Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Thanksgiving Decorations

A holiday snapshot from Pop Culture

For Thanksgiving (CDN) my wife puts out a glass vase full of small decorative white pumpkins on the dining room table. My six year old tears into the room and skids to a halt staring at them.


HIM: What is that?

HER: It's a decoration.

HIM: No, it's not. If you set it on fire then THAT would be a real decoration.

He tears off again making robot and machine gun sounds. He has a point.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

My Parental Failure Reposted on The Good Men Project

Working Out is Like Parenting: An Exercise in Failure


Being a good parent ain’t easy; it helps Christopher Sweeney to remember scenes from his own childhood

Every so often I wonder, am I any good at this? By ‘this’ I mean parenting. And by ‘every so often’ I mean like maybe once an hour. I can’t remember if I’ve used this analogy before in the blog but I compare parenting to a kind of approach to weight lifting I was introduced to in high school. It’s called working out to failure...

Follow the link to the full piece on The Good Men Project:


The original piece appeared in a slightly different form in Pop Culture here:


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

POP CULTURE: A Boy Named... Who?


I love the Johnny Cash song, “A Boy Named Sue”. You can sing it; it tells a story; and it’s funny as @#$%. It’s about a boy who was abandoned by his father, leaving him with nothing but the name “Sue”. This made for a hard life for young Sue, who had to learn to look after himself on account of his name. Sue swears that when he finds his father, he’ll kill him. Hilarious, right?

When Sue sees the “low down snake” playing stud in a saloon, he introduces himself and punches Dad between the eyes.  Down goes Dad but comes up with a knife and takes off part of Sue’s ear. Then commences a fight that sends them crashing through the wall out into “the mud and the blood and the beer”. In the end, Sue draws his gun first and Dad smiles. He tells Sue he knew he wouldn’t be around to raise Sue right, so he gave him a name which would kill him or made him stronger. Tearful reconciliation follows.

While Sue’s father’s methods were flawed, he wanted Sue to be able to take care of himself when he wasn’t around. All dads hope to teach our kids that - even though we may go about it in questionable ways, like my Freedom 16 Plan. My three boys are already measuring my throne with their eyes but, as I explained to one when we were playing FourSquare, I’ll always be the king. If they want to rule the roost, they better find their own. Because I love them, I have instituted the F16P: I raise them to be able to look after themselves should they, after 16, feel they cannot handle my kingly ways.

I WANT them to stick around longer than that (well, until their schooling is done) but, whenever they strike out on their own, it’ll be comforting to know that they, like Sue, can handle themselves. My lessons may be more about cooking, driving a car and succeeding in a job interview but there’ll be some back-alley fighting moves in there too.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Pillow Talk

Another snapshot of life here at Pop Culture.

As we snuggle at bedtime at lights out, my six year leans over and confides in me.

“Daddy, I know God’s secrets.”

“Huh?!  Really? How do you know that?”

“I saw a wizard today and his shadow told me.”

I alternate between concern that he is totally insane and awe at how incredibly cool that is.