July 30th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
First Things First
Look at him over there. Let’s face it, he’s not what you bargained for. The funny, charming guy who thought about you all the time. Yeah, it almost did seem like … Ain’t no mountain high enough, Ain’t no valley low enough, Ain’t no river wide enough … He was so into you, you could hear his smile over the phone. Those feelings of love, they steamrolled everything. No worries. No troubles. “What troubles? As long as you’re with me.”
Now, look at him. Forget mountains, valleys. Now the couch is too deep, the living room too wide … And he’s got troubles alright. Wears it on his face. The elixir worn off; the dumb grin that you thought so cute has been long replaced by the sober gaze. He’s uglier now. How did one decade do this to him?
And this boy in your arms – this beautiful newborn? Innocent. Pure. True. The love for this one was instant. No, it didn’t grow. It was just there. Divine. Naturally ordained. And he needs you. You’re everything to him. Everything. Your smell, your voice, your touch soothes him. Not only do you love him, you’re filled with compassion for him.
The dude across the room? Big. Frustrating. Sure, he has his moments, but they are getting few and far between. And besides, he can take care of himself.
The baby? Beautiful. Lovely. Doesn’t know any better.
The dude? He should know better.
Right. I know; makes perfect sense. Look at the two: Look at the dude; look at the baby. The dude gets demoted. Feelings tell you, “Yes, obviously.” Practical need? Of course. Even your instincts say, “Everything for the kid.” Everything points to orbiting around your children.
Don’t do it. The practical attention you give to your marriage will suffer with children, but you must never place children at the center of your family. First things first. Your marriage gave birth to your children, not the other way around.
July 26th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Draft Day Do’s and Dont’s
Look, I don’t know. Is Kaepernick going to be a top five QB? Will taking him in the 5th make your season? Can’t say. Without Crabtree, does Kaepernick struggle mightily? What about MJD? Will he have an inspired resurgence in a contract season? Or has the little wrecking ball run into one too many walls? No clue. They say Montee Ball is going to take over duties behind Peyton. And I’ve heard how often Denver likes to run it from inside the opposition’s ten. Yeah, I’ve heard. I also heard Ryan Mathews was going to be the second coming of Marshall Faulk.
Here’s the number one Do and Don’t: Do remember that you Don’t really know. There’s no shame in it. No one does. For every one you hit, you’ll probably miss two. Sure, go ahead and take credit for taking Adrian Peterson in the second. Tell everyone you knew. Have fun with it. So long as you tell yourself the truth, that right after taking him, late in the second you kicked yourself for not taking the Law Firm. And if you really don’t know then …
Don’t lock onto players. Last year, I locked onto Michael Vick. Realizing that I wasn’t seeing clearly, I told myself to wait until the 4th. “If he’s not there, you can console yourself with Matt Ryan.” I got antsy and jumped up to take Vick in the third. That’s what getting locked will do to you. Had I taken Ryan in the 6th, I would have been 4-2 at the halfway mark instead of 2-4.
Don’t lock and Do remain flexible during your draft. More often than not, autopick will pick you a better team than you’d pick for yourself. My point is the human element with it’s preferences and biases do more harm than good. By all means, have a plan but in each round consider the dozen or so players who are available around your pick. It’s fine to be looking for Wes Welker in the fourth, but take a hard look at Larry Fitzgerald if he’s still on the board.
Some more Do’s and Don’ts
Do have a plan. Tough to be flexible without a plan.
Do a couple mock drafts. You’ll be surprised how bad things can go the first time around.
Don’t take a flyer in the first two rounds. In early rounds, if you have the choice between Steven Jackson or Montee Ball, take Jackson.
Don’t believe the hype. There’s a reason why they are deep sleepers … they usually don’t wake up.
Don’t ignore history. Sure Darren McFadden can play all sixteen. It’s possible. History says he won’t. And when it comes to you vs. history, I’ll give the nod to history.
Finally, Do have fun with it. Don’t take it too seriously.
July 25th, 2013 § 2 Comments
Sometimes I walk into our kids’ bathroom and think, “We are not animals!” The place gets pretty tore up. There is this dried, food/toothpaste blend spit streak in the sink – residue left from a hurried, careless brushing, and even a worse rinsing. Have you seen this? It’s nasty. There are damp towels balled up. Yesterday’s clothing strewn about. Sometimes, I have to run and stop my wife at the door. Spread myself across the threshold, “No! You don’t want to see what’s in there.” They can be messy. It is one of many maddening things about our kids.
Years back, on one of these occasions, upon discovering something my kid had done or failed to do, when the first thought to cross my mind was, “You don’t get it,” just as this thought was strutting across my mind with its accompanying air of justified superiority, another thought flew in and knocked this thought on its ass. The thought went something like this, “Now, tell me, what exactly were you like at eleven?”
Let’s see, hmm … I was listening to Prince and the Revolution, stealing baseball cards, getting straight C’s, souping up my BMX bike, and cussing like a sailor. I had no concept of cleanliness, Godliness, or any other form of “liness” for that matter. My heroes were Bruce Lee and Clint Eastwood. And my number one goal in life was to learn to break dance.
Remember, he is seven. She’s eleven. Remember how long it took you to, as we say, Get it. Remember that you have over them the benefit of twenty, thirty+ years of experience, hindsight and development. Remember that a good deal of the things they do to drive you nuts is them acting their age.
July 16th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Every little bit …
I remember the mornings. We’d sit … linger at the dining table, me with my coffee, her with her glass of water (Before I got her hooked on coffee). A lasting picture of our first year of marriage is us talking at that little dining table. I can’t recall the myriad of things over which we lingered in conversation. I do know it wasn’t just light, casual banter. Some of it was me unloading my frustrations with work – that first year of marriage was a tough year for me at the office. A good deal of it revolved around things we were learning … about ourselves, about the world, about life, about faith and hope. We listened, laughed, and discovered the person we had married.
The kids came. Our “talks” took on a decidedly pragmatic turn. There was very little lingering of any kind. But whenever we could sneak a date or a moment, we tried to find a table, two chairs. A drink in hand and conversation. Every little bit …
Our kids are no longer “nipping at our ankles.” And I found myself the other morning lingering again: Her on the couch. Me in my chair. Coffees in hand. Talking.
July 10th, 2013 § Leave a Comment
It was an important realization for me: Say “yes” as much as possible. Obviously, you can’t say “yes” to everything … maybe not even to most things. So, upon my realization came the dilemma, How to swing this? How do I say “yes” when I really need to say “no”? Here’s a tip: Timing.
As I’ve mentioned, I have two beautiful daughters. Beautiful. They’re … they’re the most precious things … for lack of words to adequately express it. And they’ve made me dislike every young man/boy on earth. Other than my son, that’s it. They are all … well, they’re, they’re all potentially guilty. You know what I mean. They’re not to be trusted. Okay? And I don’t like them.
The older of my two daughters is turning thirteen here in a few short months. And with this auspicious turning of the page, the talk of “dating” has surfaced. Now, I can’t say the word “date” in connection with my daughter without feeling an urge to kick something. But let’s face it, in reality I want her to date. Of course I want her to date. Eventually marry. The key here is timing. What doesn’t work at thirteen is great at twenty-five. What? Twenty-five’s too late to start dating?
Okay, so when she looks up at me with those big, pretty fourteen year old eyes, and asks, “Daddy, can I go on a date?” I’ll say, “Yes. Yes you can. But not now.”