Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Storytelling

April 2, 2017

There are so many stories to hear–to study–and there are so many more to tell.  The story of the distance between these words and my last will be saved for another time.  Suffice it to say, things have been chaotic, I’ve felt an inadequate cruise director for my life and some of the lives around me, I’ve bemoaned calendrical hegemony, I’ve lost matrix pseudospectra in my daily life, I’ve done the horribly terrifying thing of sneezing while driving, I’ve tried to live while parenting and parent while living, and I’ve been trying to or at least learning about trying to dismantle my privilege.

But recently I’ve been entranced by some very interesting stories, and I need to elevate them out of my private consumption and study as a means to honor them, reflect on them, and move forward and find a new pace for my daily life that acknowledges the wonder of storytelling but doesn’t get as lost as I have been in them.

  • Flygirl – I started reading this during #BHM17 because my city had some great programming at our public library around this book.  Racism, colorism, feminism, #blackgirlmagic, and the struggle stripe this coming of age tale.
  • Shittown – A binge-able podcast brought to you by the folks over at Serial and This American Life not without controversy but a deeply resonant story nonetheless.  Lots of triggers, so I’d recommend seeing if it’s your cup of tea by reading up to (or past, if that’s your thing) the spoiler warnings at Vox,  the New York Times, and the Atlantic.
  • The Expanse – Everything that I’ve been missing since I finished watching every episode of every Star Trek franchise over 2015 and 2016.  Not Enterprise though, of course.  This embeds comprehensive Deep Space Nine galactic politics in a believable reality of our simple complex solar system with exceptional editing of any fluff or cruft.  Season 1 for free on Amazon, and while you can stream Season 2 (which has three more eps in April) on the SyFy website, I recommend paying for it on Amazon so they know you’re watching and so they can afford to make more of this absolutely marvelous show.  Only you can stop The Expanse from becoming the next cancelled Sci-Fi classic.  Also, representation matters and the cast sets a new standard for a future of diversity and inclusion by our standards here in 2017.
  • Kings of Kings – Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History is probably one of the most important things I was missing from my education: true history through broad as well as deep context.  This three-parter clocks in at just under 13 hours of content about the rise and fall of the Achaemenid Empire.  The 500 to 1000 years of events covered in this epic has everything to do with the world we live in today, since they set the stage for mono-theism and the intervening 2000 years.  Primarily, listening has given me confidence to dive down the (Wikipedia) rabbit hole into a better understanding of Passover as it nears but also recent events in the Levant.
too_many_tabs

At a certain point, Chrome stops counting how many tabs you have open.

This feels better: to confess to reading on every toilet seat, staying up too late, staring at bright screens while sitting under-babe even though they are ready to go into their crib, going on longer runs and waiting in driveways and having a single headphone in my ear while doing almost everything so that I can keep the stories coming, and watching one more ep on a lunch break that was already too long because I was listening to podcasts while prepping my food too slowly or reading books and articles while waiting for water to boil or the microwave’s beep, only to delay any reaction until getting to that next comma, period, vocal pause.  Or just one more.

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Before there were three

June 1, 2016

Almost a year has passed since the hours before I became a father.  A parent.  A Pops.  What comprises that year?

Surely 365 calendar days, the most important thing between birthdays–rather, between the birth day and its anniversary.  Or should we wait the extra day because this first year was a leap year?  Or should we wait the extra 6 hours to make sure the Sun is in the same place in the sky?  Or should we wait the extra 20 minutes to make sure the Earth is in the same place for any and every thing around those fixed stars watching us?

The 52 weeks it was, a couple days ago, that lined up with the weekend when I was still a singlet of a couple bleeding into the week when we became a trio–that seems an important count.  Or maybe it’s those first weeks and weekly days that I stay home in order to shepherd my little one into this loud, dry, cold, bright world.  Or maybe it’s all of the hours spent awake–daylight or otherwise–loving, worrying, caring, and feeling and trying and failing at so many fresh and strong things.

Twelve teeth later; 6 to 8 unassisted steps later; many inches of hair, fingernails, and height later; many pounds later; countless smiles and tears later I find myself stealing more than just a couple minutes to jot down these thoughts so I can share them.  Because I am a parent now, and so is my spouse.  And it’s very special, and I love it.  And every day things change a little, and from month to month you can see the big differences.  But that bifurcation–when one becomes two, and when two become three–is so emblematically and simultaneously a singular moment as well as this long, arduous, and powerful journey together that it’s worth taking pause, taking note.  Taking at least a single moment now to feel the memories of those single moments then.

Happy Birthday, little one.