Friday, August 31, 2012

Five Dollar Friday - Limbs for Life

Sorry that I've been a bit absent this week. As most of you know, I busted my right (dominant) hand.  In fact, this is currently being typed with my left hand only. That sentence: two minutes. So I'll be brief. Not having a right hand sucks. Here is a small list of things it makes difficult.
  • Putting on a backpack
  • Putting deodorant on my left armpit
  • Typing
  • Turning pages in a book. (Thank God for my iPad)
  • Picking up my daughter.  
  • Getting her in her car seat.
  • Buttering toast. Poor toast, never had a chance :(
  • Wiping (Sorry TMI)

I could go on for pages. My point is not to complain, but to introduce this week's Five Dollar Friday: Limbs for Life

Friday, August 24, 2012

Five Dollar Friday - The Sequel

Wife here, welcoming you to Five Dollar Friday the sequel! For those of you who don't know what the hell I’m talking about, each week here at Ask Your Dad Blog, we pick a charity or cause and then we donate five dollars… hence the name: Five Dollar Friday. Well, John and I each donate, so I guess that's $10. But I could be wrong, math isn't really my thing. We write up a little post about where we're donating and what it's about. Then, if readers would like to join in the fun, they can also chip in $5 (or more or less). Lastly, if you really want to get into it, you can spread the word! Share, Tweet, +1, e-mail… heck, hire a skywriter. Skywriting would be cool.

This week, I'm in charge. So I've decided that this week will be in honor of the little dude that John so lovingly refers to as our squirrel-dog Chihuahua thing. Squirrel-dog Chihuahua thing happens to have a name: Riley. Riley was my buddy before John and I met, and while John didn't like him very much at first, he did like me very much. And Riley and I were kind of a package deal. Since then, John has learned to tolerate love him.

Riley has full run of the house, the yard, and more often than John would like, our bed. Not all pets do. We want help the thousands of pets out there that don't have the loving home that Riley does. So this week we are donating to Cause for Paws.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Just When Things Were Looking Up - Dad Gets Kicked

Dear Ask Your Dad Readers,

I have some unfortunate news. I am John's wife. That's not the unfortunate news. The unfortunate news is that my husband broke his hand this past weekend. He plays goal keeper for our indoor soccer team and, despite not looking at all like a soccer ball, some dude confused his hand for one. He immediately knew it was broken (read: small bones were clicking around in his hand) so, of course, he decided to keep playing. Because he's a "man". And that's what "men" do. Men also have shorter life-spans. I'm just sayin'.  Eventually, a teammate drove him to the hospital, and I, despite having my all-girl fantasy football draft that evening, made the selfless decision to meet them at the ER. That's love.

After a not-so-terrible-for-an-ER wait, we had a few nurses, medical assistants, and janitors randomly come into our room. Each one informed us that they were just "borrowing" some supplies and each time, John told them "that's ok, we're not using them anyways". Not a single one of them laughed at his joke.

When the doctor finally came in, he asked "What can I do for you?" which really struck me as an odd question to begin with, but not nearly as odd as my husband's response, which was: "I could really use some drugs, to be honest with you." Don't worry dear, you're not coming off as a druggie looking for a fix. Nope, not at all.

Luckily, his request seemed more reasonable to the doctor when the x-rays came back. John had a fractured fourth metacarpal that would require surgery. Shit.


My concerns immediately focused on how this would impact me. I'm a good wife like that. You see, if not for my husband, our daughter and I would not eat. He does all of the cooking. I run the risk of lighting a bowl of Cheerios on fire any time I step in the kitchen. Needless to say, the next few weeks are going to be an interesting culinary experience for our family.

His initial concern was that we're 11 weeks away from from the birth of our boy-bun, and despite the bonus of not having to change diapers, he really wants to be able to hold him with two good hands. He's a good husband like that. Now that we've met with the surgeon and been assured that we are only looking at six weeks for a full recovery, he's more bummed about you folks.

That's right, despite the fact that he is going into surgery, his main concern is that he'll have a hard time doing the blog. Having his hand sliced open doesn't bug him. But the man is determined. He may be a little slower at typing, but with my help, a guest post or two, and the assistance of the ever inaccurate text-to-speech capabilities built into Windows, we will do our best to continue with your regularly scheduled Ask Your Dad Blog posts. That, of course, includes our Five Dollar Fridays (which, by the way, we had a GREAT response to last week, so thank you, thank you, thank you!)


