Archive for May, 2016

A Pirate’s Rule Of Thumb

May 31, 2016

The only rules that really matter are these: what a man can do and what a man can’t do. For instance, you can accept that your father was a pirate and a good man or you can’t. But pirate is in your blood, boy, so you’ll have to square with that some day. And me, for example, I can let you drown, but I can’t bring this ship into Tortuga all by me onesies, savvy? So, can you sail under the command of a pirate, or can you not?

Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Memorial Day Thoughts 2016

May 30, 2016

The other day somebody from Europe asked me if I was planning to “celebrate” Memorial Day.  Since the question caught me off guard, I found myself fighting uphill to explain that I didn’t “celebrate” Memorial Day, I observed it.  As there was a slight language barrier involved as well the cultural one, I never did fully get my point across at the time, but I’ve had ample opportunity since then to further consider things.

Some holidays, like Halloween, I celebrate, and if at the end of the day I didn’t have a good time, then I’ll consider the holiday a “failure” for that year.  Memorial Day, on the other hand, is a day I observe with as much quiet respect as possible, with my “celebration” being limited to raising a glass or two to the fallen.  It’s a somber day for me, and having a good time or not simply isn’t something I consider.

Come to think of it, in some ways Memorial Day is easier on me than the holidays I “celebrate” . . . because the only way I can fail Memorial Day is to fail to remember it.

A Follow-up Letter To L(A) (Part Five)

May 27, 2016

Regardless . . . now matter how or why this happened, be it due to capricious and uncaring chance, or if there was intent behind this, be it divine or simply yours, the fact remains that my personal space is missing you right now.  Even before this began I knew there was no absolute certainty in your arrival, but usually when I think that way I’m just preparing for “the worst.”  Most of the time that preparation isn’t actually required.

This time it was.

Speaking of time, time will tell if we’ll ever get to meet outside of my dreams, and for now I’m content to wait and see.  If you changed your mind once about being born, the way I figure it, you can always change your mind again, and I’m honestly hoping that you do, but if you don’t . . .

Well . . . there’s always plenty of room for another girl of my dreams.

Either way, I’ll leave the light on for you, kiddo.

A Follow-up Letter To L(A) (Part Four)

May 26, 2016

In my previous letter I mentioned that boys and girls end up facing different challenges in this culture, and your . . . non-arrival has particularly underscored that for me.

While your mother and Lala have been dealing with bouts of understandable sadness, I’ve found my biggest challenge has been in dealing with bouts of anger, not at you, but at the situation in general.  More than once I’ve had to forcibly remind myself that somebody meant well in their gesture, particularly when my gut reaction was . . . in violation of the social contract that frowns upon the idea of hitting someone just because they feel that tragedy is a good time to start talking about “God’s plan.”

(Yes, some people do take comfort in that idea, but I’m just not one of them.  The best *I* can do when someone says that to me is recognize the good intent behind the words, grit my teeth, smile, and thank them for the thought.)

I’ve also had to deal with a few times of resisting the urge to say, “Back off, man, we’re men for God’s sake!” when dealing with condolences from some of my male acquaintances, but in that case I’m just playing up social stereotypes to preserve my need for personal space.

A Follow-up Letter To L(A) (Part Three)

May 25, 2016

For my part it helps for me to think that you just changed your mind about being born right now.  I know there are those who would take issue with me thinking that, but that’s what my instincts are telling me, so in the absence of facts to the contrary, I’m going with my instincts.

Maybe something was starting to go wrong in your development.  Maybe your mother wasn’t as physically ready to safely carry you to term as we thought.  Maybe you were sparing all of us further grief down the line.

Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I’m just going to have to trust that you made the right call on this one.

A Follow-up Letter To L(A) (Part Two)

May 24, 2016

So . . . you’re not going to be born right now, after all.

That’s . . . disappointing.

It’s not easy dealing with the disappointment, but we’re all managing here, more or less.  Some times are easier than others, of course, but that’s all part of the process.  Rest assured that we’ll be fine.


A Follow-up Letter To L(A) (Part One)

May 23, 2016

Well, daughter . . . here we are.

Figuratively speaking, I’m sad to say.

Plans certainly do change, now don’t they?

A Recovery Status Update (And A Warning)

May 20, 2016

So I just came back with L’s Mother from her latest checkup, and everything checks out on the physical scorecard.

Things are pretty good on the emotional scorecard around here for all of as well, with the “emotion bubbles” triggering with less frequency, and bursting with less intensity when they do trigger, so all in all, we’re recovering nicely.  Among other things, this means that by next week I should be ready to write that follow-up letter to L(A) that I’ve been planning to do.

(So consider this a little advance warning if you’re not ready to read that letter.  Rest assured, I’ll understand if you’re not, but understand that I need to write it.)

“Do You Mind? Your Heart Attack Is Disrupting My Meal.”

May 19, 2016

As a follow-up to yesterday’s thought, I also wanted to add that just because something is an inconvenience for you personally, that does not mean it’s not a real problem for someone else.

When Your Shoes Fit, But Feel Different Than Your Old Shoes, For Instance

May 18, 2016

One thing in particular that life and parenthood has put into stark relief for me recently is the vast difference between a true problem and an inconvenience.