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Cornelius News

2017-2022: Five years of ‘Modern Dad’

MODERN DAD | By Jon Show

Nov. 11. This month marks five years since I began writing this column.

Modern Dad was created when the editor and publisher of Cornelius Today, Dave Yochum, read something I wrote and emailed me and proposed writing a column about restaurants or cars.

I don’t eat out very often and I don’t know anything about cars so I responded and suggested something about being a dad and doing things with my kids, to which he agreed but responded “no run-on sentences” because he’s an editor and I write in run-on sentences.

Since that email I’ve tried to write as best I can about raising children and being married to a woman who’s patient enough to allow me to refer to her as The Mother of Dragons, a nickname coined over dinner one night when our children were acting like fire-breathing animals.

Just because someone once asked … her nickname and all the other nicknames in these pages – like Future Man (son) and the Blonde Bomber (daughter) – are superhero nicknames because I think it’s fun to give people superhero nicknames.

The first column I wrote was about taking Future Man to the old Hot Rods and Hops event at Eleven Lakes Brewery and wanting to display our Honda CRV as a show car.

Since then I have used third-grade grammar and countless run-on sentences (sorry Dave) to rank my favorite candy, movies, fast food and the furniture in my home.

I wrote about wanting to have a midlife crisis (still haven’t), neck ties (I hate them) and needing a new hobby (I’ve since picked up fly fishing).

I told stories about my family getting lice, our failed camping trips and surviving the idiocy of youth sports.

I shared life advice for my kids in my annual Father’s Day columns, which they have never read.

In fact, I don’t believe they’ve read any of the 60 columns in these pages. All of them are sitting in a stack in my closet in case they ever get the urge, but I’m not optimistic.

Easy, hard and some of both

Some columns were easy to write and some were hard.

The easy ones were easy because something happened and I thought it was funny so I wrote it down because I thought you’d think it was funny. That’s it. There ain’t no special sauce.

The hard ones were hard for different reasons.

None of them were harder than the eulogy I wrote about my Grandpa Bob after we buried him on a sunny autumn day and celebrated his life over fried pork tenderloin sandwiches and ice cold Bud at Crickets, his favorite bar.

Some are easy to write, but hard to write, if that makes sense?

There’s no better example than when my daughter found and incubated an abandoned duck egg she named Coco that died upon hatching amid all the uncertainty of the COVID lock down.

Take the good with the bad …

A few of you have stopped and told me that you enjoy reading Modern Dad and I must admit I’m surprised (and extremely appreciative). I just assumed my parents were the only ones who read this.

One reader even stopped me a couple years ago to tell me that he clipped the column every month and mailed it to his son, who had recently started his own family.

That’s the entire goal of Modern Dad, to create something that connects with people and our shared experiences.

As you can imagine, you can’t always connect with everyone, but I don’t think there’s much I can do about that.

And the bad with the good

A few of you have also offered negative opinions, which I honestly appreciate because it reminds me that we don’t all share the same sense of humor. It’s good to be reminded that what makes me laugh might make someone else feel something different.

The only one that bothered me was a letter mailed to my home – yes, my home – in response to a column about creating tongue-in-cheek New Year’s Resolutions for my family, like asking my wife to stop folding my clothes because she gets them all wrinkled

The anonymous letter was typed in all caps. It stated “YOUR ARTICLE IN CORNELIUS TODAY WAS AWFUL” and called me “A BAD FATHER-HUSBAND” and went on to state some pretty mean things.


Sorry, valued reader, I’m still here and don’t plan to go anywhere.

Thank You

Besides, there’s still plenty to write about.

Future Man just turned 14 and one of these days I’m going to write about his daily hair care routine if he doesn’t stop using my bath towel without putting it back on the hook.

And let’s just say living with the Mother of Dragons during the Blonde Bomber’s teenage years is something that’s going to need to be documented, potentially for the authorities.

My wife remains largely unscathed in this column because, let’s be honest, I’m probably not that easy to live with and poking fun at her in a community newspaper seems like a good way to end up on her bad side.

Besides, she works full time and deserves a break. It’s not her fault she can’t fold a pair of men’s pants. Though I do feel like she could put forth a little more effort into trying to get better. Maybe watch a YouTube video or something.

Amiright, neighbor?

So thanks to all of you who take the time to read Modern Dad. I hope you enjoy reading it a fraction as much as I enjoy writing it.

Editor’s note:

Congratulations on five great years Jon, and here’s to five more

Jon Show lives in Robbins Park with his wife, who he calls “The Mother of Dragons.” Their 13-year-old son is “Future Man” and their 10-year-old daughter is “The Blonde Bomber.” Their dog is actually named Lightning.