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Where I reflect on being a father

by John on June 10th, 2014

I’m such a loser.

Really, I am.

Father’s Day is this Sunday . . . and I just Googled “what do I want for Father’s Day?” because Google knows, man. Google knows.

(apparently, I want the latest gadgets, I disagree, but the internet marketing force is persuasive)


My son has been dragging a guitar around all day today. But the story starts on Sunday. CJ will go to sleep far-more-easily if you give him cuddles at bedtime . . . there have been plenty of nights where I’ve fallen asleep next to him, in this practice, which I think is his impetus for the request. Anyway, Sunday night, I was cuddling CJ at the end of what was an incredibly music-intensive weekend for me (a gig on Saturday night, filling in with a jazz combo, and then my last day of services as organist until the fall), and we started talking a little about music. I asked him if he’d like to play an instrument. He asked me what that meant, and suddenly we were talking about the different instruments. He asked if he could play guitar, and I replied “sure, buddy, heck there’s a guitar downstairs that you can play around with.”

But, it was bedtime. Those bedtime conversations typically leave me as soon as they’re over.

But, to a four year old, they stick.

The next day, CJ woke early & started his day by dressing and playing video games. After we turned off the video game console, CJ asked for the “boo star.”

Four year olds can be difficult to understand from time to time (it’s because of this difficulty that I really have no idea what I’m getting . . . one day CJ will mention “I can’t wait to give you ahgioadsfadoifa dsoipa, but I’m not supposed to tell you about that” . . . followed by Leila saying something similar. Part of me thinks Duffy has them up to this, though that would be a difficult prank to pull off with the unreliability of preschoolers).

I had no idea what he was talking about, but assumed it was a kind of food, gave him an apple & a granola bar, and packed the kids to take them to my mother-in-law’s for the day as I went to work. In the truck, he, again, asked for a “boo star.”

“Buddy, I don’t know what you mean, what is the /boo star/ like?”

“You know, Dad, an instrument”

“Oh, a guitar!”

“Yeah, a guitar, can I have one?”

This morning, I woke, dusted off a cheap classical guitar that I’ve had for years, tuned it up & handed it off. He’s been very careful with it, but I don’t believe he’s put it down once.

I must admit that I’m pretty darn proud to see this love – even if it seemed to come from out of nowhere. I like to think this is a “I want to be more like Daddy” bit of behavior. I hope it is.

Now, I should probably figure out how to play the instrument properly. Or something.


My daughter recently started dance classes.

She gets in trouble, quite often, for paying more attention to looking at herself, in her purple leotard & tutu, in the mirror than on performing the dance move she is set to do.


I’m already excited about Halloween. Seriously, I’m trying to get the kids to figure out what they might want to be so that I can come up with a costume that will work with both of them . . . though I realize this is fruitless. Possibly beyond fruitless, because, as my daughter is quick to do, kids “change their minds” all of the time.


I’m sitting, right now, typing this, with my muscles sore. Just about every single muscle in my body is protesting . . . I’ve truly been serious about strength training lately, and today’s workout was brutal – which is far from dissimilar to any other workout. While I can joke about vanity and go on & on about the advantages of having more muscle on your frame, the impetus behind this? My kids were growing faster than I had the ability to lift them . . . maybe if I can make myself stronger, strong enough to carry the two of them, despite how big they might be, they’ll still be “my babies.”


So what do I want for father’s day? All I know is that it’s far from the latest gadget.

From → Family, Parenting

12 Comments
  1. Katrina Capistrano permalink

    oh that’s precious John. Love the way they mispronounce things at that age. I try not to correct my kids only because it’s too cute and I don’t want them to stop saying it!

    • I’ll freely admit that the first time I hear “okay” instead of “o-tay” from my daughter, I’m going to cry.

  2. Good because I did not get you the latest gadget.

  3. We’ve been picking Baguette’s costumes, and we’ve gotten it absolutely wrong for the last two years. Both years there were severe meltdowns. In 2012 she wound up going out in all of her Elmo gear, and last year she went as–wait for it–me.

    http://www.tragicsandwich.com/halloween-costume-2013/

    This year, we’re just going to lay out a bunch of stuff and let her pick, and then we’ll come up with a name for it.

    • That sounds like a brilliant idea for a Halloween costume . . . right now, at the house, we go between Star Wars and Ninja Turtles and Disney themes. But, come October, I’m sure we’ll switch things up most every day.

  4. Aw, I love this. Remember, no matter how big they get or if you can carry them or not, they will always be your babies. Even when they have babies of their own. Maybe you need photos for Father’s Day, photos to remember your babies by. Photos to show their babies.

    • Yes, they’re my babies . . . but damn, is it difficult to pick them up, sometimes!

  5. I love that he wants to play the guitar. That’s so awesome and a great skill to start learning now.

    Does she love dance? That’s hilarious that she likes to look at herself in the mirror. Allie often wanders off from the circles which is classic Allie. Running off and doing her thing.

    How was Father’s Day? What did y’all do?

    • The La does love dance, something fierce. It’s incredibly cool to see.

      Father’s Day was wonderful – woke up, had breakfast in bed, went to the pool, grilled burgers :)

  6. Okay, dance classrooms are designed so it’s impossible to stop staring at yourself, that’s not on Leila!

    • Yeah — but there is “look at yourself” and there is “ignore everything else in the world, including your instructor, to spin around while looking at yourself.” It’s the latter bit that I want to rein in, just the tiniest bit.

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