Fit Fathers

I have a conflicted relationship with regular exercise. It’s good for me. It makes me feel good. I do not like it.  I would very much rather take up a team sport or something, but that comes with the issue of having to deal with other people, which I try to keep to a minimum.

I know, I’m really selling you on my suitability as a parent.  That, however, is beside the point of this post.

The point of this post is to say that husby and I joined a Yoga gym this weekend.  And we did a yoga class.

It was really cool, actually.  Actually, the opposite of cool. It was 91 degrees in the room.  But we still had a good time as we sweated our butts off.

Husby remarked that he does want our kids to see us making fitness a priority in our lives.  I agree with that in principle.  I am… anxious about the execution.

That’s something I’m going to have to work on.

Security Update

Last night, I received an email from Facebook saying that I had registered using a particular email address.  I checked out everything with the email (all the links were directed to Facebook.com, the sender was Facebookmail.com [I verified that that’s Facebook’s sending domain], and the text of the email as a whole was consistent with Facebook’s other messaging) but the email address was one I have NEVER used.

The only reason I received the message was because the address that was used goes to a catch-all junk account.

I don’t know what’s going on, but I triple checked my security settings on my email and Facebook.  I changed my passwords using 1Password, which I use to generate long, strong (That’s what she said.) passwords, like this one: LptS6g[“ZPc(h4&e”WL. And I revoked access to all devices, which will force me — and any badguys — to log in again with those new passwords.

Kind of a pain, but with as much as I do online, I feel like this is the absolute minimum I can afford to do.

So, just a reminder, folks:

  • Use two-factor authentication where possible.
  • Use strong passwords.
  • Don’t use the same password across accounts.
  • Change your passwords regularly (I’m not very good about that)

And just double check your security settings to make sure everything is good.  Facebook and Google are both very helpful on that front.

Be safe out there!

What to Do if You Think Your Child Is Gay

I sat on a panel at a small conference in the Atlanta area a few years ago. It was about LGBT issues and one of the questions we were asked was from a nice couple who believed their nephew was gay.  They weren’t sure, though, and they felt that there were some religious issues at play that would be might be leading him to repress his feelings.  They wanted to know what they should do.

My response: Nothing.

Ok. That wasn’t the whole of it.

Coming out is difficult. It involves a lot of complicated personal feelings. And a lot more complicated feelings about other people.

So, my advice was that they absolutely should NOT confront this young man.  Instead, they should simply demonstrate to him that they love and accept him.  They could do this by making comments — that don’t require his approval or response — that show that they approve of gay relationships.  They could even have their gay friends over while he’s around so they can see that they are accepting — and, even better, that gay people can be happy, functional members of society.

But you can’t rush a kid to come out of the closet.  It’s a journey of personal discovery. And no matter how obvious it may be to you that a kid is gay, it may not yet be obvious to them.  So, let them figure it out.  As an adult, a parent, guardian, family friend, the best thing you can do is to simply let them know that you’re cool.  You love them and you’re there for them.

Smarts

Every parent wants their child to be smart, but I really think the majority of smarts is really just hard work.

I was a precocious child.  I took to new words easily. I read readily.  Math was initially very easy, but I didn’t have a lot of patience for it.  Instead, I leaned heavily on my memory and absorbed information quickly.

And, so, in elementary school, I was constantly recommended by my teachers for the gifted program, but when I took the test, I would fall short of the minimum scores.

The reason is that those tests relied in thinking, not memory.  In the classroom, memory is what matters.  You have to simply recall the thing that the teacher said one day three days ago.  Easy.  But solving logic puzzles takes work.

I hope our children learn to work.  I want to try to teach them to work with their brains, even though it really doesn’t come easily to me.  Even today I find myself slapping my forehead with the revelation about something a teacher once tried to explain to me. I remembered the explanation pretty easily.  But I didn’t understand it. I didn’t really take it in.

So, I want my kids to work. I want them to stop, be in the moment, and really understand what’s happening.

Selfishly, I want to see what they’re taught in hopes of learning better about it myself.  But while I have the luxury of ignoring linear algebra in my adult life, they need that in order to succeed as students.  And I want them to value the effort and work that it takes to do it right.

Be True to Yourself

This is such a cute, heart-warming video. It’s also brings up a lot of conflicting feelings for me.

I came out of the closet in college.  I actually had to first admit it to myself and then tell my friends.  It was one of the most difficult things I have ever done, but it also changed my life radically.

It was the late 90s and being gay wasn’t seen in quite the same way as it is seen now.  If I recall correctly, Ellen came out of the closet on television in my freshman year.  The AIDS epidemic was still looming large in our minds, but with education, we came to see it not as an absolute death sentence. There were more gay characters on television. And some states were struggling to figure out how to extend marriage rights to gay people. So, I do see that period in the 90s as a real turning point in our culture toward gay people.

I was fortunate to have friends who supported me. I don’t think I lost any friends over it. Having grown up in a pretty religious household, I was also very lucky to have a mother who also supported me completely. My father didn’t approve, but he claimed to love the sinner anyway.

So, overall, I came out at a pretty good time.  Before social media, but after the internet really started to happen.  Before marriage, but after a point where I could date and go to clubs openly without fear of arrest.

Even though I learned a lot about myself and the world through the process of coming out, I hope my kids never have to do anything like that.  It was so unnecessarily painful.

I’m excited about the fact that they’re going to grow up in a world that is radically different from the one I had as a kid.  Technology has changed everything.  But people have changed, too.  Most people of my generation know gay people and don’t pay it any mind.  Young people scoff at the notion that it would be an issue at all.

I doubt our children will face any problems from their peers from the fact that they will have two dads.

That gives me hope.

So Flippin’ Excited

I was in the shower this morning thinking about what it will be like when our baby arrives.  It’s going to suck.

And I am so flippin’ excited about it.

Our baby app says that she’s the size of a coconut this week, but the doctor says that she’s measuring a week or two ahead of schedule.

And when she’s born, she’ll still be teeny tiny, but a whole person! Can you even believe how tiny new babies are?  With their little fingers and toes and legs and face and everything.

We ate dinner at Chick-fil-A last night and I was facing the children’s play place. And there were so many kids in there running and climbing and jumping around.  This one little boy couldn’t have been even two years old, but he was clambering up the big steps all by himself. His mom had to grab him and make sure he didn’t fall down.  But there he was. This small, new, excited particle of humanity, just bumping around in the world.

It’s all so… exciting!

Vacation Refresh

Husby and I made a VERY relaxing trip to Texas over this past week.  We’re both fortunate to work for companies that shut down for the week of US Independence Day, so we stayed with some friends and spent the majority of the week floating around in their pool.

Miracle of miracles, neither of us got sunburned! (much)

It was a very restful and inspiring visit.  It was also great to just get away from California and our usual space.  We at a lot of great food.  We had a lot of great conversations.

And I, for one, came away feeling refreshed and ready to re-commit myself to my 2017 theme of Drive.

So, I really am going to try to post more updates and posts here.  And just generally work toward my personal goals and objectives more conscientiously.