Wife (Mom)

And now, without further ado, a message from John:

Hi. Typing with my left hand is difficult. - Dad

Who has two thumbs and gets to have surgery on Thursday?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Five Dollar Friday - Inaugural Edition

Welcome to the inaugural “Five Dollar Friday”. This is going to be a weekly post where, each Friday, I will pick a charity or cause to which I will donate five dollars. I’ll then write a quick post with a few links, Tweet it and post it on the Facebook Fan Page. Hopefully, some of my readers will see it and share/retweet/repost or even donate! The idea is that five dollars is a relatively small amount, but if even 10% of the people who read my blog were to donate, that would turn into a substantial about of money - like forty-five dollars! Or more, math is not my forte’. Anyway, worst case scenario: a random charity gets five bucks.


This week my five spot is going to The Christi Anderson Rack Pack Foundation.

I don’t have breasts. Well, not officially. I could probably work out a little more and say that with confidence, and there were a couple awkward moments when my daughter tried to nurse from me… I digress. Breasts. I don’t have them, but my wife does. So does my good friend Mandi. So do at least six other women I know. If my math is correct that makes eight. According to the National Cancer Institute one in eight women will get breast cancer. A little over a year ago, Mandi found out she was among the one in eight women who will get breast cancer. Since then she’s documented her journey on her Breast Cancer Blog. It is funny and honest and heartbreaking and joyful. It's even a bit crass at times – which any good blog should be. Someday I’ll convince her to compile it into a book. Until then, you should check it out - AFTER you finish reading this post.

Shortly after Mandi was diagnosed, a representative for the foundation showed up at her door with a chemo care package. They explained that the foundation was created by friends and family of Christi Anderson, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2010. Since then, The Christi Anderson Rack Pack Foundation, or CARPF as no one calls them but me, has created and distributed care packages to anyone currently going through treatment for breast cancer.

From their “About Us” page:

“Having personally gone through several family situations involving cancer very recently, we feel properly equipped to help – with a care bag, a gift card for gas or groceries, a hug, a text message, a phone call, a friend. We want you to know that you have someone to go through this cancer experience with – someone on YOUR team.  The Rack Pack’s got your back!”

So there you go. They’re awesome. AND they have no idea we’re doing this. So go to their page and donate five bucks with me and let’s take them by surprise. I won’t have any way of measuring how much we raise, but that’s not the point. We’re not doing this to pat ourselves on the back. We’re doing it to make a difference. As my two-year-old daughter loves to scream at the top of the slide:


Click the “Donate” button in the upper right corner of this page.



P.S. Mandi documents her experience with CARPF (My acronym, not theirs) here

If you have a suggestion for Five Dollar Friday, please e-mail it to me through the "Contact Me" tab with the subject line “Five Dollar Friday”. I probably will not be replying to these e-mails, as I imagine there will be a lot of them. I promise to read all of them though, and even if I don't feature them, I may still donate.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What Comes After My 15 Minutes?

So… how was your week? Did anything exciting happen? Not sure if you heard, but I wrote a blog post that may have gone a little viral.

As of writing this sentence, last week’s blog (Dear Hypothetically Gay Son) has been viewed 137,219 times on Ask Your Dad Blog. It was reprinted on The Huffington Post, read and tweeted by Ellen DeGeneres, and shared on Facebook more times than I can count. Needless to say, it has been an exciting week.

When I started this blog, my hope was for it to be more of a conversation than a soap box. Last week’s post brought that dream to life in the most unexpectedly fantastic way.  I now have what most writers only dream of. I have an audience. So now what do I do?

Well, I’m going to keep writing about what I’m trying to know: how to be a dad. And while it was incredibly nice to have thousands of people telling me what a great dad I am, or will be, the proof is going to be in the pudding. Earlier today the pudding was all over my kitchen floor, and in my daughter’s hair, and in my hair. Then we yelled at each other. Then we laughed. 

Later, at the park, I caught her on her hands and knees drinking muddy puddle water by a method that could only be described as “dog like”. I have a lot of work to do. And I am going to keep writing about it. I hope you’ll stay with me for the journey, because I’m damn glad to have you all here.

Before I leave last week’s post behind and start writing posts about poop and potty training, I’d like to say a few things.

Last week’s post connected with something much bigger than me or my son. That is obvious from the response. I am incredibly humbled to have written something that had such a profound effect on so many people. There are many better writers out there that will never get the chance to have thousands of people thank them and tell them that their writing made a difference in someone's life. I don’t take that honor lightly. I may never write something that goes viral again. My fifteen minutes may be up, but your comments will be with me forever. So thank you.

Lastly, it appears that some of you will be sticking with me. You’ve subscribed to my feed, liked the Facebook Page, or followed the Twitter account (They’re on the scroll bar on the right if you still need to find them). Welcome! I have some big hopes for this blog, and one is to make a difference for people. This Friday I am going to start something a new. It is going to be called Five Dollar Fridays. Don’t unsubscribe yet, just hear me out.

