Squarespace Blog / "mentoring mondays"
Post 5 from the amazing Adam Thurston... LOVING this new segment :) And I know the followers are too!! Thanks, Adam, for sharing with my readers and I... even though we're so far away... it will be like we've been there all along... :) p.s. you can find his blog here... follow him :)
Teaching you to be a Lady while you teach me to be a Dad.
What you’ll teach me.
Hi Madeline. I read a book to your mother’s stomach last night and you rewarded me be kicking exactly where I was holding my hand. I have to say it was actually one of the coolest moments I’ve ever had in my life. You haven’t even drawn breath yet and you’re already making your old man into a softy. Don’t tell anyone, okay? I’ve got a rep to maintain.
So this week I thought we might put a little twist on this series. Thus far I’ve just been passing on general knowledge to you. But a big part of parenting (I’ll wager) is also learning from your kids! “How Daddy?” Why, I’m glad you asked little Maddie! One thing no parent ever wants to see is their child in pain.
See, when I was a kid I rode bikes, skateboards, roller blades and what not. I never wore any protective padding or helmets or any of that crap. Hell, my mom, your grandmother, didn’t make me wear a seatbelt until I was 8 because that was when the grand state of Missouri mandated that it was law. As far as the afore mentioned mobile habits, I got hurt. A lot. And what I did was pick myself up , dust myself off, and do it again and again until I didn’t get hurt. All that was expected from us kids was to be in when the street lights came on and to not hurt ourselves too badly. Nowadays most parents are so scared of their kids possible getting a bloody elbow that they (the parents) wrap their kids in bubble wrap and put those stupid wrist leashes on them as if they were pets. I think it’s over reactive and I’ll go a step further; I think it’s irresponsible parenting. I’ve always liked the bit from Lewis C.K. where he says something like “I’ve gotta take care of you! They took your footprint at the hospital and gave you a Social Security card! You’re on the grid motherf*cker! They’ll come for me if something happens to you!” For better or worse, I think that’s what most parents think. To me it says, I’m afraid that if you get hurt, other people will think it’s my fault and/or I‘ll feel bad.. I say a kid that isn’t covered in dirt and with a couple of Band-Aids hasn’t been being a kid. A kid going out and playing by themselves or with friends is an important and vital part of growing up and I’m not going to deny that to you. I’ll trust you because I’ll have already taught you some important basics. Such as:
Learn to walk before you run! This is an old adage I heard a long time ago and it’s stuck with me ever since. I love it because it applies to so much in life. Learn to walk before you run. Learn to climb before you jump. Learn to ride on four wheels before you attempt two. I suppose the point is to just pace yourself. That way you’ll seldom place yourself in over your head.
Don’t talk to strangers. (Soon we’ll devote a whole blog to that and I’ll tell you my near-abduction story from when I was a kid.)
Play in groups or be in as public of a place as possible. I’ll also explain the obvious yet necessary importance of this in the afore mentioned upcoming blog.
Back to the blog topic, I suppose the point is that you’ll be teaching me to relax a little and not be so tense about your safety. Now don’t get me wrong. Parents are generally always committed to the safety of their kids and I am no different. I’m just going to not try and take it overboard. Nor does this mean I’m going to let you run around with scissors or manhandle firearms. Just that I’m going to be constantly teaching you about situations and/or actions and then letting you take your own first steps towards them. And as stated on previous posts, I’ll always be there to catch you when you fall. Should you fall and I’m not there to see it, come home and I’ll kiss the booboo, apply a Band-Aid and, if you want, send you on your way for more adventures.
If we look at the subtitle to the blog, it is “Teaching you to be a Lady while you teach me to be a Dad.” I suppose I’ll have to learn to live with another “Lady” in the house. The other lady of course being your mother. But your mother is my peer. She’s also used to my sarcasm and unique form of wit which mainly means I make her roll her eyes and smile several times a day. But you aren’t going to grasp sarcasm and unique wit for quite some time. This means I have to relearn how to speak. I need to be a male role model for you after all. I’ll need to learn a new form of patience. Whether you mean to or not, you will test me in ways I’ve never experienced. I imagine the main thing I’ll learn from you is the afore mentioned patience. I tend to be somewhat reactionary and just want to fix problems as they happen. The thing is, you’ll have to learn to fix things too. So as soon as I’m done learning it, I’ll teach you patience. I’ll even loan you my Cliff notes. See, we’re in this whole thing together. Father/daughter. We’re both in uncharted territory for each other. But I’ll steer us to safety. I don’t have a map but I can see the lighthouse. A wise man once told me that being an adult doesn’t necessarily mean that you know the answer to everything. It just means that you have to make the best decision that you can. That thought used to scare me. It doesn’t scare me as much anymore. As I raise you and you temper me, I’ll know more and then be in a better position to make better decisions. This in turn will help me to teach you to make better decisions. Which means together you and I will hopefully be two pretty smart people. So that’s the plan, Maddie. We’ll get there together.
