Monday, April 25, 2005

Good daddy week

I'll be honest, sometimes I'm not motivated to be the uber-dad. You will always burn yourself out if you focus your enthusiasm and energy for too long. "Above average" will always outlast "best". I did, in fact, burn myself out on volunteering. I was turned down for my regular gig this year of teaching a computer class to a local school's fifth graders, and in a way that was a very good thing.

I was pushing myself very hard, and I don't always get a warm reception from staff or students at schools, which made my efforts seem futile. After I realized I was burning out, I quit my backup gig of doing miscellaneous work as a teacher's assistant in my daughter's school. I had worked one on one with students on special projects, or helped kids who were falling behind finish an assignment that they had trouble with, and I managed to squeeze in a quick computer class one day. But my heart wasn't in it, and if I had kept at it much longer, the kids would have seen indifference on my face, which to most kids is worse than anger. So I quit before it got too bad. I may return to volunteering when I feel a calling, but I'm not in a hurry.

So now I'm aiming for above average daddy-hood, trying to just be involved in some of Stacey's activities, and push her to do better in school, not trying to make every day the perfect ray of sunshine, and not feel that I should make anyone cry uncle who doesn't agree that Stacey is the world's most perfect child. Last week had me feeling happy to be an involved parent again. I bought Stacey a better fitting bike, signed her up for Girl Scouts summer camp, and arranged for her to audition for "Annie jr.", a version of Annie cast with only kids, put on by the New Albany Arts Council (more on that later). We also decided to be Captain and Tenille at next year's talent show, and I've started working on the piano side of "Shop Around" to accompany Stacey's vocals.

I had time for it all, and didn't have to push myself (or Stacey), which qualifies the last seven days as a good daddy week.

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