So here we are. You are reading a Web Log (blog) that deals primarily with parenting. Specifically it will deal with my takes on parenting by offering day-to-day updates on my adventures with my sons. I am not about telling people how to raise their kids. I am not the Super Nanny or the Baby Whisperer or anything like that. However, if one of my stories or takes gives you a moment of clarity, then You are Welcome.
The first thing that I had to figure out after I decided to start blogging was what I was going to use for a title. Like a lot of things in my life the title, “This Side of the Diaper” was inspired by my children.
Before I explain the title’s meaning, I should tell you about my boys. The oldest, Parker, is 21 and attending college in the midwest. He is my child from a previous marriage. He was 10 when my wife Margey came into our lives. He is an athletic kid, 6’2 and 245 pounds. He originally attended a small college to play football but things didn’t work out there. More about that later. He landed on his feet and is back in school working diligently for his degree. He was engaged last year to the world’s sweetest young lady. More on that later as well.
Our two youngest are Charlie, 7, and Eli 2 1/2. These two are the subjects of most of my stories and Facebook posts. Charlie is a second grader and Eli stays home with me. Lots more on that later.
I met my wife Margey January 16, 2002 at about 8:30. A person should remember when their soulmate steps into their life. I looked at my watch the moment I met her, because I knew this was going to be important. Together we adopted Charlie and Eli. I didn’t expect to be chasing babies around this close to my 50th birthday, but now I can’t imagine not chasing babies around.
We live in a very comfortable home in the hills outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Our home is warm and noisy and usually has Hot Wheels on the floor. This is where the magic happens.
Like I said, my family influences and inspires almost everything I do, including the title of this blog. The title came from a diaper change. Charlie was just a baby, probably about 4 months old. Still an infant but old enough to have seriously gross bowel movements. Parker was helping me change Charlie. By helping, I mean he was on the smiling end of the baby while I dealt with the other end. We were marveling at how something as sweet as a baby could turn something as wholesome as formula and some mashed veggies into something so foul. Parker looked down at my end of the baby and said, “I am sure glad I am on this side of the diaper.”
I started thinking about that. It made me think that a person’s life can be seperated into two parts. Those parts are determined by which side of the diaper a person is on. Part of life is spent on the smiling side of the diaper. The other part is on the poopy side of the diaper.
I was on the smiling side of the diaper until I was 27. I was married but didn’t have any real responsibilities. Life was quick and smooth. Then Parker was born and in an instant I was on the other side of the diaper. I won’t call it poopy anymore, because that conjures up negative images. It wasn’t negative at all. Let’s just say there is more responsibility on this side.
Suddenly my life took on texture. I was responsible for the life of another human being. Not just responsible for keeping him breathing but actually for his life. I would influence this person forever. If he grew up to be an ass it would reflect directly on me. With that responsibility came the absolute joy and wonder of being a parent. Life is good on this side of the diaper.
Maybe the diaper analogy is just another way of describing the process of growing up. Whatever, you get to decide that. But that is how I came up with the name.
As a blogger dealing with parenting it is fair to expect me to have a parenting philosophy. I am working on that. However I do have a guideline. That guideline involves another Parker story.
During a decidedly more heated discussion than the one related earlier Parker said something to the effect that it must be nice to always have all the answers.
“Answers?” I said, “you think I have answers? I have no idea what I am doing. I am making this up as I go.”
It was true then and it is true now. When it comes to being a parent, I am usually winging it. I figure the best I can do is set some rules, stick to them and try my best to do the right thing. In the end I try to remember that my boys take their cues from my wife and me. They will be the parents we are. I want my grandchildren to like me.
So that’s where this thing is headed. I will be back frequently with stories about the boys. The next few entries will probably be from Facebook posts about cool things the boys did and said. They refuse to be funny or profound on command so I will go with old stories until I have some new material. I might even try to drop some wisdom on you.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back soon on This Side of the Diaper.