Before the X-Plan, We Had the Net-Plan

(From Bert’s practical parenting side …)

Decades prior to devising the X-Plan, I was fighting a different battle as a greenhorn stay-at-home Dad.  Long before I was worrying about my teenagers surviving an unpredictable world, I was locked in another epic battle.

The Footwear Fracas.  The Stocking Struggle.  The Battle of the Booties.

Yes. Socks.

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Ignite your Relationship!

A buddy and I once had a regrettably awesome idea: “Let’s have the most unforgettable Fourth of July fireworks display EVER!”

We pooled our resources and headed across the river to smuggle boxes of explosives back into West Virginia.  Rockets.  Missiles.  Screamers.  Repeaters.  Roman Candles.  Dozens of exploding mortars (those are the big, professional ones, kids).

As family and friends filled our yard, we anxiously awaited the cover of darkness so we could light up the night sky.  It was going to be … glorious!

Unfortunately, communication along the front line suffered a setback, resulting in a “slight weapons malfunction.”  To cut to the chase, a random spark ignited some misplaced mortars and … well, to be honest, all hell broke loose.

caddyshack

That didn’t go as planned (photo from Caddyshack)

Within 60 seconds, nearly $500 worth of fireworks came roaring to life and attacked in all directions.  The rockets’ red glare.  The bombs burst in the air … and on my house … and next to screaming people running for cover.  At one point I saw my wife’s cousin, just home from Iraq and still in uniform, running through the yard, tossing children over his shoulder and extracting them from the battlefield.  People were diving in the pool as my wife screamed, “Get under the water!  Stay down!”

You know that final scene from Caddyshack when Carl blows up the entire golf course?  That was child’s play compared to our epic disaster.

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Do You See What I See? Episode 1

Said the night wind to the little lamb, “Do you see what I see?  Way up in the sky, little lamb, do you see what I see?  A star …”

If you know the song, are you like me, left wondering if the little lamb actually does see the star?  I’m thinking he doesn’t, because he goes on to ask the shepherd boy about what he hears rather than what he sees.Laura NR47

On a recent hike along a ridge, I tried to point out something across the ravine to Laura (my near-sighted wife).  I stood behind her, positioned her head, and pointed my finger to give her a sight-line that Helen Keller could follow.  She still couldn’t see what I wanted to share with her.

How can she NOT see that?!
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The Rise and Fall of Marriage

A friend recently shared Daniel Carrillo’s tweet and I had to laugh.

marriage tweet

 From @DanielRCarrillo on Twitter. 

In fact, I laughed until I cried.  Literally.  And the two were only moments apart.

The laughter because of the hilarious accuracy; the tears because of the bitter truth.

My marriage often feels empty, like two distant people simply occupying the same address.  And don’t even get me started on grocery lists!

Laura and I have been married for over 26 years, and this relationship isn’t what I once thought it was going to be.  For those who know us, some of these admissions will come as a shock (after all, we’re the perfect match, together since the 10th grade, voted “Cutest Couple” as seniors in high school).

But here’s the brutal truth of our perfect marriage:

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