By T.S. Crawford of Life Outside the Box
Someday is a long way away. It is a blurry shape in the distance, far enough away to be obscured by time and chance. Many of us have lofty goals we hope to realize by then. Lose weight, gain weight, get that promotion, have a house, etc.
I have a goal as well, of course. In the glorious haze of my shining, hopeful future, I see an amazing life opportunity, something that only comes around once in a lifetime and visits for only a few fleeting years. I can hardly contain my anticipation as I see this golden egg rapidly approaching. Soon the time will come. Soon I will be able to embarrass the crap out of my kids.
I’m old enough now to have passed the point where my parents can embarrass me, though they certainly still try regularly. Not sure if it’s intentional at this point. I’ve been hardened by years of incredible embarrassment, at times reaching legendary levels.
When I was in late grade school, my father and stepmother would pick me up on Fridays. They would not sit quietly in the parking lot, waiting for me to come out. They would not walk quietly through the halls, pretending to be interested in the trophy cases on the walls. They would come into my classroom and perform skits about recycling. With singing. And dancing.
At the time, I was mortified, but as I have grown, I have come to realize the power they exercised through these performances. Not only did they single handedly create a generation of avid recyclers through wit and cardboard backdrops, but they also gave me the mental fortitude to overcome any obstacle that stood between me and the high level of uncoolness I was forced to embrace for years to come.
Once I crawled my way through the formative years of my awkward teenagehood, I emerged, battered and bruised, into fledgling adulthood with the grit and tough exterior of a soft boiled egg. Never one to admit defeat, I made my misguided attempt on the possibility of being considered cool by playing in a band and wearing a leather jacket. Success at last!
After the last few shows for raucous crowds of 10 or sometimes even 12, after the sweat buildup in the liner of my leather jacket had developed its own ecosystem, after I managed to be able to drink a shot of whiskey without failing to disguise my short, wispy gasps for breath, I finally saw the light.
Coolness is a load of crap.
Ahh. Now that I don’t have to worry about that anymore, it’s time to get serious about life. Time to wear my socks with the little guys sledding on them that my wife continually tries to throw away. Time to drive slow through downtown with my windows down and the polka station at full volume. Time to embarrass the crap out of my kids.
The only trouble is, right now they think I’m funny. What is up with that? I don’t remember that stage in life, but I suppose I was there at some point. Try as I might, the more ridiculous I am, the harder they laugh and joke with me. Damn kids.
I know it’s coming, though. There will come a day, probably fairly soon in my seven-year-old’s case, when suddenly Dad’s antics will cause eye-rolling, red cheeks, and sighs of exasperation. That will be my crowning moment. My life’s purpose will come to me in a swirling vortex of abominable truth and glory, and my children will run for their sanctity, shouting over their shoulders for me to wait a block away from the school to pick them up.
I shall be a Dad in the truest sense, and I shall bask in the glow of terrible jokes and Crocs with socks. Black socks. With khaki shorts.
This post was originally published on Life Outside the Box.
Image credit: Lauri Rantala / Flickr
About the Author
TS Crawford is a battle hardened father of two and husband of one. Aside from routinely electrocuting himself professionally he also enjoys writing things, eating things, making things, and wearing ugly socks that his wife hates. He is the voice behind www.lifeoutsidethebox.me and the proud builder of a nearly perfect chicken coop.