Editor’s Note: During the month of November, we’ll be featuring posts from last year’s Scholarship winners, who’ll discuss their first-time impressions of attending the Dad 2.0 Summit. Our second contributor is Bill Peebles, writer/publisher of ihopeiwinatoaster.
You can’t really expect the unexpected, can you? You can’t know what is going to surprise you. It’s oxymoronic. A balloon popping, a crash of broken glass and splintered oak just outside your door, a whimpering child in the long silence of night. You can’t know that these things will happen.
But, you have to know they might. Look for the unexpected in the corners, where you’ve seen it before. Look beyond the center stage and see the action on the edges. Look right in front of your damn nose. Look behind you.
I was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2015 Dad 2.0 Summit. I didn’t expect that. I was chosen to read a post for the “Dad Blogger Spotlight” series. I didn’t expect that. I stayed in a beautiful hotel, ate fantastic food, and walked the streets of a stunning city. I didn’t expect that. The commercial aspect of the conference was interesting and comfortable and welcoming and colorful and, well… sorta fun. I didn’t expect that.
On the last day of the event, it was announced that the scholarship fund had been renamed after Oren Miller, and the stipends would be known as Miller Grants. Oren was a leader in our community and a sparse, poetic, and heart-wrenching writer. At the time, he lay dying in his home in Maryland, and the honor meant a great deal to him, to his family, and the dad blogging community.
It was a moving and brilliant tribute to a superlative soul. And, I expected it. I knew because I expect a lot from men.
I expect men to be decent.
I expect men to act honorably and nobly.
I expect men to love inordinately.
To a man, I saw this at Dad 2.015.
I saw men cry and laugh, sometimes in the same breath. I saw men embrace in handshakes and hugs and conversation and belief. I saw men teasing about sports, and haircuts, and jeans. I saw men bonding and connecting and understanding. I saw experience and stories shared as only men can do, men who respect and care about each other.
That was what I did expect.
I write about my twin boys most of the time. I watch them intently. I see these traits budding from them. I expect so much from men because I see them in my boys, and I know boys are good, and men are forever boys.
I didn’t expect a lot of the things that happened to me in San Francisco, mostly because I didn’t know I could. But I did know I could expect great things from men, these men.