Saturday, May 30, 2009

Coming to terms with it all.

I recently made the statement to a coworker that being a parent is both the most gratifying and most terrifying thing I've ever done. It really is. I find myself "swole up" with pride when I'm with my son out in the public world. I often catch myself looking at folks who are looking at my son and getting a sick sense of satisfaction out of how obviously stricken they are with him. He's a cute kid with an amazing outgoing personality. He says "hi" to everyone....EVERY....ONE. A lot of times the person he's directing his greeting at is so taken aback by the friendliness and outgoingness of this little person, that they don't respond (I tell myself that, but really, lots of people are just too big of an asshole to wave and say hi to a little kid who is trying to learn the world and doesn't know that people want to keep to themselves and be miserable.), but sometimes they wave back, say hi, and engage him in the trite little conversation he has with those who will speak to him. "Hi. My name is Miles and I'm three years old." Then they ask more questions and he has a look on his face that says "Um, I was told there would be no math." and he kind of shuts down. But if he is in a pinch, he'll pull out his ace in the hole phrase that leaves them rolling in the aisles: "Smelly-belly-butt." Don't know where he got it, don't know why he keeps that as his "A" material, but that's his go-to. I love it. Proper amount of cuteness mixed with the word "butt" that makes strangers physically uncomfortable because there is no set response. That's my boy.
Then there are the moments in the dark just before sleep when I go to the terrifying place. For some reason, as soon as you become a parent, you automatically delete every stupid thing you ever did from memory. I don't mean you pretend you weren't an idiot who took dumb risks and probably should have died several times over, but you "forget" you did them while you conjure horrific scenarios where your child does not survive. It's awful. I really am not scared of Miles getting hurt. Hell, I hope he gets hurt enough to decide not to try some of the things I did and maybe he won't need a new hip and knee when he's 37 years old like his old man. I'll be just fine with it if he decides he'd like to cook, paint, act(although that isn't entirely safe), write, play music, teach, eat, whatever. (Yes, watching my son play sports is something I hope to do, but I'm not hanging my life on it. If he likes to do it, then I'll support the ever-loving shit out of him, but if he's not into it, I have a television that shows sports on it, so I'll be just fine.)
ANYWAY, my point is that I've had the nightmares already and he hasn't even been in any really risky situations yet. Phew! I can't wait until he's old enough to go out with friends or be...(shudder) ...driving! I'm pretty sure that mom and dad won't be jetting off to bed while teenage Miles is out cavorting with his buddies. I'm also pretty sure that if the technology exists ten years from now, I will implant a tracer into his body while he's peacefully sleeping and watch his every move on my computer.
I am so excited to see what kind of person Miles evolves into. I am so excited to go on this journey with him. I can see my own father monitoring my own journey still and I want that. I want to see my son make progress and learn and fall down and get himself back up. I'll be there for him every step of the way. I am also terrified that if something were to happen to him, I would be done. Done. Really, just done. It is not hard to imagine my body just shutting down and being done from the hurt. Why do I go there? I have no idea. I am not that person with anyone else in my life. Things happen. I've experienced severe loss and lived. Life goes on. I'm not saying the other people in my life aren't important enough to merit such prophesizing of doom, but I just don't go there with adults. But my son...I'm scared. I hate thinking about it and I get there anyway sometimes. I can always talk myself out of it, but not until I've gotten myself all jacked up first.
I'm pretty sure that this is going to last me the rest of my life. Only for a milisecond do I ever wish that wasn't true. Otherwise, the rewards of having that little light in the universe as part of my life/legacy are WAY WAY WAY WAY better than any unpleasantness that strikes me when the lights go out.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Poop Poop Hooray!

My son pooped in his potty three times today. Three for three. Battin a thousand. Just wanted to let anyone know how proud I am.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Finding the balance

I've kind of had it with negativity. I realize this may sound kind of ridiculous coming from me because I seem to be able to come up with something crappy to say about almost anything, but it's true. I'm really done with it. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not naive enough to think that I'll be able to quit cold turkey (nod to my wife's joke during Thanksgiving), but I'm really going to give it a try.
The reason for this is that lately I've noticed negativity around me a lot more. I think that the daily battle with life, things can seem tough and then one can spiral into a craphole of bad vibes, bad attitude, and bad habits. Bad stuff happens to everyone all the time, but it's not an excuse to live in anger, or sadness, or self-pity. The really weird thing is it honestly takes me a looooooooooooong time to realize I've been living that way. I have "phases", you might call them, where I get fixated on one particular injustice I either witness or that I experience, and it is hard to get me off that once I'm honed in. This last year was the first time I became aware of this behavior. I don't like it. Not at all. Not in the "well, everyone has their faults" way, not in the "you were just going through some tough times" way, not in ANY way. I just don't like that about myself. It poisons my own soul and it poisons those around me. I don't want to be that guy anymore.
So, I'm saying "Enough!" (I sound just like J-lo when I say it, too!) I have a most amazing life and every single time I take a second to look at it, I think that. So why not have that as my primary thought and then let the other shit slide right on by? "Become a duck" is a mantra my wife and I have started to say when the piehole starts to appear in the wall like that weird vagina-like casm in "Poltergeist". It works. My wife helps me get there, but I want to be able to help her get there too. She has the most thankless job out there: stay at home mom, and I can tell it really can take a toll sometimes (my son, bless his heart, is a stubborn, spoiled (by us) mule of a child right now that is only countered by his amazing personality, his cuteness, and his genuinely kind soul). I also see my son watching me rant and rave about work or something to my wife and he picks up on that. He doesn't need to see that shit from me. Life happens, and I don't want to hide him from the world, but anything I've got to vent about can wait until he's in bed. I'm an asshole for doing that to him, and I am a bit ashamed of myself.
Right. Back to the real topic: I'm going to try really hard to be a more cheerful person. I'm not going to fake it (I really don't like those people and secretly view them as serial killers because NO ONE is that happy all the time! NO. ONE.) I have a job that pays me enough to take care of my family and I get to use my own skillset to be good at my job. I live in a house that is younger than my son and it's been turned into our family's safe place. It's comfortable, cozy, and has touches that are truly "us". I am lucky enough to have a lot of family around and this is so good for my son. My wife is UNREAL at how great of a mom she is and how best of a friend she is. I have all the things that make my life luxurious. So what possible reason do I have to be negative all the time? None. There is not one reason. That's why I'm stopping.
I'm not going to dwell on things that could've been. I'm not going to dwell on things that should be. I'm not going to let petty outside factors (i.e. other people's inconsiderateness, selfishness, or calousness) affect how my day goes. I'm going to turn the other cheek a lot more. I'm going to walk away from the fight a lot more. I'm going to live and let live a lot more.
Not to be negative, but I hope I can do it! Here goes nothin...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Open letters (inspired by my wife)

Dear Dude from high school that I see in my office building,

Hey douche. I know you recognize me. I can tell. I've seen you look at me with recognition and then continue walking. I realize we ran with different crowds in high school and that were considered "popular" because either your parents were rich, or you were the mascot of the rich kids, but COME ON! I played football with you freshman year, we actually had a few of the same friends, and you used to park on my street the last two years of college and we walked to class at the same time and talked to each other on the way. Now you don't know me. I also realize it's been about 12 or 13 years since you've seen me, but dude, other than being about 50 pounds heavier and maybe a bit taller than you remember....same looking dude. Get over yourself and say hi. Jesus, I should be hazing you because you appear to have gotten a bit wide around the middle, still have the same hairstyle you were rockin in '89, and you wear sweaters with collared shirts underneath (I can only assume this is to try to disguise the gut). I'm no fashion guy...I would wear the same pair of pants all week if I thought no one would say anything to me...but I don't even OWN a sweater. You're probably a tucker, too. You know, you wear shorts out during the summer and TUCK IN YOUR SHIRT. I know, it's Oklahoma and lots of guys our age do that (some of which are my friends) but tucking looks dumb with shorts. It's like wearing tube socks with shorts. Yeah, lots of guys do it, but that doesn't mean it looks good.
So, douche, go ahead, swallow your pride, and say "hey Dave". I promise I'll be really cool, and maybe even suggest we have lunch sometime and catch up. It's not like either one of us has anything to be ashamed of...


Dear high school guy,


Dear car texter,
Just want you to know that you just ran over a child back there...that's why you accidentally hit the "l" button twice....


Black person in Oklahoma,
On behalf of well, everyone, I would like to apologize. You see, some folks try too hard to appear non-racist. Some folks don't try at all. Some folks, like myself, think they are TOTALLY cool and then find themselves thinking things that don't make them proud. We like to start off sentences with "I'm not a racist, but..." or "My best friend is black, but..." or even "I have nothing against (whispered) black people, but...". I know. It's pretty gross.
Yes, we ALL are a bit racist. I truly believe this. It's become apparent to me that it's impossible not to hold a group of folks responsible for one single person's behavior at some point. However, let me just say that some of us are working on it. I mean, I like to call people out on being racist as much to make sure I don't behave that way as to make them rethink their own behavior, but that doesn't mean that person is bad. Stuff gets taught and we're all a bit stupid about un-learning things. (Yeah, I got that from Yoda.) I just hope you will continue to show the tolerance and patience with those of us you notice making an effort. I'm not asking you to ignore ignorant things we say or do, just help us be better. A lot of folks out there don't have any idea how dumb they look sometimes, but they wouldn't repeat the behavior if someone told them.
It's asking a lot for you to be kind to us. Probably more than we deserve. Just know this: there are those of us out there that want to learn to be better people, treat everyone with the same amount of respect, and have friends and experiences with other cultures. It's just not accessible to everyone. Help a fool out.
And by the way, I voted for Obama....

White Shadow

Dear Son,
You amaze me. You are ever-changing, ever-growing, ever-surprising. I want you to know something and I don't want you to ever EVER forget it as long as you live: you are who you are because of one thing and one thing only...YOUR MOTHER. I can only hope that you remember most of your childhood because the amount of dedication your mother shows you each and every single second of your life is legendary. You should know that she doesn't always feel that great. Her body has betrayed her a lot. It's not her fault, it's just the way life is sometimes. But despite that, she never wavers in her attention to your well-being, your happiness, or your knowledge of being loved.
I was lucky enough to have two moms who were like that. One of them was not able to be around to physically watch me grow up, but I know she's been present my whole life. The other has loved me as if I was born from her. She helped mold who I am and make me a better person, and she showed me that love is the greatest thing on this earth. Your Gammie, I believe, was sent by your grandma (my birth mom) to take care of me and you. We're lucky.
I hope that one day you will be lucky enough to meet someone who will love you like this. But no matter what, I hope the love your mother has given you will last you through times that are tough. I hope you know you will always be able to call your mom and she will listen, give you good advice, and tell you she loves and believes in you. She will always have your back. I hope you remember to tell her how much you appreciate it when you are old enough. Don't worry, sometimes that takes decades, but it'll happen. When it does finally occur to you, pick up the phone and call her. Tell her. It's all she wants to hear.
Oh yeah, a couple of other things: keep your head down and swing through the ball, focus on the belt buckle and drive with your legs, follow through with your wrist and follow your shot in case of a rebound, always use your own protection, and call me when you need something...I'll always help you.

I love you,
Your dad

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I farted. Sorry about that.

Ok, so I'm taking these wicked powerful antibiotics (has anyone ever been prescribed biotics?) for the chronic (heh heh) sinus infection I've been dealing with for over a month now. Also to clear up the nasal area as I am to have septum surgery on Feb. 16th. Anyway, these suckers are "one a day" and I am advised on the bottle that they may cause drowsiness or dizzyness. O....k....

Never had one of those that did that..usually that caution is reserved for pain meds, decongestants and the like. So, I took my first one just before leaving for work, as I planned to eat my oatmeal and banana upon arriving while I started my day...except I had a fucking flat tire and ended up at the tire shop for over an hour while they fixed it. (Long story...boring...not worth the effort) ANYWHO, the pill kicked in on the way to work from the tire place and doesn't "may cause" it "does cause" drowsiness and dizzyness. Felt a bit like I'd taken a hit off the ol' superbong my L.A. roommates used to wake up every morning (Lloyd from "True Romance" had nothing on these guys). Tried to eat as soon as possible, but it was too late: felt funky until almost 2 pm.

So, there's another aspect of the ol' super pills that isn't spelled out on the bottle: more than likely will cause extreme gas, bloating, bowel exiting. You see, I'm trying to watch my eating habits a bit so that I may live to see my son grow up, and that includes making sure I eat low cholesterol (I'm not looking it up, so if it's misspelled, than you can just deal with it) foods like oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and a healthy dose of fruits and veggies. In other words: roughage. Not to give "too much TMI" as my crazy ex-coworker used to say (yes, she said "Too much TMI" which I would always respond with "Really Kathy?...too much, Too Much Information?" and she'd just stare at me like I was retarded. That's funny coming from a crazy person.), but I have a pretty "aggressive" metabolism as it is, and introducing something that speeds that up is like putting extra jet engines on a Stealth bomber: yeah it'll go faster, but is that something we really want?

What this all means is that for the last few days, I've spent more muscle energy on trying NOT to fart than I do when I'm riding the stationary bike. I'm physically tired at the end of the day of sitting at my desk because I've been doing a perpetual Kegel exercise for 9 hours a day. My rowmates and I have a posted rule on the wall behind us which states: No Crop Dusting. This means that you may NOT fart while walking by us, talking to us, or sitting around us. I made the rule, so I cannot just blow it off (I love a good pun) because I'm taking a brown bomber everyday for my sinuses.

So, when I can't take it anymore and am at a good point in work to take a break, I head to the restroom and let go the tension. I've set four personal bests just this week. No gambling and losing, which is a nice by product since I've been standing for most of the releases, and surprisingly, no traffic in there, so I can truly relax and let the good times roll.

I have 7 more days of this pill, so it's going to be a long weekend for my poor wife, who thinks I fart too much as it is. I'm also going to have to make a trip to Sam's to get more shit tickets, because my dukes have been twice as frequent and four times as volumous. Yeah, maybe you're sitting there right now regretting even starting to read this blog, but admit it: you had to see where I was going with all this. Hell, you probably have a similar story. As R.E.M. says, "Everybody poops....sometimes." or was that Elvis Costello...ANYWAY, it's ok if you want to join me in writing about your bowels. It's ok. You're perfectly normal.

One more thing though: can anyone tell me when I ate mushrooms, because I really don't remember eating any lately, but there they...well, nevermind.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Here's some perspective

My team just lost a heartbreaker of a game. I'm sad. Sad that my team lost. Sad that they tried their best and came up short, and sad that I could tell they were giving their all, had prepared as well as possible, and still came up short. (For the record, I'm also sad that apparently Tebow is Jesus Christ on the football field...I was hoping it would be a down lineman.)
So, here's your dose of perspective: yesterday, my wife was told she might have lung cancer. Not by a heckler driving by our home, but by a nurse who called to let her know she needed a cat-scan to make sure she didn't have cancer. Holy shit.
I could go into detail about my thought process when my wife called in (understandable) hysterics, but I won't. Basically my thoughts were to comfort my wife and find more information...which I did...which made me feel better. But I also went to the dark place for a minute. My mom died from cancer when I was 5. Was this my legacy? Am I going to repeat what my father went through? Sounds a bit ridiculous now, but I went there for a minute. Then I snapped out of it, stopped thinking about myself, and focused on making sure my wife calmed down. (It's not as heroic as it sounds...I just like folks to be calm until all the information is present.)
We went through getting Miles looked after (thank you, Gammie) and got her CT scan done. Then had to do the "wait for the results" dance, which lasted a few more the call that she is perfectly fine, cancer free, and only needs to kick the pneumonia that is holding on...
Tawni and I both cried. She cried in front of me and we hugged. I cried after she went to sleep. I'm still kind of crying. Relief. Deep breaths of relief. Miles could tell. He was picking up the vibe yesterday and today he picked up that things were better. In fact, I just paused writing this because he was crying out in his sleep a bit and I went in, changed a soaked diaper, and he smiled, took a drink of water, and is drifting back off to sleep right now. I feel good.
And yet my team just lost....

Oh well...March Madness is coming up and then golf season...
It's all good.

Monday, January 5, 2009

What I look like when I'm upset...

That's not make up folks. I just hadn't gotten much sleep.

The moustache look is with make up. It's tough being so high-maintenance, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.