Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Outlaws, Hooligans, and Writers

What a great week it's been. I've surrounded myself with my kind of people: some of them my very good friends for ages and some of them strangers. All of them, though, surrounded by wonderful activities.

For those of you who read my previous post, Summer Goals 2014, this is me knocking a couple of those goals out of the park--mainly my reading and writing and my having fun with friends.

I've had such great fun joining friends at their homes for the U.S. Men's National Team games in FIFA's World Cup. We've created our own small Outlaw cheering section. Each match has been surrounded by loud cheering, conversation, food and drink. And children laughing. And the sun. It's been great to join the Outlaw movement.

A week and a half ago, my wife joined about a dozen other friends out on the town for a Bruno Mars concert--that is, he and his back up singers, the Hooligans. A couple of us decided to take advantage of the booming downtown Grand Rapids area and enjoy the food, drink, and views a few hours earlier. It was pure bliss for my wife and I who love our friends and love a great time.

Then, to finish the week, I was able to reunite with some writer friends by participating in Lake Michigan Writing Project's Writing Marathon--the time when the fellows (the alumni) get to mingle with the current students and to write: forty-five minutes in three spots. I've learned that it's straight-up challenging to get time to write at home (the dishes need to get done, the laundry needs to be folded--and the children need some parental engagement, I suppose). When I told people in my neighborhood that I was going to spend the afternoon writing, they responded with, "How much are you getting paid?" or "You chose to do this?" The answer? Absolutely. That's time well spent.

I ended up writing a lot about my soon-to-be eleven-year-old twins. They're getting older and their needs from me are changing--from entertainment guy to food provider. I'm holding on to every moment tightly--like one of the great bear hugs I give. Here's something I wrote, when I spotted an adorable, what I'm guessing, six-year-old with her father. 

     This wide-eyed girl--blonde, adorable--was staring at me. Was it because I dropped the F-bomb twice during the U.S. game? Or was there something else?
     All kinds of insecurities came up when this six-year-old gave me a sideways glance:
-"Look at that fat guy!" I've dropped twenty pounds, yo!
-"That man swore, Daddy!" Yeah, the U.S. is playing. You shouldn't even be here.
-"Look at his funny hair!" I'm trying to grow it out one last time before the receding hairlines connect in the back, okay?
-"That guy keeps looking at me!" That's because I see my own in you--inquisitive, fun, beautiful. Can you blame me? They're going to be eleven soon. And they don't look at me anymore--not the way you just did, anyway.

I guess what I'm saying is--this has been an awesome start to the summer. It's good to be an Outlaw, Hooligan, and Writer.