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Time on the Bike


My six-year-old is turning into a biking fanatic—which I’m absolutely loving. After my long commute every day, I walk in the door, usually sweating, dying for a beer, and hoping to smell a waft of freshly cooked dinner filling the air. Instead I usually see my daughter watching SpongeBob, no beer in the fridge, the smell of cat, and my son screaming “can we go for a bike-ride dad?!!! Can we pleeeeeease??!!”


The longest ride I’ve taken the little bastard on is about 18 miles. Now keep in mind he’s on a little kids dirt-bike. Nothing fancy, no bike shorts to protect his precious hiny, no gloves for better grip, no bike shoes to help provide efficient pedaling…..just a helmet and a bike. And he loves it—begging for more when we’re done.

Along the rides I have the best fucking talks and the shit that comes out of his mouth is so cool and unexpected sometimes.

Along the Salt Creek trail he’ll say – “OOOHHH! This is my favorite part – look at the cool trees and how green everything is. Over here is where we usually see deer. I love the woods.”

And I’m all, “Yeah – it’s pretty awesome Grayson,” while I’m choking back tears and trying to keep a manly appearance.

On a ride the other day I said – “Hey, you could be Lance Armstrong for Halloween.”

He said – “Or, I could be that blonde headed woman who dropped my favorite toy the other day and busted it all over the floor.” He was talking about my wife dropping his favorite toy, breaking it and all his hopes and dreams along with it. Totally fucking random, out of the blue, and cool as shit. I love minds that work randomly and even more when he can work it into shit.

So I’m going to keep taking the bike rides. My struggle is giving him choices that allow him to take it up a notch without seeming like I’m pushing him. I’m trying to be the opposite of how my dad was. If it was my dad – he’d buy him a 10-speed with all the gear then yell at him to train harder, do better, and if I didn’t, he’s stop coming to my races cause it’s “a waste of his time.”

Regardless if he takes it to the next step or not, I’ll continue to soak in every damn word that random kid says and keep riding his back wheel through the woods.



What I Learned From Watching SpongeBob SquarePants

I remember when my son was first born I swore to myself, my wife, and any other poor soul that had ears, that I’d never let my kids watch garbage TV. And SpongeBob SquarePants was always my prime example… picture on the picket-sign touting garbage TV as the destroyer of our children’s minds.

Those rants were usually done as I lay sprawled on the couch, with a beer, watching the Family Guy, Simpsons, or Saved by the Bell or what-not. Don’t judge me….Saved by the Bell freakin’ rocked.

Now – I get more excited to watch SpongeBob than my freakin’ kids do. I’m exaggerating, but I will watch it. And in doing so – I’ve learned the most amazing life lessons.

As a gift to you – here are ten of them:

1) Always hang around someone a hell of a lot dumber than you are – it makes you look smart and stuff.

2) Gravity can still kick your ass underwater.

3) All squirrels are born with Texan accents

4) A life of celibacy turns you into a happy-go-lucky, burger flipping idiot

5) Mr. Crabs and Kernel Sanders are the only two jagoffs left on this planet obsessed with their “secret ingredient.”

6) You can cry actual tears underwater.

7) If you remain a closet homosexual you’re whole life you’ll end up angry, bald, alone, big nosed and hating sponges.

8) If your arms fall off, you can simply put them back on—voila!

9) Crabs can asexually give birth to female whales

10) Dubbing over Casablanca, Singing in the Rain, and the Godfather with SpongeBob character’s voices is fucking hilarious.


Music Obsession Meets Old Videos

As all new parents do....we documented the hell out of our children's first words, falls, shits, walks, laughs, and insanity. I have about an hour commute every day to work. Along that wonderful, adventurous journey I listen to a ton of music - 90 percent of which my brother claims is "shit" cause he can't pull his head out of the 80's ass.

But along that journey I listen to songs and lyrics and I can immediately connect them to moments in our family's life that make sense...or just flat out fuckin' rock.

Recently I've melded my obsession with music and film. These two films are rookie at best....but they at least give you a taste of the path I'm venturing down. One is low quality....other, is painfully short but filled with potential.

Enjoy kids!

Christmas 2007 from Justin Lyons on Vimeo.

Grayson - A Father's Confessional from Justin Lyons on Vimeo.



Wanna See My Underwear?!

Work, walk a half mile, catch the train, 22-min. ride, walk .7 miles and I'm home. In the fridge there's a beer. Above the fridge there's wine. In-between both of those is a wife and two kids, one of which shouts:

"wanna see my underwear?"

Yeah....marinate on that for a minute world. Every man's dream is to walk in his front door to hear those words from his beautiful wife? Of course in that dream the words are also followed by a variety of other terrific adjectives, verbs, action words, etc....

But on this particular was my 6-year-old son saying that lovely phrase.

My mind kicks into overdrive as I think:

  • should I say no to teach him not to ask grown-ups if they want to see his skibbies?
  • should I say "wha?" and keep walking quickly towards the mecca of alcohol?
  • should I say "sure dude" and uncomfortably hope he's not about to show me some type of unbelievable stain, growth, or whatever...

I chose the latter. And he immediately dropped trow as I clenched and waited. And what did he show - boxer briefs.

"Just like you wear daddy!!!"

The little bastard was so happy to show me that he was wearing the same underwear as me. My heart shattered, I truly felt touched, and I gave the kid a hug.

It's the obscure, subtle things in life that pop out when you least expect it and make you feel like shit for yelling at the kid for not eating his breakfast, or potentially breaking his sister's arm. I felt like a role model for a split second. I imagined my fat-ass on the cover of GQ being oogled by dudes thinking "I'd get so much ass if I looked like that." But was because I wear the unique and privileged hat of father and in the mornings, put on undies that don't ride up, hold my boys just right, and to my son......look like rock star underwear.

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