I realized as a teenager that I would ever be as selfless as my dad. One night after coming in well past dinner time I walked into the kitchen where he was putting the final garnishments on a baked potato. It was covered in cheese and sour cream and made my stomach rumble just to look at it…especially since I hadn’t eaten dinner and it was almost bedtime. He saw me drooling and handed it to me.
“Here, you can have it, I’ll make me another one.”
Not only did I take his food, but I knew then and there I wouldn’t have done the same for him. But I was too hungry to feel guilty.
Twenty years later and I still can’t say I’m that selfless. I really like baked potatoes. And as my kids will tell you, I rarely even share my soda with them. So in those areas I may not do so well, but I there are some others where I think I earn my title of “father.”
I have three teenagers and they each have their own computer. Tonight after work (working on a computer all day) I came home and sat down on my computer to take it easy and do some writing.
Curtis: “Dad, how can I set up my own WOW server?”
That sounds like a good project for Curtis. He’ll have to set up a MySQL database server, populate it with info, configure the mangos client. So I gave him some basic directions. Back to my writing…
Aubree: “Dad, the neighbors are controlling the TV again!”
A good project for Aubree. I gave her the manual for the Dishnetwork and showed her the page with the instructions to reprogram the remote to a new channel. She’ll learn something, have to follow technical directions…it’ll be good for her. Back to my writing…
Sandi: “Honey, I can’t transfer Oprah to the Archos.”
Sandi commutes three hours a day to work and is able to watch some of her TV shows on the bus. Sometimes the electronic devices don’t cooperate. I took the Archos and reinstalled the software and gave it back to her. I can’t just give the manual to Sandi on this one. Gotta do it myself. I got it working. Back to my writing…
Aubree: “Dad, I can’t do this!”
I heard a book fly across the room and hit the door. “Aubree, don’t throw stuff!” It’s not an easy process and she doesn’t have the technical interest I do, so I did it for her. Now back to my writing.
Curtis: “Dad, what do I need to download?”
Aubree: “Dad, the Internet is down.”
Dad: “Just a minute Curtis, I’ll look at the Internet.”
I started looking at the router, firewall, and the Yoggie, a new device we have in place that is supposed to protect us from viruses, malware, spyware, and other bad things.
Curtis: “Dad, the Internet is down.”
Aubree: “Dad, the Internet is still down.”
Dad: “I know! I’m working on it” (said with a bit of impatience).
After messing around with Yoggie, the Internet is back up. Back to my writing…
Curtis: “Dad, this isn’t working.”
Aubree: “Dad, is the Internet back up?”
Dad: “Yes, Aubree. Just a sec Curti, I’ll come take a look.”
I know someday I’m going to miss all these interruptions. The kids will be grown and gone and I’ll be sitting alone in a quiet house writing…and a part of me will be sad. I just have to remember that. I love these guys and enjoy having them around. I wish I could just be more patient with them. The sequel to my novel will have to wait a few more years, which is fine. I’m not getting any bites on my first one anyways. Even while trying to write this blog I had no less than ten more interruptions. One was from our cat, Elphie. Nothing says I have to be patient with the cat does it? I wasn’t, I pushed her right away. At least she doesn’t ask for a swig of my pop or my baked potato.