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Today I’ll give you a break from my opinions political and economic, and just allow you some insight into where my head is from a personal and fitness level.

(proper) Futbol is done for the Fall season (http://shockers.wordpress.com/). And, as I navigate a recent betrayal from an erstwhile friend (who was an important part of all that) and reorganize my thinking around my passion for “the beautiful game”, I’ll have some fun writing, the holidays, and focusing on my youngest daughter with some road trips (pretty dresses, carriages, Broadway and FAO Schwartz, here we come!).

Meanwhile, at the tender age of fifty (just stop, if only for a moment, and ponder that entendre), I like it when people tell me I look great, and ask how I stay so fit.

I still have my “wheels”, I can do more push ups and pull ups than most human beings, and I manage quite well on an unusually low number of sleep hours.

There was quite a media furor when the news got out that I had issues with my achilles tendons. But, that’s passed and I’m feeling more like myself, now.

Lacrosse beckons – and, with it a keen desire to get out there and put some recent college graduates and defenders on their collective backsides.

What you don’t know is that I am too old for a sports injury to be a status symbol or anything other than a dent in the armor that is failing. But, the key to my long-term fitness strategy is to maintain a rigorous, albeit smart fitness routine with a balanced nutritional plan. I’ve recently stopped thinking about trying out for the Falcons as a walk-on Quarterback (and, I’ll not likely pursue medical school with an eye towards being a surgeon). But, I will follow through with ending up at a university teaching future entrepreneurs, compete again in a Ironman Triathlon, and look to scale a few hazardous mountain peaks.

It’s my life. And, I’ll live it.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Most people read the same books  – as opposed to living the sort of lives that people write books about, or doing the sort of things worth immortalizing in print.

So…

Perhaps reading the same book, or books, is another example of, if not a definition of, mediocrity.

I do value books extolling great things, events, people, or deeds. But, all too often the book of the month, or on the national best-sellers list, is popular because it inspires the masses as a direct result of their own lack of inspiration (or perspiration).

And, it’s only just occurred to me that this might be a great conversation to have with my Haley Anne and what happens in Middle School (and, the concern of many girls when it comes to fitting in or being like other people – as opposed to being something like, well… happy).

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’ll begin this post by inviting you to revisit two other efforts of mine that have received an extraordinary amount of attention:

taken aback by Bill Pope, and I want to know what Love is.

Next, I’ll admit that I’m not so sure where I’ll go with this particular post. I guess we’ll, collectively, know, only when our paths converge there. Along the way, I just might be looking for something we can all appreciate relative to what life’s twists-and-turns might offer us.

A few weeks ago I ran into Jane Pope and her daughter Madison at a Starbucks. I had my own little Emma Jo with me. We were hanging-out and running errands. We had only just climbed back into my Porsche, and I was looking at Emma Jo while she was describing one of her books to me, when I looked up and past her and saw Jane’s Jaguar. A lot can blow through ones mind in a whirl-wind. But, Jane looked great, and heroic, in light of, well, just everything. But, I started thinking about daughters, and paths, and the future, and the roles of Dads, in the lives of daughters.

So… I pay a lot of attention to my daughters. But, recently more so. It seems like my “spider sense” is up, or something akin to it.

Sure enough, Haley Anne was bit by a spider two weekends ago during a soccer tournament. She led us into the finals and apparently endured agony while doing so. The wound is still puffy and we are apparently at risk of staph – and, the fear of sepsis. Oooohhh God, help me. Then, on top of that she hauled-off and grew up on me a bit more, having just turned fourteen, and is statuesque and gorgeous, and all that. But, while I was fussing over her and trying to teach her, well, something, I was reminded that everything ends up …connected.

I’ve been tracking a group of entrepreneurs working on a very cool (and change-oriented) technology that Bill was championing. I had reached out to Jane to make sure she would benefit. And, then an old roommate of Bill’s found the post you’ve peeked at and likely shared with your friends already. And, I found myself forging pathways that I hope will intersect in a way that will indirectly help Bill with Madison. And, I pray that goodly men (did you know that behind every great man there is some woman rolling her eyes?) will rally to my own children (and, Joanne) if I don’t make it home one day.

Man… I am really struggling with this piece. But, this is transparency. Living the authentic life.

In any event, go to the comments section of the blog concerning Bill. Do it now! You’ll find the note from his buddy Bruce, whom apparently lost his way with Bill. But, maybe now he can shed some light on another path for Madison.

I’ll simply end this post, here, with my restated response to Bruce, within those comments, for the sake of posterity, with the hopes all of it means something, and the convergence is a good thing, given all the unexpected steps.

“Hello Mr. Waller.

And, welcome, here.

No matter your paths I’ll suspect Bill had you in his heart. He was a stout and loyal fellow, that one.

My immediate take-away from your comment will have me pondering the following words from Wayland – “…who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity; whose deed follows his word; … who appears well in any company; a man with whom hanor is sacred and virtue safe”, paints a good picture of “Willie Red”.

