Wednesday, March 20, 2019


So, let's take a little turn. I follow politics and the general conversations in the world more closely than many, so I feel like my posts were heading in a somewhat political direction. That's not the intent of this outlet.

I've long toyed with how to address the fatherhood issue. Okay... long's probably the wrong way of looking at this as I've been a father now for *checks watch* fifteen and a half months. (Sidenote, Keya and I will not be those parents who are talking about their 26 month old. Months till eighteen, then half years). Even though it's been a little over a year of actual fatherhood, the idea's been on my mind a LONG time.

I always wanted two to three kids. It seemed like a perfect number. I also wanted boys and girls. In fact, if we're being really honest, I always thought I'd prefer to have girls. I really don't know why, but that was kind of my thought.

In college, my sophomore roommate and I had a plan. We'd have live-in girlfriends before the year in the apartment was up, then be on our way to getting married before college was over. We forgot to tell the women of Colorado Springs that was our plan. Needless to say, college went on and I had girlfriends, but nothing ever moving to the point of long-term.

Nevertheless, I got out of college without the prospect of marriage, let alone kids, so life went on. I could be a selfish, self-serving bachelor. Yes, again, girlfriends, a couple who I even thought were going to be long-term (some will tell you that was all of them in the first couple of dates...), but nothing stuck.

It's completely arbitrary, but by the time I hit 30, and there was nothing on the horizon, I began to allow myself to consider the lifelong bachelor life. I had a couple reasons. One, all my cousins and my brother on my mom's side were married (we hardly spoke to Dad's side), so ONE of us had to stay single, right? AND, it turned out as much as I fancied myself a Ted, I was much more Barney most of the time. (HIMYM reference)

It was that same time frame that I made the decision to move from Colorado to Nebraska. Wanna learn more? Go WAY back in these blogs (to, like, 2011). Now I've been a committed Husker fan for close to 30 years now, and many around me joked that I'd meet my wife within six months of moving to Nebraska.

I did. One problem, however, was that I was dating someone else at the time. Now, there were other factors complicating things but nevertheless it took us awhile to start dating. By the time we got married, I was 32.

Like I said, I'd always wanted two to three kids. But now, as I'm doing the math, I was down to two or fewer. The reasoning was simple, at this point, my parents would be in their late 80s or 90s when my kids graduated high school. That happening generation-after-generation isn't terrible appealing. And though I realize that men can have kids much later in their life than women can, I didn't want to be in my 40s with an infant.

Y'all are doing the math now. Wait, Ty. You're 32 at this point in the story. (Which is dragging on, BY THE WAY). You have LOTS of time to have three kids and not be in your 40s when they're infants. I should also add that one of the things that Keya and I agreed on when we were dating and engaged was that kids would wait until we'd had time to be a married couple. Travel, grow, establish ourselves. Oh, and she wanted to be done (or almost done) with her PhD.

So we went over four years before we had our first son. I was 36 when Everett was born. My dad was 37 when I was born. Keya and I are trying hard to make sure he's MOSTLY out of diapers when he has a sibling. (Before you start to get excited, no, this is not some announcement about another pregnancy).

Now, that's a lot of background to tell you this: Being a father is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me. Ever. I know a lot of people say that. Let me tell you, that selfish bachelor never really went away (still hasn't). I was very worried about how having a kid would change our life. I was concerned that things I'd love to do, I wouldn't be able to do at all, or at least nearly as much.

I'll never forget the first time I saw Everett. If you've never had the pleasure, seeing a baby in the seconds after it's born is gross. It is. But it's the single most emotional moment of my life. I don't cry. Ever. It's cause I'm profoundly broken (a blog for another day), but I. Don't. Cry.

I didn't that day either, but it was as close as I've been since about sixth grade. That selfish bachelor had a whole new perspective.

As crazy as it seems to me, well, or it would have seemed to me before December of 2017, every decision now is based in Everett's best interest. I really don't have the selfish impulses I did.

I love coming home to this kid. He's a little over fifteen months old, and he's running everywhere, full of personality, picks up baby sign like it's his job, and has the cutest quirks. Also, he's completely adorable.

It's funny the way that even a fifteen month old plays differently with Mom and Dad. He and I roughhouse more than he does with Keya. Sure, that's relative with a baby so young, but it's true.

You might have some idea from, in particular, the last couple blogs about how Keya and I have talked about raising Everett. The reality is, even though he gets gifts that are mostly "boy" gifts, there will be very few things we won't allow him to try. Dance? Sure. Basketball? Absolutely. Gymnastics? Don't get too attached, you'll likely be over six feet tall, but sure. And there's no such thing as boy colors or girl colors.

