Thank You To The Man Who Makes Me Eggs At 4am

Thank You To The Man Who Makes Me Eggs At 4am

... and taught me that ketchup belongs on them.
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Hey Dad, I just want to say thank you. You're the coolest. If genetics works how I think it does, I'm approximately half as cool as you are... which I'll take any day.

We're pretty similar. We're both introverted. We both love food. We both love the Dallas Cowboys. We both laugh at the same stupid stuff.

You're my favorite person. You're the only person I can stand to call regularly.

More than anything, you've shown me love every day of my life, whether it be:

- teaching me how to pitch at the ripe age of seven (and, along with it, get nailed in the shins dozens of times)

- making it to almost all (if not all) of my softball games even though you have a wacky work schedule

- supporting my decision to stop playing softball after 8+ years

- taking me hunting and accepting the fact that that meant I would be reading in the tree stand instead of actually paying attention

- taking me fishing and not laughing too hard whenever I fall (which is a lot)

- letting me paint the basement wall orange when I was 8 because I was bored and I just had to paint something [too bad I got bored <10 minutes in, and that orange wall remained until we moved]

- answering my somewhat random football questions even if it is during a play

- waking up at 4am to make me eggs before my first day of work

- getting me chocolate from the store even when I tell you I don't want anything because you know that I always want chocolate

- putting up with my attitude whenever I get sleepy (but let's be real, I always have an attitude)

- tons and tons and tons more

Thank you for loving me and teaching me everything I know. You are the best role model, teaching me that hard work and being kind will get you where you need to go in life. I can't imagine a better dad than you. I know I don't say it enough, but I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Casey Lofton

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.

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Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Forgive and Forget: Part Five

A Short Story Series

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Leah directed her mother out of the kitchen and then gathered as many dishes as she could with Conner grabbing the rest. Leah washed while Conner dried. They fell into a rhythm as they worked in silence.

"So, you've been helping Mom out?" Leah asked.

"Yeah."

"Why?"

"She needed the help. I still think of them as family, even though I probably don't deserve to."

Leah placed a hand on Conner's arm and squeezed gently.

"You'll always be a part of this family. You've shown that by taking care of them when I wasn't here to."

Conner covered her hand with his own.

"Thank you."

"Thank you for taking care of them. I didn't know how bad it had gotten until Mom called me the other day or I would have been here. So thank you for being here when I wasn't."

"Like I said, they're family."

The two finished out the dishes in a more comfortable silence than before.

"Well, I should probably get to bed. I want to wake up early to see Dad before he gets too tired."

"Good night."

Leah went to head up the stairs.

"Leah?" Conner called softly.

"Yeah?"

"I really am sorry. For everything."

"I know. We'll talk more later, k?"

Conner shoved his hands in his pockets, his shoulders hunched inwards as he'd just taken a blow.

"K."

Leah sighed and held out her hand.

"Sleepover? For old times sake?"

Conner's face lit up.

"You're sleeping on the floor."

"I can live with that."

Conner took her hand and let her lead him up the stairs. Conner set up a sleeping bag on the floor like he had when they were kids. Leah curled up under the blanket in the room she'd grown up in and stared at the ceiling.

"I spent a lot of time hating you after you left."

"I know."

"It all seems pointless now. Hating you, I mean. It didn't do any good. I just ended up running away. Now, Dad is sick and it all just seems so pointless."

"So you don't hate me?"

"I don't think I ever really did. I was just confused and hurt. I still am. But I'm at least ready to listen now."

"I didn't want to hear you cry. That's why I sent the letter."

"Why did you leave in the first place? Your letter didn't really do much to clear that up."

"I was young and scared. We were just starting our lives. You were doing so well with college. I didn't think I was good enough for you. So I left."

"I was scared too. I just thought we could get through it together like we always had."

"I should have talked to you. Guess we both chose to run away."

Leah let out a soft snort.

"Yeah, I guess we did."

Leah turned so that she was able to see Conner's face. She found Conner already looking at her.

"For what it's worth, I always thought you were always good enough Conner."

"Your dad said the same thing."

Leah propped herself up so she could see Conner better.

"When did he say that?"

"At his last appointment. I took him so your mom could get some rest."

"Conner..."

"...He told me that I'm the only one he ever trusted with you and that if I hurt you again, he'd make sure I stayed away this time."

"Sounds like Dad."

"He hasn't lost his sense of humor."

"You think he was kidding?"

"I don't plan on finding out."

Conner laughed and Leah found herself joining in easily. She had missed him all of these years and the friendship they'd had.

"Leah?"

"Yeah, Conner?"

"Do you think you'd ever be willing to give me another chance?"

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