Archive for the ‘The Wonder of Me’ Category
If you have ever seen me speak publicly on the topic of fatherhood then you probably noticed, just before you demanded your money back, that I am an emotional guy. In fact, my heart is tattooed on my sleeve, where the heart is actually an apple with my boys’ first initials carved into it, and the sleeve is actually my arm.
There’s a story there, but that’s a different post.
The good people at Philips Norelco (you may recall their kind contributions during Movember) invited me to work with them (despite this video) on a campaign showcasing the New Face of Dad — or in this case, five tired old guys with faces. It’s all relative.
I was joined at the virtual hip with Jim from Bobblehead Dad, Clay from Dad Labs, Jon from Blurbomat, and Seth from The Didactic Pirate, and each of us was asked to film a video explaining what it feels like being a dad.
That’s right, feelings.
You can guess where it goes from there. They say there is no crying in baseball, but dad blogging? You bet.
The videos will be released on Thursday, June 14 with a Twitter Party from 8-9 pm EST. I’ll be there with the other New Faces of Dad (it’s like an old boy band), and so should you. Use the hashtag #NewFaceOfDad and let your face be heard — at least 140 characters of it.
I hope you can join us.
If you want to talk about your feelings on fatherhood, please do so in the comments below. Crying is totally allowed.
A very special thanks to Philips Norelco and new faces everywhere. I am being compensated for this campaign.
Blogging is all about ebbs, flows, and being too busy to maintain one’s personal space. It happens. I’m sure you are over it.
It’s not that I haven’t been writing anything of substance — I have. I’m just writing a limited supply of substance, so I have to put it where the paycheck is.
To that end, I would be thrilled if you took the time to read the posts below:
“I’m not even sure that I would want my kids to be popular. Yes, I want them to be liked by their peers and to have good friends, but there are a lot of trappings to popularity that I would rather they not deal with. First world problems? Maybe — but, and I’m painting with the stereotype brush here, I wouldn’t want them to feel that they had to be something that they are not. I want them to be, first and foremost, comfortable in their own skin. I’m basing a lot of this on Glee and various Disney Channel movies, so forgive me if my grasp of stereotypes is a little rusty.”
“What happens is that a sweet, sensitive boy becomes a monster. He yells and screams at those that play with him or those that tell him it is time to stop. He talks in quick, sharp daggers of hateful speech and he whines when we mention it. It is ugly.”
“The right for all people, in this case, all tax-paying citizens of the United States, to marry the person of their choosing is such an obvious thing that to fight against it is well beyond the bounds of politics and commonsense. To suggest otherwise is to declare an ignorance of history and to put oneself squarely on the wrong side of it.”
“…for every single note was a child’s wish, grown from whispers and wandering thought, written down with careful hand, and tied somewhat gingerly to the hopes of the wild.”
There are a lot of other things to do on the Internet, and I appreciate you taking the time to read the words that I fling on it. Also, I would like to thank BlogHer for naming me one of their 2012 Voices of the Year. The post that made it happen is “When Stuffed Animals Die.”
Blogging hasn’t made me rich, unless you’re one of those saps that thinks friends make you rich, then sure, I’ve made a few bucks. But here’s the thing, friends don’t pay the rent, unless they are really great friends, which I’m sure some of them are. Call me!
What blogging has done, in addition to the many friends I’ve met (especially the great ones), is allow me opportunities that I never would have had with a regular job like a job. For instance, in the past year I’ve drank too much whiskey while talking to Bog Iger in Hawai’i, chatted with Steve Whitmire (Kermit the Frog) while hanging out at Jim Henson Studios (get The Muppets on DVD/Blu-ray tomorrow!), and watched my oldest son get his Jedi on at Skywalker Ranch. All of these experiences (and more!) have been incredible opportunities and I am thankful for them. Sure, they were the result of lots of hard work, and they themselves resulted in even more hard work, but every single one of them has been worth it. And then some.
Which leads me to my next great adventure: Next month I will be Disney’s guest at Pixar Studios in Emeryville, CA, and all will be right with the world. Well, my world anyway. I don’t know what you’re into.
I’m fully aware that you probably hate me a little bit right now, and I can say, with all honesty, I’m okay with that.
The trip includes a tour of Pixar Studios, a screening of Disneynature’s Chimpanzee (in theaters on Earth Day), a sneak peak of Pixar’s Brave and La Luna (the Oscar-nominated short to be shown before Brave), and a day at the wonderful Walt Disney Family Museum, which I just took my son to for his report on Walt Disney because I’m THE. BEST. DAD. EVER. True story.
You still hate me. I can feel it.
Here’s where you, the reader, come in. If you have any questions for Mark Andrews, the director of Brave, or any of the film’s animators, then please leave them in the comments below and I will ask them (unless your question sucks) during the interview process. It’s just like being there! Especially for me.
Disclosure: This trip is on Disney’s very kind dime, but the opinions will be mine (something they know quite well).
Popular thought suggests that there is a spark inside all of us. Personal experience is that some shine brighter than others. That doesn’t devalue anyone. It just is. Accept it or change it. It’s your spark.
Mine twists like a lighthouse in a windstorm. It is either lost through waves of bourbon or cutting through so much fog to find you like a spotlight. When I shine I want you to shine with me. It is lonely at the top.
We live in a land of opportunity. The cobblestones are plated gold. The dust a blend of pixie. But dreams are not granted to the masses. We must walk uphill in every way, knocking on doors and selling our wares and what passes for awareness. Don’t sell yours short. The highest bid is often the most careless.
And there are dark doors that figuratively represent whatever you need them to. Literally they are but hinged barriers to the path ahead. The light from the other side glows like a burning picture frame. It is an invitation. It is a warning. It has a handle that only needs to be turned.
Opening doors is why steps are taken.
It may require pause. New paths are hard to start and old paths end too quickly. The scene from the doorstep is of rolling hills and promise. My feet are tired and anxious. There is a stack of shoes in the foyer, each covered in potential and glowing with dust (the smaller shoes shine the brightest). The surrounding floor grows sterile and absent as it stretches down the hallway. I cannot remember if I am coming or going. I am paused, and I am wondering where to put my foot down.
Some look to the heavens when they have nowhere else to turn. Some look there first. I look up and I see stars that stretch forever. I find more perspective than answers.
Perhaps it is the time of year. Perhaps it is the wind in your hair. Life is a dance of wonder and melancholy, and each step brings a gasp, each spin leaves a smile. We are tussled and chapped, and the deeper the dip the more we feel alive.
Perhaps decisions are best made when we don’t know that we are making them. We are lost in the movement. We are paused before doorways. We are always looking for a better place.
That is what I am doing here, writing in circles and wasting language best spent on documents and deadlines — thirsty words wandering from waterhole to wonder and always with the stars in their eyes, always with the day’s dust behind them.
Popular thought suggests that there is a spark inside all of us. Mine is helping to keep us warm, and perhaps that is enough of a wonder for anyone.
Photo by ImaRawkStar