Archive - Nov 13, 2009

Follow Friday #NaNoWriMo Author @renegadegenius

The sound of heavy wind outside only adds to my desire to stay warm and comfortable under the bed covers. It is five in the morning and dark outside. Is the wind and rain are the remnant of Hurricane Ida? I’m not sure but it may make the ride a bit longer. All the more reason to get out of bed and get going.

This weekend is Junior Dad’s Weekend at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. Miranda, also known as @renegadegenius is a junior this year and wants to do the whole Junior Dad thing. Her older sister @MaireadCH is a senior at Mary Baldwin. She didn’t want to do the Junior Dad thing.

I can understand that. I never was one for a lot of ceremony and the Junior Dad events reek of college marketing infused with old southern ceremony. “Few events in a young woman’s life are more memorable than the day she receives her MBC class ring,“ the page starts off.

Events kick off this afternoon with a “VWIL Honor Ceremony”. VWILs are the members of the Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership, “the nation’s premier leadership program for young women” and “the only all-female Corps of Cadets in the world”.

But @MaireadCH and @renegadegenius are not VWIL’s, they are PEGs. PEG is Mary Baldwin’s Program for the Exceptionally Gifted. Like many of their friends in classmates in the PEG Program at Mary Baldwin, @MaireadCH and @renegadegenius both started college at fourteen. It has been a very different sort of experience for both of them, but for both of them, a wonderful, rich and fulfilling experience.

I am not used to all this Dad stuff. I grew up in a family that was not particularly close knit, and only recently, as my father’s brother struggles through Alzheimer’s, have I reconnected with my father and his side of my family. At home, we’ve always tried to talk with our children as peers. They have important thoughts to share and should be part of much of the family decisions. We joke around, and they see me in all my warts, or at least all except a few that I might still manage to hide.

There are times that I feel my life has been hard. The failure of my first marriage was very hard on me. I’ve been very successful at times in my career financially. At other times the successes have been harder won and not financial, but perhaps even more meaningful.

Because of this, I have not been able to give my children everything I wish that I could, and each of them has missed out on things one way or another because of my own inadequacies. Yet each of them are turning out wonderfully.

@renegadegenius, now sixteen, is writing her third novel as part of National Novel Writing Month, or #NaNoWriMo. She self published her first two novels, Subtle Differences and The Silent Serian. I am a couple days behind in my writing, but @renegadegenius is all up to date.

Another struggle I have as a father is how best to praise my children. They are special and I am very proud of them. I don’t want their heads to swell and I don’t want to stimulate sibling rivalries so I am careful in heaping my praises on them. On the other hand, I don’t want them to go through life not knowing how much their father loves and admires them.

So, this weekend, I am driving down through the wind and the rain to celebrate but a portion of Miranda’s many successes. I will dress up and where nice clothes for the “My Precious Someone Champagne Brunch” and the “Junior Dads & Family Ball”. Yet all of this will fall short of giving her the due that she deserves.

Am I a proud dad? Oh yeah!