Thursday, August 20
Saturday, August 1
I said, "horses." After the spasmodic laughter and the high-fives died down, she rephrased the question: "No, I mean which kid is your favorite?"
"Oh," I said, embarrassed. "Well, I honestly don't have a 'favorite'..."
This was unsatisfactory to both girls, who obviously seemed to know something I didn't.
"I think most parents really do have a favorite, but just say that they don't to spare hurt feelings," observed the highly confident 20 year old. The 15 year old stopped texting just long enough to raise her face and say, "Yeah."
"No," I continued, "really, I love all of you for your own selves, for who you are." This totally set them off. In unison they cried, "you like Robin the best!" Then, gaining steam, they looked at each other and fired away again. "And Leiland! Robin and Leiland!" There was fire in their eyes.
"Look," I said in a measured way, emphasizing my superior maturity and life-experience with lowered vocal tone and a meaningful pause; they were listening. "Are you trying to tell me how I feel? Because if you are, why did you bother asking?" They agreed maybe they had not perfected mind-reading just yet.
"I absolutely do not have a favorite. I love Bi for how she can tell a story with all the character's voices and even the sound effects, like when Spongebob's eyelids close - 'doink!' (Yes, they agreed, she's really super at that), I love James for when he tells me about a book he's read, or a story he's written, or an idea he has - I love to listen to his brain! I love Leiland for his musical creativity - well, all of you are creative, but I also enjoy how he seems to be careful about my feelings. I used to stand in the kitchen and listen to you (Asia) play the piano, when you didn't know I was listening, and I love how you come up with such deep thoughts sometimes, like you're 30 instead of 20. I don't know where you get the sudden insight. And Rachel- wow! Who wouldn't want to hear her sing full blast to the radio? You make my day."
Sunday, July 19
1. Bite not thine own fingernails should ye desire a different result for thy off-spring. (Oopsie.)
2. Remove ammunition from The Thrower, yea, in haste shall ye thwart his lust for mayhem. Heed not silly childhood behavior 'experts' who exhaust themselves with much advice about how to carefully explain to the child there are different kinds of throwing. The child is not stupid. He likes to throw.
3. Bite The Biter an eye for an eye. But ~ bite not the biter if it is not thine own child.
4. Employ the new babysitter with confidence. However, see that ye dismiss not thy eldest daughter's report when thou return. Thou mayest learn how one babysitter forthwith turned into "two", and they both spent much time on the phone, and used the F word to the children, and so forth. (thanks, Bi!)
5. Indulge not The Backwards-hurler into space; of such is sure calamity.
Rather seize the human cannon in mid-air, and squeeze it close. Let not go until the child responds to thy request for calm. Then apply something interesting to do immediately, distracting the child. Should it rise up and begin flinging itself again, intercept exactly the same as before. Now give warning that yonder bed await it should there be a repeat of the behavior. Do not relent. Never surrender.
6. Pretend marvelous surprise should ye hear children express in public what others piously assume is forbidden in thy home, perchance thy performance save thee.
7. Be wise, and know there are circumstances wherein the young child's natural discernment is absolutely correct:
a. Should thy little 6 year old son observe the school bus driver is mean and exerciseth much unrighteous dominion, and he say to her, "Thou Big Fat Meatball", be not angry with him, but investigate the matter. Behold, ye shall find many reliable witnesses who doth validate the driver is cruel and derelict in her duty to very young children. Protest ye the write-up given thy little son, for his assessment was indeed accurate every whit.
b. Likewise, be ye diligent when young, second-year school teacher giveth thy same little son naught but red marks all over every single paper. Yea, he doth return from class utterly demoralized. Ye shall privately remind the teacher this child has skipped Kindergarten, and has not the full school year of penmanship practice as do the other children in his 1st grade class. Ask her to mark her own records, but mark not his paper so extreme, as it doth defeat him greatly. When the pretty, fashionable young teacher receive thy words with much anger and crazy left-field emotion, ignore her. Watch only for thy son's papers returning home less marked with red, and his smiling countenance. (good boy, James!)
