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Grown Up Men

Dads grow up.

Dads are funny. Ask anyone with a dad and they’ll usually agree. I don’t understand the alchemy that happens from teenaged boy to father but I believe there is a scientific study in there somewhere.

When I met the Goose, he was a boy of such breathtaking badness that I actually felt a little giddy and nervous about our first date. He had a tiny sports car I could hear from two miles away and drove it with the ferocity of a suicide bomber. He knew people who knew people who were criminals. He was all leather jacket and porn mustache. Recently, I had to sit on my hands in the car so as not to smack the living daylights out of him for driving under the speed limit in the slow lane. I’ve also had to ask him not to wear his golf saddle shoes as leisure wear. He takes naps and asked me just yesterday not to drive to the store because it wasn’t safe in the rain.

What happens to men when they become dads?

When the Goose reads this he will come storming into the room telling me it’s all about responsibility and the fact that they carry the weight of the financial world upon their stooped shoulders. Blah, blah, blah. He will probably bring up that old refrain about “one of us has to be the adult…” I think his 21-year-old self would hang his heads in shame. My own father was a man tamed as well. When he was a boy, he and his brothers would take quarter sticks of dynamite, not the lame m80s of today, and throw them back and forth over their house and try not to be holding it when it went off. My dad was missing the tip of his middle finger and his brother was missing the last two of his right hand. My dad was mostly deaf and I’m sure this contributed to the problem. Because of his hearing problems, my dad yelled. Many a time the True Southern Lady would have to shuush him because he blurted out inappropriate stuff in public. When he would come to Shep’s baseball games, we would have to remind him not to shout out “get that fat kid off second base, he can’t catch anything with those chubby hands!”, AGAIN because said child’s mother hadn’t been happy about it the last time. He commented loudly on the weight of waitresses, on the dullness of the sermon during church and repeatedly shouted “WHAT?” during movies. The True Southern Lady lived on pins and needles at what he might yell. Now, you know he wasn’t like that when she dated him. He was the daring boy from next door.

I know boys that used to fight and race cars and dance on the speakers at the Limelight whose main focus now is keeping the thermostat on an energy saving temperature. I guess it’s true and someone in the relationship has to take the role of adult. I’m happy it was the Goose and that he’s allowed me to stay the delightful youthful girl that I’ve always been.

Becoming a dad is a crazy kind of alchemy. Now that our kids are mostly grown, I see signs of the old Goose emerging and I feel that it’s possible that during his regression he and Shep will pass somewhere along the way. While I certainly appreciate his responsible attitude that’s taken great care of us all over the years, I’m looking forward to the 21-year-old Goose coming back for a visit. Perhaps without the 80s porn mustache, though. Now, I’ll just have to get the Advil ready, and some Ben Gay, oh, and maybe we should lower the stereo because high decibel levels are damaging…

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Jennifer December 03, 2012 at 08:14 PM
as always....great read!
Friend of Goose December 03, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Ouch. As a grown up dad, it hurts....true but hurts
Margie Maloof December 03, 2012 at 11:36 PM
So true!
Jamie M December 04, 2012 at 01:52 PM
Fabulous read!

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