It’s also interesting to me that the type of man I most often like to bask with have inexplicably found themselves favored by a college professor at one point or another. I did not know about Bill’s relationship with your Dr. Gabbard. But, I can’t be surprised. Its likely along the same lines as my own with Dr. Pappas at Radford University.

I’m, and only just now, struck by a thought, that is possibly an inspiration… Deliver a hand-written note to Bill’s daughter Madison (via Jane of course). Tell her a story about Bill from his youth. But, make the best example of what a terrific gentleman he was, and how she should only allow for such a man in her own life one day. Bill had high standards. Lets work together to make sure Madison realizes those as well. So, regardless of your lost path with Bill, you can now help, in this small way, ensure his daughter walks the right one.

And, trust me, Mr. Waller… This will help you as well.”

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Last week – let’s pin this on Monday – Haley Anne was still thirteen. Long legs, almond-eyed, and a fury on the soccer pitch. I’ll add adored by her Daddy, for good measure. But, that’s hardly news to the loyal followers of this Blog.

Haley Anne has always been wired for independence. She was never likely to hurl herself off of a four-story roof top with a home made parachute like I did at ten. But, she has her own mind and the steely resolve to realize it. She’s been a handful lately getting the sense of herself with all the trials-and-tribulations that come with being a teenage girl in the savage hallways of Middle School. All-in-all I’m quite pleased with her. Joanne takes the brunt and the heat of Haley Anne’s hormone-drenched temperament, while I still have more opportunities than not to be the hero. But, I’m navigating dark waters on any given day.

Mondays… They loom over us don’t they? Whereas Tuesdays are best for police raids, it’s Mondays that herald a week full of opportunity. …This includes life’s unexpected lessons.

Last Monday was the first day of the new school year and Haley Anne is now in the eighth grade. Middle school is tough, and the girls that are found in the halls are often colorful enough to put a New York City Vice Squad on edge. Haley Anne arrived safely home (she actually enjoys the bus) and was full of war stories. Most of them are of middling consequence, to me, any way – and, to yourselves, naturally. And, I was probably more focused on the evening’s soccer practice, and being content with the fact that her dress was evidently well regarded, her classes found without adventure, and her lunch crowd cordial.

We’ll step lively forward with this tale, acknowledging only that the above preamble is insufficient to signal the change of life that has forever altered my own world view. …That aforementioned, and unexpected, life lesson.

Dinner was a quick bite of lasagna before we were off to practice. That went swell as usual. Then home to a few quick emails and bed. Sleep comes fast in my head. The pillow and a death-like coma are quick and easy friends, for me.

But… With her uncanny ability to unhinge me from any deep sleep Joanne shoved my shoulder later that evening with a curt:

“you need to read this”.

What I heard in Joanne’s voice was a mixture of bemused angst (its possible, and Joanne, being English has it perfected). I wasn’t expecting a foreclosure notice or ransom note so I was a bit slow to pull myself together for thought leadership.  However glowing in the dark, and hovering in front of my face was Haley Anne’s iPhone (I knew this because mine is an iPhone 4, while Haley Anne’s is a 3G, and emma Jo’s 3G [minus SIMs Card] has a crack in the screen). All this quickly spun out of my head as I was shocked into alertness by the message:

“I LOve You. Let’s get back together”.

I’m not sure if it was adrenalin, fear, anger, numbing shock, or unrepentent outrage that surged through my body like spinach might Pop-eye from the old cartoons. But, I must have read the message ten times before I simply asked Joanne:

“who the hell sent that to Haley Anne?”

The simple response was:

“_____ – the kid from summer”.

So… Here’s the abbreviated background scenario…

Many of Haley Anne’s friends are involved in some form or another with “boyfriends”. In our household, the rule is NO BOYFRIENDS until our daughters are fifteen years of age. None. That’s it. And, that means the stuff that goes along with boyfriends. Any of it. Period. Haley Anne apparently caught the eye of this young fellow last year, and he launched a deluge of texts at her all summer. Joanne had a series of talks with Haley Anne that I won’t burden you with. But, we were satisfied that Haley Anne understood the rules and we have a clear and binding covenant in our family. I trust my daughter. And, I’m developing trust and faith in her judgment. I’m training her to be a leader in both her thinking and actions.

All along the way, I’m also being trained by my daughters, and life, as seen through their eyes, to be more open-minded and open-hearted.

I drove Haley Anne to school the next day. I asked her along the way if she wanted to talk to me about “_____”. She paused before answering barely enough to gather her breath because she’s a quick thinker, and wit, that one.

“he’s only a friend Daddy. I know what I want; and, it’s not a boyfriend. I just like having a lot of great friends.”

