Tag Archives: children

When life gets real: babies.

11 Aug

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After reading Sport’s post earlier today, I had every intention of writing some witty banter about how having a couple of Bébé’s kids that-would-best-benefit-from-someone-else raising-them would be effing hilarious.

Poppa theVar?

However, the more I thought about it; the more I realized: kids might be great someday. Having kids, allowing experiences I never had, granting them educational opportunities that would afford triumph after triumph–wow! That’s some dream that could be an amazing reality.

Dreaming aside, would it worth it to give up the life I have now. The freedom that makes me…well, me. These thoughts pop into my head from time-to-time. Okay, rarely, but when they do. Man, it’s pretty incredible. Me. Being a dad. Poppa theVar. Sounds good, huh?! Maybe not, but you know what I’m saying.

Who knows what may happen during this 30s ride. All I know: thinking about this is when life gets real.

–theVar On The Go

Our Most Gracious Thank You

18 Jun

Wow! Sara and I are chillaxing at our graphic designer friend’s house in total nostalgia.  I can’t believe it’s been a month already. How about you, Sara?

Sara: Right, and a helluva month at that! Thanks to our readers we’ve begun talking about things that really matter. We’ve begun to build a community. And thanks to our contributors, we’ve found that we’re not alone  in our struggle to navigate our 30s.

LeVar: Sara, do you remember that first post? GC33, what a brave soul you were. I <3 your face. Then we got the woman’s perspective on expectations from Kelly. I just wanna keep her in my pocket to give her x’s and o’s all day long.

Sara: It sure was nice to know that we weren’t alone in our questions.

And do you remember Alison’s moment where at her sister’s high school graduation, she realized that she was old enough to be her mother? Or when the Professor shared what it was like to be leaving his 30s? Or what it’s like for Lorrie as a mom in her 30s.

Or me, entering my 30s. All in the last month. Whew.

LeVar: Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I’m still in awe over Ryan and his commitment to not drinking. Oh, and we will definitely never forget about Party Girl. Can I just live in her shoes for a week I’m sure my legs would look great in her 5 inch heels and a mini dress.

ED, you can unleash that 16 year old anytime you want. *wink*  Adam…”I can still party like I’m 21, but for the two day hangover.” Let’s just say Sara’s 30th last weekend has got to be a testament to that.

Sara: So true! So very true. Thanks for the warning Adam, sorry I didn’t heed it.

LeVar: I don’t know. In all this rambling what we’re trying to say is that we are deeply grateful and overjoyed by all of you and the unconditional support from great friends, talented contributors and this fearless community.

Sara: So thank you, readers. Thank you contributors. Thank you Var for crafting and curating this blog with me.  We had over 3000 unique viewers this past month. Let’s see what we can do from here on out.

Guest Post: So you want to be Mom of the Year

11 Jun

By Lorrie Spoering
Blogger of She’s A Girl With Glasses

Few people really have a handle on what having children will do to their lives. There are clear implications, of course: kids are noisy, messy and expensive. These are all true, but theory is so much more gentle than reality.

Having children is a little like introducing a hereto unknown creature into your home and being given only the most basic instructions on how to care for it– or, more realistically, how not to kill it. When our first child was born, my husband and I sat in the living room and stared down at her screaming face and both had the same thought: who the hell let us have a baby? This isn’t an original thought. Women come equipped with hands to hold and diaper and breasts to feed, and all those funny hormones and brain chemicals to do these things, but logic is not included. On her third night of crying and refusing to nurse, I tried to formulate a plan wherein I could give my daughter away without all the grandparents getting pissed off. My best friend has a similar story, calling her husband at work and asking if it would really be so bad if she put the baby outside. Just for a couple hours, she said.

You have no idea what you’re getting into. I stood in the middle of my destroyed living room, holding a squalling baby, unshowered, and looked at my trio of cats, wailing: “Why wasn’t I satisfied with you?”

There is no guide to caring for children, not really. There are handbooks of the obvious: feed them, don’t shake them, tell them you love them and try not to have a screaming melt-down in front of them too often. I do all of those things fairly well, and have watched many other women pull them off too. Where we all find ourselves adrift is when you get to the non-obvious, like how to react when your daughter decides to jam a spoon down her newborn brother’s throat because she’s helpfully “feeding the baby” or  your son drops his pants anytime he’s somewhere vaguely indoors to show everyone how far he can stretch his foreskin.

These situations are the ones that drove great women in the past to invent such things as playpens, pre-school and Long Island Ice Tea.

Learning to parent is nothing like learning to ride a bike. It’s painful, tedious and can result in more than just a skinned knee when you consider you’re in charge of shaping a whole new person and really doesn’t want to be the mother of “that girl on The Hills.” In this vein, most of the women I know with children have adopted a ranking system of what they can make themselves care about. None are exactly the same, but the basics seem to be similar, all of them centering around keeping them alive and relatively unfucked up. Specifics get thrown out the window. All you want to do is survive.

The larger they get, the more complicated kids become. Both of mine will be in school this fall, leaving me to collapse in my fainting chair and moan about how my babies have moved on while secretly plotting how I’ll be renovating their bedroom when they officially move out in fourteen years—anything to keep me from vodka at two in the afternoon.

I’m hoping things get smoother as they get older. I’m also realistic and know that my mother is reading this and rubbing her hands together, cackling like a witch on a mountaintop. I’m an idealistic person, but the mothers of teenagers get teary when I tell them about my son whipping his sister with a jump rope. “They’re so sweet at that age,” they bemoan, looking over at the lanky person in black who both wants them dead and a ride to the mall.

