There was a popular feminist slogan in the early days of “the movement” that went something like, women need men as much as a fish needs a bicycle.
Thankfully, we have moved past the radical nature of early feminist’s beliefs to a middle ground, though you’d never know it if you looked at the courses and syllabuses in Women’s Studies departments at colleges.
But, most men and women, especially moms and dads, understand that equality doesn’t mean we’re the same. We all tend to agree that equal pay for equal work is the way it should be, but in other areas our gender needs are just different. We are built differently, so get over it.
Last year, after my honeymoon to Africa, I struggled a bit to find the right material from that extraordinary experience to write about in my column. Happily, I came through with two of my personal favorite columns: each called “African Reflections” (Parts One and Two). This year, as I’m finishing up our trip to the Canary Islands, Morocco, and Portugal, I realized that I have more than enough material for a column. Consequently, I will share some highlights and also encourage you to visit my “A Dad’s Point-of-View” Facebook page where I’ve posted many photos from the trip.
Many things struck me on this trip, but the children affected me the most. The more I travel, the more exotic the places, and the more I realize how similar we all are. And the kids strikingly make that point as their faces so often reflect the joys of life–in spite of whatever hardships their countries may be suffering. To me, that is the hope for the future when I otherwise occasionally get discouraged by world events.
I just returned from a magnificent trip to the Canary Islands, Morocco, and Portugal. Last year, I visited Africa on my honeymoon. Both trips were exotic, both trips had their highs and lows, and both trips taught me yet again the universality of parental love. I re-learned I’m just a guy who loves his kids more than he ever knew he could.
It doesn’t matter where you live, how much money you have, what you do for a living, we all care about our children. My kids worry about having the newest cell-phone, trendiest clothes, and other really important stuff while the kids in the medina in Fez, Morocco were worrying about selling their cart of cookies or looking for a hand-out (that they really needed).
We went on a family skiing trip recently and on my son’s first run of the season, he fell and broke his arm. Thankfully, it was a clean hairline fracture and he should heal just fine. It may take his ego a bit longer to recover, as he was trying to follow his girlfriend when he fell. He recuperated and relaxed at the condo while the rest of our group continued to ski and enjoy the trip. I resumed my regular skiing antics which include doing tricks that are mostly done by kids half my age or younger but I decided I still like to take risks.
My wife took me to see Nancy Meyer’s new movie, It’s Complicated, which stars Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, and Steve Martin. She had seen it a day or two before and wanted to see it with me saying, “It would be good for us.” Honestly, I do tend to like what is typically labeled “chick flicks” but don’t like director Nancy Meyer’s perfect world, perfect rich characters, perfect looking people, dressed and coifed just perfectly. But, for the sake of marital harmony, I agreed.
I didn’t expect what followed. Throughout the It’s Complicated, my wife was jabbing me in the ribs whenever she wanted me to notice a point being made that she felt related to me or us. So, I left with bruised ribs, which ached even more towards the end of the movie during the one, truly hilarious scene. I really enjoyed laughing that hard, in spite of the pained ribs, which I’ve totally exaggerated for sympathy anyway.
Last ski season, I fear I had a pretty bad accident. I like to go in the half-pipe and on my 13th time, on Memorial Day, I dropped in and the next thing I remember is waking up in the ski sled/gurney with a ski patrolman putting fingers in front of my face and asking “how many?”
My memory slowly returned, but I never remembered the accident itself. I had dislocated my shoulder, downward, breaking two bones and I’d gotten a concussion, with bleeding on the brain according to the CT scan and a later MRI.
I recently visited my best friend, who moved from L.A., to a small town in the Northwest. He built a home, from scratch, supervising every detail, and with his wife, they created their dream home. I found myself feeling a tad of envy, as he took me on the tour of the house, pointing out all the beautiful details.
As we’ve been renting for several years, the pride of ownership is just not part of our lives and our belief is that the practical choice is to stay in rent for the near future. Our choice, certainly. But, as I reflected on my own bout of envy, I thought about my boys and how often they’re comparing themselves to their peers.
I hope you all read my first blog on guy farting and especially watched the attached video. We’ve attached it again, along with another favorite of the “genre.” What is it about farting that is so funny?
So, my wife still does NOT think it’s funny, though occasionally she will snicker in spite of herself. She’s seen the video of the couple in bed and the other morning, I swear, we ended up mimicking them almost word for word!
It was that just before dawn time when you’re only half-awake. Our three dogs were lying on their beds, in our room, peacefully sleeping. One of them, our oldest, actually snores slightly. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, while in my sleep, I farted. Woke both my wife and myself up.