A first, the Fourth and a fifth

Yesterday was the first Independence Day in several years that I didn’t write a cynical piece about the state of our country. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying everything’s yankee-doodle-dandy up in Washington this year. It’s just that I’ve had a hard time being negative about anything lately. Things seem to be going well for me, and it’s just weird. In fact, it’s downright eerie — I’m scared to death, knowing this can’t keep up and wondering when the big bag of Suck is finally going to arrive, and in what form.

The downside is, it affects my writing. I’m not saying I was a great writer before, and I’m definitely not comparing myself to Superman, but contentment is my Kryptonite.

Everybody has their own form of Kryptonite, you know. Mine just happens to be the yellow sun power that others seek. Contentment weakens me, brings my creative process to a halt, and kills my desire to even write. Pretty sick, huh? For most people, depression is the thing that destroys energy and drive. For me, it’s happiness. I become a drone, a happy zombie. I’m sitting here right now, struggling with what (or even how) to write, knowing that I need to get my blog off the ground again, but devoid of ideas and content to stay that way.

Good thing I stayed home with the boys today. Kim had to go out of town for three days, and unless we wanted to enroll them in Shifty-eyed-dude-in-a-van Day Camp, I needed to stay home with them. My employer is flexible enough to let us work from home when we need to, which only serves to increase my contentment quotient.

But toss in a couple of bored brothers, lots of sugar and some blinking lights, and the pain makes a welcome return. Not enough to really get me thinking creatively, but enough to make me at least want to write. All day long, they aggravated each other — and me. Here’s one of many similar dialogs from today:

Matthew: Dad, can we play Mario?

Me: Sure, as long as you can get along.

Matthew: I want to play on my account!

Christopher: No, I want to play on mine!

Matthew: Dad, he won’t let us play on my account!

Christopher: But Dad, he always gets his way!

Me: Work it out, or don’t play.

Matthew: Let’s flip a coin! Heads, we play my account. Tails, we play Christopher’s.

Me: That sounds fair, as long as I’m the one who flips it.

[Flips coin.]

Me: It’s tails.

Christopher: Aw, man!

Me: No, you don’t understand — tails means you can play your account.

Christopher: But I wanted to play Matthew’s account!

I’m thinking it’s time to introduce a little independence into this household, because if this keeps up, yesterday’s empty Fourth is going to give way to an empty fifth. And I’m going to enroll them in day camp…

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About Dan Bain

Dan is an award-winning humorist, features writer, emcee and entertainer from Raleigh, NC. His collection of humor essays, A Nay for Effort, has earned him fans from one end of his couch to the other. Why not join them and buy one? (You won't have to sit on his couch.) Dan will donate 10 percent of the book's proceeds to education. You can check it out at www.danbain.net; thanks!
This entry was posted in Holidays, Parenting, Politics, The Kids, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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