::happy thanksbirthdaygiving

23 11 2006

I used to hate having my birthday fall on Thanksgiving. I don’t like football, as a kid I didn’t like turkey, and I was usually forced to wear an ugly sweater. Nothing’s open.

I still don’t like football too much, but I can deal with it. As an adult I like turkey. When I wear sweaters now, they’re not so bad.  Nothing’s open.  That’s pretty cool.

In my 20’s, I discovered that the bars stay open and that a surprising number of friends will skip out on a Thanksgiving weekend early so they can attend a drug-induced nekkid birthday party.

In my 30’s, I discovered that the kids get incredibly excited about Daddy’s birthday, and  that football is often pre-empted (much to my brother-in-laws’ chagrin) by the animated hijinks of Buzz, Woody, and The Wiggles.

And when the triptophan and wine induced nap is rudely interupted by sons and nephews, a good wrastlin’ match is better than the best high any thanksbirthdaygiving of the year.




::the center of the universe

20 11 2006

For probably a month or so now, my son Liam has been getting up in the middle of the night and getting into bed with us.  He comes to my side of the bed and gently wakes me up and climbs up on top of me.  It makes for quite a crowd and sometimes I try to convince him to go back to his own bed, but it is very sweet and I have a hard time not really liking it.

This morning he followed this routine and came to me about 1:30.  “Daddy,” he said as he put his hand on my chest, “I want to cuddle with you.”

I lowered the covers and pulled him into bed with one hand, and he nuzzled down into my neck as I covered him up, and was almost immediatly asleep on top of me.  This is probably one of my favorite parts of the day. 

A few hours later the alarm went off and reminded me that, being Monday, this is one of the two days per week that I drive 100 miles to San Jose.  I got out of bed and decided to snooze the alarm instead of getting up right away, and Liam lifted himself up and snuggled against me as I got back into bed.  He whispered “I love my daddy,” as he wrapped his arm around my neck in, frankly, a really uncomfortable way and gave me a kiss.  I rubbed his back and gave him a squeeze.

The Sun, to turn a phrase my wife uses, shines out of my kids’ asses.  This can be kind of awkward when changing an early morning diaper, but is generally pretty cool.  I worship my kids, all three of them, and try to let that fact be known with frequent affirmations and the occassional ritual sacrifice.  I constantly tell each of them that they are the best ever.  Liam is the best Liam ever, Zachary is the best Zachary ever, and Elliot is the best Elliot ever.  I even have stupid little songs that I make up for them as I go along.  Though Zachary has long since moved on from this sort of thing, and recently rebutted with “Jim is the dorkiest Jim ever.”

So this morning as Liam was falling back to sleep he whispered, “Daddy is the best daddy ever,” and I just about cried. 

When I finally surrendured to the alarm and got out of bed, he was fast asleep and stayed that way as I padded through the house and got ready to go.  I was about to leave and I heard him stirring and talking.  I went back to the bed to comfort him so he wouldn’t wake up the baby.  He immediately clutched my arm and told me I couldn’t go to work.

“I have to go to work today, but I’ll be back soon.” I reassured him. 

“It’s not working time yet.  It is still sleeping time, and you have to get back into bed with me.”  He firmly told me. 

“Close your eyes, and I’ll hold you until you fall asleep,” I told him.

He rolled over, holding onto me firmly, and closed his eyes.  “If you got lost I would be sad,” he said, and I could tell he was on the verge of tears. 

When I get home from work every day, Liam, and recently Elliot, come running.  Liam throws his arms around me and gives me a bear hug and a rough kiss, and usually tries to pull me down and pounce on me.  He’s totally over the top with excitement.  Elliot squeals and practically stretches his face grinning.  In the last week or so, he’s started chanting “Da, Da, Da,” as I pick him up.  I have to hold him for at least 5 minutes, otherwise he follows me around crying until I pick him up.  Sometimes I even get lucky and Zac enthusiastically throws me a hug, overacting it like he hasn’t seen me in months. 

I don’t remember what it was like to be overcome with love for my dad.  To think he was the coolest thing since sliced bread and to want to include him in every moment of his day.  I do remember still being very young and already feeling the distance between us.  I remember going to Science Camp and telling my mom that I knew he would be happy to have me gone for a week.  I remember dreading his arrival at home from work, knowing he would be in a bad mood because he hated his job.  I remember–or think I remember–wondering if he hated me too, because without me he wouldn’t necessarily need to do what he hated day after day.  This seems like a very big concept for a child to grasp, so I very well could be wrong about it.  Maybe I’m just projecting back a little too much.

I remember so desperately wanting to be loved by him, wanting to feel the love coming from him, and so desperately not wanting to be the disappointment that I was (and am?) to him.

I want my kids to know, despite the fact that I am sometimes one of the worst parents ever! and sometimes inspire so much frustration and rage that they really have no alternative than to throw themselves to the floor and flail about, that the sun shines out of their asses each and every day. 

So I climbed into bed next to him and spooned him, despite being late already and having a huge chunk of work to do this morning before 8AM arrived and the barrage of meetings started.  “If I am lost,” I told him, “I will always find you.  You’re the best Liam ever, and you’ll never lose me.”  

And when I could tell by his breathing that he’d drifted back to sleep, I kissed his cheek and wiped away the saltiness of his tear. 

I love my boys.  They are the best boys ever. 




17 11 2006

I sincerely beleive that the North Koreans and Iranians are pretending to have a nuclear weapons program just so they can chuckle every time they hear the President say “nuculer.

Not an original idea, I know, but mine’s, nevertheless.


My lovely and talented internet buddy RSM wrote a post today about trading barbs with her brother over the mispronouciation of common words, and that got me thinking, and so far today, out of my funk.

Back in the dark days of 1999, I had a girlfriend whose aunt had recently moved back from South Carolina.  She was small town white trash, but she was a nice enough person in that “good folk” sort of way.

She and my girlfriend’s mother, at the time a recent widow, would drink Miller Genuine Draft and eat cheddar cheese Goldfish out by the pool in their bikinis, getting drunk and talking about flirting with the Sporting Goods clerk at Wal-Mart. 


Anyway.  Focus, damnit.

My girlfriend’s aunt had a great Southern drawl, although that was pretty typical for Floridians.  What stood out, and always made me bite my tongue to not laugh out loud, were two words.




Were actually




I asked once, for clarity, about the apostrophe.  She looked at me like I didn’t have sense to come in during  a nuculer attack, and wrote it down.  “Mine’s” was scratched down on the paper in very deliberate, child-like handwriting.

About 10 minutes later, they were out by the pool again, lounging in their bikinis, beers side by side.

My thank-the-gods-she-didn’t-turn-out-to-be-mother-in-law reached for one of those ice cold MGDs, and grabbed the wrong one.

“Hey!” I heard through the open window, “That’s not yourn!  That beer in mine’s!”

We should have let the South go.



::birthday, smirthday

16 11 2006

I always get into a funk near my birthday, and this year it started today.  I don’t know why–I’m not concerned about “over the hill” or any of that garbage.  I love my life and my family, and even my job. 

I’ve started and trashed at least 5 blog entries in the last day.  Not for any reason in particular other than I just didn’t care enough to continue. 


I don’t wanna work, I just wanna play with my kids all day.  I don’t wanna work, I just wanna kick it with my wife today.





8 11 2006

Mister President,

Your crow is ready.