Bill is always thoughtful, often poignant, and consistently funny. He's insightful and self-deprecating. (Sound familiar?) A pure joy to read. In true #PayItForward fashion, he even mentions other bloggers that he admires and follows in this post. Please enjoy and find a way to follow I Hope I Win a Toaster:
I hope Peanut's dad will include my title. I like titles.
DKL invited me to do a guest post on his wonderful blog. And here I am. Blundering about, as usual, hoping I can find something interesting to say. At first I considered just vamping sillily as I am wont to do, showing the incredible, inexplicable stuff my kids do, and giving you my take on it, which is what I mostly do at ihopeiwinatoaster.
I also considered getting serious and writing about how blogs are so important to society; how the history of mankind is being shaped and rewritten through the words and images crafted poetically and lovingly rendered here in the blogosphere, which I call the "blogarena." However, that would have just been a huge justification for how much time and energy I waste on this hobby. It's really no different than my buddies who build cigar-box guitars or are Civil War re-enactors, who go on and on about the significance of "their craft" or the historical importance of sitting in a tent on a sweltering battlefield in the middle of August.
I guess I'll split the difference and tell you about the community of incredibly talented folks who blog in this little corner of the internet. I know there are blogs on every known, and unknown, subject under the sun. Me, I like daddy blogs, as they have come to be known. (And mommy blogs. Some of them, I guess. They seem to be really thick out there, though, with that BlogHer thing and all).
The diversity of bloggers makes me wonder why we do this. It also makes me wonder why I am so drawn to blogs like this one and oh so many others - literally hundreds. I have bookmarked. DKL and I have just a little in common: he's a dad, I'm a dad; he, uh, breathes air like me; oh, I think he likes beer... (I do. - DKL.)
And he loves Peanut. And John at Daddy's in Charge loves his boys (and LEGOs). Rachel loves her girls (and being hands free). And the crazy Suburbia Interrupted chick loves her flock (and randy language), Dad and Buried loves his son (and irreverence), and, I love these guys.
You see, I do this mostly as a way to remember and, in a way, immortalize my sons. I do it out of selfishness as well. (I sometimes tearfully wish there was as much as a note of what my father thought of me as I was growing up.) I'm offering a glimpse of my soul to my future grown-up men. I do this as an homage; not just to my boys but to a whole generation of boys, and girls, of course, as a way to respect and honor, celebrate and, always, cherish them.
I read this book once, I think it was a novel called The Bible by some guy named King James. And this main character dude, Jesus, or Christ, or something like that, was getting a hard time from some of his followers. (He was a some sort of new-religion guy, a prophet or something). In response he plunked a kid right down in the middle of all of them and said something along the lines of, "this is what's important, you shallow fools. All the other sh!t doesn't matter. Be like the children. Honor them and you honor me." (I paraphrase, but he truly knew what mattered and what was important.)
Sometimes bloggers make it big. Sometimes they win awards and accolades, mostly from other bloggers. Some deservedly. Some, not so much. I suppose when I introduced ihopeiwinatoaster I thought I would be one of the lucky few to get a book contract or a lucrative paid endorsement or a big check from some anonymous well-wisher, moved to philanthropy because of my words and images. That hasn't happened.
What I do get out of this is a sense of community, a sense that I am not alone trying to raise children in a seriously messed up world.
What I do get out of this is a deeper commitment to, and awareness of, my beautiful children because I pay more attention to them.
What I do get out of this is a new respect for my fellow man. (My fellow bloggers, at least.) And a deeper understanding of the depth of love that is parenting.
What I do get out of this is a chance to see love; see it through images and words, and hold it in my heart.
What I truly, truly get out of this is a profound kind of happiness that family can bring, when you notice it...
I know it is ill-advised to show pictures of my beautiful children, especially closeups, as I have done. And I certainly know better than to show the whole family in such detail in such an obvious setting. But I felt I needed to. Aren't they beautiful? (And yes, all of our shirts are that colorful. I wear that orange, blue-t shirt with yellow sleeves constantly.)
Thanks for the opportunity, DKL. Keep celebrating Peanut, and I'll keep reading. And let's all cherish the kids.
Please check out the I Hope I Win a Toaster site to follow this wonderful blog and find out why he named it that. You can also follow him on Facebook.