Friday, January 31, 2014

My favorite posts of 2013

I posted my favorite blog posts of 2012 in January of last year, and as another January is nearing its conclusion, it's time for the 2013 edition.

Before the "favorites," I thought I'd recap just a few highlights in blogging for 2013. I kick-started things with a single guest post in 2012, but in the last year I've started showing up in a few more places on the internet. I was asked to participate on other blogs:

At Andrew Cardon's blog, Mommy's Busy, Go Ask Daddy

At Tommy Riles' blog, The Life of Dad

At Christopher Lewis' blog, Dad of Divas

At John Kinnear's blog, Ask Your Dad Blog

I've also had some of my posts re-published at a few sites, namely here and here at the National At-Home Dad Network blog, and at Comic Strip Mama.

And if you've seen any of my stick-man comics floating around, it's probably because they've been shared around a lot on Facebook and Pinterest. One of my comics was seen by over a million people. Crazy, right?

Without further ado, here's the round-up of my favorite blog posts of 2013, with commentary from both my soon-to-be four-year-old and myself:


Seeing things new, or how the important things punctuate all the rest

My three-year-old: "I don't like this one because my head is kinda erased. I'm like an erased-head."

Me: It's a strange moment when your daughter starts channeling David Lynch . . .

This post involved me trying to put aside grown-up concerns and see with the eyes of an eraser-head child (Also, that's actually sunlight that she's reaching for, not her head being erased).

Brand new day


Me: Sometimes my daughter's exuberance is amazing and inspiring. Sometimes it's migraine-inducing. This post is mostly about the former, and my daughter's vehicular nostalgia is the latter.

Some thoughts on aliens and the meaning of life

My three-year-old: "Why don't they have any color? I wish everything was pink."

Me: Of course she does. The comic included in this post about motherhood is my most-shared comic. It also inspired a lot of (inexplicable) anger.

Hut, hut, hike! A birth story

My three-year old: "That baby is cute! That baby is sad because its parents are not giving it what it wants!"

Me: No, that baby is sad because it just squeezed its big 'ol head through the eye of needle. In this post I get real about how the birth of our daughter was both beautiful and traumatizing.

Fatherhood: A reason to make things right.

My three-year-old: "I sure wish those guys had hair. That little guy is me, and the big one is you, and we really don't have any hair. We need hair to be happy!"

Me: My daughter probably should have been born in the seventies, so she could have been a young woman in the Big Hair era of the 1980s. But this post isn't about hair. It's about dads who screw up, and the reasons they want to change.

Hand in hand, into the great unknown

My three-year-old: "The bigger one is helping the little guy walk because they are friends. Which means they say please and thank you. My bunny and I are friends. But sometimes he just hits me in the face. And kicks me. He needs to hold my hand and say sorry."

Me: Though I'd never hit her or kick her in the face, my daughter's on-again, off-again relationship with her bunny probably is a little like the relationship between a kid and a parent, what with all the disciplining and screaming fits and time-outs. But in the end, if you're doing it right, your kid's gonna remember you as the one who held her hand -- the one who gently supported her (and traveled with her!) on her greatest quests.

Tire swings and quiet moments

My three-year-old: "In this picture I am thinking about sad things like when Grammy and Gramps are far away. Also, getting bug bites makes me sad. And I think about that a lot."

Me: In this post I take some time to think about a quiet moment during the normally frenetic day of my three-year-old. Ah, quiet moments. I heart them.

A million splashes

My three-year-old: "I love throwing stuff! Rocks, little pieces of bread, snow, balls, fish, and telephones!"

Me: It's true, she never met a fish she didn't want to throw. In this post, I think about how throwing my daughter into a pond gets me right in the feels.

On falling down

My three-year-old: "They are so happy because they are building a palace. They are going to build them all the way to outer space!"

Me: Mine was a castle, actually, not a palace. 'Cause then I can sneak in this Thoreau quote: "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

9-11 is a tough day for a lot of people. But it was easier to deal with when I was doing constructive things with my daughter.

The Raven

My three-year-old: "That's where I'm saying the poem! The poem where you say, "Never more, quoth the Raven! Nevermore! Nevermore!"

Me: This was an epic project, one I'm pretty proud of. We only intended to do the first verse of Poe's The Raven, but it just seemed a shame not to continue on. It took place over several nights and involved more than one lock of her hair being singed. But it was worth it.


My three-year-old: "Ooh, what am I reading? I think the story is about princesses who play musical instruments and climb trees."

Me: There's almost no sight I like better than watching my daughter read in a patch of sunlight. It makes our house feel like a home.