It’s not every day that you talk to someone you haven’t spoke with in awhile, let alone answer the question “What are you upto these days?”. What’s even more rare is when you answer, and your answer is the absolute truth. I always answer “Livin’ the dream”, because I very much am.
I don’t know about you, I don’t know what you wanted to be when you were growing up, so I cannot speak for you. Did you want to be a home improvement retail manager? Did you want to sell pipe for a living? Or did you want to be a police officer, an astronaut, the President? Aside from wanting to be a football star, I wanted to be like my dad. In every aspect that is. I wanted to work at Kuester’s Hardware, I wanted to be good with my hands and crafty, smart, funny, all those things. Well I am, and have, accomplished all of those things. But that was not my only dream. I also wanted to be a superhero.
You know exactly what I’m talking about, right? Most little boys wanted to be one at some time or another. Superman, Batman, The Flash, Captain America, Ironman, countless others. In today’s world, we’re surrounded by them on the silver screen and on our local cable networks, as well as made for Netflix shows; not to mention the few actual vigilantes out there in the real world trying to stop crime. But this blog isn’t about those superheroes, it’s about me. Mild mannered Shane Bradley by day, by night (and on weekends), I fulfill my dreams. I become Dad-man.
Now you’re reading this thinking “His dreams? Did he want to be a salesperson? Did he want to be divorced at 30? What is wrong with this guy?” The answers are simple. Yes, my dreams. No. No. And not a damn thing. But, I did want to be a superhero, and that’s what we are focusing on, so shut up or go read a blog about kittens with cute little videos. No, really. Do it. Kittens are cute man, who doesn’t love those videos? If you’re still here though, read as you may.
Do I wear a cape? Sometimes. Do I save lives? Not necessarily save them, but I shelter them, raise them, and guide them. Do I have any superpowers? The answer is a resounding HELLLLLLL YES I DO! Have you ever tried to be a single parent, work a full time job, and maintain a home, all while trying to live a normal life and find your place as a person? Let me be the first to tell ya, it’s not easy. Yes, my ex-wife is around and takes the kids on her days and does her part to be an excellent mother, but as I said earlier, this is about me, so shut up. She’s awesome and loves her children, and they love her very much, she can write her own blog about being Super-Mom if she wants, but I’m selfish and want to talk about me.
Back to being a superhero. Mild mannered Shane Bradley, pipe salesman by day, and Dad-man by night. I do my best to cook (or order take out), maintain the yard, clean the house, do dishes, do laundry, feed the dog, feed the other critters, make sure both kids get a bath, homework is done, rooms are picked up, toys are put away, rules are enforced, and that’s all before bedtime…for them. Dad-man, on the other hand, stays up on average 30 minutes to two hours later to add finishing touches. Fold laundry, and take a little time for himself. It’s not easy being a superhero, but it’s all worth it in the end. Green Arrow didn’t get paid everytime he rescued Star City, but the city adored him and knew he was there for them. Picture me as Green Arrow, and my two kids as Star City, I’m not getting monetary payment for ensuring they are taken care of. What I do get though, is far more valuable than money will ever be. I get to see my children grown up, I know they are healthy and have a roof over their head, their wants outweigh their needs but not by much, they are safe. I get to look in their eyes everyday and without a word know that they love me, and even if we argued the last fifteen minutes, they appreciate the fact that I am there.
I could be the deadbeat father who has four or five kids and does not care for any of them, or even just one of them, but I’m not. I could raise some of my kids and not care about the ones that don’t live with me, and when I do see them treat them like garbage, but what kind of person does that make me? Is that showing my daughter the respect and love she deserves? Am I silently showing her the type of man she should want to spend her adult life with by being like that? Would that be showing my son the type of man he should grow up to be? Short answer, no. Whether you say one thing to a child, positive or negative, your actions are what defines you. For example, I told my daughter she was getting beef flavored canned dogfood with dog biscuits on the side for dinner tonight. She knew it was a joke. I tell her all the time I’m going to beat her in her sleep or ship her to China, all of which she knows with all of her heart is false. How does she know? Because I show her. I would never physically assault my child in any manner other than a slap on the wrist or a spanking, if necessary. My words inflict more punishment than my hands ever will. Today’s youth are so easy to scare into doing something with words, I mean, seriously. “Clean your room now or I’m disconnecting the internet”, for that phrase alone you can get your entire house cleaned, car washed, laundry and dishes done, and probably half their stash of candy. It’s too easy. Why hit a child when you can verbally assault them with threatening no more internet. Maybe that’s why I got hit with a belt a lot as a child, we didn’t have internet for the longest time…and when we did there was no major reason to get on there.
Lost where I was and rambled again, back to the point. So when you ask me how I’m doing, how I’m holding up and I respond “Livin’ the dream” it’s not false information. I’m not feeding you a line to get you to shut up. It’s the honest truth, because in reality who wants to be someone they are ashamed of? I know I’m doing my damn best to make sure both my children are happy and healthy, and if that’s not a superpower then I don’t know what is. Truth is, not all superheroes wear capes. With that said, be on the look out for “The Adventures of Dad-man” coming to a theater near you. What’s your superpower?