I wanted to write about how the Broncos defense cost me a chance to watch Peyton Manning and Tom Brady record 65 pass attempts each this weekend. But that didn’t happen. I got frustrated when I tried to write it. Like always, I tried to figure out why I couldn’t write that stupid entry. I already knew why. It’s going to get misty in here.
This is my daughter. Even if the Mets won the World Series this season and Stone Temple Pilots put on a show at the Blaisdell in a month, she would still be the best thing that ever happened to me. She’s the best social experiment I’ve ever involved with. She’s the best playmate that’s ever pretended to be a mermaid. She doesn’t care for me much when I have to be a disciplinarian, but she generally loves me unconditionally (even if she loves Lynnette unconditionallyer). At every phase of her life which Lynnette and I have arbitrary broken up by skill development, I have said “this is the best age.” It has continued on in this manner since the day she was born. But I know that it won’t.
A long time ago, I made the lamentable decision to go away to college while attempting to maintain a long-distance relationship. Since my girlfriend and I were only together during Christmas break and summer, there was this pressure to maximize our time together. I didn’t sleep much. I wasn’t home much. This pressure indirectly raised expectations on a day-to-day basis. I was too young to realize what was happening. Something similar is happening right now.
Eleven years into my career in education, I don’t make much money. That is primarily offset by my schedule. It is lovely to know that I will get a week in the fall and spring when I can do whatever I want. I enjoy Christmas break. Those two months of summer are as close to heaven as I get since Lynnette perfected the art of pretending to already be asleep and/or having a “crazy headache.” I have not known a life without these breaks from work.
My childhood revolved around baseball. It left us no time for the kinds of adventure that Lynnette, Madison, and I chase each weekend. Instead, I was chasing down grounders and fly balls. Absent that kind of time-sucker, we’ve been free to do just about anything. But it makes me wonder…
I am positive I cannot keep writing this blog forever. Logistically, I’ve got a limitation on how much space I can take up on WordPress. There’s also going to come a time when Madison figures out what it is dads does on the computer whenever there are pictures of her placed next to huge blocks of words. Soon after that, I am sure she will tell me to stop writing about her. Then what? I don’t know.
When I first started writing in a public forum, it was because I was watching a lot of sports, movies, and television. I was consuming a lot of stuff and had a whole bunch of ideas about it. I used to write running diaries of random episodes of The Bachelor back when I watched more than 20 minutes of television programing that wasn’t in syndication. I once wrote about why the Snuggie seems preposterous despite selling so well (I live in a place where it never gets cold enough to make the Snuggie practical) and tied it to some thesis about experience and perception. I’ve also bitched and moaned about the Mets every summer. Madison eradicated my free time and replaced it with herself. She also stole the passion which had previously been tied to other things. Being a father and thinking about it and writing about it has been fantastic. I’ll never stop doing the first two, but I imagine I will eventually run out of things to talk about since the Goob would be absolutely mortified to read a blog entry titled “Mad’s First Bra.”
These are my concerns. I realize they probably exist on the other side of a bridge which I will have to cross at some distant time from now. Still, I realized some time ago that my blog had transitioned from a space about my life and my thoughts into a depiction of my life with my daughter at its center. They aren’t the same thing. I know that my blog in its current incarnation is primarily predicated upon whatever my family and I are up to over the course of any given weekend. What’s going to happen when we run out of things to do? When Madison begs us to drop her off a block from Pearlridge while she’s wearing a sweater over something I totally would not approve of? I don’t know.
I spent most of the first two-thirds of my life either living in the past and comparing it to what I viewed as an unfavorable present or living in the moment without realizing how wonderful it truly was (and how unlikely the chances were that it would last). For a long time, the first action made me miserable. Later, the realization of the second filled me with regret. So things swung the other way. I try to appreciate things as they happen while thinking about what the future might hold. One day, I’ll have to let go of Mad. Some day before that, I’ll have to let go of And Release… But until then… I think that’s what this blog has become: a way of making sure that the fleeting movements – no matter how trivial – last. Because as I’ve had to learn the hard way, they aren’t going to do that on their own.