October 2011

Well, that worked out great! As you can see from the almost ten months that have passed since my last post, life for me did not become any more accommodating with regard to the writing habit. It was all I could do just to keep up with my monthly six hundred words for Military Spouse Magazine (my frequent lateness in delivering those words is probably the reason they’ve decided to run me every other month in 2012).

Something very bad happened to me over the course of the past two years, and something very wonderful. First, because I believe in always hearing the good news first so that it won’t be tainted by the bad, the wonderful: I got to spend every day with Sean. I got hugs and kisses. I got the thumbs up sign when he liked something I made for dinner. And I got to learn how to be a dad.

There’s a part of becoming a parent that’s all instinct, what some refer to as ‘lizard brain stuff.’ That’s the part of us that wants to protect our children from All Bad Things. But the lizard brain is also the part that carries the programming for how we react to what I call Seananigans: the boundary-testing, the games. For me, the result of too many Seananigans in any one day is that I become The Bear. At a certain point, I just start roaring and throwing my weight around. (I feel it’s important to clarify here that I’m using metaphor.) This is usually when Sean does what Danielle refers to as ‘Poking the Bear.’ His reaction is not to become docile and eager to please; his reaction is to see if he can find a sharper stick. It usually ends with Sean in timeout—crying loudly enough for the neighbors to hear—and me exhausted in every possible way.

But I’m getting into the bad news part of this. Let me just finish the good news. The really good news is that I’ve gotten better at taming the bear.

I wrote the above last October, and it sat there untouched for eight months. Then Danielle reminded me that if I’m going to keep my website in my email signature, I probably ought to post something on it once in a while. So here we go.