Thirty Seven

The word that comes to mind for this past year is continuity. Two years ago was filled with a lot of change. There was less of that this past year, but there was still plenty that came to mind.

  • I’m still working at Bluecadet, surrounded by some very talented people. Right now I’m doing a mix of code, technical strategy, and technical direction. I don’t know that I’ve found the right mix, but I’m in a good place to figure it out.
  • I spoke at Drupaldelphia last fall.
  • I had an article published at A List Apart, something that’s been a goal of mine for a while.
  • I wrote more. Even if only a few things made it up to this blog, my Editorially history at least tells me I’m getting more stuff out of my head and onto the page.
  • I embraced Editorially, and then saw it shut down.
  • I finally finished Moby Dick, and then Readmill shut down.
  • My wife and I continued to lead our community group at our local church. A few of our group members are going to end up leading their own groups this fall, which bittersweet. I’m taking it as a sign that we did well as leaders.
  • Speaking of our group, we read through Galatians and I came away with a renewed appreciation for the gospel as a constant, minute-by-minute thing, not a thing from which you graduate.
  • My niece Hannah was born in November.
  • My niece Melanie was born in April.
  • My friends and I got to eat at Talulah’s Table.
  • My eldest daughter started reading. She finished preschool this Spring, and starts kindergarten this fall. I know where the time went. It still surprises me.
  • My younger daughter finally started giving out kisses. She also started speaking in well-formed sentences and can now hold a conversation with me.
  • I taught another semester of my online class in WordPress and PHP at MCAD’s Continuing Education program.
  • We spent some more time in Maine with Jordan’s family.
  • I got to see my brother graduate with his PhD.

A pretty good year, now that I think about it.

Ponytail Practice

My wife sings in church, so there’s generally at least one Sunday out of the month where she leaves the house early to do the pre-service warm-up. On those mornings it’s just me and the girls, scrambling to get out the door on time. I’m pretty good at getting them fed and dressed. My wife usually leaves out a few clothing options for them, anyway, and they’re old enough that they like having some say in what they wear.

But I’ve never really done their hair. I should stop here and say that I’ve always brushed their hair after baths, so it’s not like I have an aversion to grooming my kids. Still, I’ve always sidestepped actually styling their hair, leaving it for my wife most mornings. On days where it was just me I would simply brush it, throw in a few barrettes, and call it a day.

But it struck me recently that maybe the reason I didn’t do it was because it was located in the realm of presumed girlish things, and that as a man I was unconsciously steering clear as a result. That bothered me, because I want my kids to see me embrace roles and actions that are stereotypically thought of as feminine.

So I’m learning how to do their hair. Which, to be honest, is challenging. My older kid has what we jokingly call “duck hair” – healthy, straight, liquid-repellent, and quite difficult to grasp. Just trying to do a simple ponytail poses a challenge. This Sunday I tried for about ten minutes before she said, “You’re not very good at this, are you, Daddy?” Which – yeah, I’m not. Not now, at any rate. But hopefully soon.