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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

We've Moved

We've moved to a new location on the world wide can find me at

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We're moving!!

We've got some big stuff going on, and I can't tell you all about it right now, but I can tell you that we're moving! The blog has been growing in a number of ways, and it's time for a new space. Think of it as my interpretation of spring house cleaning.

I'm going to continue to write regularly, hopefully at least three times a week, but I've got a couple of things in the works that might make this space go Boom! I have an awesome web guy, and he's working to complete a new site by week's end. I'm hoping that he and I are able to make that happen.

One other item, which I can't completely divulge right now, is I'm putting together a special event for Father's Day. I'll tell you more when I have all the loose ends tied up.

Please hang in there with me, it should be a smooth and short transition.

By the way, my daughter is pretty amazing. Less than two weeks after having her ACL completely reconstructed, she danced (with assistance) at her senior prom. I have a small lump in my throat as I write this because I see, everyday, what she goes through to try to stick to the doctor's orders. The surgeon said the first three months are the hardest, but he forgot to say how difficult it is just to get started everyday.

I played a sport every season almost all the way through high school. Played football to help pay for college. I know that I could never have handled what my daughter's going through as gracefully and as tough-minded as she is. She's determined that this bump in the road will not prevent her from enjoying the remainder of her senior year, nor keep her down as the summer rolls along. I'm very proud of her, and I hope that others take something positive out of watching her do her thing.

P.S. Don't forget to tell your daughter that you love her.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

No Skin Showing

As far as Fathers with Daughters are concerned, one of the scariest times of the year is upon us.

Prom season.

Dads never get asked to go on the shopping trip when the daughter obtains the Prom dress. They never get asked to go to the hair appointment (which seems to last for days) nor to the nail salon. Hopefully there's no trips to the indoor tanning spa, and if there is, seriously, Dads need to knock that crap off. It's extremely unhealthy. Believe me, I've got four women with Irish and German blood in them, so I've heard the screams about pasty, white skin. Tough nuts. You're not supposed to be tanned in April or May, and you're not supposed to get artificial tans, indoors, from machines. It's scientifically proven to be bad for your long-term health.

I've often thought that the reason Dads don't get invited to the dress shopping spree, whether it be for Homecoming or Prom or whatever is because Dads most likely wouldn't let their daughters wear some of the things that Moms let them wear. Moms don't think showing some skin is a bad thing. Some crazy Moms think showing TOO much skin is okay. Responsible fathers have a different point of view on this.

It's more appropriate for my daughter to be covered from throat to ankle, and if that means she's a little bit warm on the dance floor, so be it. You could argue, however, that if she's warm, she might be more likely to 'loosen' up something to cool off. I'm not talking about dressing her in a parka for Prom (although anything that makes it difficult for the male date to get his arms around her to dance is fine in my book). But really, is there any need for a 17- or 18-year old girl to be showing off any skin?

Call me old-fashioned, but I vote NO. What's the point? The kids are going to be stuffed in a gymnasium or a ballroom in a third-rate motel, with bargain basement snacks and beverages, hopefully decent music, and, hopefully, MANY adult chaperons. In my opinion, the ratio of adult chaperons to teenage kids should be 2 to 1. Call me excessive, but when it comes to the well-being of my daughter and her girlfriends, many of whom are like adopted daughters to me, I'm not trusting it to some bundle of hormones in a monkey suit who wears his baseball cap sideways and his pants down to his butt crack.

Course, that kind if young man would never get very far in my hemisphere lest he be subjected to my staple gun and Louisville slugger.

The most important thing on prom night, Dads, is that our daughters are safe. We need to let them know that they aren't to get into a vehicle with someone who's been drinking. They need to know that we'll come and pick them up wherever they are at whatever time they need us, with no questions asked. If we need to, we can talk about it later... like the next day. Teenage driving fatalities will increase, across the country, over the next month because of the Prom and high school and college graduations.