That helped me. And, reaffirmed Haley Anne has her wits about me – or, is a brilliant actress. I’ll submit there is all that afoot. But, here is how I’m handling this matter:

“I love you with all my heart, and I’m more proud of you you each and every day. There is a lot of change afoot. And, I need your help. If you ever think you know what love is, or start to have feelings for some lucky lad, I want you to try something… In fact, let’s give it a go this week… Find a poem that you think and feel is about love. You can’t be wrong. Just try. Just like in football (soccer) – give it your best. You can never disappoint me with effort. It’s all about interpretation. All I really care about is your opinion, your thinking, and your feelings. You can write the poem if you want to. The only rule is that it has to be something you would be willing to read and give to a person you think you love. That might be a test that you are ready to share your heart with someone other than me.”

My voice cracked, just a bit. So, she knew where all of this was coming from.

She was quiet. And, looked at me. I got the simple, slow, gentle nod with the far away look behind the eyes.

I love being a Dad. And, I trust my daughter. I’m putting a lot of faith on the line. I feel great. But, I also have the same feeling in the pit of my stomach that I have before a big race or other competition.

Stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I thought I was really busy. However, while pondering some notes on my Macbook at the kitchen counter I felt a gentle tug on my elbow.

It was my little Emma Jo.

She was still mussy from a good nights sleep. Her face, turned up to me, hopeful, as she made the simple request: “Daddy will you watch Enchanted with me?”

Being me a good number of thoughts ran swiftly through my head. But, God was with me, as usual, and the right words popped out with: “of course, my Love”. “anything”.

Images and memories can be created in the span of a heartbeat. The picture of Emma Jo below is how I’ll likely see her for the rest of my days.

For almost two hours of absolute bliss, I sat downstairs in the basement theatre with Emma Jo snuggled up against me watching what might be one of the best movies ever crafted for Daughters and Daddies. I’ve seen it a dozen times, and will look forward to many, many, many more efforts.

I know a lot of Dads read this Blog. And, I’ll add hope that, regardless of their age, you’ll invite them to watch Enchanted and love the life that only Princesses can be part of.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

Last week I found myself driving Haley Anne to summer soccer practice recently and faced with something of a challenge.

We were in my Ford F-150 (also known as the: “big black bad-ass soccer and dog truck”). And, it’s currently my vehicle of choice. Rowdy can sit comfortably in the back, or ride shot-gun. And, there are always soccer balls bouncing around in the back. It’s insight into my life and priorities. It’s cool and formidable, but also practical (it could pull the boat, in a pinch).

We witnessed a yellow Ferrari navigate a corner in good form and amidst a spray of gravel.

Haley Anne turned to me and asked why I didn’t drive a Ferrari (I do drive a Porsche, but she is apparently aware of the difference). “You can afford it can’t you?”, was the secondary question.

I almost told her that I am seriously considering a Volvo Cross Country Station Wagon (and, it’s true, I am).

The question that ended-up dropping out of my face was: “whom do you think has more money, the fellow with a Honda, or the fellow with a Ferrari?”

See… I thought this was a rather sage question. It was certain to set the stage for a ground-breaking dialogue between my beloved daughter and myself that would further establish our bond while I appeared wise, and she my able student.

I’ll pause here and admit that a quick image of Bill Pope popped into my head. I found my heart in my throat (I sure do miss my red-headed-Errol-Flynn-type-friend). I was also quickly thinking this was a good time to get her ready for the news that we are seriously considering a move from the big beautiful house in Milton (Alpharetta) to a more sensible home in the Crabapple area (I’m trying to send a message to my community – more about that later).

It’s still a great question, for obvious reasons. And, it raises so many fascinating ideas around wealth management, good stewardship, and self-image.

But, all that aside, I got a simple shrug with a: “who cares Daddy. Why can’t we have a Ferrari?”

I’m already thinking this is a great challenge (isn’t character always best when challenged?). What steps does this alert me to, and prepare me for, to curb her views around materialism? A defining Authentic Life moment and possibly a Kobayashi Maru.

…sigh. Lift me up, and stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I have to admit I like the television show Glee.

But, can we agree, all of us, that this story represents a genuine, table-pounding, tragedy?:

Teenage Singer Charice Gets Botox for ‘Glee’ debut

“MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Filipino teenage singer Charice Pempengco says she prepared for her debut on the hit TV show “Glee” by getting Botox and an anti-aging procedure “to look fresh on camera.”

For Gods sakes!

I may come across as obnoxious (oh really? Again?)… But, if I could meet her Dad (assuming she has one), I’d like to knock him on his ass.

And, I refuse to ever watch Glee again, or download any of the great tunes they cover (dammit). And, I know Oprah is going to get wind of this. I’ll just pray my views have no negative on our joint efforts around: texting and driving to death.

Young girls have so many things that distract them from being confident, poised and unlimited in their potential. Perhaps you are thinking it’s easy to be judgmental and take pot-shots at problems whilst failing to offer solutions.

Not me!

So… A partial solution, for me, has been to show up daily in the lives of my daughters (and, their friends). I coach them in soccer. And, I’ve always felt “the beautiful game” was a terrific platform to demonstrate the value of teamwork, discipline and tradition.

I’m ready. All you Dad’s out there; let’s go.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.