My Days as the Main Man Are Numbered.


Let the Countdown Begin...For some mysterious reason, there seems to be more interest in my blog when I write about my family than when I write about educational issues.

I do my best to write different types of blogs in the hope that I can keep all 12 readers interested (yes, the PrincipalsPage.com Blog continues to grow by 2 or 3 people a year).

My writing style seems to make “editor” types nervous (and by style I mean… actually, I have no idea what I mean because I have no idea what I am doing).

They tell me that the posts for PrincipalsPage.com Blog are “all over the place.” One is about my distaste for soccer, another about New Year’s resolutions, then it’s about NCLB, and finally I am giving advice to new principals (unwanted and unasked for advice….but advice none the less).

This blog seems to confuse people with English degrees. I think they would understand it better if they didn’t spend so much time reading books.

While they are confused, the truth is…so am I (maybe I need to read more books… or any books for that matter).

But that’s okay because total confusion is all part of life in education. When you work in a school and you are trying to help raise hundreds of kids, life can get hectic.

But, it’s manageable.

Just as long as you take the job seriously, but not yourself.

Just when I think my life couldn’t get any more hectic, my wife schedules 87 more workshops, my daughter wants to invite 34 girls to her birthday party (bowling… what could possibly go wrong??), and I find myself cruising the internet late at night for cute puppies (this is not a metaphor… my daughter is getting a dog… or I am, time will tell).

Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. Lots of families are busier than we are.

They just don’t have a blog to complain about it.

It has taken me 13 paragraphs to get to my point of this blog (maybe the “editor” types are actually on to something).

Lately, I have been busy. So when my daughter told me I was going to spend a Saturday night taking her to a Daddy-Daughter “Main Man” Dance, I did what every clear thinking father would do.

I lied.

Said I was busy. She said I wasn’t.

I said I couldn’t go because I would have the flu that night. She said I was going.

I said I wouldn’t because I am not her real father. She said that since she looks just like me, I was her father and we were going.

My wife didn’t say anything. She was too busy planning her free Saturday night without either of us.

So I gave in and decided to go. I really didn’t have a choice since she had already picked out my suit and tie (black suit, silver tie… I was a vision of handsomeness…).

When we arrived at the dance, I was pleasantly surprised. It wasn’t that bad. Plus as an added bonus, lots of dads looked far more miserable than I did.

We had dinner, desert, and danced.

Slow danced, not fast (I have the rhythm of a middle-aged white guy… actually, it isn’t that good).

As we danced she thanked me for taking her.

If I was sentimental, this would have warmed my heart.

As we concluded the last slow dance, she started to cry. I asked her what was wrong but she wouldn’t tell me.

I chalked it up to a little girl being tired after a long day.

As we headed home, she finally told me what was making her sad.

She thought the dance went by too fast. She said she wanted to spend more time with her “Main Man”.

I am still not sentimental, but that was nice. Very nice.

Now I have a feeling that in the not so distant future, I will be the one thinking that things have gone by way too fast.

And I will be wishing I was still her main man.

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My Job as a Dad: Less Presents, More Opportunities.


Presents.

Presents.

One of my main concerns is being a good dad.

I have come to realize that I only have these responsibilities for another 11 years. After that she is society’s problem.

Actually, I hope she is never a problem.

Hope is the key word here.

Time will tell how I have done at my part of the job as a parent (by my calculations I am responsible for 37.98% of the child rearing… the rest is all mom).

I only get one shot at this.

From learning to ride a bike, to hitting a softball, to keeping her room clean, to clearing the dinner table, to boys (ugh… I think I just threw up in my mouth), to changing a flat tire… the list is long of things I have to teach her.

I have no previous experience in raising a young lady. No qualifications. I didn’t take any classes to learn the skills of fatherhood. I haven’t passed any sort of standardized test. And I am not even required to have a license.

The state makes me buy a fishing license every year. But when it comes to raising a child, they just turned me loose. However, putting a worm on a hook and throwing it into a pond…. that takes $10 and two forms of ID.

Even with this lack of experience, my hope is she doesn’t grow up being a complete mess.

