Monday, July 27, 2009

You Two

I made history in my world last night. For the first time, I got my kids to spend the night with me. We had a great day all day, did some swimming, chilled out and watched a movie, went to my mom's house for dinner with her and my brother and his wife. When we got home, I gave them a bath, and I pulled out the brand new spider man and barbie toothbrushes, (and pointed out the donuts that they could get in the morning), and neither Sean nor Ireland flinched...they knew this time that they weren't going to have a meltdown, that they were comfortable enough in the apartment that has been my temporary digs for quite a while now, that they wanted to be with me. I ended up renting "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" for us all to watch as we fell asleep. It's an old Dick Van Dyke Movie, and I kind of remembered it from my childhood.

One thing about old movies, even when they are made for kids, is that they just can't keep up with today's Pixar brilliance. But they are colorful and fun and full of music, and the kids liked this one enough to watch about 15 minutes before the sleep took them over. I, however, stayed up watching it, thinking about how much I resemble Dick Van Dyke (don't know if that's good or bad, but I have a feeling he was Poppin' Mary back in the day, if you know what I mean, and Julie Andrews was hot, whether you're into the maid thing or not...also, he was wearing a pretty badass ascot in most of the movie, and I'm thinking about rocking that to more formal occasions this summer, we'll see. I digress). What a funny idea it turned out to be, when shortly into the film, a song came one called "You Two". It was Dick singing to his two kids, and the lyrics (googled for your pleasure) went like this:

"What makes the battle worth the fighting?

What makes the mountain worth the climb?

What makes the questions worth the asking?

The reason worth the rhyme?

To me the answer's clear;

it's having someone near; someone dear

Someone to care for; to be there for.

I have You Two!

Someone to do for; muddle through for.

I have You Two!

Someone to share joy or despair with;

whichever betides you.

Life becomes a chore, unless you're living for

someone to tend to be a friend to.

I have You Two!

Someone to strive for, do or die for

I have You Two!

Could be, we three get along so famously,'

cause you two have me,

and I have You Two too."

Seriously, I had no idea that the theme of the single dad with his two kids was even a part of that movie. I think I must have been Sean's age when I watched it, and I probably remember as much of it as he will later today...and he didn't even make it to the part where the car sprouts wings (brilliant for a movie of that vintage, btw). You can imagine my surprise, and slight emotional response when I saw that part. Now, I'm not saying that it mirrors my life in any way, just that the similarities, on this night 9 months after I left the house, when my two awesome children finally felt safe and comfortable enough with all of the trauma that surrounds them and the confusion in their heads, to pull up the covers and slip away peacefully with me.

When Ireland woke up to me watching her and the first thing she did was get a great big smile on her face this morning, it made my day, and probably my week. After a very, very long week at work, sure to be followed up by more of the same, there is not too much that could make me frown today. Seeing Sean's big blond bed head while he sipped his juice made me think that I, too, might be OK because I have those two.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tomorrow is another day

Actually, the tomorrow I refer to is yesterday now, but whatever. Yesterday was pretty rad, and that's the point. The reason it was rad, in case you were wondering, is that I took the morning off to drive Sean and Ireland up to Sand Harbor and hang out next to the beautifully cold water of Lake Tahoe.

Those kids are so much fun. Sandcastles, skipping rocks, playing paddle ball (I think we got a rally of 6 hits going, which is good for a 5-year-old), wading in the shallows...and lots of love and affection. That's what I miss the most these days. Even getting it for a few hours yesterday doesn't seem to fill me up. I can't get enough.

Ireland is turning 3 this month.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Hard to explain

An age that melts with unperceiv'd decay, And glides in modest innocence away.
-Samuel Johnson

As I get older, there are heavy, sad things that weigh heavy in their balance of the happy, good things. These things all are a part of life. There is no escape from one or the other.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


I don't normally get offended by obscenities or even blasphemy. Anyone who knows me would agree that as a matter of fact, I think that the occasional F-bomb or appropriately timed swear word make for healthy, proper dialogue. Some people (hi dad) tend to completely disagree with this perspective of mine, but I do it anyway, and we manage to remain friends. It's who I am.

So imagine me getting upset about it. I was even surprised at my own reaction this afternoon when I had the following experience at a bank that I do business with:

I walked into the empty line, and waited as 4 tellers at their empty windows looked up at me, and went back to ignoring me for 3 or 4 minutes. Finally, one girl came from the back, where the drive up window is, and actually acknowledged me,

"Someone will be right with you, sir."

"OK, thanks," I replied.

A couple of minutes later, the girl on the end finally looked up with a sigh and a face like she was having an extended Monday, and told me to come over. I did, and got to my business. While I was standing right in front of her, she noticed that several people had lined up behind me at that point, so she looked to her right at the girl next to her and snapped,

"You need to help the customers!"

I remember thinking that yes, she was right, and someone should say something. Bully for her. herself, but loud enough to specifically make sure I heard her, she then exclaimed,

"Jesus CHRIST!"

Wow, I thought, that was off-putting. I own a bar, and I'm used to that type of behaviour and much worse in that environment, but this was a bank! I was so taken back by her audacity, and her assumption that I was someone who wouldn't take offense to such language. Well, I do use that kind of language, but Jesus Christ, that was actually offensive! I couldn't BELIEVE that she would represent herself or her place of work in such a manner. I am friends with several of the higher ups at that particular bank, and the thought crossed my mind to see if they would like to come down to the floor and have a little discussion. Instead, I bit my tongue, remained silent, and waited for her to finish up:

"Is there anything else I can do?" she asked.

"Yes, there is," I replied,looking her dead in the eye, "You can watch your language."

She looked at me, and then in shame looked down and mumbled "I know."

That was more than enough for me. I feel bad that I needed to call her out at that moment, but maybe it's what she needed to hear. It's a lot better than bringing it up to her boss. It's a lot better than making a scene. We all have bad days, and she was probably having one today. I have had a string of a few of them recently, and as my dad will attest to, I'm not the most pleasant person to work around right now. I'm working on it. But the fact is that when I am representing myself to my clients, or to the public at large, I get my game face on, regardless of my attitude. I don't want to end up slipping like the teller did. I want to make it through the trying times that so many of us are dealing with right now. After all, one minute it's the slip of the tongue, and the next minute, it's blowing through the post office with my .40. Right?

God Damn, I'm just kidding. Fuck!