March 2012

My wife is a dermatology PA.  This means that 73% of her conversations begin with someone saying, “Hey can you look at this?”  Aside from intense scolding whenever I get sunburned, it’s generally nice to have a derm PA in the house.  She can check all of those weird spots and stitch me up when I split my foot open on a boat propeller (that was another story).

Just the other day, I asked her about a spot on my left cheek (no… my face cheek).  I’ve had what I thought was a freckle for a while and it seems to be changing shape.  When I noticed that it was also raised, growing, and possibly developing a spinal cord, I decided it was time for her to look at it.  One of my worst fears was confirmed.  No, it wasn’t melanoma.  In fact, it wasn’t any type of cancer.  It was an age spot.

At least most people call them age spots.  Some people call them liver spots, which must have some kind of medical meaning because I’m not sure what my liver has to do with my cheek.  I’ve also heard the politically correct term of wisdom spots.  If we’re going to make up names for the sake of making us feel better, why don’t we just call them denial spots?

Call it what you want, I have one… make that two.  She found another on my leg.  So I have two of these things growing on me and young people don’t have them.  I’m learning that the phenomenon of growth never ends.  When you’re young, you grow.  As you get older, things grow on you… warts, spots, hairs, Matlock reruns, etc.

Hairs are another weird thing.  I’m getting quite a few grays on the side of my head.  Sara wants to pluck them out, but I refuse to let her.  They’re about four times as thick as my regular hairs, so I figure they’re here to stay.  I’d rather have gray hair than none at all.

Then there are those mysterious hairs that just pop up overnight.  I’ve got this one on my neck that I nicknamed kudzu because I can cut it or shave it and the thing will be two inches long the next day.  I thought about trying some RoundUp on it, but I’m afraid I’ll make it angry.

The funny thing about all of these aging maladies is that I have no desire to turn back the clock.  We went to a concert in Athens last week.  That’s where the University of Georgia is located, so there were a lot of college kids at the venue (I guess if we went to concert where college kids showed up, we’re still somewhat cool).  The main act didn’t even take stage until 11:15.  I kept checking my watch and thinking about the babysitting tab we were running up.  We didn’t get home until 1:30 in the morning and had to get up early the following morning to drive to Chattanooga for a wedding and birthday party.

We were tired to say the least.  The next day, Sara asked me if I wish I could be college-aged again.  I didn’t even have to think about it.  It was a definite no.  I found that almost everyone at that concert who was college-aged was both annoying and stupid.  That must mean that when I was that age, I was also annoying and stupid.  Nothing against any of you reading this that may be at that age.  I know you don’t think you’re annoying and stupid… but you are wrong.  You won’t realize it for another 15 or 20 years, but you are wrong.

Do I have found memories of my youth? Of course, but that doesn’t mean I want to throw away all of the lessons learned since then.  Maybe if we spent more time applying the wisdom of our age, we would spend less time romanticizing the fondness of our youth.


Judging by the quarter inch of pollen on my truck, I’d say spring is here.  Motivated by the fact that I can actually see clouds of pollen floating around, I decided to check Atlanta’s pollen count:  8,164!  No, that’s not a typo.  Atlanta historically has some of the highest pollen levels in the country and this reading beat the old record of 6,013 by 36%.  Just stepping outside is like getting shot in the face with a can of mace – my eyes are watering… my nose is watering… pretty soon my ears will be watering.  Sorry for that visual.

It seems like pollen keeps getting worse.  I just don’t remember seeing everything covered with a yellowish green powder during the springs of my childhood.  Maybe that’s because I didn’t have a black truck back then.  By the way – why doesn’t someone make a pollen-colored car?

Despite the messiness created by all of this pollen, it is a necessity.  Without pollen, plants couldn’t reproduce and I think we can all agree that plants are a pretty good thing to have around.  They give us nice things like shade, oxygen, and Hershey bars.  So yes, pollen is messy, but without it, we wouldn’t have life as we know it.

So here is today’s lesson.  Life is messy.  If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be a whole lot for of us to do.  It’s the same way at work.  I’m a manager.  I get frustrated by all of the problems that I have to deal with.  But if there weren’t any problems, I wouldn’t be needed.  Same goes for home.  I’m a parent. Do I get frustrated when Amelia wets her bed or Olivia decides that sleeping is not part of her agenda for a particular night? Absolutely!  But I also realize that there will come a day when my kids won’t need me nearly as much as they do now.  As frustrating as these problems seem now, I will one day miss them. 

Whatever messiness you’re dealing with, know that it will pass as long as you meet it head on and refuse to give to up.  It may not be over as fast as you want to be and it may not turn out exactly like you want it to, but I believe there is a plan outside of our timing and our desires that ends up working for our good.  Even if we can’t see what that good is right now.

I was going to write about Amelia’s trial karate class, but it ended up being uneventful.  She just kept her head down with both of her index fingers in her mouth and declared, “I want to do something pwetty… I want to be a pwincess.” 

Turns out I’m the only person she enjoys beating the snot out of… daily.  I don’t get it.  She literally took me down in an arm bar the other night.  I had such high expectations… little boys would one day try to flirt with her… then she would pull a few moves that would make Chuck Norris proud.

But it wasn’t to be.  I wouldn’t get to see Chuck Norris nodding his approval after her perfectly executed roundhouse kick, just more dressing up and being “pwetty”.  I guess that’s alright since I’ve got two of the pwettiest girls in the world.  Besides, she already holds her own when we play fight.  If she actually got some formal training, she might be able to get the better of me.

So where does that leave me?  I’m the testosterone laden dad in a house with three girls and a female dog.  I’m outnumbered by estrogen four to one, but I’m fine with that.  One thing I’ve learned over the past few years is that being in house full of women doesn’t take away from my masculinity any more than being in a dark room takes away the light of candle.  In fact, it gives it a chance to shine.  If you don’t believe me, just ask one of my girls to pull your finger.

So whenever you feel out of place be thankful that you’re not just blending in with your surroundings.  Make the most of your opportunity to shine.  Likewise, if you find that you never stand out, you may be trying too hard to blend in.

Sara was gone last weekend, so I had the kids by myself.  Couple that with a pretty hetic work schedule and I failed to write a post this week.  My three year-old is taking a Karate class this week.  That may be some good material for next week’s posting.