What posts in June? Oh, thooooose thirty posts in June… again. It seems that for the fourth year in a row I’ve climbed aboard the daily blogging train and continued that monumental, multi-year writing effort to string a topic or idea across the vast reaches of years. Each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be:
June 6th // Something You Have Forgotten
Claire is almost seven. Seven! And while it strikes me as quasi-amazing almost every day when I get to be a dad to this amazing little kid with all her independent and frustrating kid-ness, nothing quite hits you in the face with that reality than doing something not-exactly-parent-friendly.
I get lots of so-called me-time, I admit it. I run (when I’m not injured) and often that takes me out of the father-role for hours at a time. But when I run, it happens that I run in the suburbs: other parents and (a strangely disproportionate number of) teachers comprise the vast majority of my running entourage. In other words, other fine folks who are equally seeking adult company for a few brief hours a couple times a week.
But occasionally I go do something un-parent-like, such as going to an event downtown after work with a large group of people in a very different demographic than me. I mean, technically, I fit into that groove: the mayor was there and his kids are about Claire’s age, after all. But I definitely got the “we are the next generation vibe” from the crowd…
But then (and maybe I’m wrong, but that’s the vibe I got) I realized, y’know all you not-quite-grown-up boys and girls in your late twenties and early thirties… actually the “next generation” is at home in bed, with tear-stained face and dreams of Spongebob Squarepants in her head, after arguing with her mother about not eating her dinner. I’m raising the next generation. We’re the next generation in line for the throne, sure, but this all this city-building and culture-creating and world-making… better.. ing, whatever… that’s only partly for us. Some of us, me, I’m doing it for my daughter, not for me. That’s why I’m participating.
I’m doing it for my daughter, not for me.
And then I feel old.
Only a little old, sure. But I realize I’ve forgotten how to be that “unparent” guy who didn’t think about everything in the context of me: not why am I doing this for myself, but why am I doing this for her?
Both are valid positions, of course. Part of me yearns for the simpler state of the former. But I know I’d never give up latter. I’ve just kinda forgotten that I used to not know that there were multiple points of view.