In two days, I’ll be waking up at an hour unfamiliar to my typical weekday preference to drive to the airport, sit down on an airplane, brace for take off, throw back a good ‘Rise and Rye’ (or two), brace again for landing and proceed to spend the following four days in New Orleans with a couple hundred dads (and a handful of women).
Now you may be sitting there asking yourself why I, a woman mother person, would be going to an event focused on improving and amplifying the voice of dads in the online space when, well, you already identified me as not a dad.
It appears to be your lucky day because I have a few reasons and feel oddly challenged at the moment so if I suddenly start handing my grandma sweater and gold, oversized hoop earrings to an innocent bystander, forgive me. I have The Passionz about this sort of stuff.
I played a pretty vital part in helping a man become a dad.
I mean, only one as far as I know.
I can’t confidently claim to know exactly how many other men I made fathers in the wild days of my youth.
Of the one instance I am positively certain I helped a man father a child though, this much I know about it to be true. After the magic of storks and Amazon drones helped us bring home the sweet, new bundle of baby, there before us sat a future father.
A ‘Dad 2.0’ if you will. (Don’t worry. I hate me a little too for doing that right there, but if you’ll just stick with me for a few more words mashed into stream of consciousness type collections some people call ‘poorly structured sentences’, I’ll make it up to you.)
Now I understand that home life dynamics are not all cut from the same cookie cutter and baked to perfection. In my opinion, that’s what makes raising children truly the most unique and beautiful experience there is. However, for me and mine, we’ve got two parents under the same roof and we split that parenting shit 50/50.
Both Steve and I travel regularly for the different fields of work we do so possessing the individual ability to hold it down without causing a major disruption to the overall functionality of ourselves, our kid, or our household is just as important a dynamic as having a balance of equal division of responsibility when we’re both present. This means we both know how to wipe bums, make a mean PB sandwich, get the kid to and from school, and even sneak the occasional late night cookie after a middle of the nightmare. Beyond the rudimentary of routine, what this means for us is that, at times, it’s inevitably going to be solely up to only one of us to make consumer decisions and we like taking sips of the KoolAid that isn’t alienating one parent against the other as a superior or inferior.
Sadly that KoolAid exists and I’m pretty sure its flavorless but still manages to taste like purple.
Sorry to all the purple KoolAid lovers in the crowd tonight.
I’m a mom, yes.
But I’m also a dad with only slightly less luxurious facial hair than the men I’m about to rub elbows with who realistically personify the attributes that make a dad, a dad
We’re parents and that’s what matters most to remember when we’re rallying together, vying to be heard in the hubbub of all the synthetic bristles of the brush painting the picture of dad online. We chose to make something really cool together (hint: I mean humans) so it’s important that we support the reflection of actuality rather than allow our kick ass duty to raise the future generations be portrayed by outdated stereotypes.
What’s important to note here is that whatever title it is that’s being screamed from the backseat of the minivan to “for the love of god please stop singing that Journey song at the top of your lungs” or “help me quick because I still don’t know how to wipe and shit’s about to get messy” from the toilet of the upstairs bathroom while dinner’s about to burn on the stove, we all fit the role of parent.
Okay, so I’m a parent and an Ultimate Armpit Fart Showdown Warrior of the most epic proportion.
Don’t you dare forget it.
I’m Steve Shugg and as a father of six years (and I once kept a goldfish alive for eight whole months), I support bringing to light that all dads are not boneheads, but rather they are smart and capable parents. Plus I think it’s about time we make dads prove that they’re boneheads instead of the other way around.