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Monday, July 28, 2008
The Tomato Garden
An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey . He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard.
His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.
The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:
I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won't be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I'm just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.
A few days later he received a letter from his son.
Don't dig up that garden. That's where the bodies are buried.
At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left.
That same day the old man received another letter from his son.
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.
Love you, Vinnie
Kind of sweet, really. Isn't it?
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I pull up one afternoon to pick him up from daycare, he and two other kids are playing in the daycare playground, I walk up to the fence as they are all running by.
First Kid: "We're Pirates!"
Second Kid: "Candy Pirates!"
The Dude stops, raises his fist in the air like he is holding a cutlass and yells: "Aarrrrgggghhhhh!!"
How awesome would it be to be a candy pirate?
On Sunday evening we are chillaxing, The dude is playing on the floor, I am idly fliping through the channels. I see Star Trek. OG Star Trek. You know, this:
So of course I stop. And before I can even let out my sigh of nerd-joy, The Dude looks up at the tv.
"That's Captain Kirk" he says looking at William Shatner from 40 years ago, the scene shifted to a close up of Leonard Nimoy. "And that's Spock" he says.
I totally burst into tears. In fact I'm crying as I write this.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
There was much crying and thrashing and sounds like the howling of the damned at end of the world.
We settled on a compromise, allowed The Dude to fall asleep in our bed. Downside is he stayed up much too late and had a harder time getting up in the morning, to the point were we had to force him up. We were treated with what I can only presume to be a sign of the future, The Dude saying "just a few more minutes Daaaaad." This from the little guy who used to routinely wake up, and be WIDE AWAKE AND RARING TO GO at 5am. Sometimes earlier. I suck at morning (ask my wife, sorry Honey!!) and I have been up before him three times this week.
The nice side of all this is I got to fall asleep with him next to me, which is pleasant. Wonderful in fact. There are not the words available to the human tongue for me to describe the feeling.
Both my wife and I often fall asleep in his bed with him. It's about once a week for each of us, I think. We read several books to him, turn off the light and lie down for a bit, and if he hasn't fallen asleep by then, quietly extricate ourselves. Sometimes he says "Noooo" in his little voice and throws an arm around us. We can't resist.
Having him fall asleep in our bed with us seemed like a special treat, for some reason.
Tonight, it was cooler, house guests were gone, and we got him into his own bed early. I read, he settled in, mellowed out considerably. I turned out the light. Climbed back into bed with him.
"No Daddy, you go away."
"You don't want me to lie with you honey?"
"No Daddy, go away. Please." Is he really only three? Or is he three already? I am confused and my head is pinning as he makes his request.
"Okay" I say. I stare at him.
"You're not leaving. Go."
I leave, I tell him I love him and good night and kiss him on the forehead. I go downstairs, my wife asks if he's fallen asleep already, I tell her what happened. We wait at the foot of the stairs, thinking he will call out soon.
I'm not sure if I should hope that he does or that he doesn't.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Friday, July 4, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
I hate to call to much attention to things because I'm sure I will jinx stuff, or make grandiose proclamations that I can't possible follow up on.
But some change is occurring, I think. And it's good.
Oblique, but hopeful.
Sunday Afternoon in June
We went to the beach on Sunday. Late in the day. It had been foggy and rainy off and on all weekend, but shortly after The Due woke up from his nap, the sun peaked it's head out to remind us all of what sunshine looked like. So off we ran.
And hit fog and overcast skies. But, still warm and a bit humid we ventured to the sea.
The beach was surprisingly crowded, and the ocean water was warm (a relative term when used in regards to a New England beach) taking away the cling of the close sticky air.
The Dude romped and splashed and jumped at the edge of the water. Racing the small waves, hoping over them and extorting us to join in his special and pure brand of fun.
The sun, hidden behind the fog, but peaking out here and there, began to go down. And The Dude began to look cold, but in the great tradition of children on beaches everywhere, denied it. Eventually we convinced to leave the water and wrap up in a towel.
After warming up for a bit, he started to run around on the flat sand. "Chase me daddy!" He said, and I did. We ran down the beach, side by side, laughing. It was a moment in time that you want to hang on to forever. Laughing and running down the beach with your child. This is where you want to live.
It's a moment. And it passes.
He pulled ahead of me, and I felt the physical weight of my years slow me. My breath heaving too much, my chest too tight for the relatively small amount I had exerted. A fog had rolled in, fast and heavy, and I began to see his tiny body, laughing and running, disappear into it. I called to him, but, as is often the case, he did not take my words seriously, intent as he was on his fun. My breath grew heavier, he slipped further into the wispy clouds. I called again, more urgent this time. And again. And again.
"I will not loose him" I actually said it out loud, and forced my old before it's time body to move faster . "I will not loose him." Forced my breathing, to regulate itself, forced the pounding in my head to quiet. Fixed on my child, I ran for him.
He stopped eventually, turned around and we caught up with each other. I gently chided him for his not listening, but I also understood that I was asking a bit too much for his still little brain and body. We hugged and he laughed, and I laughed with a feeling of strange relief that he may never understand. One that I can't quite explain anyway.
We walked hand in hand, back the way we had came.