Fatherhood's been the most incredible journey for me. Both getting there and now the short period of time I've been there. I know it's trite, but it's so much more than I had ever imagined. I'm so grateful that Everett is mine and I get to share this journey with Keya. I love fatherhood. I love my son more than anything, but don't look for the "to the moon and back" social media posts. I don't think I need to advertise that.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Scouts, Razors, and the Man Cold

Let me start this with a phrase that will turn some people off based on the content of this blog, "In the era of #MeToo"...

I will preface a good bit of the rest of this by saying that I do fancy myself somewhat of a feminist. I don't subscribe to the idea that women having the same rights and opportunities that I have somehow steals rights and opportunities from me. Admittedly, I'm also a white male, so privilege is stacked up here. Oh. Stacked up about 6'7". One has to note that there is a lot of privilege here.

So, on to the title of this entry. The title of this changed when I woke up with a brutal cold and I thought, what the heck? It kinda fits. The trope goes that men have a minor cold and cannot get out of bed, whereas women will be fighting three kinds of pneumonia, the flu, possibly meningitis, and gangrene, but still getting the kids off to school with lunches while tending to her barely ailing husband.

This has always annoyed me. In fact, there are quite a few things we'll talk about that have bothered me. This is probably because my dad, who is my greatest role model, rarely missed a day of work. While he'd tell us he was sick, he didn't act any different unless it was REALLY bad. My wife will tell you that I often will get sick and not even tell her until I'm over it. Often, I don't take medicine. That's not because I'm against meds, but I frankly want to know when my symptoms are subsiding, not be unpleasantly surprised when they come back six hours later.


Hi. I'm Ty Peteranetz, Eagle Scout. When I was on my Eagle Board of Review as a 15 year old, two questions really stuck. One we were coached on how to answer. That question was, "What will you do after you are an Eagle Scout?" or something like that. The coached answer is, "Once an Eagle, always an Eagle."

The other one that has really stuck with me was something like, "Do you think that girls should be allowed to join Boy Scouts?" My answer was simply that I thought they should. Now, before you start accusing me of having 15-year-old boy reasoning for that, I did, but more important to me was the fact that the Girl Scouts don't have an award with the prestige of the Eagle award.

Now in the world where Boy Scouts has officially changed their name to Scouts BSA, and all levels of scouting are open to young women, I'm thrilled that this has been a topic of conversation within the scouting community for better than twenty years. I'm sad it took so long, but glad it happened.

Again, it absolutely doesn't dilute the award with more people now able to attain Eagle. I'd be proud to be in attendance at the first Eagle Court of Honor where a young woman is awarded the rank I've proudly held since 1997. In fact, Scouting BSA, if you're reading this, please get me in there.

Finally, the razors. NO I WILL NOT BE BOUND BY THE ORDER OF MY TITLE! That Gillette ad. Oof.

First off, I loved it. One of the phrases that has really driven me nuts since I became a teacher is "Boys will be boys." Here are my problems with that phrase: 1) It excuses behaviors that boys absolutely can control and 2) It makes it seem as though boys are not capable of doing otherwise.

K. So let's start at the beginning. What really happens with this is that behaviors that are inexcusable with girls or even less-masculine boys are allowed because "that's what boys do". Why? Why do boys do that? Because we allow it. Because boys, specifically certain boys, are expected to break the rules for some reason.

To the second point, there have been quite a few times lately where it seems like men are treated as incapable of self-control. I feel like it never struck people that the self-control men seem to lack is learned in adolescence when we say that boys will be boys, as opposed to teaching them correct decorum.

In that Gillette ad, we're suddenly rewarding men for acting human. As mentioned previously, I love the commercial. I actually love the run of corporations making social stands. When I first watched the commercial, I found myself actively rooting throughout. For what? I don't know. I was excited.

This isn't quite where I found this ending, but I never felt comfortable in the traditionally masculine stereotypes. I played volleyball and tennis in high school. I was also 6'5" and weighed less than 170 pounds when I graduated high school. Football, for example, wasn't really going to work for me.

Toxic masculinity is problematic. I'm not saying I haven't partaken in it from time to time, but it's not good. The fact that more and more you're seeing a wide array of examples of what it means to be a man, or woman, or whatever, means more and more people can be comfortable with themselves.

I'm glad these things are changing. I know I come from a unique perspective, but I'm glad that more and more people are finding opportunities. We're not even close to where we need to be, but each step can be celebrated.