As a father, and as a parent in general, we all hope we've had 'The Talk" about alcohol and substance abuse, and its impact on driving. We all hope it's sunk into our teenage daughter's (and son's) head. But teenagers are teenagers.

So make sure that after you compliment your daughter on how awesome she looks in her prom dress, and you wish her a good time (and after you let the boyfriend know that those camouflaged eyes in his rear view mirror are yours) whisper in your daughter's ear to remind her that if she needs you, if she needs a ride, it doesn't matter where she is or who's she's with. You only care about her returning to you in the same manner that she left.

P.S. Don't forget to tell your daughter that you love her.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It Wasn't the Chalupa

Most times I say things I wish I hadn't said. When it comes to inserting foot in mouth, I've been a master, usually all the way up to the kneecap. My heart is usually in the right place, it's just that my brain isn't fast enough to translate to my mouth. With four women under my roof, that can become a problem.

It's probably also a good skill to learn how to keep my mouth shut, and on the rare occasion that I actually remember to do that, it provides me with the proverbial 'Ah Ha' moment. Like, why didn't I do this more often.

Faithful readers know about my middle daughter's surgery to reconstruct her shredded ACL. Surgery was a week ago Monday, and she's had a difficult time sleeping, coping with the pain, and the frustration of an active kid who drives and likes to participate in life, not sit on the side and watch others.

One of the other frustrations, and disappointments, for her has been the fact that her so-called friends have yet to come and visit. The doctor has kept her out of school because of the medication she's taking for pain, so she's been cooped up in the house for nine days. Only two of her friends have visited. Neither spent a lot of time, but it wasn't the time, it was the fact that they made the effort that cheered my daughter's spirit.

So one of the things I said to her is, there are certain times in your life when you find out who your true friends really are. Now I can't be too hard on her friends because they are teenagers, many of whom are in their last month of their high school career. It's just that I believed more of them were more thoughtful and more mature than they've displayed.

So with that as a backdrop, my better half and I took advantage of our youngest daughter spending the night at a friend's house to grab some dinner with friends Saturday. We asked ACL daughter if she wanted to come. She did not. She said she was tired from being out two other times that day and just wanted to stay home. Fair enough, but I also noticed her spirit was considerably dimmer than it had been earlier in the day. I chalked it up to her pain, frustration, and to being tired.

I also asked if she wanted us to bring her home some food. She said she wanted something cheesy. Nachos. She really had her heart set on nachos. Well, the place we went to didn't have nachos, so I texted her from the restaurant to tell her that, and to ask her what her others choices might be. She said a Chalupa from Taco Bell.

I texted her back and said I don't eat at Taco Bell so will I know the right thing to order? She responded that she didn't know. So we swing through the drive-through at Taco Bell on the way home and we get one chalupa. It's 9:00 and I'm thinking she's not going to want to eat a lot at this time of night. I get home, I deliver the chalupa to her room and make my way to my bedroom to change clothes.

Then I hear the tears. I returned to her bedroom to find her crying and rambling about how she wanted the Chalupa Meal that included two chalupas (there's three choices and I still don't remember what the right one is) with a drink and some cinnamon sticks or something like that.  I told her that I had texted her to make sure this didn't happen. But she kept crying, and instead of talking, I just sat down on her bed and hugged her and let her cry on my shoulder.

I came to find out later that the friends that ditched her at Homecoming had also ditched her for the Prom, which is Friday. She's working as hard as her knee will allow her in order to be able to wear her dress and sparkling Converse sneakers with her knee brace Friday night. She really wanted to spend it with friends she's had since they were five years old in kindergarten. But her 'friends' again showed her that they either aren't as mature as we thought, or aren't really the friends we thought they were.

Luckily, when I went back into her room and sat down on her bed and let her cry on my shoulder, I didn't say a word. Kept my big mouth shut.

P.S. Don't forget to tell your daughter that you love her.