Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
After leaving the Build-A-Bear Workshop in Chattanooga, TN, we drove an hour across Lookout Mountain to my hometown of Fort Payne, AL for the next stop of your monster truck road trip for your 3rd birthday in the Toyota Tundra, which served as your “monster truck.”
We visited Little River Falls, which is just a few miles from the house I was raised. Growing up basically on the Alabama/Georgia/Tennessee border, in the tale end of the Appalachian Mountains, I identify myself more with all three states as opposed to exclusively Alabama.
The truth is, I don’t know much about the rest of my homestate of Alabama; pretty much just the part that is included in the tri-state area around Chattanooga, TN, which was the biggest city I was familiar until I moved away after high school.
I took you there because I wanted to introduce you to the version of being a boy that I knew from the 1980s and ’90s. I was a Cub Scout, so anything to do with the great outdoors, including forests, waterfalls, and huge rocks, I was there.
The reason I chose Little River Falls for your 3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip was ultimately to introduce you to that part of me; a part of me that very much illustrates who I am.
I want you to grow up truly knowing me, in real time. To know me, I knew you had to experience seeing that strong yet reserved beauty of not only the waterfall and canyon, but also the therapeutic drive through it.
You were able to see where they paved a two lane road around a big tall rock. How cool is that?
This is the version of the South that I grew up in… exploring nature and making a simple, yet memorable adventure out of it.
Speaking of, I want to tell you more about the drive through the mountains.
To be continued…
Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.
P.S. You were here. By that, I mean, the red star on this map.
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Nostalgia, The Dadabase
Thursday, June 30th, 2011
What do some parenting blog titles reveal about certain insecurities that we may have as parents?
Back in March when I was trying to figure out what I was going to rename this dad blog for Parents.com, obviously the first thing I did was to Google-skim (I made that word up but I assume you’re hip enough to get it) the Internet for inspiration and to check out my competition… I mean, my… fellow dad bloggers. During my 43 minutes of research, I picked up on blog name patterns for both dad bloggers and mommy bloggers.
The dad bloggers who were more vulnerable and self-depreciating with their blog names often focused on the fact that they didn’t know what they were doing, with titles like “Rookie Dad,” “Thingmababy,” “Daddy Knows Less,” and “Daddy’s In Charge?”.
Meanwhile, their mom blogging counterparts often focused on their attempts to organize the chaos of motherhood with “Three Kid Circus,” “And Then She Snapped,” “I Want a Nap,” “The Tightrope Walk,” “The Life of a Juggling Mom,” and “Cinderella is Falling Down.”
If I were to extract the assumed meaning of this particular pattern I discovered, it would be this: Dads want to be helpful and productive, but don’t necessarily know what to do by instinct. And moms more instinctively know what to do, but they just don’t always have enough energy, “sanity”, and/or time in the day to get it done.
So I assume if these characteristics are at least somewhat true for those of us who blog about our daily parenting experiences, they are typically just as true for the parents who don’t blog about it. There’s a reason why these blog titles I’ve mentioned do indeed ring true with readers.
Evidently, dads have the energy, sanity and time to get the job done, but not the know-how. Conversely, moms have the know-how, but again, not the energy, sanity, and/or time in the day to do it. As dad-and-mom teams, we have everything we need to pull this thing off. It’s a matter of working together to win this three legged race. Actually, we don’t even need to win the race; all we have to do is run it.
Or hop it. Or walk it… whatever it takes for the family to move forward, together.
How can you enhance your own parenting skills today? Communication: Ask your spouse for help and be vulnerable enough to tell him or her the ways you feel sub-par as a co-parent. By nature, it’s easy to want to help someone who is being humble enough to ask for your help than someone who is complaining for lack of it.
I guarantee that your spouse abounds in the things you lack as a parent. And have this conversation with them: Acknowledge that one of you often feels like a third wheel who tries to contribute in caring for your child, but often gets discouraged by not having the instincts to know what to do when it comes to parenting. And that the other person often feels overwhelmed by the never-ending list of stuff that needs to get done. Then work out a plan accordingly. Then act on it.
We can allow ourselves to remain frustrated by our deficiencies or we can celebrate and make good use of each other’s goods and services. As for me, I’ll always choose working smart over working hard. And working smart, in this instance, means confessing my weaknesses so that my strengths can be best utilized in both marriage and parenting.
All pictures were taken courtesy of Dave Stanley at Little River Falls in Fort Payne, Alabama.
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