We found out a couple of weeks ago that your humble-blogger, WBD, will now be the father of a boy. I’d like to say that I wasn’t extra excited about the prospects of teaching this unformed XY chromosomer how to throw a curve ball, but then I remembered that I’d have to learn how to do that myself. For someone that thinks of themselves as a jack of all/master of none, this was going to provide some complexity on the teaching-front.
From a clueless male’s perspective having a little girl is actually quite easy. The bar is set so low that anything I provide seems instantly valuable and useful. When I was solo-parenting it was amazing (and a bit off-putting) how frequently I garnered praise for the most mundane action (WOW, YOU CAN KEEP A CHILD IN A GROCERY CART WITHOUT ACCIDENTALLY RUNNING OVER IT!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! YOU CAN GET A BABY THROUGH THE SECURITY CHECKPOINT AT THE AIRPORT ALL BY YOURSELF!! YOU’RE A HERO!!), while on the flip-side of that, I observed a mom who was juggling toddler twins with a newborn strapped to her chest deftly navigate a post office at Christmas, receive not a word of encouragement or affirmation. Perhaps I looked like someone that needed help, but who is going to help me when there are macho dude things to teach?
I thought I’d endeavor to create a list of my “manspirations” to remind me that I have quite a few “dudes” in my life that can help me teach my unborn child to be masculine (assuming said unborn actually wants this).
Dear-ol’-Dad is and always will be a dichotomy; a bookish-intellectual who loves yelling at the TV just as much as the next guy. He taught me about building trellises in the garden, how to throw an elbow playing sports (or catching BART), and the value of being seen and not heard. I didn’t learn that last one very well, but perhaps my little guy will. AT has nicknamed herself “chatter box” so this may be a genetic flaw too great to overcome. “Fortune favors the bold” is something I’ve never actually heard him say, but know that’s what he believes. I’ll pass that bit on.
Here is a photo of my brother, another male role model in my family. Despite his appearance, he is a great dad, has a good job as a lawyer at a Swedish agency that helps immigrants settle in Sweden (some even deservedly-so), and a loving family. Because of his appearance, we have nicknamed him DJ MnBn (vowels removed to protect the innocent).
This is the group I’m counting on to both teach me and reign me in. Sammy, you will teach me to build stuff like an addition to our tiny home. Daniel P, you will teach me how to ride a motorcycle and how to best enunciate with my hands. DK, you will teach me some baseball things (and hope that Jr. doesn’t inherit my uncanny ability to get injured). Nate, you will teach me how to fly fish and Eagle Scout level camp. Blanch, you will teach me high finance. The list goes on an on of things my friends will teach me, that I will someday hope to teach my son. Thank you in advance!
Here’s something that my mom taught me, that I will pay forward.
“Easy as pie” BBQ chicken recipe that is both a little bit country and lotta rock n’ roll:
1) Brine the chicken with a mix of apple juice and salt, 2) put chicken in that brine, 3) let soak for 30+ minutes (more than 2 hours is great), 4) BBQ that chicken, 5) don’t over or under-cook it. Guestimate is hot fire (400 degrees, covered) for 20 minutes. 6) let it rest for at least 10 minutes before cooking it.