Sunday, June 19, 2011

Lessons from some fathers

Things I learned from my father:

  • Love. Everyone. Always. As hard as you can. Tell them.
  • Farts are really funny.
  • You are absolutely obligated to screech sing along to every song on the car radio, ability and kids' reputations be damned.
  • How to lose spectacularly at chess.
  • Learning how to keep score in baseball properly, how to play a good hand of poker, and how to deliver a lame-ass pun are very important life skills indeed.
  • Affection and opinions are best worn on your sleeve. And sometimes forcefully launched from it.
  • The Beach Boys and Jim Croce rock, no matter what anyone tells you.
  • The Buffalo Bills also rock, despite what everyone tells you.
  • Memorizing the starting lineup of the 1983 St. Louis Cardinals is way more important than those dumb toddler milestones.
  • The best books are read and reread throughout your life, foisted upon others, and discussed at greater length than it took to read them.
  • Pushing stuff to the side of the room instead of cleaning it is OK, as long as you don't tell Mom where you received the permission.
  • When someone isn't listening, simply speak more loudly. Repeat until they agree, because if they disagree they obviously don't understand.
  • If you really are proven wrong, admit it. Own it. A self-effacing doofus apology gets you infinitely more mileage than a stubborn asshole routine. A sincere one gets you even more still, but it's damn difficult.
  • "Leroy Brown" must be heard at least a dozen times in a row to be fully appreciated.
  • Salsa + cream cheese = best nighttime snack ever, regardless of how you feel in the morning.
  • Embrace your inner nerd.
  • If you tell a dirty joke, your kids (OK, nine-year-old Kim) will repeat it at the very first opportunity, along with who told it.
  • People are full of contradictions. It makes life interesting.
  • Shorts only have to be a few inches long. It's OK if you're six and a half feet tall, just yank those puppies up and you're good to go. The horrified looks on your kids' faces mean they admire your boldness.

Things I've learned, from or courtesy of my husband, while parenting with him:

  • Fatherhood is a choice.
  • So is love. It's an emotion, but it's an exercise in courage and patience, every day.
  • Seriously, farts really are funny.
  • If the rule is "half an hour of video game time," it's totally OK to wait until Mom is gone and let one's son play four and a half hours instead.
  • How to continue losing at chess.
  • Matching? Pssh. The kid's wearing pants and a shirt, isn't he?
  • If one partner is good at horsing around and setting up complicated children's toys, and the other is good at big-time empathy and the sex talk; you violate the natural order at your own peril.
  • Coldplay rocks, no matter how many times one's wife makes fun of your pussy playlists.
  • OK; maybe Coldplay doesn't rock. Still, like what you like, and own it.
  • Hearing someone tell me that I'm "really damn good at this," while pointing to our son will reduce me to tears.
  • A partnership is a messy, sublime, boring, exciting, horrible, wonderful thing. Sometimes all of those, before noon.
  • If the kid's into Star Wars, we're obviously doing something right.
  • Gungans are lame, but Ewoks are way worse, and it's vital to impart this knowledge in a somber father-son chat.
  • Having a kid is a great excuse to buy ourselves all the toys we always wanted. Rock tumbler, insect jars, and giant bubbles, anyone?
  • Vomit is never to be cleaned up by Dad.
  • He's really pretty damn good at this too.

Happy Father's Day to my dad, who I miss dearly, my husband, who actually volunteered for this gig AFTER being vomited upon, and to all the dads out there. You guys rock. Now help take out the trash.


heather said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, you've got Brian down to a tee :-) I hope Aaron had a great day, being the great father that he is.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

What great lists!! Fathers rock!

Kim Hosey said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks, both of you. Yeah, Heather. I thought that about captured him.

Mary Richert said... Best Blogger Tips

This post is SO SWEET. Happy belated fathers' day to your husband. From everything I've heard, he sounds like a great person. Dad's truly are pretty incredible people.