In the end, it’s about one goal: raising a human being you don’t want to back your car over. It’s been my vision of success, since my daughter first used the word “fuck” in context, to raise a child who, at the age of twenty-one, I actually like. So far, so good, I think. I admit, I’ve got a good long time to fuck up, to make my very own Heidi Montag– whose mother, I’m sure loves her plastic Barbie face just to death– but, if experience tells me anything, at least when my girl is famous for existing, she’ll do it with a stained shirt, the ability to curse creatively and tell people: “This is all my mom’s fault.” That will be a proud day in my life: my baby, in all her glory, making me drink.

Just like she does now. I win.

Exit- Stage 30

22 May
A 30-something turns 40.

I turned 30 right after the pandemonium of Y2K. I’m turning 40 with much less apocryphal fanfare. On Jan. 1, 2001 I watched the sun come up on a pair of backcountry skis on a mountaintop far from the predicted anarchy of Y2K. I’ll turn 40 eating macky cheese with my 2-year-old.

Leaving your 30s behind means you’re probably already divorced once. If you’re going to have kids, you have them by now, and when you start working out the math and thinking about a high school graduation in your walker, you start thinking seriously about not scratching the procreation itch anymore.

The 30s are when you settle into some career. I had four careers behind me when I turned 30. I settled into the one I liked best and like any good American consumer, I now jot down the mortgage numbers and ride my Harley when I can. Vacations to sunny beaches and bow hunting to keep the Eye of the Tiger alive (that reference will probably be lost on you 30somethings, but it was the soundtrack for Gen X football games and athletic events. Get used to it 30-somethings, the cultural world will pass you by).

If you’re lucky, your clothes still fit from 29. If you’re even luckier, you can still find that hot not yet 30 something to slake you sexual thirst. Nothing keeps you feeling young like sleeping with the young. In my 30s I took one of the top mountain bikers in the country to her Stanford graduation. Guy at the door taking tickets said “What do you teach professor?” I laughed at the squirt. “I’m her date, call me grandpa.

We men are lucky that way. If you stay fit and you figured out something to do with yourself that pays, young women find you distinguished. If you’re broke, you probably always will be and women have figured that out to. So you better get used to Internet pornography or hookers. Or Match.com and trolling for the “curvy” ones.

In your 30s you still dream of romance. By 40 you’re thinking practically about good orgasms and someone that doesn’t inspire an overwhelming urge to come and go.

You’ve had the romance gene beaten out of you by years of realizing that if you’re really good to someone, they’ll take you for granted. If you’re aloof, members of the opposite sex can’t wait to try to fix you. Everyone loves the bad boy or bad girl, and few of us have the maturity to hang on to someone who treats us well day in and day out. By 40 you stop blaming everyone else and accept that about yourself as well as others.

Midway through my 30s, while still single, my teenage nephew told me “Uncle, you used to be the cool guy with the hot girlfriends. Now you’re just turning into the weird uncle who never got married.” When you get this kind of wisdom from a teenager, of course you take it to heart.

So I got married, had a kid, and found out my now ex wife was crazy after she emptied the banks accounts, swiped my daughter and alleged that I had threatened to dress up like Santa and kill her Mormon family in Utah. I lost most of the accumulated wealth of my single years to attorneys and psychologists, and came out the other side with joint custody of my daughter and the promise of lawyers and hearing for the next 16 years.

In hindsight, I should have hired a hot stripper to be a surrogate mom for me. I would have saved a lot of money overall, and I recommend this to any of you feeling like the biological clock is ticking. Rent a partner for baby production.

Or at the least make sure whoever you procreate with undergoes a thorough psychological exam. I didn’t find out my wife needed psychological help until midway through the divorce. Not the right time. You will not be able to provide the family you dream for your children if your partner was conceived in the Ninth Circle of Dante’s Inferno. Hire a stripper instead. Women have it easy. You can buy a sperm popsicle and the problem’s solved. We men have to rent an oven, too.

So what does 40 feel like? Forty feels like nothing. Turning 30 was hard. My youth was going to be gone forever with that birthday filled with so much significance. The end of calling myself a kid. Time to grow up. Have a family. Settle into a job.

At 40, I’m trying to stay in shape to continue to enjoy the fairer sex. Raise my daughter well. Keep stuffing the bank account whenever I can so some day I can sit on a sailboat in the Caribbean and smoke cigars while watching the empty Coronas pile up on the deck.

I don’t mind the gray hair creeping in. I know that six pack abs won’t get me as far as a six figure income. I don’t really care that my wardrobe is hopelessly out of date. Stylish shoes look goofy, modern music sucks, and I’ve seen hip hugger jeans come and go twice in my life, so seeing a butt crack on a bar stool doesn’t thrill my fashion sense, thong or not. Tramp stamps have become passe’ (though there was the one girl who had a compass pointing unerringly, well, you get the picture) and pierced whatever’s are as common as New Kids on the Block t-shirts used to be.

The only social pressure you have at 40 is people expecting you to act your age. I took a little sailboat out and got heckled by a bunch of high school kids last summer. I told them to blow me and would have  mooned them if I could have managed it in the tiny boat. To hell with acting your age! Enjoy being alive. Every day above ground is a good day.

By 40 you’ve buried friends, relatives and seen the husks all around you of people who just gave up. Watched too many settle into mediocrity. You’ve known people who took their own lives because they were in so much pain. To survive this life you find joy where you can. Whether it’s in the wilderness or wondering if you just threw your back out with that 20something who was oh so enthusiastic.

Enjoy your 30s. They’ll be over before you know it. I felt like I turned 30 yesterday. We’re all dancing with the devil with one foot in the grave anyway. Show the bastard that you can still do the boogaloo.

-P

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