8. Be ye in the habit of saying often, "I'm so glad I saw that!" For verily, there are many little things in a day that do amuse and surprise, yea, enough that ye may all be filled with merriment if even for a small moment. Thy children will be quick to share with thee, and laugh much. Yea, they will be funny.
Likewise, start ye now a list posted in the house wherein all may write funny things observed or heard. Not only be ye sharing humor, but ye shall encourage awareness of legitimate language.
For example: from beautiful "Singing Bee" show hostess last week: "Well sang!" or from a Fox News reporter on the Gaza border: "...the two sides collashed!" or from a hostess on "Ramsey's Kitchen": "Mike likes to presentate his food."
Especially entertaining (or frightening) are comments ye shall find sadly posted for the world to see on blogs/news stories of all types: "I am in aw of your ignorance..." by 'Staricka'.
Tuesday, July 14
We dearly love our two boys become men. They are both Eagle Scouts. They are married to beautiful, wonderful young ladies. They are both now fathers of the most amazing, sheer-genius little boy, and the most darling, adorable little girl, respectively. They own their own fully stocked tool chests, they each have a nice barbecue grill, and are lucky enough to have some very nice furniture pieces to make their homes a welcoming haven for their growing little families.
Saturday, July 11
Saturday, July 4
Tuesday, June 30
Sunday, June 28
Saturday, May 23
Throughout the ante-chambers, confusion reigned. Colonists scrambled in red-alert mode to the crisis, each to a preassigned station of emergency response. Nurses tending to young, corpsmen relaying messages, hordes of alerted individuals seemingly moving in all directions. The appalling noise of the invasion above roared fiercely through every hallway and battered the senses mercilessly.
Then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, the hellish foe retreated. There was an eerie and profound nothingness in its place; a cool breeze, the grass still moist from rain, a gentle sun bathing the now calm morning. There was after all, no aggressor to confront. Nothing at all. No intruder at the doors, no apparent motive whatsoever for the momentary frenzy of awful terror and death. The attack was by all accounts, unexplainable. Then, even before preliminary damage assessments could be conducted, and while scouts were valiantly exploring the perimeter, the shadow of roaring, whirling destruction returned.
This time it crushed them with a terrible, wholly consuming force. Multiple passageways totally collapsed, burying countless victims beneath a sudden and pulverizing blow. Whatever it was ~ it was so massive, so utterly gigantic, its indistinguishable form filled the sky literally from horizon to horizon. Only the horrified scouting party had this particular vantage since they had ventured far enough from the compound to avoid a direct blow. A number of them were thrown violently by the whirlwind, but they escaped the deadliest impact their fellow citizens unfortunately experienced at ground zero. This was a tragedy of epic proportions.
Such is a day in the life of a large, new ant hill in the backyard I encountered while mowing the lawn. Ruthlessly, I sprinkled the last of a boric acid powder generously on top of the now seething mound of very aggressive, exceedingly nasty black biting ants. The fine, white cloud of powder sweetly settling on the ground reminded me of sifted powdered sugar delicately lacing the surface of a warm spice cake. It was easy. I quite enjoyed it.
Friday, May 22
There is no growth in the debilitating labor of repetition, but only in being allowed the freedom to blossom.
There is much of serenity in traditional relationships, and predictable corruption in conflict.
So much of life is needlessly like waiting in the wings; waiting for something better, for something to change, for something to happen...
And this was quite unexpected.
Thursday, May 14
"...Not even a carbon tax would pay for Obama's vast expanded welfare state. Nor will Midwest Democrats stand for a tax that would devastate their already crumbling region.
Closer to home, examples of government-run health systems gone bust are common place. Sadly, the indigent patient base they were intended to serve is also the most exploited by the bureaucratic failure which loses their files, hires miserably unqualified staff, treats patients with contaminated instruments and sub-standard equipment - or worse, doesn't treat them at all. One public hospital ironically was established in Watts after the race riots in 1965 to show good faith serving this vulnerable community's needs. Four decades and hundreds of millions of dollars later, the hospital had earned the gruesome nick-name of "Killer-King" for tragically accurate reasons. (3)
3. John R. Graham, "Martin Luther King Jr. - Harbor Hospital Shows the Cost of Government Monopoly Health Care" 18 March 2009