29 September 2007

A Defining Moment

I don't even think I could believe my eyes as it was happening . . Avery scored her team's first goal in their game this afternoon, the first of what will surely be a long and illustrious career! I was so proud of her I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest, so it was everything I could do to refrain from running out on the field and giving her a huge hug. As a Dad I can't remember many times when I've been more proud of one of my kids, but I knew that it was an even bigger moment for her and that she deserved to celebrate with her team.

Soccer's been the only team sport Ave's ever shown any interest in, so it's really meant a lot to me to be involved in coaching this season. Somehow I never stumbled upon any defining moments while taxiing her back and forth to dance lessons. I remember having some really conflicting feelings about Josh, her biological dad, having the opportunity to coach her team when she was 5. I've always been happy that she has a good relationship with him, but as the provider and the potty trainer it was hard to watch from the sidelines as he spent "play time" with her. That's not to say that I wanted to coach this year to quell any old feelings of jealousy . . I am way beyond that now. But now I have the best of both worlds, and it's really fulfilling. That goal this afternoon was really a defining moment for both of us, I think.

28 September 2007

Some New Elements

Good Lord, 2 posts in the same day . . what's gotten into me? It's just too hot to do yardwork today, honestly. Anyway, I just wanted to 'splain a few new items for my dedicated readers (I think there's more than one now).

First, I've fixed the mistake on the recipe list, the Penne with Sausage, Artichokes, and Sundried Tomatoes recipe should download correctly now. I will try to add some new recipes this weekend, we've had a couple of good new dishes lately and there's one more on tap for tonight.

Second, you'll notice a new link for the "Moss Creek Bluebird Trail". While the link currently leads nowhere, I plan to put together resources for the residents of our neighborhood to use as a guide for helping a large community of Eastern Bluebirds establish a strong presence in our backyards. So keep checking on it periodically, if you're interested. Eastern Bluebirds rely almost exclusively on man-made nestboxes, and they pay their human landlords back with their beautiful colors and sweet songs.

Finally, I've added a link to Daveramsey.com. Dave Ramsey is a radio talk-show host and author who Mandi and I have turned to for guidance in our financial struggles. We have dug ourselves out of a pretty big hole with a not-so-big shovel, as Dave would say, and in the future I plan to add helpful "Personal Finance Primer" page to the website as an additional resource. Dads, if you're going to be the Chief Family Officer, being smart with money is essential! I'm not Dave Ramsey, but I can summarize, offer personal stories and advice, and help Dad's win with money. Ironically, Dave's show is not on the air in Charlotte, a fact due in large part (I'm sure) to the fact that the big banks run the city and they don't want anybody bad-mouthing their credit cards. I listen on XM Radio, and I get a podcast every day on iTunes which I usually listen to at the gym or while I'm mowing the lawn/weeds. I recommend Dave highly, not that he needs it.

So keep reading, I'll be adding more items all the time.

Colin Puts His Thumb On It . .

I heard a piece on ESPN Radio today that Stay-at-Home Dads everywhere would definitely appreciate. The host, a recently divorced guy who's still good friends with his ex-wife and an involved dad, was defending Reggie Bush. Bush, if you aren't plugged in to the NFL, is the Heisman Trophy winning utility back for the New Orleans Saints who was expected to be an all-time great. He had a good rookie year last season, the Saints made it deep into the playoffs, and Reggie Bush was a factor in much of their success. So what's to defend, you ask? Well, the Saints are terrible this season (at least so far), and the critics are knocking Reggie for not being able to do certain things they feel the team needs to succeed. Without going all John Clayton on you, he's not a pure Running Back.

Colin Cowherd, the host of the show, offered a perspective that relates very directly to Stay-at-Home Dads who struggle with the perception of their role in society. Statistically, Reggie Bush contributed over 25% of The Saints' total offensive production last season, which should be more than enough to keep the pundits at bay. But because Americans are uncomfortable with people and things that don't fit a specific mold, the knee-jerk reaction is to criticize. Reggie is versatile, more so than most NFL players, but he draws criticism the same way a Stay-at-Home Dad who cooks most of the family's meals and does all the laundry does. "You mean to tell me you don't work? At all?"

Sooner or later, the perception will have to catch up with the reality. The reality is, if you're a one-dimensional Dad today you're probably way behind. Life is becoming so much more about balance and teamwork than it is about bringing home the bacon. If you want a happy marriage with well adjusted kids in today's world, everybody has to contribute to all the different facets of the daily. Colin's perspective on this one was really spot-on, even though he never mentioned the Stay-at-Home Dad.

25 September 2007

"Daddy, You Have Feathers?"

At lunch yesterday, Lily discovered my arm hair. "Ummm, no, not feathers Beanie" . . . that does make me wonder, however, if she really thinks that people are just a different kind of bird. For those of you who've never seen her do her "Eagle" walk, I'm sure this will seem straight out of left field, but it's obvious she sees it that way. About a month ago, she asked me "Daddy, you have a tail?" I won't elaborate on the details of that encounter (a scene from Shallow Hal comes to mind), but I can't wait to hear what comes next.