The beer of choice for today’s active and involved dad is most likely to be A) impossible to find in a can, B) heavy and filling, and C) made by a quirky-named company that has been established since I was born in 1981.
(Samuel Adams, America’s largest craft brewery, was only established in 1984.)
Microbreweries, also known as craft breweries, are identified as “small, independent, and traditional.”
Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but at least for myself, I see a co-relation between microbrewed beer and the modern American dad:
I tend to see myself as an underdog (small), confident in my unique identity (independent), and quite nostalgic (traditional).
As a child of The Eighties, I was regularly told that I could do anything if I believed in myself, put my mind to it, and just said no to drugs. Now as an adult, I’m dealing with the repercussions of that over-inflated truth/false hope.
Sure, we’re all special. But that’s the problem; we’re all special.
So it totally makes sense that us Generation Y and latter Generation X dads don’t mind being perceived as different, open-minded, and maybe even a little bit weird; in a good way.
Even if I’m simply a fleshed-out part of a well-marketed demographic, I am that modern American dad who regularly compares notes of the most recent unheard-of brand of microbrewed beer that happened to be on sale at Kroger this week.
It’s a mindset against drunkenness and irresponsibility and the need to escape from our fatherly duties; as I feel light beer in a can is often associated with.
Instead, it’s an appreciation for the finer things in life. It’s like being a responsible beer connoisseur makes you part of this cool club of relevant dads.
Maybe after a lifetime of exposure to the opening credits of Cheers, I want to be like those sophisticated, mustachioed gentlemen who lived before my grandparents were even born.
I suddenly feel the need to grow an ironic mustache.
Never in my life have I ever watched a full episode of the classic TV sitcom, Cheers. Until about 20 minutes ago.
I just finished the first episode on Netflix. It was simple and warm and charming. I loved time-traveling back to 1982; interestingly, I myself was a year and a half when the show first premiered.
But despite just now actually watching Cheers, I have been a huge fan of the theme song for my entire life.
The way I see it, this “average Joe anthem” written by Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo is only 2nd to “In My Life” by The Beatles, as far as The Best Song Ever Written.
The intertwining music and lyrics are perfectly melancholy yet hopeful; yearning yet found. What human being can’t relate to this?
“Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.
You wanna be where you can see, our troubles are all the same.
You wanna be where everybody knows your name.”
Life is hard. Financial insecurities? I got ‘em. Uncertainty on how my life is supposed to play out? Yep.
Especially today in particular.
But I am blessed enough to come home to a beautiful wife and a magnificent son who take me just as I am. Actually, they take me for more than I am.
As we all sat on the kitchen floor tonight for some unrehearsed family time, Jack unfolded his scrappy coloring book and pulled out his pathetically worn-out crayons.
He likes to assign crayons to Jill and I as he colors the destined-to-be-a-scribbled-mess pages.
“Dada?” He held up the yellow crayon like a good friend offering a premium beer.
For times like these when my life feels like a clusterfog, I especially want to go where everybody knows my name, where they’re always glad I came, and where I can see troubles are all the same.
Where, as a family, we know whatever happens, we’re in this thing together.
My wife Jill is one of those girls who keeps things very clean and organized. Now that I’ve been married to her for nearly 4 years, I have become a lot like her in that way.
Though for me, it’s more about keeping things feng shui.
And sure enough, without a doubt, our son has taken notice.
I suppose the theory on how my son reminds me of a baby bartender is that Jill would let him play with a moist diaper wipe while changing his diaper.
After having had observed her wiping off the counters every night after prepping dinner, Jack realized he could use his “toy” diaper wipe to help clean up around the house.
All it took was finding the perfect sized counter top for him to be able to wipe off: Our “coffee table,” which is actually intended to go outdoors on a patio but we found it on clearance and decided it can get the job done.
During his playtime, cleaning our coffee table has become one of his official activities that he enjoys doing. Last Saturday, I was sitting down in our living room watching him wipe it down when he casually, yet intently, came over to me and “washed” my back. Twice.
As he enjoyed his newest playtime activity, the theme song to Cheers started playing in my head. I couldn’t help but realize how much Jack’s demeanor resembled that of a token bartender on a classic TV show.
I especially feel that way when I look at the picture of him to the right. It looks like he has his sleeves rolled up, showing off his muscles.
As I allow the fantasy story line to unfold, I imagine another toddler walking up to Jack’s bar:
Jack says, “What’ll it be, a Baby Brewsky?”
His customer replies, “Nah, I’ll take a Milk & Scotch… hold the Scotch.”
But seriously, I’m digging the fact that my son actually likes cleaning; at such an early age, too.
Makes me wonder what else we can teach him to clean.