Dear Mr. Man…

April 9, 2009

Fatherhood Friday: “I Don’t Know”

Filed under: Fatherhood Fridays,Uncategorized — P. J. Easter @ 10:07 pm
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One Saturday morning (you pick which one), when Adi and I are sleeping in, I hear a ruckus downstairs in the great room. As I rush downstairs to see what’s going on, I hear J.C. yelling at the top of his lungs, “Get up! I was there first!” Now Adi is coming behind me as Bae screams back, “Let me go! Now!” fatherhood-friday1

“What is going on?” I asked (okay, technically I did ask a question. That’s not how it came across, I’m sure. To the kids, it probably sounded more like a roar).

The Boy and Bae start to speak simultaneously, creating a foreign language to this day I cannot decipher without saying the magic phrase:
“STOP IT! One at a time! Bae, tell me what’s going on.”
Bae begins to tell her version as The Boy objects to the way she’s telling it and a verbal duel ensues. I say the magic phrase again and begin my investigation.

ME: “Bae, what happened?”

Bae: “J.C. is tryin’ to make me get up from this seat.”

J.C.: “I was there first!”

ME: “Is that true, Bae?”

Bae says sullenly, “Yes.”

ME: “So why did you take The Boy’s seat?”

And here it comes. The moment my kids temporarily lose all of their common sense…

Bae looks me in the eyes and says, “I don’t know…”

ME: “What do you mean you don’t know? You took his chair, didn’t you?”

Bae: “Yes.”

Me: “You were present when this happened, right?”

Bae: “Yes.”

Me: “So, again, sweetie, tell me why did you take J.C.’s seat?”

Bae: “I don’t know.”

This is where I have the Charlie Brown moment. You know the one when Lucy pulls the football he’s trying to kick from under his feet? AUUUGGGHHH!!!!!

Adi just smiles because she knows I’m getting a taste of what she gets all of the time.

Mr. Man

March 19, 2009

Fatherhood Friday:A New Kind of Cool

Filed under: Fatherhood Fridays — P. J. Easter @ 9:15 pm
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fab_40_normal_tshirt

Q: Dear Mr. Man,

I turn forty this year and I am starting to think I’m “over the hill”.  How can I recapture my youth?

A: Sorry to be the one to break it to you, but attempting to recapture your youth is akin to Bobby Brown making a successful comeback. Sure, there are things you can do to ensure that you are living a healthy lifestyle. Physically there are lots of activities that we can do to maintain our vigor.  Aside from the physical aspects, I personally prefer my life today than where I was nearly 20 years ago. fatherhood-friday2

I’ve heard people say that “40 is the new 20”; I understand the spirit of that statement. However, I would counter that 40 is the new 40; which is a new kind of cool.

When I was in my early 20-somethings, life was crazy, confusing, and convoluted. I spent years trying to discover who I was and what I wanted and needed from life. Biologically an adult, but not truly a man. Full of mistakes and bad decisions, my 20’s were chaotic. I am fortunate in many ways; fortunate that I found my faith. Fortunate that Adi came into my life and helped stabilize me. This may not have been your experience, but it was very real for me. 

Fast forward to now. At almost 40, life is  creative, cultured, and cool. I am comfortable in who I am and what I believe. Adi helped me mature into manhood with her patience, tender strength, and support. My faith has grounded me. I am the father of two wonderful kids. A mentor and father figure of mine once told me he thought, “Life was ok. in my20’s. Then I turned 30. 30 was a great age for me, but things got really good around 40. Now I am in my 50’s and I feel like I’m on top of the world.” I didn’t understand when he first said this to me because I was in my 20’s.

Here is my Top 10 list of the “new kind of cool” I’m talking about.

It’s a “new kind of cool” to:

  1. Have faith in God and submit myself to a power greater than me.
  2. Have a wife to shower with adulation and to share my thoughts and fears and dreams with.
  3. Finding teaching moments when the boy and I play basketball (or any other activity)
  4. Know that I am the model my daughter looks to in order to know what type of man she will marry (even if she doesn’t know yet).
  5. Hear the heartbeat of my firstborn for the very first time through the ultrasound.
  6. Be the funniest guy in my house. My kids will laugh at almost anything.
  7. Learn someting new every day. And to share that knowledge.
  8. Have friends with the same values as you and aren’t afraid to correct you if you get off track.
  9. Serve others.
  10. To teach my kids to be respected for their work no matter what they may do for a living.

It’s a “new kind of cool” that many of you are choosing to man up each and every day in your own unique ways.

I like this new kind of cool. Do you?

Mr. Man

Question: What is your “new kind of cool”?

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