There is a teenage boy who went to sleep feeling frustrated and guilty because he is nervous about going to school tomorrow.
I told him that he did the right thing and that the appropriate response to what happened with this other child isn’t something he should worry about but I know it didn’t ease the unrest inside his head.
He says he wants to be more like me because I am good at not worrying about life the way he is and I laugh.
Before he asks me if I am laughing at him I put a hand on his shoulder and tell him I am laughing because I used to be him and in many ways I still am.
I haven’t ever tried to describe parenting to him as a crazy Japanese game show because he wouldn’t get it and I wouldn’t expect him to.
Doesn’t mean I haven’t tried to give him some insight into this gig because I have but it is the kind of crazy you never understand until you are in the midst of it and even then you don’t always recognize just how nutty it sounds.
Sometimes Dad Doesn’t Know What To Do
I didn’t tell him about all of the times I wasn’t sure what to do and just did my best to make aÂ smart choiceÂ because uncertainty here would make him more nervous.
Didn’t tell him how his problem feels simple to me because I feel like I am watching a tsunami form in front of me and I haven’t figured out yet whether I am going to get to high ground before it hits or if I am going to try to ride that sucker out.
It is a funny feeling to look at the mass of water and wonder what kind of pounding I’ll take if I fall off of the board this time while thinking that if I do I am going to have one hell of a story to tell.
Sometimes when I am not certain about how I want to proceed I pretend that I am outsider looking in at someone else and I try to figure out what sort of advice I would offer.
This time all I heard was some guy giggling, “he’s just another dad blogger trying to generate more page views.”
Stood up, walked over the medicie cabinet and told that reflection in the mirror to admit he is nervous because he hasn’t a clue what to say because he is ‘winging it.’
It Went The Way It Had To
A few weeks ago I watched an episode of The Walking Dead and listened to one of the characters talk about an event on the show.
That line keeps bouncing around inside my head, pin balling back and forth.
I hear it and I think about my expectations for the future and how I am working to make them materialize.
It is me working hard to take charge of life and to control my destiny. It is me working my ass off to make things happen yet so much is outside of my control.
All I have to do is look back upon my life and there are 1,983,983 examples of how my plans didn’t always work out and how I did my best to manage things.
Sometimes it worked out beautifully and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome and sometimes it wasn’t quite as nice.
And let’s be honest, some of those moments were awful, moments that I would prefer not to relive or experience again.
I haven’t forgotten the times where my best effort didn’t work out the way I thought it should or how I felt when it felt like best effort translated as failure.
Back then I would have looked at Lennon’s quote and told him he needed a double dose of STFU and a size 12 boot to the ass because that sort of song lyric is wasted prose.
But today I am not who I once was and not yet the man I think I am on my way to becoming. Now I look at those words and figure it does not matter whether I am meant to be in this place or not because I am.
I am here and all I can do is try my best to make it all work.
Can I Skip School Tomorrow?
Right after I read the email from the school to my son he asked me if I thought he could skip going to class.
His rationale wasn’t completely off base because he figured that if this other kid might react poorly and that it wouldn’t hurt to give him some time.
But I told him no because sometimes the only way to get to the other side of a situation is by going through.
He nodded his head and we shared a few more thoughts and then I told him that sometimes the hardest part about being a father is you don’t always get to be the hero any more.
When he asked me what I meant I pulled out my Geek Card and told him that in Star Wars parlance it meant I am Darth Vader and that if we were talking about the Lord of The Rings it meant I am Gandalf.
I won’t bore you with the discussion about whether I could be Yoda or if Gandalf is better and just share this quote below.
When he said he thought it was a cool quote I smiled and said I agreed and then I told him I have had plenty of moments where I wished I didn’t have to deal with certain things but that life doesn’t ask us if we want to or not.
It just puts a situation in front of us and gives us a chance to handle it or run away and we don’t run.