Thursday, March 26, 2009

Honoring Our Dads

My wife's father is very sick with cancer, it's sad and real. I honor him and his journey. I honor him for being a dad to 4 kids, one being his older daughter, my wife. It is difficult to see her struggling in how to be with all of this. My job is to be solid, take care of the home fort while she goes to visit and be with him.

My dad is also not well. So I bless these men who have been so important in our lives. One day it will be my turn to move on.

To life - To Death!

me, my dad and his dad.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Men, Women, and Kids

I stay up late and work at home. The place is quiet, I can focus and work uninterrupted for hours, I love that. Today is Weds., it my dad day, meaning mom is out of here, all day.

I just did a weekend workshop with around 170 men. Different men; biker dudes, guys out of prison on parole, young guys out of gangs, business men, artists, and lots of contractors - certainly an interesting mix. It was an intense and wonderful weekend, changed my life in more ways than I expected. Many things about relationship with women, and being men.

I really got to look at the term "the feminized male" which is basically a man who was raised by women who missed out on being raised by a man - big difference. I have some of that but have done much personal work that I am pretty balanced and certainly able and enjoy hanging with many men of all types.

I was sleeping in this morning, after I had gotten my youngest girl up to shower and told her she's on her own for breakfast and making her lunch (which is usual on dad day), and that she should wake me up before she leaves. Her older sister is in bed sick and staying home today. Mom comes in to wake me up, anger in her vioice, triggered by something. She tells me that my daughter needs me in the kitchen.... to just to be with her.

Hum... when I check in with my daughter and we talk, she said mom "put words into her mouth." She was actually fine and doing what she was asked and needed to do. She's a moody and sluggish kid in the morning anyway.
I wanted her to experience being independent this morning. Part of my dad teachings.

I learned more for this weekend that women are more emotional and that I can just let them be and not get triggered for trying to correct them - that's a no win situation. To just be empowered and not engage emotionally in those few moments was priceless.

I realize my time is coming to an end in what I can teach my girls. They are becoming full students of my wife and that is none of my business. I do still have a job to be their dad, to teach them things about the world; how to use tools, connect to nature, and learn about men by being an example, for I know the partner they pick (straight or gay) is deeply molded by part of me, who I am, what I do, and how I am being.


Image from The Art of Being A Dad (the first seven years).

Monday, March 9, 2009

One of Those Dad Things We Do

She said, " You take me to all these places thinking I will like them and I don't and I don't like that you do that!" I said, "I hear you, and it's just one of the things that dads do, we hope something might click."

Soon after wards I stopped at a climbing gym in Berkeley, just to take a peek... because it was there. I knew what she was thinking.... another dad thing he'll hope I like. We stayed for awhile, until she was ready to leave, it was longer than either of us thought. Sweet!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Dark, Muddy, and Happy

I couldn't help but write again. My girls have a natural tendency to bicker and nag on each other at home - it's a real drag, remember I basically now have young teenage girls. I notice they also have a tendency to stay inside. Maybe it's a girl thing, I think it's also a suburban thing which I feel sad about. I grew up in rural PA and basically was outside as much as possible, there were no street corners or fenced in properties, it was woods and corn fields.

Today is my dad day. Every Weds. (and it's been this way for years) is my day to be dad, and my wife's day to not be mom - for the whole day. Tomorrow I am off, it's a non-dad day for me. So being a king of the house tonight I said let's get out of here, really knowing the dog had been inside also way too much in all this rain.

Nearby is a place where we can let the dog off the leash, let the kids off the leash, it's by water (we live on an island off the coast of Oakland CA). So in the dark the kids made up a game around large rocks and muddy grass. They played for a long time, they got really muddy, they even took off their shoes and socks and kept playing. They were not fighting and I was happy, they were happy, the dog was happy. Sweet

Welcome to Dadville

Hello, finally getting up my dad blog inspired by finally self publishing / on demand my first book,
"The Art of Being A Dad."

I am going to be posting sections of the book over time and also talking, sharing about what it's like now with my two girls 11 and going on 14. Whew....

Stay tuned