Once you’re a dad…

You will never not be a dad again. This states the obvious however what I am trying to say is that once you have been gifted with parenthood, your life becomes an epic journey in all directions away from yourself. While you are on that epic odyssey, you get the opportunity to witness the past, present, and future at the same time.

I have been a dad for 25+ years, and the experience has been nothing short of life altering. Perhaps transformative, transformational, eye opening and educational are more apt descriptors than life altering? Each and all simulataneously happening. Another life has come into existence as a result of what I can only describe as brilliant life choices. I can still remember the excitement at the news we were going to have a child. The joy, the tears, and excitement seemed to make the following 9 months fly past. And then we are in the hospital, it was not a drill.

I can still remember the exact time where the chaos, anticipation, and tension of the delivery room were broken by that first breath and cry. At that moment time stood still as I held a new universe in my hands for the first time. I wondered if all of the dad’s in the world felt the same way. Did life and circumstances afford them this privilege? I know the answer to that question is no, and that it can be complicated, but I would surely wish that happiness and peace on everyone. After the tears of joy, I could not wait to hold the future in my shaking hands.

For some reason the merger of these thoughts has me appreciating the moments even more, and looking forward to what comes next. Perhaps it is because of the lockdowns and travel restrictions in place due to the pandemic. Although I have not been able to see my dad in person for nearly 2 years, we remain close in daily conversations. The same goes for our son who has set off to a new city to write some new life chapters of his own. As The Band sang, “every distance is not near.” It has been crucial to continue strings of conversations and life catch-ups during this time. They have helped bridge the distance gap, but have been devoid of the joy of being in each others’ presence as in the past.

I reflect on this in 2021 because the role of father has definitely evolved since my own dad first celebrated father’s day. Dad’s fifty years ago were examples of hard work, discipline, and no nonsense. Dad’s were protectors and providers. They were the purveyors of wisdom and cheesy jokes too. 50 years later there are still many things in common with the way that fatherhood is done, but it has also come with the added layers of a connected world ready to offer an opinion or approach about everything. It’s as if the mystery of being a dad has been solved by a quick search and click on a blog post, magazine article or YouTube video.

Dads of the past never had the resources to add to their toolboxes as exist today. They had to create and cobble from past experiences, from making mistakes, and from a supportive and patient spouse who was trying to do the same as a parent. Dadding, fatherhood, parenthood, and adulting are iterative in so many ways. I fear that if mistakes are not made that something is really going to go wrong down the road of the future.

Perhaps it can be reduced to this: Being a dad is about showing the commitment to try, the courage to fail, and the character to get up and try again. My son has seen that in his dad, and I have witnessed it in my ‘pops’ too. This is why I cannot wait until the next time our 3 generation celebration can take place so we can consolidate our collective care and wisdom and honour our past, present, and future.

Happy Father’s Day. Happy S.M.I.L.E Day.
Significant
Males making
Impacts in
Lives
Everywhere

Hanging

For those who are hanging…

In
…limbo

By
…a thread

On
…nothing but will

Out
…waiting to be seen

With
…digital friends

Back
…to watch what happens next

Over
…others you distrust

From
…a brittle limb

Head
…in sadness

Around
…waiting for things to change

Together
…setting plans to make things better

Keep your grip.
You are not at the end of your hope.

(Y)our racism is showing…again

Due to the traumatic nature of this post some readers might be triggered by the content shared below.

This post was started a while back and is being shared with a heavy heart as the remains of 215 First Nation children have been discovered in an umarked mass grave at a residential school in Kamloops, BC Canada. The map above indicates that this revelation is not only a travesty and a tragedy, but it may be only the start of even darker revelations relating to residential schools and their systemic racist treatment of First Nations Métis and Inuit communities.

Listening to the grief and relived trauma of the families and survivors is heart breaking.
This post is a call to listen, reflection, understanding, and then action. Thoughts and prayers are not enough.

Canada (y)our racism is showing again.

Hey Canada, (y)our racism is showing and there seems to be more and more cracks in the dam of dignity that has held the waters of truth, equity, and justice from flowing to First Nations, Inuit and Metis for far too long.

