Lessons Of The Blog Fathers

Those of us who pay attention to the lessons of the blog fathers start posts with strong headlines and a lead that hooks the reader from the start.

They’ll tell you to talk about the birth of a murderer, write posts asking people how they became who they are and or talk about coming Full Circle.

It makes sense to me. I understand why they push us to follow their advice.

Waves of content and communication are constantly slamming into us and that makes it harder to get people to click, read and comment.

But if you know me well, you know I tell you to do as I say and not as I do because I take the road less traveled.

I stopped asking why I have a knack for doing things the hard way or how if I pick a card I almost always find the Joker in the deck because the reasons don’t matter.

When you march to the beat of a different drummer who has no rhythm you learn to operate using a different skill set.


Steiner the minor asked me today if there is any way I could buy my parent’s house because he doesn’t want them to move and thinks the house should remain in the family.

I told him I understood his concern and we spoke a bit about the Echoes Of The People We Miss and then I reminded him that the reason ordinary things become extraordinary is because of the memories we attach to them.

My father overheard our conversation and spent a few minutes talking as a grandfather to his grandson and then he and I moved off into a corner and had a real talk. 

That’s not to say he was dishonest with his grandson because he wasn’t, but he is 15 and I am not.

Dad doesn’t sugar coat his thoughts or hide his feelings with me. I know exactly what he thinks and feels,

I don’t hold back with him either.

So we stood in the middle of the new home my mother and he are moving into and jumped right into it.

“What do you think of the new place?”

“I think it is great, but I don’t think you understand how many times you are going to walk up and down these stairs. Won’t hurt to get more exercise and if it doesn’t work, you can move again.”

“I don’t plan on moving again for another five or ten years. This probably won’t be the last place we live, but it will be fun. Mom & I have never lived in a place like this.”

“People plan and G-d laughs. I didn’t expect to lose my house, move to Texas or engage in any of the other shit of the last however long it’s been. That’s probably part of why I am so detached to so many things. I can walk away from almost all of it.”

“School doesn’t prepare you for life, it just helps you obtain some of the tools and skills you need to help you manage what comes along.”

I nodded at my father and smiled.

“Use it in good health Abba, I love the mountains and this area. You know I have thought about living out here many times.”

Questions With No Answers

Times like now make me miss my grandparents because I am curious to see if any of them relate to some of the things I am feeling now.

The place I am living in now isn’t home.

Doesn’t matter that I have been here for a couple of years now because I know this is a temporary rest stop, a place to hang my hat and get some occasional shut eye but nothing more than that.

My parents moved multiple times when they were kids which is why they worked hard to make sure that never happened to my sisters and I.

I hadn’t intended to provide anything different for my children than my experience, but you already know that doesn’t matter.

So in my state of perpetual transition I have managed to keep them feeling pretty grounded and am confident they are well adjusted.

But that doesn’t mean I am not interested in being able to say we have found a place where we’ll be for a long while, if not the long haul because I am.

I am pretty sure I know how my grandfathers would answer my questions. I know if I told them how having been burnt a few times has made me more guarded they would be concerned and maybe even disappointed.

But I’d remind them I am built for doing what needs to be done and for dancing in the fire.

I’d tell them I haven’t any doubt there will be a time when I am willing to be open in the manner they hope and that the right person will help with it.

And maybe I’d point them to some of the posts linked here and some others that I haven’t.

Not just to illustrate my point but because it fits with the lessons of our blog fathers.

Readers Discover & Writers Enlighten

I’d do these things because when readers discover they look for more to read and when writers enlighten readers tend to keep reading.

That is not just theory but proven fact.

I discovered it long before life stopped cooperating with blogging not to mention before I encountered The Dumbest Mother You Ever Met.

If all goes as the blog fathers say at least a few of you will click through to read some of those old posts and a few more will decide to leave a comment or two and or become regular readers here.

Remind me to tell you about how I found out an old high school friend lives in Texas and apparently was living not to far from me when I lived there.

And when you do I’ll ask you to share your thoughts about whether life is filled with coincidence or destiny.

Remind me and maybe I’ll tell you why I know there is something more than coincidence and about why you shouldn’t believe that either.

“If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
If you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to ‘scape the serpent’s tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands, if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.”
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream

The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting

Earlier this year I wrote a post called A Fearful Society- Rearing Children in a Scary World in which I shared some of my parenting concerns.

We spend too much time worrying about the worst happening. Too much time fearing that our children will be damaged or broken by what we do or do not do for them.

Today Treppenwitz sent me over to a Time Magazine article that ties into this. It is called The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting and it is worth reading.

“The insanity crept up on us slowly; we just wanted what was best for our kids. We bought macrobiotic cupcakes and hypoallergenic socks, hired tutors to correct a 5-year-old’s “pencil-holding deficiency,” hooked up broadband connections in the treehouse but took down the swing set after the second skinned knee. We hovered over every school, playground and practice field — “helicopter parents,” teachers christened us, a phenomenon that spread to parents of all ages, races and regions. Stores began marketing stove-knob covers and “Kinderkords” (also known as leashes; they allow “three full feet of freedom for both you and your child”) and Baby Kneepads (as if babies don’t come prepadded). The mayor of a Connecticut town agreed to chop down three hickory trees on one block after a woman worried that a stray nut might drop into her new swimming pool, where her nut-allergic grandson occasionally swam. A Texas school required parents wanting to help with the second-grade holiday party to have a background check first. Schools auctioned off the right to cut the carpool line and drop a child directly in front of the building — a spot that in other settings is known as handicapped parking.

We were so obsessed with our kids’ success that parenting turned into a form of product development. Parents demanded that nursery schools offer Mandarin, since it’s never too soon to prepare for the competition of a global economy. High school teachers received irate text messages from parents protesting an exam grade before class was even over; college deans described freshmen as “crispies,” who arrived at college already burned out, and “teacups,” who seemed ready to break at the tiniest stress.”

Boy, that just made me nod my head in agreement. How many people do I know that are afraid to let their children fail. How many people do I know that bend over backwards to make sure that their kids haven’t a chance to cry because god forbid that happens.

I understand. I worry about my obligations and A Father’s Responsibility.  I never forget about those children. I never ignore what I have to do to help raise them. But part of that is teaching them how to cope. And it drives me crazy to see how some parents fail to do so. Frankly it bothers me to see them cripple their children by not allowing them to fall.

And I am no different about education. I want the kids to receive the best, but I agonize over it. It is an ongoing discussion and question in my mind. I am convinced that a great education is among the best gifts that we can give our children.

But I am also convinced that it is not the sole key to their success. There is more to all of this and I am convinced that over parenting is damaging some of these kids in ways that are just as harmful as drugs. Good intentions are a wonderful thing, but they don’t always make up for the mistakes that sometimes accompany them.

The Anniversary of The Challenger

Today is the anniversary of the destruction of The Challenger.