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Life Lessons from (Old Man) Football

i think as parents we all want to teach our kids important life lessons. We want to try and leave lasting impressions upon them. One thing I’ve learned in my short time as a parent is that many times the most important lessons are those taught through experience and that happen naturally.

I recently had an opportunity to do something that I think was pretty cool – to some it probably wasn’t that big of a deal. To others, It was probably down right stupid. I was able to play in an alumni football game – full pads, full contact, full speed. Well, as full speed as some of us old guys could muster up anyway.  I have to remind you I’m 37 years old! Crazy thing is, I wasn’t the oldest one out there.  Now I heard every excuse from classmates there is – and I won’t out anybody about their reasons for not playing. Some were down right comical; some did seem legit.

Regret.

i knew if I had not at least tried to play in that game I would have regretted it probably for the rest of my life. This is where the lesson for my girls and soon to be boy comes in. I don’t want them to look at things and not do them just because they may be too hard only to regret it later.  Now granted, I was no super star out there on the football field that night, but I took the opportunity that was given to me and enjoyed every minute of it. I had fun. My family and friends got to see me play football – my wife and kids for the first time. I hope they can look back on their crazy old dad playing in the mud that night and be inspired to do something big one day too!

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The Story of Us…Becomes A Trio

IMG_0783[1]Not a post that I really expected to be writing!  My wife just found out the other day that she is expecting again!  This will be baby #3 (or 8, depending on how we’re counting…and if you’ve read my other posts) and I’ve found it very comical that in the same week that we found out this news this picture began surfacing on Facebook – rather fiting I thought.

Liz and I have talked about the possibility of a third child for a while, but never really but any deep thought into, I guess you could say.  We were happy with our two girls and were just gonna leave it at that.  Well, we got a surprise!

Things are still very early.  My wife will go to the doctor this Tuesday for an ultrasound and some bloodwork.  She will just be 6 weeks at this point, and yes, everyone knows.  I know that goes against everything – tradition, logic, etc. – but we’ve never been good at keeping secrets and we’ve always wanted to prayers and support of everyone around us due to the problems we’ve had in the past. 

So all of that has started again as well – the shots, the medications, and of course the worry.  Days already seem to be creeping by.  We are still in a bit of shock, but our brains are running wide open with things too. 

I know each pregnancy is different, but this one is a bit more different for us because we have two other kids now and our oldest has a little better idea of what is going on.  She was only 11 months old when we got surprised with her sister.  It seems her brain has been running too fast since we told her as well.  When is the baby coming has already been asked a couple hundred times in the last few days!  It has been sweet though hearing here talk about, “when my other sister gets here”. 

I haven’t been able to convince her of the possibility that it could be a little brother!

 

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Gender Wars?

gender-symbols1Over the last couple of weeks I’ve read a couple of articles related to the roles of dads…I’ve debated on whether to give them any credit here. I guess you’ll have to continue reading to find out if I do or not.

Essentially the role of the “new dad” – the one that takes an active role in the raising of his children, changes diapers, makes bottles, gets up in the middle of the night, or takes paternity leave – is brought under fire.  Points were made that by moving into these roles, dads were “moving out of the board room” or “neglecting financial responsibilities”. It seems to me there is a bit of a double standard going on here – if there’s a better word, help me out.  I’m looking for thoughts here.  I’ll certainly give mine.

I’ve been thinking about these articles all day, as it directly calls into question how I see myself as a dad. Not only that, I think it calls into question how we in turn raise our children.

Immediately when I knew I was having girls, I knew there would be things I would teach them. I would teach them how to throw a football, how to change a tire, how to check the oil in her car – I think you get the point.  I knew there would be things I would teach my girls that typically guys know how to do.

This is seen as typically acceptable though.

However, it doesn’t seem acceptable the other way around.  We don’t hear of teaching boys how to cook, or wash clothes, or iron clothes.

Or take care of children.

But if I’d had a boy, this is exactly what I would have done.  I would have taught him how to throw an awesome spiral with a football, but I’d also teach him how to wash his own clothes.  I’d teach him how to be a man in more ways than just baiting a hook or changing a flat tire.  I think our boys need to be taught how to be men by how to take care of others.

I get it I guess. These things aren’t “manly”. But why aren’t they?  Why is our society so focused on the fact that being a man only means this or that – it certainly never means being a dad that knows how to change a diaper, fix a little girls hair, or get her dressed for her dance recital?

Why aren’t they just as accepted? Why are dads looked down on that take time off from work when a child is born? Why are dad’s forced into the role of the seemingly disinterested, distant “baby-sister” or just the guy who is around somewhere, who really doesn’t know anything?  Dads are looked down on for taking an active role in the lives of their children – and that’s discouraging to me.

As I’ve read other dad bloggers say…we’ve still got a lot of work to do…

 

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