Clinger’s Corner: On a long drive home

By Chad Clinger -

So, I decided that this installment of Clinger’s Corner will have absolutely nothing to do with sports and I hope that you, my loyal(ish) reader, do not have a single, solitary issue with that.

Recently, I had my lovely five year old daughter Dylan with me for an extended period of time. Dylan, as you may or may not know depending on if you read this column, lives with her mother in Plainfield, Indiana. Once a month or so, my ex-wife and I meet up to do an exchanging of children but this time, it was only my baby girl. “Booga”, as she is affectionately known to most, is and has been since birth, a daddy’s girl.

My time with her, as per usual, had its ups and downs but that is life with a five year old. She has a very dominant personality in addition to thriving on being, for lack of a better term, a diva. I fully embrace, endorse and welcome the idea of letting your children be the person that they want to be and I thank my wonderful upbringing and my mother for that. Dylan has a certain creative and charisma about her that is unrivaled by any child that I have ever encountered, which does and probably always will, keep me on my toes. She clicks well with my girlfriend’s daughter, who is slightly older than Booga but nonetheless, they are “besties” and strive to be “twinsies” as much as humanly possible. It adds to the whole aesthetic of life as a father or father figure.

While I cherish every moment with my baby girl, let’s face it, after a while, parents need a breather. Especially when that parent is essentially juggling around two full-time jobs in the process and is incredibly sleep and life deprived. Well, Miss Dylan and I voyaged out on the nearly three hour car ride to meet back up with her mother in the extreme heat that was Monday evening. But first, we made a trip up to Findlay so that Dylan could enjoy my favorite pizza from my youth at Jac and Dos in Findlay. Side note, anyone that I have introduced to this place; our editor Russ, news lady and photographer Erin or even sports reporter from the Bucyrus Telegraph Forum Zach Holden, has loved this pizza pie. Dylan also thoroughly enjoyed it and while it was delicious, I found myself slipping into pure bliss at the very moment that I was able to share with her.

After her mother, late as usual, showed up for the “baby exchange”, it was time for me to make that same trek back to Galion, alone with nothing but the open road, some Brian Fallon and Creedence Clearwater Revival cds and plenty of time to just lose myself. And I assure you all that I did just that as it is the norm for me to do so.

Thoughts race around in my head, ranging anywhere from what it would be like to grow up in the prime of CCR’s popularity to I wonder if Brian Fallon and I could be friends (I wish!). But, somewhere in between the musical mysteries, I have another thought or a thousand tiny micro-thoughts. The one that stands out the most to me is the fact that we are all here, in some way shape or form, living parallel to one another without possibly even knowing that each other exists. It sounds a bit long-winded but, think about it…

The everything of everyday is always happening but, do you ever ponder someone else’s everyday? For a tiny example: Do you start every day with coffee? A morning smoke break? Sports Center? Maybe you wake up and go for a run or workout. With that I say, I admire your drive and stay with it! But, are your troubles different than your neighbors? Do they weight heavy on you despite their actual, overall weight? How do you handle them? How do I? We instinctively, as humans, take what is thrown our way and do our best to rise above and overcome…usually, or do we let it defeat us and break us? Another example of my “road trip thoughts” would be this: how do other people hear, see and feel music? Is there anyone else out that that loses themselves in more than just a beat, a guitar riff or a cadence? Do you listen to what is on the radio and that satisfies you? And of course, with all of these thoughts, I can’t help but think how there is “hate” associated with it all.

Let me explain…I don’t hate anyone for their choice to eat meat. I have only been meat-free for six months now but let me tell you something, it has been a life changer! If you want to eat it, you do you! Judgment is not something that is in my repertoire. Should I think less of you for the music that you choose to listen to? What about who you choose to love? What sports team you like? The answer is a resounding “NO”! Life is too short and there are far too many experiences out there to live to spend our time hating, judging or making people feel like outcasts or “different”. If we, as humans, spent more time thinking, loving and accepting, I, and I’m going out on a limb here, think that this world could be a far better place to be parallels.

By Chad Clinger

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048