I love you, Maddie.
Uncle Adam - this one got to me... everyone knows i have no father/daughter relationship aside from the once a month, "how ya doing? love you." text... and every post I read makes me more and more excited for Ms. Maddie to get here. Shes got a great daddy already... keep up the great parenting. Your miles ahead of MANY other "dads" out there... i knew you'd be great...
Post 4 from the amazing Adam Thurston... LOVING this new segment :) And I know the followers are too!! Thanks, Adam, for sharing with my readers and I... even though we're so far away... it will be like we've been there all along... :) p.s. you can find his blog here... follow him :)
Teaching you to be a Lady while you teach me to be a Daddy.
Our Western society deems that you will be in school from the time you’re about six until you’re eighteen. After that, education becomes optional but not really unless you want to earn at the poverty line like your old man. School, be it grade school or grad school can be pretty tough so I thought we’d discuss some basic survival techniques to ensure maximum safety and minimal humiliation.
First: The classes WILL NOT be the hardest part of any level of school you attend. The students will be the hardest part. Many different scientists across many different fields over the course of many years have all come up with the same conclusion: kids are mean. While the reasons for this aren’t always clear, just know that it’s a commonly held fact. And just knowing that fact will see you through many a struggle. Some of it is shitty parenting. I mean let’s face it, not every kid is going to have great and cool parents like yours. They have boring parents that don’t remember what it’s like to be a kid. Therefore they make their kids behave like adults. Kids, not being able to cope with that pressure, react and act like little miniature assholes of their parents. Sadly, you will have to deal with these kids. They will be snotty and unreasonable and they will have no explanation for it. While this may be confusing to you, this is just a coping mechanism for them to deal with their own lives and trying to behave towards what they think is “cool.“ It’s also likely that they are overcome by your beauty and kind, gentle nature. Because you will likely look like this
As you can see, your mother is very beautiful. Sometimes pretty girls have it hard too. Other girls are jealous of their looks and boys will pick on them just because they’re overwhelmed by their beauty. But it gets worse. You could end up looking like this.
Since you’re a girl, I (and everyone who just saw that last picture) are really pulling for you looking like your mother. Back to the point, kids can be mean. Sadly, it gets worse in junior high. The clique and caste system are in full effect at this point and sometimes it will truly feel like hell. But at least it’s decent boot camp for high school. This is where friends and your parents come in to play. You’ll have made some friends and they will see you through your hard times and you’ll see them through theirs. And as mentioned in my previous blogs, you can come to your mother and I for anything at all. We’ll always have time for you.
Second: Pay attention! You’re there to get an education. Your education will be incredibly defining towards what sort of future you’ll have. What sort of job you’ll get, etc. It won’t always be easy but we’ll have raised you with a strong work ethic, and because I’ll have been reading to you since you were an infant your reading comprehension is going to be literally off the charts. And although this is slightly contrary to what I said earlier in this post, school can be fun! Learning can actually be fun! You’ll find passions for subjects and those passions may influence you on what sort of job or career you might want to have when you’re older.
Third: Teachers. It’s been awhile since my pupils belonged to a pupil (I punned!) but just like the afore mentioned kids, teachers come in all types. Most of them are good people that started teaching because they enjoy helping people learn. Some are old and strict. Some are young and casual. You will have your favorites that you’ll remember long after done being a student and some will get under your skin so badly you’ll dread having to walk into their classroom. And if you’re really unlucky, when you’re in college you’ll have that mid-forties prof that follows you around campus and calls you at odd hours of the night. But I suppose that’s why you have a dad. But the point is to learn from them what you can. Even that strict, crusty old guy might actually know what he’s talking about and it might be something important for you to know.
Well that about wraps it up for the old man this week, Maddie. August can’t come soon enough.
I love you.
Post 3 from the amazing Adam Thurston... LOVING this new segment :) And I know the followers are too!! Thanks, Adam, for sharing with my readers and I... even though we're so far away... it will be like we've been there all along... :) p.s. you can find his blog here... follow him :)
Mentoring Mondays: Teaching you to be a Lady while you teach me to be a Dad.
