February 3, 2012

I had a dream you outwalked me and I looked on and thought how does he do it.
I thought about arm wrestling with my father.
I remembered when you would lift me into the air and I wondered, how high I could go because of you.

One day you would lift me and I would grow as tall as the refrigerator and you would ask me to leave and I would be ready to outwalk you and take on all things and I would be the toughest until I wasn’t, but before then I would forget the poem about the wrestling. There would be nothing I couldn’t accomplish, because of you.

Then I would wake from the dream and see you not outwalk me and I would remember the wrestling, even if you didn’t, and I would wish for just a little while, and for a small amount you would pull my arm down or outwalk me and you would lift me one more time.

Then I would lift my own child and think this how it ends.


The Cold

December 26, 2011

I think about the snow that’s melted as I walk across frozen fields, trying to cling to something that won’t fade away. I think about the whiskey, like some stream fighting not to freeze against that same cold that the snow flakes cling and I trudge against. In the morning the sun breaks through the clouds and both the snow and I are blind. What can I do, you win again.

What were you meant to do?

February 15, 2011

I’ve contemplated often just what it is I’m supposed to be when I grow up. I’ve considered being a part of an FBI anti-terrorism task force, a covert CIA agent stationed somewhere in Europe, MotoGP racer racing motorcycles across Europe, a computer security expert…the list goes on. What I never contemplated was a stay at home dad. So, now that I’m back to work I’ve been thinking I need to go back to school if I’m ever going to get that computer security expert job, right? Well, maybe not.

My wife is on a business related out-of-town trip. So, I’ve had to ask work if I can come in late and leave early in order to make sure the kids are dressed and dropped off and then picked up at the end of the day. Today is day one. Today is starting out to be one of the best days I’ve had in a long time.

I tried to sleep in just a little, to no avail. Thomas came in at about 6AM asking if he could have his Fruit by the Foot (yesterday was Valentine’s Day and the kids have more candy than on Halloween). I mumbled, sure. Of course that meant that Anna got something out of her candy bag, so she was in next. There were several other interruptions to my sleep, for what I can’t even remember. Then, it was up and fixing breakfast, then I remembered they need clothes for school, a reminder to brush their teeth, had to make sure their backpacks were ready for the day too of course. I had to clean the cobwebs and knock a little of the dust off of my brain to remember how things went, but ultimately everything went smoother than I could imagine. I drove Thomas to school and Anna to day care. Anna didn’t forget to give me a kiss before getting out of the truck and she waved to me as she stood at the door waiting. Remembrances of my daily routine just a few months ago flooded my mind as I drove away.

Now I sit at work, getting excited about making a menu for the rest of the week, a shopping list for this afternoon and of course trying to update my blog. So, now I’m thinking maybe I should hang up my super-secret spy badge and decoder ring. Maybe I should shut down my high-end secure server/network. Maybe I should cancel my plans to race the European motorcycle circuits. Maybe Thomas was trying to tell me something when he took so long to get out of the truck this morning, while I was looking out the back window at a line of cars backed up behind us to the end of the school parking lot. Maybe Anna was trying to remind me of something I’d forgotten over the last few months when she didn’t forget to give me a kiss goodbye. Maybe, even though I have a day job, I’m still a stay at home dad. I think with a little help this morning I got it figured out. I know what I was meant to do when I grow up. Now I just need to figure out a way to get back home.

Hey, Honey, I know you’re on a business trip, writing novel(s), blogging, Facebooking, Tweeting, Skyping, chatting, texting (all work related)…but I’m ready to start having hot dinners waiting for you when you get home whenever you are!


February 13, 2011

Yep, it’s been almost four months since I’ve been back to work and I’m writing about retirement. I had to sign up for my company’s 401k, rollover my last one and explain the bruises on my body. About a week ago my wife said, “Oh my G*d, what happened to your arm?”. I of course I had no idea what she was talking about. But, she pointed out a deep, dark bruise and then another one. I said, “Oh, looks like a five year old’s elbow to me” and smiled.

Tonight my mother came over for dinner and the kids were rambuncious (please don’t check my spelling on that one). After dinner my wife, mother and Thomas and Anna played Yahtzee Jr, Toy Story Edition. After several rounds the game was over and the winner, Anna, reminded what the winner gets to do. Yep, the winner, or the person that comes in second, third, or dead last gets to climb on daddy. It’s been a long-time favorite of the kids to climb on me, or try to wrestle me or squish me in some way. Tonight was no exception, and I have the bruises to show several nights of win or lose “climb on daddy”.

With both kids perched on my shoulders, elbows either in my neck, my arms, my legs or places we don’t talk about, I started to stand up. To the shock of my wife and mother, with Anna hanging upside down and Thomas screaming bloody murder in what is probably now my most deaf ear I started standing and trying to walk around the room. My wife warned I’d probably be dropping one, my mother said in a stern tone, “Don’t do that, you may not feel it now, but you’ll regret it when you’re sixty”. So, with legs shaking I made it back to the couch where I dropped each one safely, with them screaming, AGAIN, can we do it again!?

So, now four months after starting work I’m thinking about what my mother said tonight, thinking about when I’m sixty (I know, too young to really retire) and what I’ll be regretting and what I won’t. I’m thinking I may be considerably more sore than I am now, maybe I won’t be able to pick up a five pound bag of flour. But I know one thing I’ll always remember, something I’ll never regret, with each muscle spasm, new joint pain, or every time I find a bruise on one of my arms, in the middle of my back, or anywhere else. I’m going to remember going back to work and losing those times with the kids I still miss so much, and all the games where whether they won or they lost, I won, and I have the bumps and bruises to prove it.


October 13, 2010

I know it’s been months since I’ve updated this blog. It’s not because there hasn’t been anything to write.

I’ve been looking for a job, pretty seriously since my last update. The day is finally on the horizon now. I’ve been offered a position with a large(r) company. It’s not the best job I’ve ever had, and it pays less than I was making ten years ago, but it pays the bills…or close to it.

It’s a blessing, if there is such a thing. It’s also a real disappointing development in my life. Anna has started kindergarten and she’s in school several hours a day. During those hours I either have a chance to clean the bathrooms, fold laundry, or surf the giant interweb. Before and after those hours though, I get to play “Sorry”, listen to some story made up “off the cuff” about penguins, or get served a plastic donut with my coffee in the morning. We walk Thomas to school in the mornings. On colder mornings, and yes it’s been in the thirties this week, Anna and I come home and she gets very excited about hot chocolate with whipped cream. She never finishes it, but she asks for it everyday.

At just before noon I drive Anna to school. I park in front of her classroom, on top of a very small grassy hill. Every day she forgets her backpack, sitting next to her in the truck. The thing she never forgets though, each and every day, is a kiss. I’ll remind her about her backpack and she’ll look completely taken off guard and say something like, “OH YEAH!!!! I FORGOT MY BACKPACK” and then she’ll smile and say, “But I didn’t forget a kiss.” She always gets out of the car on her way to the door and turns to wave to me. It’s just part of our day.

Thomas too, is an amazing little man. He’s growing up. He doesn’t need me to walk him all the way to school. He would be just fine if I dropped him off a block away. But, every morning when we walk to school, just before he heads for the door to the school he turns and hugs me and gives me a kiss. He doesn’t get embarrassed, he doesn’t hesitate. He just expects it, as do I.

So, where am I going with this? Why all the rambling and the update after several months of nothing? I start work on the 19th, in just a few short days. I’m having a hard time letting go. I’m having a hard time thinking I won’t walk Thomas to school. I’m having a hard time realizing that Anna won’t remember to give me a kiss goodbye before getting out of the truck and I’m having an even harder time realizing that Anna won’t turn to me and wave just before going through the door.

True Loneliness

August 14, 2010

True loneliness is sitting on your bed watching tv in one room while the woman you love sits in another typing on a computer and lol with virtual friends while you think about all the hours that pass every day not spending time together and not taking the time to talk it through and when you do she says she has to work but she lol while typing on a computer and after she’s spent nine hours away at work and now you’re trying to find a way to pass the time she might be there if she takes a break long enough to tell you about her day and you want to tell her about yours but nothing happened while you waited for her to get home knowing she was going to log in and tune you out but you hear her lol while you fix dinner and then you’ll get fifteen minutes to hear about her day before you clear the dishes from the table and she starts to lol again with her virtual friends and you think about how many hours are in the day and how many minutes in that day you actually spend together doing things you both used to love to do with each other and how many times you actually laughed out loud and you think about how now only one person ever lol and you think you know true loneliness.

Old Age

August 11, 2010

I have to admit, I’m a people watcher. I don’t have a desire to know what people do so much as how or why they do things. I’m always trying to figure out what their motivations are. So, yesterday I’m sitting on a wooden deck having lunch overlooking the Rogue River when a 60+ year old woman comes by with her 80+ year old mother and some other female friend I guess.

The daughter helps her mother with her walker get to a table not too far away from me. The daughter had to explain every little thing to her mother, had to ask her about the table, whether she wanted to sit next to the aisle or the railing, whether she could see the river, etc., etc., and on and on. Then, a guy with a nail gun starts shooting nails into the wooden floor and the mother turns to look and the daughter says, “Mom, it’s just a nail gun, a nail gun, a nail gun” (I guess the mother is hard of hearing). Then the daughter begins to explain to her mother about the nails, “They come in strips Mom, like bullets from a machine gun Mom.” I’m thinking to myself, why would you describe anything “like a machine gun Mom.” What’s the reasoning for making that kind of description. Was her mother a machine-gunner in World War II? Was her husband killed by a machine gun? What kind of reference was that. Then the daughter starts asking, “Hey Mom, want to split something?” The daughter then proceeds to try to convince her mother to split something. I get it, old people don’t eat much, but hasn’t she earned a meal, a whole meal? Who’s 80+ year old mom doesn’t deserve her own meal, at least her choice in the matter?

So, now they’re talking about excercise and the daughter is telling her mother, “Well, Mom, I know you’ve never enjoyed excercise. Geez, you won’t even go out for a walk. Would a walk kill you?” I’m thinking, she’s 80+ Goddamned years old. What if she doesn’t want to go for walk? What if she’s afraid she’s going to go out on a walk and wind up dying on the side of the road? I think to myself, would it kill you to leave your mom alone for a while and let her enjoy her half of the lunch special?

Anyway, I’m drinking my beer, just eyeing this whole thing wondering about old age. It’s a weird thing, old age. People get old, they get weird. Kids get weird. I don’t think I’m going to do it. Really, what’s the point. So I can split some shitty sandwich with one of my kids and never wake up on the drive back to the “home”? Bah, old age is for pussies.

Memories – the slip and slide

June 23, 2010

Seems everyone I know grew up with a slip and slide. And, their fathers complained about how it screwed up the grass, soaking parts, making mud out of what was once green grass…you know what I mean, right?

Well, today we brought out the slip and slide. Buzz Lightyear at the end of a fourteen foot piece of PVC vinyl that you fill a half-circle ring with water to make a “pool” of sorts. Whew, that was a long and winding sentence. Anyway, this slip and slide has a fitting to attach a hose. Not anything like what I had as a kid. So, I attached the hose and water shot everywhere except across the vinyl. Anna squeeled with excitement and I pictured her running at Mach1, hitting the dry vinyl and stopping in about three feet with some sort of abrasive burn. I had to tell her no fewer than three times, “Wait!, Wait!, HOLD ON!!!!” while I figured out how to get the fitting not to leak and not spray water in the wrong direction. Finally, defeated I just turned on the sprinklers. Squeels, again, and much shriller and more excited.

So, Anna couldn’t slide. Anna would run and jump straight up and come straight down. Yep, you guessed it. I had to take off my shirt and hit the slide. You guessed it, once you learn how to ride a bike you know how to ride a bike forever…and yes, slipping and sliding is exactly the same. Whew! After a few times down the slide, completely soaked and freezing, I had Thomas out there screaming and sliding (he’d decided it wasn’t his thing until he saw me slide through the mini-pool and off the end and into the grass several feet).

So, getting back to memories, right? Seems the slip and slide has come a long way. My slip and slide wasn’t “branded”, didn’t come in a box, and didn’t have any cool cartoon characters waiting at the end. No, my dad took several large garden trash bags, cut just right, and staked down with rusty nails and large yellow plastic tent stakes. Boy those were the days. And, true then as it is today, all I could think this afternoon was how much this d*mned slip and slide was screwing up my grass.

Kindergarten is over for one and summer’s just begun!

June 16, 2010

Thomas “graduated” from kindergarten on Monday.  Today is Wednesday and we’ve run out of the things to do.  That didn’t take long.  I’m only kidding of course.  Seems with a six year old and a four year old there is always something to do, even if you don’t feel like doing it (was that the buzzer on the dryer going off again…who dirties all these clothes!).

We’ve been to the water park, completed all of Thomas’ summer “homework” workbook, made crystals in Thomas’ crystal growing kit (thanks John) and drawn well over two hundred pictures of robots attacking vampire villages with mummy pirates trying to take over the world.  Does it get any better?  Answer: No.  We’ll just have to find more things to do.  Suggestions anyone?

Well, today is day two of being home all day with no school.  Maybe we’ll go to the water park again.

20 Year Class Reunion ! ! !

April 7, 2010

My 20 year class reunion is coming up maybe in October 2010.  That’s about all I have to say about that.