Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A Parent is a Parent, Apparently

Hi, I am a Dad.  I love my kids more than anything else in the entire world, and this shouldn't be a revelation to you.

In fact, it is really common place.  

Every parent feels the same way. Well, every good parent anyway, and it doesn't matter if you are the parent with the male parts or the parent with the female parts.  

A parent is a parent, apparently.

We all have feelings, and, believe it or not, I bet they are really similar.

We all laugh at the idea of "me" time because it is more or less a myth. Besides, our "me" time, if we ever have any, just isn't any good with out our brats running around us screaming and laughing anyway.  The happiest and most relaxed times in my life revolve around my chaotic children.  

Sure, I have gone out fishing or something with out them a few times, but I just didn't really enjoy it, and I found it odd.  I took up fishing years ago as a way to hide from people for a few  hours here and there.  I continue to fish for the opposite reason.  Now, it's a way to spend time with the loves of my life, my boys and Mama Bear.  

We all secretly relish the moments when our little ones are just a little scared and need extra big hugs and cuddles to feel more secure because comforting our children and making them feel better makes us feel awesome. There are even times when I feel like I could use a few extra big hugs, so I read them a scary story just so they will snuggle up to me.  I know. I am a terrible parent.

We all constantly worry about our children non-stop. Is he making friends?  Is he homesick? Does he need me? Should I call the school and just check to make sure he is ok?  I am probably the worst about this.  The first week of pre-k I was a nervous wreck, and the only thing that kept me from deciding to home school the Pizzmeister was the fact that I knew it was incredibly selfish to think like that, and I was ashamed.  

We all have our insecurities.  I always worry that my disease will make life harder for my boys, and I always feel a bit guilty like they are missing out on something because I am sick.  Then, on top of that, I also feel guilty because I wanted my boys so much that I was willing to risk the 50% chance of my disease passing on to them just so I could be a daddy.  

We all compare ourselves to other parents.  Maybe it is just me, but I am always watching other parents with their children and I frequently think to myself, "I would never do that" or  "That so wouldn't fly if I was that kid's dad" or "that mom/dad is wicked cool" or "I wish I had thought of that idea, and I am so stealing it."  

In many ways, being a parent is like being in junior high or high school again to me.  I am constantly watching other parents and smugly laughing at what I think of as "their mistakes" while I am busy screwing up just as bad or worse in the other parent's eyes. Us parents are some of the judgiest people ever! 

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and we are all going to make some mistakes along the way.  Our different strengths and weaknesses allow us to have different comfort levels in various situations, and it doesn't matter if you are a mother or a father because, at some point, you are going to be blind sided by something, and how you parent versus how other people parent has less to do with gender than it does personal preferences.  

Parenting isn't a man vs woman thing or even a parent vs parent thing.  Parenting is all about doing your best for your children, and, in that respect, we are all the same.

Monday, June 8, 2015

"Sometimes You Just Have to Save Yourself Before Anybody Can Help You"

Holy smokes!  It has been a really really really long time since I have bothered to write anything.  I would like to say I have been too busy, but that would be a lie.  

The truth is I have been lazy. 

The weather has been nicer, and I just haven't had the gumption to do anything but play with the boys and fix up boat number two.

Oh yeah,  I forgot to tell you all that the "Memory Maker" has been decommissioned.  Poor boat decided that it was time to call it quits after 51 years of service.  

Well, I can't say it is calling it quits.  The reality is, I can't fix the holes in the keel properly and I can't see paying somebody else to do it because that would be wicked expensive, so up for sale it is.  

We will all be kind of sad to see the quirky old boat go, but the replacement boat is a decent little boat that we enjoy almost as much and doesn't need any further fixing besides the propeller I banged up trying to tug a dead in the water pontoon boat back to the docks.

That whole situation was a cluster-bomb, and it really helped drive home to me the importance of having all the safety equipment and why I take all the precautions I do while on the boat.

Here's the situation.  4 people with no boating experience decided they were going to buy a boat and take it out on the water on a heavy wind day with 1'-3' waves, which was mistake number one.  I personally like the waves and wind because it is more fun, but it makes it a chore to control my little boat around the docks.

Their second mistake, was they had no safety equipment, but they had beer, and, by their scent, I wouldn't have been surprised if they had been consuming it for quite awhile prior to deciding to hit the water with their new boat.  

Unfortunately, beer is not helpful when you are in distress, unless you can use the cans as a signalling device or something.  Other than that, it just isn't helpful.  You really should have an anchor, lights, flares, distress flag, horn, whistle, etc... because it is a lot easier to be helped if you aren't free floating and if others know you need it.

Speaking of others needing to know you need help, these poor people were passed by a number of other boats because they didn't appear to be in distress.  They all appeared to be sitting and chatting and having a good time.  If it wasn't for Mama Bear's eagle eyes I would have passed by too because they never shouted and only one person on the boat bothered to wave the universal distress wave, and he was doing it half heartedly at that.  To me it looked like he was talking with his pals, but, thankfully, Mama Bear wanted to investigate.

Then, once we were close enough to determine that they did in fact need help, they were unprepared to receive it, which irritated Mama Bear to the point that she jumped in the water and took matters into her own hands.

Unfortunately, we still waited too long to get under way, and our poor little boat was pulled up onto the rocks and really banged up our propeller, but we eventually got into deeper water and towed the pontoon boat back to the docks safe and sound.

I was glad we could help them, but, more importantly, I was happy that my brats were with us to witness it and learn from the situation.

Their take home message is adequately stated using the Pizzmeister's words from this morning, "You know, Dad, sometimes you just have to save yourself before anybody can help you, you know?"