Hey Madeline. Last time I “saw” you, you were giving your mother heartburn. Just a heads up; that’s not the best way to score points with your mom before you’re even born but I guess that’s not really your fault.
I was originally going to only post Boys: See your mother! But after thinking on it, I want to weigh in on a few points. When you get older (tween, teen, etc) boys will become a pretty big focus on your life. While this is fun and all, you’re mainly fulfilling human instinct to find a life-mate. And if your experiences are anything like mine, you will kiss some frogs (or in my case, frog-ettes) in this search. I’m here to lay some groundwork to hopefully make this smoother for you. And really, as your dad, that’s my job; to help you learn from your mistakes. I’ll let you fall…but I’ll always catch you.
The first guy you’re going to know will be me and you‘ll likely measure all guys you meet to me. That’s a lot to live up to and I naturally want to be the best. How I live and behave in my daily life will be a reflection to you of most, if not all men. Now I’m a pretty easy going guy but I would be remiss in my duties as a father if I didn’t tell you what you have EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT out of a guy as well as CRAZY CRAP ALL GUYS PULL. This is a partial list of potential encounters.
1. Abuse: Abuse of any type should never be allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, shoving, hitting, slapping, weapon-use, etc. It’s also important to mention emotional and psychological abuse. A potential mate should make you feel good about yourself! There’s enough stress in daily life to deal with. You don’t need some asshat with mommy issues to make it harder. I won’t stand for it and neither should you. Hopefully, by the time you get to the dating stage of your life, your mother and I will have instilled enough self esteem and confidence in you so that you know that kind of crap isn’t tolerated. A daddy can always hope…
2. Weirdness: Guys are just weird. We don’t go to bathrooms in pairs. We don’t spend hours getting ready. We don’t walk around asking “Do these jeans make me look fat?” But we’re weird all the same. I wish I had some great sage advice on the secret to men but I and three billion other guys are still working on figuring out the secret to women. All I can tell you is that you should be you. Never compromise. Don’t take any bullshit. If you’re lucky you’ll find some weird guy and you’ll be able to tolerate his quirks long after the quirks quit being cute and he’ll be able to do the same for you. This is rare, tough, and completely worth it. This is your mother and I, BTW. Our kung fu is strong and I hope you’ll find someone special with which to make your own.
3. The Rockthrower: You will meet this boy in the schoolyard during recess. He will throw a rock at you. It will hit you. It will hurt. You’ll ask him why he’s being an asshole (although I’d prefer if you don’t speak like your dad). He’ll say something uber-intelligent like “You smell!” And then he’ll run away. This means he has a crush on you. Although it seems like an odd way to show it, as stated above, boys are weird. Don’t throw rocks back at him. Corner him later and say something coy and witty like “You know, there are better ways to ask me out for ice cream. I think this bruise on my arm is worth a double scoop, don’t you?” And if his parents are at all worth their salt, he’ll say sorry and buy you ice cream. Invite him over and I’ll grill us all some burgers. And then I’ll show him my shotgun. Naw, just kidding! Real men don’t need guns to show that they’re men. Speaking of…
4 Real Men: There are so many images that come to mind when one thinks of a “real man.” Most of them are just macho posturing. The Marlboro Man. Frat boys. Jocks. Pauly Shore. Well, maybe not that last one but the rest apply. Guys come in all types, shapes, and sizes. Some may look or seem appealing but I hope you’ll look for the qualities found in real men: simple, honest, and brave. A real man will always protect the ones he loves by any means necessary. A real man makes that known to his loved ones without having to say it. A real man will put your needs in front of his. A real man knows his limitations. A real man says he’s sorry. And he means it.
I hope to be that archetype for you, Maddie. Four months until we meet. I’m counting the days until I can hold my daughter. Man, a daughter! I never tire of saying it. I can only hope you never tire of saying “daddy!”
I love you, Madeline Belle Thurston.
Post 2 from the amazing Adam Thurston... LOVING this new segment :) And I know the followers are too!! Thanks, Adam, for sharing with my readers and I... even though we're so far away... it will be like we've been there all along... :) p.s. you can find his blog here... follow him :)
Mentoring MondaysTeaching you to be a lady while you teach me to be a dad.
Who I am.
