I still remember the day I realized that my Dad was no longer cool. It was heartbreaking, shocking, embarrassing, and funny all at the same time.
I was a sophomore in high school and was enjoying a Saturday morning of laying on the couch watching a college football game. My viewing pleasure was interrupted when I received a phone call from a classmate.
The first sentenced that came from him changed the whole perception I had of my father.
"Brett, your Dad is in your front yard washing his truck in speedos."
"No lie, man. My Mom and I just drove by and saw him out there. She was laughing her ass off. Just thought you should know."
As I hung up the phone, I hoped that my friend was messing with me and my Dad was not wearing speedos. I knew he owned a pair, however, to actually where them out in public? He couldn't, could he?
When I get to the front window and peered out, I saw that he could. We lived in a neighborhood where so many of my friends lived and he was out there in something that looked like a bottom to a woman's bikini.
Just thinking about that visual causes my stomach to knot up. It is a memory that I hope doesn't come back to me again.
However, that moment made me make a vow to myself that I would always try to remain cool in the eyes of my future children. It is a mantra that remains with me today as the father of four beautiful girls.
In an effort to further my coolhood with my children, I fixed my head on the body of Billy Ray Cyrus in a picture with his daughter Miley over the weekend. I then placed the picture of Hannah Montana and I on the desktop of my computer and waited for my girls to notice.
Their reaction was perfect.
"Dad, Dad, Dad..." yelled Shelby. "When were you with Hannah Montana? Savannah, Alani, come here and check this out!"
As the three marveled at the picture, I played coy in the kitchen while making their lunch.
"Dad, this isn't real,'' said Vannah, the oldest of the three. "Can you do this with us and put us with her? This is cool!"
It worked. I am still cool in the eyes of my girls.
As far as my Dad? He lives 12 hours away now. He can wear speedos whenever he wants and still be cool to me.