#daddyskill #2, Burping

#​d​addyskill​ #2 Burping: burping the baby after a feeding is a great time to practice your hand drumming. #​k​eepittight​

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This seems goofy, but honestly there is a point aside from being silly and bettering your sense of rhythm. Certain cultures and ethnicities are stereotyped as producing people with rhythm. It’s my opinion that the race of an individual doesn’t determine whether or not they will be musical or have a natural sense of rhythm. Rather, it is the rhythm inherent in the culture they grow up in that influences this. Marcus Miller, the jazz bassist, has some great thoughts about this in his FAQ on his website (www.marcusmiller.com), check it out.

So burping in rhythm is my tiny little first step towards giving my daughter the gift of rhythm (as best I can).

Here are four songs with distinctive drum part to test your mad skills, and have all the other parents look at you like you are crazy.

1. YYZ by Rush

2. Palm Grease by Herbie Hancock

3. Unluck by James Blake

4. I’m gonna fight by William Stonewall Monroe

That last one may be a little self serving, but it does have a great straight burp able rhythm throughout.

What songs would you add to the list?

William Stonewall Monroe

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Individuality: She’s her own little person!

It’s shocking really, just how much of an individual Li’l Miss Thang is already. It’s unreal. She’s a fully formed person with thoughts and feelings and hopes. She’s ours, but only insofar as she is ours to guide. I knew philosophically that she would always be her own person, but like so many things it doesn’t hit you until you are in the midst of it. There are so many things about being a parent that people can tell you and they just won’t make any sense until you are there.

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I can tell you that standing at the base of Vulcan at the top of the mountain, the view is amazing, or that you might think that you have trees where you live, but you don’t know trees until you drive through Alabama. You can intellectually assent that I am right, but it won’t hit you until you experience it.

She’s her own little person! It blows my mind. When she makes mistakes, those are her mistakes, when she achieves success, that’s her success. As parents, Li’l Momma and I am here to give her the best wisdom we have, make sure she feels love, and has the best shot at winning in this world that we can. Ultimately, though, that will be up to her.

After all, she’s her own little person.

William Stonewall Monroe

Fatherhood: I Love Being a Dad

I love being a dad. I don’t know if I can say that I love being a dad more than I’ve loved anything else in my life, but I can say this: I love being a dad.

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That little soul depends on me for her well-being. Little Miss Thang depends on me to protect her, to love her. She needs me to be the type of person I want her to become, and she needs me to provide and take care of her, Li’l Momma, and Pooka.

Gazing into her eyes is more awe-inspiring than mountains and more mesmerizing than a dancing flame. When I first watched the movie, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” I laughed at the end where one of the new mothers looks at her child and says, “he’s so wise.” How could a baby be wise? Now? I get it. Little Miss Thang is a thinker, and those eyes of hers are worth getting lost in.

I want to win the world for her, and yet I count successfully singing her to sleep as one of my greatest accomplishments. I have my aspirations, my hopes and my dreams, but this life that I have right now? This is the dream life, being married to my best friend, with the most wonderful baby , and enjoying the little moments.

I just need to keep reminding myself to savor those little moments. Don’t get too caught up in surviving, and don’t worry too much about getting everything done. There will always be more things to do. I won’t ever regret the times that I’ve enjoyed my family.

#daddyskill #5, Lullabies

Sing that baby to sleep. If you don’t know any songs, make them up. If you only know the collected works of Soundgarden, Spoonman or Black Hole Sun will work just fine.

Here is a lullaby that I made up for our sweet little girl.

I’m gonna love you in the morning, sweet baby child
I’m gonna love you in the noontime, sweet baby child
I’m gonna love you in the evening, sweet baby child
I’m gonna love you, all your life

I’m gonna hold you in the morning, sweet baby child
I’m gonna hold you in the noontime, sweet baby child
I’m gonna hold you in the evening, sweet baby child
I’m gonna hold you, darlin’, all your life.

William Stonewall Monroe

Tippy toes: a poem of fatherhood

Tippy toes: a poem of fatherhood

Tippy toes on tippy toes,
Let it come, let it goes.
Make up your mind,
Change your heart. Better,
Resolve in heart, endeavor
Let the mind be flexible,
Let the wisdom that a father knows
Sit still for a while, let it build, grow
Everything does not need to be known
And not everything known needs to be shared
Keep the hearts,
Newborn
Hold them dear. Keep them.
Keep them close.

William Stonewall Monroe

Flash Fiction: The Unmoved

He had the look of the unmoved, the look of one of the steady, stone men, cut from the earth before memory came to being. Chiseled.

The unmoved stood outside the village, inward facing, reminding us that all too often, it is for the battles within ourselves that require the most vigilance.

“Father?”

Upon hearing my voice, he moved his head, disturbing the surface of his reverie. His eyes, nebulae ever changing in color and complexity, met mine.

The unmoved had no eyes, they simply knew and know. When you truly see, and understand, you have no need of eyes

“She’s beautiful”

He looked down at his granddaughter, sleeping in his arms.

William Stonewall Monroe