Your ability to dismiss and demean those whom you decreed as despicable through distorted doctrines definitely deserves it’s due damnation. This nation is now wakened again by the spirits of those buried and forgotten because of the cruelest of best intentions to remove the “Indian from the child”. Ever since that regrettable day of discovery by early Europeans we have been doing our darnedest to destroy everything about those who were here first with our dated and greedy settler dogmas.

How is it possible that we brag of our foundations on the rules of law, God’s law, and civility yet are incapable of honouring the contracts that we so craftily crafted? How have so many in “settler-nation” managed to grow so generationally ignorant yet prosper so greatly at the peril and misfortune of others?

How dare we dismiss those who looked after their nations long before we ever called this land and its waters our nation? Yet, you, me, us, we continue to benefit from the systems that stole and violated, cheated and created laws that decreed the land that was shared and settled upon was now ours and not theirs.
When land and resources were not enough, we came for the children.

Don’t tell me it is not our problem when our ancestors kidnapped and forced the children of countless First Nations to go to residential schools far from home, to be abused, to give up their language, be malnourished, to be abused, killed and never seen again. Don’t tell me the past is in the past because the present doesn’t want to acknowledge it.
Don’t tell me everything is alright after the Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations.
Don’t offer your thoughts & prayers unless they come with lasting change and reparations.
Don’t tell me that your ancestors paid already when you benefit from privilege everyday.
Don’t tell me that this is about equality and opportunity for all when the system is rigged.
Don’t tell me that it is not a provincial matter when leadership is your only job.
Don’t promise that change is coming and wait for someone else to do it.
Don’t make excuses.

Listen to those who are grieving. Hear their stories without interrupting or tone shushing.
Mourn for and with those who have lost so much already and must now endure being retraumatized.
Accept that there is much more truth to reckon with here before true reconciliation can begin after so much harm.

PR Moves

Instant addiction print by @recycledpropaganda

Before blasting us with another photo bomb, publicly repulsive stunt, or staged photo op. The people you forsake, by each posted misfake, want you to open your mind not your mouth. If not your mind, then how about your heart?

You make mistakes that bind us because of your blindness. Because you see only the few whose money you’ve desired, And not the public caste into your classist mire.

Your calculated and calous willingness to forsake those who you swore to serve in this space comes with a cost. You have milked the public of their patience, their safety, and their lives.

The oaths from your office opine outrageous orders so often. Your words have become nothing more than malicious and misleading statistics. Attached to deflection, blame, and party li(n)es. We have had enough of your politricks.

Pictures of your “work” show nothing but a reckless climb up a gilded ladder of success, Your policy and lack thereof shows that you are willing to cut each corner at the expense of everyone’s health.

Your anti-public relativism has been reduced to desperately disparate posts to a selfie cult of personality. Seeking and leaching the likes like an addict on a bender. But you’re in control. You’re hubris assuredly saying you could quit at anytime.


Dis(sing the)appointment

I guess it’s one way to look at things
Unhinged, hinged, singed, impinged.

Signs or is it sins, of designs never meant to have wings
Ideas that could not walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Pointing the way to dead ends ahead

Our turn will come,
So why is it always a left when we need to go right?

-_uck!-

I ‘m stuck being neither well nor sick
Stuck in the cracks created by pandemic and panic
Stuck by a disease that causes unease waiting for the physic

Stuck until an elixer enters my arm through a needle’s prick
Stuck wondering what magic is left out there that will do the trick
Stuck holding my breath as the smoke of disinformation grows thick.

Stuck in the space found between feeling
Stuck consumed by wondering
Stuck wanting and wishing,

To scream out a word that begins with F
and ends in _uck!


Firetruck!
Firetruck!
Firetruck!

I’m stuck!

Object at [un]rest

The Laws of Physics are less clear to me.

Always taught what went up usually came down.
Resting objects remained at rest etc., etc.,
That went for me too.

I was an object at rest and then
non-physical forces acted upon me.
Duty, fear, and commitment to name a few.

The subject of rest; cut short out of self-interest,
or was it the forces of engrained social preservationists?
Responsibility and care to name just two.

Rest, no longer the object as unseen forces push me into action.
Too little, too much? And now the reaction to my inaction.
I have become an object at unrest too.