The teenage boy who calls me dad ran seven miles yesterday and did four every other day this past week.
I tell him that an increase of 75 percent is something to be proud of but that it also begs the question of what your real limit is or was.
The point isn’t to throw cold water on his accomplishment. I have no need or desire to demean him but can’t pass up a teaching moment.
We talk about establishing benchmarks so we can measure progress and I share some memories of what I used to do when I was competing and how I pushed myself.
He listens to my stories and smiles so I make one more comment “you are just starting to recognize what you can do but you still don’t understand how far you can go.”
I tell him I love him and that I am proud and let him go back to homework, memories flood my head and by the time I reach the end of the hall the noise in my head is significant.
Spit Or Swallow Always Means You Have Time To Blog
It is almost 2.5 years since I tossed that silly headline into the blogosphereÂ and I have no doubt the minor adjustment I made to this time around will be just as effective.
Linkbait never fails to bring in the eyeballs but it is not what retains them nor is it what turns them into readers.
Honesty, authenticity, entertainment and some assorted odds and ends still compose that particular secret sauce.
Spent a few minutes thinking about those things and asked myself if I have followed the commands of my muse and provided those few who still visit with the raw and the authentic.
That is because I have gotten better at making people feel like I have said a lot when I have said quite little or sometimes that is how it seems to me.
Maybe I am being too hard on myself or Â maybe I am not being.
The answer doesn’t matter as much to me as making sure I spend some time thinking about it because that is time well spent.
Well spent because when you are in transition every now and then you need to pick your head up and look around so that you can figure out if you are heading in the right direction.
That is part of why the content has slowed down here, I had to look up and see where I was going. Had to figure out whether the current was pushing me towards land or rocks.I hope you jerks have kids one day so you understand you are assholes!Click To Tweet
Parenting In the Age Of The Internet
The kids are roaring with laughter and I can’t help but smile. Older brother and younger sister are hanging out together and having a great time, it is not unusual but neither is them screaming at each other.
It is the typical love/hate sibling relationship.
“What is so funny?”
It takes a moment for them to compose themselves long enough for them to tell me.
Little Jack says “I told her about how some guy in the locker room accidentally rubbed his ‘dick’ against some other guy’s back.”
Before I can respond my daughter tells me how she said that they are lucky they didn’t have “dick-to-face combat.”
If this were a movie now would be the time when Dean Martin started singing, “Ain’t That a Kick In the Head.”
I try to look stern and tell them that they are being ridiculous and ask my daughter where she learned such language but they are laughing too hard and I get caught up in it too.
It is ridiculous but if you are going to catch something contagious laughter is the thing you want to be caught by.
Any time my daughter hears a word or expression she doesn’t understand she heads straight to Google to look it up.
Part of me applauds her curiosity and willingness to take action. That is the kind of thing that will serve her well but it is also part of why parenting during the age of the Internet makes me a little crazy.
Pandora’s Box is wide open and they have access to information they most certainly aren’t ready for and we are constantly adjusting to whatever they have come across.
We monitor what they do and see as best we can but even when you have access to passwords and browser history there are so many things they can stumble upon that you’d rather they not hear or see for a while.
It reminds me of a moment in college.
It is summer and a bunch of us are drinking beer and listening to music at the beach. Won’t be long before the sunsets and the mixtape Tommy has in his boombox moves to this song.
I turn to one of the guys and tell him we ought to turn it off because I don’t want to offend the girls that are with us and he laughs.
“You idiot, they are dancing and shouting it out.”
He is right, they are and I go back to just drinking my beer but only for a moment. That is because an angry mother is screaming at us about playing inappropriate music in front of her children.
“I hope you jerks have kids one day so you understand you are assholes!”
Someone shouts something at her about her being the asshole because a mother shouldn’t speak that way in front of her children.
She was right about us. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
All the time on airplanes and hours spent at the steering wheel caught up to me Friday night.
Took off my pants, sat down on the bed and woke up 45 minutes later, trying to figure out why I was half dressed in work clothes and in a hotel room.
Realized I wasn’t in the hotel anymore and realized I was a bit disoriented. Stood up, stretched and shook off the last remnantsÂ of sleep.
Two hours later two cups of coffee and a couple of sets of pushups weren’t enough to keepÂ my eyes from fluttering.
Stared at the computer and groaned because I hadn’t written anything yet, but sleep won the fight and so here I am,Â thinking about how my son isn’t the only one who needs to establish some new benchmarks.
It is time to push myself again and see where those limits lie and figure out how to push past them again.
The river calls to me, I have spent far too long on the shore.
Gary Mathews September 8, 2015 at 11:21 am
I’m still cracking up at the title! #bestlinkbaitever
Jack Steiner September 9, 2015 at 6:55 am
Thank you sir.