Before I entertain you, let me explain why I’ve been so absent as of late. I mean, I posted about my children being in school, so you’d think I’d have more blog posts, not less! Well, I’ve managed to fill my newly discovered free time with a mountain of a personal project. Isn’t that always the way of it? You find a little extra space, then you get over-excited and slam that extra time full of commitments?
This probably won’t come as a shock, as I clearly like to barrage others with my written words, but I’ve decided to write a novel. Did you know that novels are at least 50,000 words? Yes! FIFTY THOUSAND. And they can’t just be any words. They have to be good words. Great words! Words that create characters, conflict, tension, laughter, romance, hatred, drama, despair, etc., etc., etc. That’s a lot of pressure on 26 little squiggles and ten typing fingers.
Therefore, since I only have so many word in my brain at a time, I’m trying to gracefully divide my attention between you, sweet blog, and the incredibly novel-worthy tale I have rambling around in my imagination. If I can pull it off, it’s going to be a really great story. God will get a lot of credit if and when we get to that point!
OK, back to your regularly scheduled programming…
Let’s talk about dads.
I should save this for Father’s Day or my father’s birthday or something more topical like that, but the idea struck and stuck, so I’m plunging ahead.
And, I’ve decided to write about as-seen-on TV dads, so this isn’t a tribute to the dads in my personal life. Then again, we spend a fair amount of time watching TV in our house, so I suppose they’re in our personal lives anyhow. I thought I’d present a list of my favorite “fictional” dads. I put fictional in quotation marks because one of them is an actual dad…
1. Jim Halpert
Obviously, Jim Halpert from The Office was a fantastic character, and John Krasinski did a superb job bringing him to life and making him lovable. His roller coaster of a love story to get him married to Pam Beesley (uh, spoiler?) was precious. And when Pam was pregnant with their first baby, I thought the writers added some very real moments to the process. I only realized a favorite moment after I’d had a baby of my own.
Picture this: After Pam gives birth, she’s struggling to breastfeed (because even the most “natural” things can feel super unnatural when you’ve never done them before!!). Jim, who is trying to be a super-supportive, helpful husband, gives a few tips. And it goes a little something like…
Jim: How you doing?
Pam: I don’t know. I just, I can’t tell if she’s getting anything.
Pam: Doesn’t feel right.
Jim: Well, you’re pushing the milk out, right?
Pam (exasperated): How does one do that?
Jim: Wasn’t it… It’s kinda like a…
Jim: …like that.
Pam: Do you want to try it, Jim?
Jim: I think you’re good. Doing a good job.
Nurse: Somebody buzzed?
I think I saw this right after having George, because this made me fall on the floor laughing. Because this was a very real-life moment for me…and my sweet, very supportive husband. Jim also resisted temptation when Pam was struggling with post-pregnancy weight gain and hormones. He just kept pursuing his woman. More power to you, Daddy Halpert.
2. Mr. Bennet
I wish I could tell you I’m the biggest Pride and Prejudice fan who has the entire book memorized. I feel like that would give me more credit in the world of literature. However, I actually saw renditions of the movie many, many times before I ever read Jane Austen’s immortal words. My bad.
While I love the witty repartee between Lizzie and Mr. Darcy, I truly began to gush whenever I saw one of Mr. Bennet’s one-liners zing across the page. I mean, you have to feel for the man who married a beautiful, but hysterical woman, who then gave birth to five daughters.
Mrs. Bennet – “You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves.”
Mr. Bennet – “You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these twenty years at least.”
That’s just a well-written retort, Ms. Austen. If we could all just leave the man to his books and his library, all would be well in his world.
3. Jim Gaffigan
“You know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning, then someone hands you a baby.”
Have you discovered comedian Jim Gaffigan yet? If not, you’re late to the game. Mr. Gaffigan and his wife have five kids, and, last I heard, they’re all living in a very small, two-bedroom apartment in New York. Therefore, a lot of his comedic material derives from his parental life, as it’s cluttered with children. He also spends a lot of stand-up time mocking his own heft, which doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, as he’s not an especially large man. He’s a wonderfully clean, Catholic, main-stream comedian in a day and age when “clean” and “comedian” are not usually synonymous. I also found this perfect list of his parenting quotes on HuffPost, so enjoy at will.
4. Daddy Pig
Have I ever mentioned my unattainable dream of being a voice actor? (My other unattainable dream is being just famous enough to be on Dancing with the Stars.) Well, if I were ever to attain that dream, I’d like to be seated next to Richard Ridings, who is the voice of Peppa Pig’s Daddy Pig. I could listen to that deep “ho ho!” all day and never grow tired.
I honestly love Peppa Pig. Yes, it’s a cartoon geared toward preschoolers, but it’s got plenty of sass. For those in the know, Grampy Rabbit is actually my favorite character, because he’s an unpredictable loon, but Daddy Pig is a close second. He calls Peppa and George (his George, not mine) “my little piggies,” and always helps them out of scrapes. He also laughs off any non-filtered comments Peppa makes about his weight (which seems a bit out of place in today’s culture). Also, he’s “a bit of an expert” at everything from map reading to speaking French, though, in actual fact, he’s not competent in either. Clearly, Mummy Pig puts up with his extra stuff and nonsense because she finds him adorable.
So, there you have it. Four of my absolute favorite TV dads. They’re not always the best dads, but they definitely try. And, let’s be honest, we’ve come a looong way from the Homer Simpson/doofus-dad era of TV. Thank you, Lord!
Who are your favorite TV dads?
Dear Ally, How Do You Write a Book? by Ally Carter – This book was written for enterprising teenage authors, but I’m finding it extremely helpful. Even after reading hundreds of books, the basic process of book writing is a mystery. You don’t know what you don’t know until you know it, right? Ms. Carter uses her own years in publishing, as well as polling her famous YA-writing friends, to help young writers learn the form, voice, and style of writing novels for today’s audiences.