Monthly Archives: February 2016

One Year of Dad Lunch and Why I Keep Writing

 

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Caution: Slightly self indulgent post coming… you’ve been warned.

So a year ago I started this blog with a little post about me and my daughter baking a rainbow cake for my wife. I wasn’t really sure why I started a blog, or what I thought the outcome would be. I wasn’t sure how long I would keep with it, if anyone would read it, or if like so many other projects it would be buried under piles of “I’ll do it later…” and “I don’t have time…”

However, I didn’t let this get forgotten. Admittedly, I have had some consistency issues here and there, but I continued to try and create reasonably compelling pieces that people could enjoy on a frequent basis. I think part of what kept me writing is the responses I got from other parents. I’ve gotten some great e-mails, messages, and comments from people all across the parenting spectrum (and even some non-parents). This is all very important to me and definitely motivating. Still, there is another reason I feel the need to write about being a father, and that’s a little harder for me to discuss due to pride, or whatever you want to label it.

The other reason is that it has also has helped me with one of my personal issues. I am constantly afraid that I am not doing a good enough job at things. I never was the best at sports, I wasn’t the best student, I’ve never been the best looking guy, I’ve been ok at some jobs and impressively bad at others, and I’ve never felt like I stand out in any particular activity. This constant feeling of not being good enough  is not something I talk about very often even to people close to me, but it’s something I deal with constantly.

I don’t feel that way about being a father. I honestly believe that all in all, I am a pretty solid dad. I’m far from perfect, but I think on a day to day basis I give that little girl a happy home, and a pretty good life. Still, the nagging voice comes back sometimes and reminds me of how much more I could be doing, but I think this blog helps me work through some of that. If the only noteworthy thing I do with my time in this world is give her a good foundation so she can succeed, then I can handle that.

With all that being said, writing about fatherhood has at allowed me to touch the massive range of emotions you get while being a parent. As parents we all get happy, sad, scared, confused, etc. As dads we really don’t talk about these things. Gender roles, social awkwardness, whatever it is, the bottom line is that men as a whole don’t talk about feelings with any frequency or depth. I’m guilty of this as well, but at least with an outlet here I have some place to work through those feelings.

Lastly, I write to convey a pretty simple message, and I hope this message is clear through the majority of my writing. Being a dad is awesome. It’s just the best. Time with my daughter is the most amazing part of my world, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Parenting is exhausting, difficult, frustrating, and at points downright infuriating. Parents joke about being tired, broke, losing their minds, etc. Yes, there is honesty in basically all humor, but in the end all the hard times are worth it a thousand times over.

So I will continue to write, and try to figure out the all encompassing absurdism of parenting. I hope people continue to read it and find some enjoyment in my musings. And since all things come full circle, here is another rainbow cake.

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Not Just a Box: A Guest Post (and Video)

The sun rises in the east, the Road Runner evades Wile E. Coyote, Nickelback is the worst, and children love cardboard boxes.

The last one is a truth that I only learned by being a new dad. Even though I have heard other parents joke about their child or children loving toy boxes more than the actual toy, or that the best present is the box it comes in, I did not believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. My son Louis is now fourteen months old, and like many children that came before him, he loves boxes–Usually the bigger the box the better. But why?

Maybe it is because cardboard boxes provide children with something new and tactile to explore–as they can climb in and on and through them. Maybe it’s because through free play they can exercise their creativity and imagination. As a 2005 inductee, the National Toy Hall of Fame has the following to say about the cardboard box:

“With nothing more than a little imagination, boxes can be

transformed into forts or houses, spaceships or submarines,

castles or caves. Inside a big cardboard box, a child is

transported to a world of his or her own, one where anything is

possible.”

Instead of just giving Louis a small refrigerator box to play in, which he would have been super excited about, my wife Nicole and I decided we should have some fun with it too. Nicole sketched out a rocket ship design, which came to life after spending six hours (when Louis was asleep of course) cutting, taping, and

painting.

We knew it would take a long time time to make this rocket ship, so we decided to take photos are regular intervals to then create a stop- motion video capturing our hard work. When Louis wake the following morning, he had a new toy to blast off with…

Written by Seth Kroll