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February 07, 2012

Dad-A-Roni and San Francisco Treats

Streetcar named star wars
"I always pictured fatherhood with more long walks and insightful conversation," I said to Jason as we stood on a sidewalk along San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

Jason, of this blog fame, and I were in town for a special Star Wars event, and we had been allowed to bring one child each. We both decided to invite one of our own kids, and so it was that our two offspring were sprinting down a city sidewalk laughing at t-shirts with boobs drawn on them and hitting each other with imaginary lightsabers.

We watched them run towards the cable car and Jason said something which escapes me now, but I like to think that it had something to do with Scotch. 

And then we fell quickly into history.

The weekend was as blurry as the rest of them, but where once they spun from cheap drinks and the pursuit of them, they now spin forever forward like a time machine with the buttons stuck. Kids grow up at lightspeed, and somewhere back a dozen chapters ago I should have said something deep and meaningful. Instead I wrapped them in love-lined tangents, mixed in some melancholy metaphors, added a bit of aggravated cursing, and told them "because I said so" like it explained something. Tears, laughs, hugs, frustration, spinning on and spinning on. So many stars.

In reality, fatherhood thus far has consisted of few walks that are far between and too many conversations punctuated with all the patience of a drill sergeant. Whatever vision of fatherhood I pieced together from my own dad and a lifetime of pop culture influences isn't the same as the one my kids are receiving. I am not just a great and all-knowing dispenser of truth and solutions, but also something fallible and full of faults. My children have seen behind the curtain, and they are paying attention to the man there.

The cable car started and our sons held tight, the wind in their hair and our cameras at their side. The moment rolled up one hill and down the other, two boys lost in it and two men trying to capture it accordingly. The street flew beneath their feet, and with it the day and a fastly spinning world.

The stars were bright and nearly blinding.


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