Every great album has a title track, right? Why shouldn't a blog? This also gives me a chance to explain my intent so you wonderful readers (anyone taking the time to read my ramblings is a wonderful, intelligent, fantastic human being in my book) can have an idea where this all is going.
I hate being out in public. I get anxious, worried and am on edge looking for dangers in ever corner. Visualize a squirrel who knows there is a larger land animal or bird just waiting to find a midday snack. That squirrel is me alone and out around people. I’ve dealt with feelings like this for a long time. I can’t pin point the first time I had a panic attack and some of what I experience is definitely due to brain chemistry but the bullying I experienced in school couldn't have helped these issues.
This doesn’t mean I am a shut in… I just have ways of minimizing and coping with these issues that have been honed over the decades. If it’s just a normal day I’ll have headphones in when I know I am in a relatively safe environment. At other times my passion (photography) serves as my distraction as well. When I have not only an action to do but also what looks like a reason to be there I can relax and move about the world. Occasionally I combine the two and can block out everything from a few too many people around to Cthulhu rising from the Pacific.
Side Note: People who know me will ask about when I teach, speak in public and such. I believe it goes to my performance roots. When I’m “on” most other things fall to the side and the more people the better.
Great… so what’s the problem Joe? If you’re asking that question then you either don’t have kids, have never watched young children or haven’t quite pieced it together yet. That’s fine. The problem is I can’t get lost in WuTang songs blaring on my headphones when I’m back carrying my kiddo on a trail. The problem is I can’t ditch the stroller to take a photo when something unique catches my eye. I need to be focused on my kid. I need to be attentive to him and his needs. The problem is my coping skills, tricks and quirks aren’t feasible as a stay at home dad.
Second Side Note: Some of you are wondering about medications. Yup, I’ve been there. The only ones that help to be honest make me not give a shit about whatever is going on around me. I’m not about to feel that way while with my kid. It’s fine for late at night when I can zone out but not in public.
I could just keep my son at home. Entertain him 5days a week until my wife has a day off and can take him out. My wife is nearly the exact opposite. Whereas I don’t want to go out she has trouble staying in too much. They are always looking for something to do and experience. I could just rely on that as his adventures. But I won’t. I want to experience the joy of watching my son experience fun new places and motions. I want to share with my son the places that have brought me joy and comfort. I want to be there for my son in every way possible.
I want to show my son that there are ways to experience the world around him even if he has similar difficulties that I do. I want to be a fearless role model for him to follow in the future. I don't want him thinking he needs to hide from the world.
With that all being said this blog is an attempt to kick my ass into gear. If I’m writing about adventures with my son then first I need to be having adventures. Small day outings, longer weekend stuff, indoors, outside, museums, baseball games the sky is the limit. I’ve just gotta get us both out the door. Out the damn door.
Exploring life with my son as an At-Home Dad.