Between nonsense and good sense there’s Dadsense.
I may have come closer than I ever have to explaining a man’s progression in life to a hyperactive knot of nine-year-olds (is there any other kind?) during a Cub scout pack meeting the other day.
Then again, maybe not.
But what I told them is that when you’re a kid everything is done for you.
Eventually, those who truly care for you show you how to care for yourself. That can take awhile.
In your late teens and 20s, after you’ve left home, you begin to figure out for yourself how to care for yourself. That can take even longer.
If you’re lucky enough to meet that special someone, well then, your next lesson is learning to care for each other. If you’re even luckier, you get a lifetime to keep figuring that out.
Then, through the miracle of biology — and even more luck than we’d ever guess we’d be blessed with — you may get the chance to care for a whole genetically-related clan of your own. With the added responsibility of passing all that along.
As I stumble ever sleepily onward into my 40s, I find the pursuit of value to be my ongoing obsession. I’m searching for the things that last. And attempting to sort and shed the things that don’t. And if I can be said to have any aspiration, you know, as an, ahem, man of a certain age, it’s not to know everything about anything, but enough of something about anything that helps make the journey more worth it.
About Me (3rd-person edition)
Colt Foutz is an ex-newspaper-journalist, ex-teacher, ex-adman, and very current father of three. He currently leads the Digital Marketing Group at TransPerfect, the world’s largest translations and global business services company. In his previous lives, Colt won numerous state and national awards as a reporter in Ohio and the Chicago suburbs, published a nonfiction book about the twenty-time world-champion Cavaliers Drum & Bugle Corps, served as director of creative services and search operations for Publicis Groupe’s Performics and VivaKi agencies, and prepared for all of this by majoring in music composition at Carnegie Mellon University. (Right.) He holds a BFA in Creative Writing from CMU, and an MFA in Writing and MA in Teaching Writing from Columbia College Chicago. Colt’s happiest happy place is on a wide-open beach in southern North Carolina, but you can usually find him happy all the same with his wife and kids in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Whole lotta epigraphs
“We were young and we were improvin’.” — John Mellencamp
“Don’t confront me with my failures / I have not forgotten them.” — Jackson Browne
“The new day dawns / And I am practicing my purpose once again
It is fresh and it is fruitful if I win but if I lose
Oooooo I don’t know
I will be tired but I will turn and I will go / Only guessing til I get there then I’ll know
Oh oh oh I will know”
— Gabe Dixon, Dan Wilson
“If I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel / I would probably know just how to deal.” — David Crosby
“Fate doesn’t hang on a wrong or right choice
Fortune depends on the tone of your voice”
— Neil Hannon
“I’m not one to look behind I know that times must change
But over there in Barrytown they do things very strange
And though you’re not my enemy
I like things like they used to be
And though you’d like some company
I’m standing by myself
Go play with someone else
I can see by what you carry that you come from Barrytown”
— Donald Fagen, Walter Becker