Well, as stated previously, I’m your dad. The only one you’re gonna get. That is, unless the mailman and your mom come clean. So I figured it’d be a good idea for you to know a little about me. My name is Adam but you can call me “dad.” I’m an Aquarius and I like cars, music, and penning the occasional word to paper. What this means to you is that you can count on having a large wealth of music and instruments at your disposal. You understand, of course, that I’ll have to wait until you’re a bit older before I hand over my guitars but until then, plan on having your old man play and sing for you all the time. I can’t wait to show you some of my favorite songs. Even more fun will be when you discover some favorites of your own and show them to me. In time, I think you’ll find that music (along with writing literature) can be an ultimate form of expression and impression. It was so powerful it grabbed me and shook me dry when I was eleven and I’ve never since looked back. I think you’ll see much of the same. The great thing about music is that there is a tune for every mood you’re feeling. I could list some of mine but then I wouldn’t be letting you find your own. Oh, okay! Twist my arm, why don’t ya?! Here are some good starters: For the sunshines: Beatles (anything ‘63-’67) Their whole era was (and remains) utterly phenomenal but all of your basic rock and pop moods can be found there. For the blues: Hmm. So much to choose from. Let’s start with Otis Redding. The man could make a statue cry and he didn’t go out by OD’ing, shooting himself, or stabbing himself in the heart. We have plenty of times to go over the “tortured artist” arena. For the “I just want to rock out and go nuts!” Look no further than The Who. They’ll cover all the bases for you. If you’re ever in the mood of “I just want to rock out and go nuts but with a political bent,” then steer your attention to The Clash or Fugazi. Both are great but you’ll need a pair of Doc Martens to pull off the look. Come find me and I’ll buy you a pair. Cars. I’m not going to hold my breath but maybe you’ll be the next Danica Patrick and will want to help me drop a K20A into my car. If not, that’s cool too. Just know that you’re always invited to my wrenching sessions. Which brings us to our first Mentoring Moment: You’re never to not be allowed somewhere because you’re a girl. There are a few noticeable exceptions to this statement. I.e. men’s bathrooms/locker rooms, and Klan meetings. That said, if you want to wrench on the car with me, just say the word. Wanna throw the ball around? Just grab my glove. “But dad! That’s not girl-stuff,“ you exclaim. No problem, sweetie. One of the great things about our western, modern society is that you can be pretty much be whomever you want to be and still be a woman. Pretty cool eh?! Now there are some things I’d rather you NOT be. These include, but are not limited to, Nazi, racist, bigot, white trash, drug addict, stinking drunk, prostitute, stripper or cheer leader (which is really just an underage stripper without the pole). Alright, your mom just read that and said “Every girl wants to be a cheerleader!” Just heads-up, kid; your mom is crazy. Remember it’s just you and me. The only sane ones in the room. Moving on to reading and writing. These are two biggies for me, Maddie. Your Pop is not the smartest tool in the shed but these are so important in so many ways. When you start reading and what you read will become stepping stools for the rest of your life. Simply, the earlier you start reading, the smarter you’re going to be. You’re going to have that much more comprehension towards everything from books to conversations. Your reading level will be off the chart and your conversational and oratory skills will be unmatched. And all because we were reading Charlotte’s Web when you were six months old and crapping your pants. Pretty cool, right?! All you have to do is lie in my arms and drool and I’ll do the rest. As you get older, you’ll find that you like the art of stories and reading. The satisfaction of getting through a story without a television or a movie screen force feeding it down your eyes and throat. A book is always going to be your ultimate friend. Besides me, of course. You can take a book anywhere. You can read it anywhere. Except funerals. For whatever reason, that tends to piss people off. You can always fall asleep to a book and it’s always right where you left off in the morning. They’re great ice breakers for conversing with new people. (and you’ll always seem smart! Madeline FTW!) Also, the more you read, the more you know. The more you know, the better equipped for life you are! Look at your mother. She doesn’t read books and up until last year, she thought her car had two gas tanks. One main tank, and another for when that one was empty. “My car needs gas. It’s on it’s second tank.” “Second tank of what?” “It’s on it’s second tank. My gas gauge is on ‘R’ meaning it’s on the reserve tank.” “…Are you serious?” “What else would it mean?!” “Uh…maybe ‘Refuel.’” So, Maddie, that’s your mother. She’s really sweet and kind and can’t wait to meet you too. So hurry up and get here, will ya?! We have so much to show you.
