Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Tuesday a week ago was September 11th. Given the importance of the day, I felt like writing a memorial post. However, one thing kept me from doing so.
I had to board a plane.
For the second time in the last 11 years, I had to fly on September 11th. I shouldn’t be afraid. I know it’s probably a stupid fear. Airports likely lock down more on September 11th than any other day of the year, making it a safer day to fly than most. Still, I didn’t want to think about it. Didn’t want to mention it to my wife and kids. Didn’t want them to know that I was nervous about it. Didn’t want to create unnecessary worry. And things were fine. My flight was full. The airport was full, too. It took me a long time to find a parking space as well as a long time to get through security. I held my breath when I boarded at the Atlanta airport and breathed a sigh of relief when I got to my hotel in Tampa.
Like I said, it’s an irrational fear. I was in more danger when I drove myself to and from the Atlanta airport than I was on the plane.
Yet the only thing I cared about was getting home to my wife and kids—the one place in the world where I feel more safe than anywhere else.
Does it bother you when you fly? Would it bother you more to fly on September 11th?
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
I overslept last Friday.
I didn't mean to. I'd set my alarm. I’d planned to get up, but as I stared through a groggy haze, I couldn't push myself out of bed. Then my front door beeped and I realized what was happening.
I was about to miss seeing off my teenage son for school.
I wrote about this a few weeks ago--how my son leaves for school early in the morning. I started getting up early with him as I don’t want him to go off to school alone in the dark. I know he's a big boy. I know he's capable. But I'm his dad. I promised him I'd be up.
And when that beep went off, I realized I'd broken my promise.
I called out his name to wait for a second, grabbed some shorts and a t-shirt, and rushed downstairs. He was putting on his shoes. He had just stepped outside to see if he could hear the bus coming. It comes early sometimes. I'd made it, I guessed, with a few seconds to spare. I didn't feel happy about it, but it felt like a reprieve, a second chance to do right.
He came home from school that afternoon and I told him to rest. His high school had an away game that day and he had to go as part of the marching band. I needed to have him to the school to catch the bus to the game.
Some time around 11:00 p.m., I showed up at the high school to pick him up. The bus rolled in later. He couldn't leave right away as he had to help the band unpack and put his own stuff away. Finally, we could leave. We got home just before midnight. I'd had a long day, but his had been longer. I'd been there at both ends of his day but still felt like I'd failed.
I know this won't be the first time I oversleep. I'm getting older and I just can't keep up. However, I need to get to bed earlier, so I can make both ends of his day and everything in between.
Because I'm his dad.
Clipart from www.clipartpal.com
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
How can you kill a second half?
How can you stop a boy from adding six?
How can you stop a kid from scoring?
What makes a team slow down?
(Sung to the tune “How Can You Mend a Broken Heart” by the Bee Gees)
Football season has begun for my 10-year old. They’ve played two games so far, winning both. They won last weekend by a score of 32 – 0. However, there’s just one thing. At halftime, the score was 32 – 0.
My son’s football league has a rule that prohibits outscoring a team by more than 32 points and will fine teams that do $150. Unfortunately, a lopsided score happens sometimes. There are nearly 40 teams in the league and some are much stronger than others. When they square off, the score looks bad. The rule is in place to prevent embarrassment.
After watching last weekend, I wonder if the alternative isn’t worse. Everything went right for my son’s team early. When an interception that was run back for a touchdown put them up 32-0, the team was stuck. From there, it got interesting. The coaches told the kids not to score. They also told them to occasionally fumble, to run out of bounds despite a clear lane to the end zone, and even asked the refs to call phantom holding penalties, all in the name of sportsmanship. By the end, they’d preserved the 32 – 0 final.
However, some time during the game, I began thinking about the other team. It was obvious the kids were messing up on purpose. I wondered how this made the other team feel. One of the parents mentioned they were going to write a letter to the league. My response was that I doubted it would do any good.
How do you think the other team felt watching the second half? And what do you think about the rule?