For the last little while I have found one, small charity or cause to donate five dollars to every Friday. When the Chick-Fil-A fiasco was going on I donated five dollars to Utah Pride Center with a note that said “This is my chicken sandwich”. Last week I gave my five spot to a dear friend whose dog needs a legbrace that she can’t afford.

I’m going to keep this up, but now I’m going to write about it. I’ll do a little research and post a write up with links on Fridays. Then I'll tweet it and get it up on the Facebook. If you want to donate five dollars (or more, or less) feel free. If not, please stay subscribed for my regular scheduled, poo-filled parenting blog. My hope is that I can take some of the love I’ve received for last week’s blog, and spread it around. I inspired you. You inspired me. Now let’s see who else we can get. I’m excited. I hope you are too.



Father and son

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear Hypothetically Gay Son

I ran across this letter on Reddit this morning. It is from a father disowning his gay son. It broke my heart. It's not the first time that I've seen something like this. Living in Utah, it's a pretty common story. I had friends experience it first hand in high school. This morning was the first time I've run across it since becoming a dad. My son is living in his mom's belly, so obviously we don't know his sexual orientation. Still, the letter I read this morning made me wonder what my letter would say if the news that my son was gay ended up being a surprise. So here it is:

Dear Hypothetically Gay Son,

You're gay. Obviously you already know that, because you told us at the dinner table last night. I apologize for the awkward silence afterwards, but I was chewing. It was like when we're at a restaurant and the waiter comes up mid-bite and asks how the meal is, only in this metaphor you are the waiter and instead of asking me about my meal you said you were gay. I don't know why I needed to explain that. I think I needed to find a funny way to repeat the fact that you're gay… because that is what it sounds like in my head right now. "My son is gay. My son is gay. My son is gay."

Let me be perfectly clear. I love you. I will always love you. Since being gay is part of who you are, I love that you're gay. I'm just trying to wrap my head around the idea. If you sensed any sadness in my silence last night, it was because I was surprised that I was surprised. Ideally, I would have already known. Since you were an embryo, my intent has always been to really know you for who you are and not who I expect you to be. And yet, I was taken by surprise at last night's dinner. Have I said "surprise" enough in this paragraph? One more time... surprise!

OK. Let's get a few things straight about how things are going to be. 
  1. Our home is a place of safety and love. The world has dealt you a difficult card. While LGBT people are becoming more accepted, it is still a difficult path to walk. You're going to experience hate and anger and misunderstandings about who you are out in the world. That will not happen here. You need to know with every fiber of who you are that when you walk in the front door of your home you are safe and you are loved. Your mother is in complete agreement with me on this.

  2. I am still, as always, your biggest defender. Just because you're gay doesn't mean you're any less capable of taking care of/defending yourself. That said, if you need me to stand next to you, in front of you, write letters, sign petitions, advocate, or anything else, I am here. I will go to war for you.

  3. If you're going to have boys over, you now need to leave your bedroom door open. Sorry kiddo. Thems are the breaks. I couldn't have girls in my room with the door shut, you don't get to have boys.
  4. You and I are going to revisit that talk we had about safe sex. I know it's going to be awkward for both of us, but it is important. I need to do some research first, so let's give it a few weeks. If you have questions or concerns before then, let me know. 
That's enough for now. Feel free to view this letter as a contract. If I ever fail to meet any of the commitments made herein, pull it out and hold me to account. I'll end with this: You are not broken. You are whole, and beautiful. You are capable and compassionate. You and your sister are the best things I have ever done with my life, and I couldn't be more proud of the people you've become.



P.S. Thanks to a few key Supreme Court decisions and the Marriage Equality act of 2020 you're legally able to get married. When I was your age, that was just an idea. Pretty cool huh?* 

*OK, so I was a few years off in my projection. When I wrote this in 2012 it seemed a little further off than it was. I've never been more glad to be wrong! :)

dad and family at family dinner

I'd like to thank Reddit user "RegBarc" for bravely sharing that letter. I'm sorry for the pain your dad caused by writing it. If you're ever in Salt Lake City, you're welcome at our dinner table any time. 

What would your letter say? Chime in on the comments.

::UPDATE:: I think it is safe to say that this post has gone viral. I am joyously overwhelmed by the response we've received. Just in case this never happens again, I want to try and do something that makes a difference. If you want to help spread the love monetarily, the Utah Pride Center always needs help. You can click the "donate" button on their front page. Here is a little bit about their mission. Aside from donating in the past, I am not associated with them in ANY way. I just know that "fame" (ironic quotation marks intentional) can be fleeting, and "internet fame" even more so. So if you'd like to help, please do. If not, no worries. From my family to yours, thank you. thank you, thank you for all of the love.