Wednesday, October 31, 2007

summer rescue me

While driving, I often sing Love Rescue Me, by U2. David calls it the "sha la la song" and insists that I sing that verse first. Yesterday, David interrupted me after I sang this part:
And the sun in the sky
Makes a shadow of you and I
Stretching out as the sun sinks in the sea
"And then it's dark" he said. I didn't quite catch what he said the first time and asked him to clarify. "The shadows stretch out and the sun sinks and then it is dark."

Very true. And it is happening earlier and earlier. This week, the last before the time change, marks the end of our favorite summer activity, evenings in the park.

To commemorate the passing of another season, I dug back through my files and pulled up some summer photos that never got posted.

Enjoy. As always, clicking on this photo takes you to the rest.


Monday, October 29, 2007


Several of you have commented in this blog but I had the moderation settings of incorrectly set, causing your comments to sit in purgatory until a benevolent intercessor brought them to my attention. I have freed them and fixed the moderation so all comments will go through without problems until someone says something sufficiently boneheaded to make me close the entire comments module in a fit of seizure-inducing eye-rolling.

later, unmoderated fans

Monday, October 22, 2007

CJOnline - Festival gives taste of cuisine, religion

Go read CJOnline - Festival gives taste of cuisine, religion in which, apropo of nothing, I reveal to the world the ancient secrets of our mystery cult.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

can we just make it a celebration of me?

"David, at 4:00, Alexander and Sebastian are having a birthday party."

"Can we have cake how about vanilla ice cream can we put candles on the cake and put fire on the candles?"

Friday, October 19, 2007

Simon Lounging









A friend mine bought a new Mini Cooper that arrived last weekend. I assume they spent the weekend just driving around. I know when I got each of my bikes, I took every oportunity to just go ride it. It's like first having your driver's licence--just gotta go. Well, Simon got his licence to walk last week and he has just got to go, too.

At first it was like he was possessed in some sort of trance. He had been taking a significant number of steps for a couple of weeks, but if he really needed to get anywhere, he would drop and crawl. He can crawl as fast as a Mini Cooper. But, suddenly, last weekend, he just started walking and walking and walking with no purpose, from one corn of the house to the other. The first day it stagger four-or-five steps, teeter, fall, get up, stagger. His stance was wide, his legs unbending, his arms akimbo like some Frankenstein monster cowboy. Each day he could go further and further without tumbling until he could basically walk a straight line over flat ground without a problem. Eventually, he got better on uneven ground and can sometimes change direction without toppling. Today, he walked to me on the sidewalk in front of Ninas--a sidewalk that more resembles a recently-collapsed building.

But, now that he has mastered the skill, is over it. Sometimes he walks, sometimes he crawls. No big deal. It just depends.

He still is not eating significantly. But there is improvement there. Each week he chokes a little less frequently and we get bolder with our solid food experiementing. I assume that something will click in the arena, too, and he'll suddenly want to devour every solid thing he can get his hands on.

Later, