Month / October 2014

Father misses when his daughters trick or treated.

1. TOUGH HOLIDAY TRANSITIONS. I’m not sure what was harder – Christmases after I stopped believing in Santa, or Halloweens after my kids’ stopped dressing up and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. Probably the latter. And yes, it’s true, they still sometimes go to costume parties around this time of year, but when they head off to their friends’ homes for those, I don’t get to hold their hands leading them up to the house, reassure them if any other kids are wearing particularly scary get-ups, or most importantly (for me) get to steal any of the Reese’s peanut-butter cups or Butterfingers (my faves!), they might get as loot. But I realize my opportunities for such joy have not been completely lost. So yes, even though my daughters are still only in high school, I’m putting out the advance warning now to their future husbands, whoever they may be, so that they will have plenty of time to get used to the idea: Your kids’ maternal grandpa will be honing in on your chaperoning trick-or-treaters responsibilities!

Dad uses one shampoo, daughters many.

1. NARROWER PRODUCT SET. To wash my hair every morning, all I need is one brand of shampoo. But the shower rack my daughters use is stocked with one that promises “radiant color,” another that delivers “nutritive solutions,” and yet another that produces “luscious volume.” And that’s just the shampoos. Right alongside them are an equal variety of conditioners that provide “hair therapy,” “daily moisture,” and “multi-task repairs.” The females in my house clearly don’t use all of them at once, but I don’t know how they choose which ones to one apply on any given day. Maybe they like being able to go wherever their moods take them on a particular morning, or perhaps they have a defined system for cycling through all those options over the course of a week. All I know is that I’d be overwhelmed by that many choices. But perhaps I should be more open-minded and stock my medicine cabinet with a variety of shaving creams and gels that so I could have the option for “sensitive skin treatment” on one day,” “soothing aloe” on the next, and on the day after that, “extra moisturizing.” Sounds like a whole world of possibility opening up, followed immediately by the “whoosh” of a door shutting. Why? Because I know that is never going to happen.

Father with carload of kids

1. FULLY AWARE. It’s often been said that people don’t appreciate what they have until they’re about to lose it. I certainly didn’t think chauffeuring my kids would fall into that category. But now that my eldest is on the verge of getting her license, I don’t complain when my daughters and their friends ask me to taxi them around town. I know I’m about to lose my only opportunity to discover what’s going on with their lives!

Blinders seem better than Google glasses.

1. ONE THING AT A TIME. I have never bragged about being a multi-tasker because I know I am wholly incapable of doing more than one thing at a time. If I’m reading or doing work at home, I need complete silence. Much to my kids’ disappointment, I can’t have music on in a room where I am trying to think because it’s too distracting. If someone tries to talk to me when I am concentrating, I inevitably respond with an annoyed look and tone. To send the appropriate signal when I am deep into single-tasking, I am seriously considering wearing the same kind of blinders that racehorses do. That’s why I am so excited that Google glasses might become a thing. If all the multi-taskers start wearing that ridiculous contraption, I am sure my wearing blinders won’t look so preposterous!