-I love you, Madeline. -Your Dad
Hey guys! Welcome to a new segment called Mentoring Mondays... I was talking to one of my best buds adam the other night... thinking about how he MUST do a Swinger Sunday for me since he is such a great writer... but that turned into more and next thing we knew we were planning a weekly segment on my wide open Monday... ALLL about Adam's journey through fatherhood. And who knows, maybe we will even get Aymee to share a week or two! I love you both SO much and little Maddie too... thanks for sharing with my readers and I... even though we're so far away... it will be like we've been there all along... :) p.s. you can find his blog here... follow him :)Mentoring Mondays Teaching you to be a lady while you teach me to be a dad.
I’m your dad. Hi Madeline. You don’t know me. Hell, you don’t even know your own name. (BTW it’s Madeline.) But I’m your dad and by rights, in four and a half months I’ll be one of the two biggest influences in your life. While I may just be “daddy” to you, that title means I’ll be engaged in a 24/7 job of raising you and somehow having to make it look seamless and effortless. Don’t get me wrong; I welcome the challenge and the most rewarding part will be watching you grow from a helpless baby into an intelligent and confident woman. There’s so many things I want to show you and tell you. I suppose I have all of your life and the rest of mine to show and tell but let’s get two biggies up front. These aren’t rules for you. Those will come plenty soon enough. Rather, these are constant variables. Just like a science experiment. I know you don’t know what science is yet but just bear with your old man for a sec.
Constant One: I’ll always love you.The unconditional love between a parent and their child is the most pure emotion in the world. The reason why is that both parent and child start with clean slates towards each other. I haven’t wronged you and, until your first loaded diaper, you haven’t wronged me. And even the whole diaper thing isn’t really your fault. I, along with your mother…and I suppose by proxy, the doctor, will be the first people you meet. And essentially for your early years, I and your mother will be the only people you’ll know. I’ll feed you and read you books and make funny faces just to make you laugh. I’ll rock you to sleep and sing you songs. As you get bigger I’ll buy you a bike and teach you to ride it. When you get even older I’ll teach you to drive. As these events unfold, you’re bound to make mistakes. And that’s okay, Maddie. Everyone makes mistakes. My job as a parent is to help you learn from them. You’ll leave your bike out and I’ll tell you to bring it in. And if you take after your mother’s driving habits, you’re probably going to get in a car accident or three and I’ll tell you to pay more attention. And you’re likely to think ill of me during these moments but they only exist because I love you and know that you can learn from what happened. Through it all, I’ll always love you and I’ll always be your dad.
Constant Two: You can come to me for anything.And when I say “anything,” I mean ANYTHING. I will always listen to you. While you’re a baby I’ll happily listen to you babble. When you get older, feel free to come to me so we can converse about Big Bird or Yo Gabba Gabba or anything at all that your beautiful mind wants to talk about. I’m always your ear. Full disclosure: the secondary reasoning for this whole “come talk to me” stuff is for when you’re a teenager. Things can get pretty hairy in your teens, and I’m not just talking about your body. (Any excess body hair you might experience is all my fault. Sorry kiddo.) You and your friends/boyfriends/girlfriends are going to be turning into adults. Your hormones and emotions will be going bat-shit and you’re going to often feel like a pinball bouncing around all corners of a pinball machine. Sucky as it is, it’s all normal. “What,” you ask? “This is normal?! This sucks!” Yeah Maddie I know it sucks. That’s why I’m here. To help keep BS to a minimum and to help you stay your course. And I’ll never ever tell you “Because I said so.”
Constant Three: I’ll never ever say “Because I told you so!”I mean, let’s face it. It’s a weak come-back. It says “I don’t have a good reason for saying ‘no.’ I just don’t want you to do whatever it is you‘re about to do.” If I do or don’t want you to do something, I will always give you a valid reason why or why not. This is so I can always treat you as someone who has the ability to make their own decision about something. Now I may not always agree with your decision and may try to direct you to more harmonious endeavors, as I stated above, part of parenting is helping you learn from mistakes. That said, I’m not going to let you play a game of Russian Roulette. Why? Not because I told you so. Because I would’ve already told you that Russian Roulette is a very dangerous game where the best you can hope for is to still be alive afterwards and the worst that can happen is that you’ll share a death amongst all Arkansas rednecks; one that starts with the sentence “Hey y’all! Watch this!” Bottom line is: I’ll always give you a reason for my decision.
Well Madeline, that about does it for your dad. We have plenty of time to go over this stuff again and this isn’t a test. This is your life. I’m committed to seeing it be a great one. I’ll always be here for you. I haven’t even met you yet and you’re the love of my life. I love you Maddie.