I always thought I was the crazy, cool dad. OK, there are a lot of guys I know who fall into this category (at least in my mind, as many of my friends are crazy and pretty cool in my opinion).
But are we crazy cool cats losing our touch as our daughters advance into their teen years?
I heard through the family grapevine that I may have embarrassed my daughter recently in front of a friend.
Isn’t that part of the job description of being a father?
When I drop our girl off at dance, I am the guy in the truck playing rock music, not pop fluff or hip-hop. That’s cool to me, but maybe not to her.
I woke her up one Friday morning, busted out a couple of my moves and asked her if she was going dance that night when she and some of her friends were going to a dance. Her deadpan response? “Not like that.”
OK, I might have to evolve as a father, then.
But no hats on sideways (well, only in jest), no pants hanging down to expose my underwear and no break dancing (at my age, something would break).
And I won’t wander into a room with an ascot and smoking jacket either. That’s just Hugh Hefner creepy.
I think I’ll have to morph into that typical father figure who sits in his lounger, reading a paper or watching TV, cognizant of what’s going on around him, but not saying anything until asked or required.
I practiced the art Sunday night. I was so into my role I fell asleep in the recliner watching the ball games.
New plan: don’t sweat the small stuff.
Scotch should help.
There’s no way I’m backing out of my child’s life, but maybe it’s time to give her more room, more latitude. My wife is a calming knowledgeable presence.
And when it’s time for me to go ballistic, she’ll let me know.
A sad indication summer is over for the Corcorans is the annual closing of our pond.
Well, that and the fact I was in the backyard Sunday evening barbecuing with my hoodie zipped up tight, hood pulled up, and was still cold!
But back to the pond. Each spring, removing the netting and connecting the pump to hear the water gurgle over the rocks in the stream, flowing into the pond is a sure sign of warmer weather.
Sometimes we’ve fired it up in mid-March. This year was more like mid-April. Yeah, it was a long, cold winter.
And as for closing the thing down, I try to keep this element of our backyard oasis running for as long as possible. As I said, closing the pond is a sign fall is certainly upon us.
In the past, I’ve been too stubborn, or too lazy, and have paid for it by having to scoop a whack of leaves out of our pond, with the fish giving me unhappy glares.
But this year, with our incredible September weather and nice start to October, I left the pond running. I enjoyed the Thanksgiving weekend temperatures and decided to push it off for one more week. That was probably a mistake.
Still, there weren’t too many leaves in there just yet, as the two maples that shade the pond haven’t been losing many leaves to this point.
The really brisk fall wind last Thursday convinced me to wait no longer.
I clipped the pond plants, pulled and cleaned the filters, and placed the lumber we use to support our netting, and put the floating pond heater in its usual spot.
Mary Beth helped me with the netting – you can’t do that alone. Soon, it was covered from top of the stream to the pump bin at the other end of the pond.
It’s protected from falling leaves and hungry birds and animals.
It’s still and silent.
Just like the backyard.
One thing I realized when I was closing up our pond was that I needed help to do more than the netting in the past. My hip would quickly begin its painful protest when I worked to shut the pond down.
I’d get the plants trimmed and would have to take a break. I’d move some lumber and would have to sit down, even with my wife and daughter helping. Ditto for the bricks that hold the netting in place.
Quality of life should never be taken for granted.
I’ll be mentally thanking Doc Stone and his hip replacement pit crew each time I’m out cleaning up the leaves and each time I shovel snow this winter.
When it comes to such tasks, I can’t say I’m actually looking forward to them, but I will say they certainly aren’t as daunting as they were in previous years.