The longer I live the more I realize two things:
1. I was never as cool as I thought I was.
2. Being cool is not all it is cracked up to be.
For me, the ultimate lessons in this come from being a Dad. Back in the day (Hey! That’s a term used only by the uncool!), I would pepper people with “Seinfeld” and “Caddyshack” references and work quotes from song lyrics into every conversation. At the most, I was showing how clever the people who wrote those things were, rather than myself.
As a Dad, I catch myself mostly saying things to my kids that I never would have imagined. Even as someone who has come to the revelation that I am not cool, I am cool with it.
These are some of the things that I said in my teenage and single days and how they relate to what the “Daddy John Pearson” says.
Childhood Me: “How come all the other kids get big birthday parties?”
Daddy Me: “You’ve already had more birthday parties than I did the whole time I was growing up. Count your blessings!”
Childhood Me: “But Mom! It’s just a word. It doesn’t hurt and Scott and Larry say it!”
Daddy Me: “Who taught you that word? I don’t care if your friend says it. We don’t use language like that in this house.”
Single Me: “That Nine Inch Nails song rocks!”
Daddy Me: “Why does Taylor Swift have to say ‘Oh My God’ in her songs? Doesn’t she know kids are listening?”
Single Me: “Whoa…Cool Car! That guy was flying!”
Daddy Me: (Shouting) “Slow down! There are kids in this neighborhood! Somebody should call the police.”
Single Me: “Wow! She’s hot!”
Daddy Me: “I can’t believe someone would go out dressed like that! What would her parents think if they saw her?”
Single Me: (When a child in the family would want to venture off by herself) : “Relax! She’s just going to be right over there and her friend is with her anyway.”
Daddy Me: (When MY six-year old wanted to go to the other side of an ice cream social with two of her friends) “Are you nuts letting them go over there by themselves? This is a buffet for scumbags who want to grab kids!”
Single Me: “That kid is amazing on the monkey bars!”
Daddy Me: (When it’s MY 3-year-old) “Miles, get down from there! That is way too high for you!”
Single Me: “Did you hear Howard Stern today? That was hilarious”
Daddy Me: “What?! You left the Howard Stern Channel on the radio when you knew the kids were getting in the car?!”
Single Me: “Great game. I bet that kid had like fifteen tackles. I’ve never seen a kid hit like that!”
Daddy Me: “We really need to think about whether it’s a good idea for him to play football with all the risk of concussions.”
Single Me: “I can’t believe how watered down my Mom made the Kool-Aid. I mean the grape isn’t anywhere close to purple!”
Daddy Me: “The kids have had way too much sugar. Make sure you put extra water into the apple juice.”
Single Me: “That kid really went flying off the trampoline! Hilarious!
Daddy Me: “That kid is WAY too big to be in the bounce house! Did you see Miles go flying? Come on!”
Single Me: “Cool tattoo!”
Daddy Me: (In a conversation I envision ten years from now when my daughter is 16) “Is that a tattoo on his neck? No way are you going out with that guy!”
Call me uptight (in fact, ten years ago, I would have called me uptight!). Call me lame. Call me over-protective.
This is what these people have turned me into. As long as they call me Dad, this is who they get. Cool with it?