a girl in the eye and asked her if she still loved me and he says he doesn’t understand why I would use that because he doesn’t like girls.

I tell him it is ok and explain that some day he might understand.

When he nods his head I tell him sometimes you fall so deeply in love you know that other person can level you with a look or a ‘no’ to your question.

“Sometimes you need to risk having your heart torn out because the joy that could come with a yes exceeds the pain of the no.”

He nods his head and tells me he never wants to get married or have a girl friend.

“Do you have a different example that is easier for me to relate to?”

I smile and nod my head and 15 minutes later walk out of his room feeling like I have met and exceeded my fatherly goals for the night.

Later on he’ll ask me to talk about something else and I’ll remember that dealing with middle school madness is like fighting the Hydra.

Every time you cut off one head two more grow in its place.

That will teach me to walk with a bit less swagger.

The Final 5 Songs

  • American Pie- Don McLean
  • No Leaf Clover- Metallica
  • Fanfare For The Common Man- Aaron Copland
  • America- Simon and Garfunkel
  • Mess Around- Ray Charles
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11 Comments

  1. Barmy Rootstock March 6, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    I’ve always said there are 2 kinds of kids in middle school: those that are miserable and those that make them that way. I was the former. It’s tough to see your child struggling with the issues that inevitably come as they get older and know that the solutions must be his to discover.

    • The JackB March 7, 2015 at 1:19 pm

      @barmyrootstock:disqus That is a good way of looking at it, two kinds of kids. Makes sense to me. You are right, hard to watch them figure it out but so damn important.

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  3. Kristen Miller Hewitt March 4, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    “Sometimes you need to risk having your heart torn out because the joy that could come with a yes exceeds the pain of the no.” You are a good dad, love this line.

  4. Janine Huldie March 4, 2015 at 3:54 am

    Every now and again, I remember middle school and have to be glad I am past it. We still have a few years here, but am hopeful after all I did go through that I can truly be there for my girls at this stage. And by the way, great soundtrack, Jack from start to finish! 😉

    • The JackB March 4, 2015 at 11:48 pm

      @JanineHuldie:disqus Thanks, music is a constant in my life.
      Middle school is so very hard in so many ways. I don’t miss being that age and I am tearing my hair out trying to figure out the best way to help him through but that is part of the gig.

  5. Larry March 3, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    So, what is going on with the boy? Middle school was a tough time for me.

    • The JackB March 4, 2015 at 11:47 pm

      @Lardavbern:disqus The easiest explanation is he is betwixt and between and hasn’t accepted that everyone feels out of sorts in middle school. It was hard for me too.

  6. Underdaddy March 3, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I often think that if I were one hundred percent honest that I would offend everyone and have no friends. Probably have normal or somewhat common views but the internet world doesn’t promote true discussion.

    • The JackB March 4, 2015 at 11:46 pm

      @Underdaddy There is real joy in speaking your mind. I have done that online and in some cases it has wreaked havoc, but there is pleasure in saying what you mean and meaning what you say.

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