And I don’t mind saying, so far so good.

She will be turning 8 this spring and has never been convicted of a felony. Key word here, convicted.

And she doesn’t have any tattoos. That you can see.

By all accounts, my child rearing skills have to be rated at least average.

As a father, my original plan was to look back at my childhood for guidance on how to raise her.

But, I decided that might not be the best idea.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining about how I grew up. It was great.

I just want better for her.

Isn’t that what makes a successful society? Our kids (our replacements) being better than us. If we are being honest, they are already smarter.

I have settled on a plan that is focused on giving her opportunities. Not gifts. Not money. Not stuff. Just the chance to see and do many different things.

Lots of things.

All sorts of things.

Sports, movies, books, museums, travel, piano, skiing, swimming, playing pool, going to historical sites, crafting, exercise, politics, and this list also goes on and on.

Most of these activities don’t cost a lot of money, just time.

My master plan includes exposing her to different things and all kinds of people. With these experiences she will be in a better position to figure out what she loves.

Then maybe she can help make society better, not worse. And hopefully, at the same time she finds happiness.

And with that I will consider her successful. And me a slightly above average dad.

But who knows. Like all parents, you get one shot per child and you hope for the best

Truth be told, I don’t have a plan.

I am just winging it.

And counting on mom.

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A Pretty Girl Asked Me Out for Corn Dogs.


One of the Best Dates I've Ever Had.As I sit here on the day after Thanksgiving, I have a couple of thoughts.

One is that I need a bigger chair.

The second is that last piece of pumpkin pie was a bad idea. I feel like a bloated rotting hog that has been lying out in the sun for too long.

Too graphic? Sorry. I get cranky when I am too fat to fit in the shower.

Honestly, I am one more scoop of mashed potatoes away from needing a hand rail to successfully bathe.

Why?

Because I am going to have to sit down in the shower while the water pours over my humungous carcass (take away the c-a-r-c….). Eventually I am going to have to stand up.

It would be inappropriate to call 911, so the hand rail is a must.

I really need a glass of water and a small salad. A really small salad. And do they make diet water?

Why do I overeat on Thanksgiving? I know it is going to happen, yet my self-control fails me.

I am pathetic. And uncomfortable.

It got so bad that loosening my pants didn’t solve the problem. I was thinking long and hard about just taking them completely off (yet another reason to always wear clean underwear kids).

If I never eat again it will be too soon.

This got me thinking about the last meal I enjoyed when I still weighed less than a Ford Focus (you are welcome for the gratuitous plug Ford… I am doing my part to save the auto industry).

On Wednesday, I didn’t have school but my wife and daughter did.

There are some advantages to working in a different district than the rest of the family.

One, my daughter doesn’t have to hear my name used as a curse word on the playground.

Another is she can invite me to eat lunch with her when I have a day off.

At this point in her life she considers this fun. And so do I.

You would think that eating another school cafeteria corn dog would be the last thing I want to do on a day off, but in this case it is an honor and a privilege.

And one that won’t last forever.

I don’t know how much longer I have, but I am trying to milk it for all its worth before I get banned to Daddy Dork Land.

It’s coming. It’s just a matter of time. I can feel it.

Sure my corny jokes play well to a 2nd grade audience, but in a few years she will have to disown me.

I can’t blame her. She can’t afford to risk her social status by letting me show up at her middle school for lunch.

By then my best hope is she doesn’t tell her friends that her father was killed in a horrific coal mining accident. Or worse, she tells them she is a test tube baby (again, I apologize about the graphic nature of this particular blog… I am not myself as gravy courses through my veins).

I can live with dropping her off two blocks from school each morning, but I don’t want her to have to fake my death. Or lie about her conception.

Anyway, she let me eat with her and I even got a special bonus.

Yes, I was a proud recipient of a very public kiss and hug (I can feel these slipping away…).

So while I have been on lots of hot dates (not really), I think I will always remember when a pretty girl asked me out for corn dogs on a special lunch date.

And I might add. Pineapple, corn, and my choice of white or chocolate milk.

I felt like a prince.

Soon, I will be the frog.

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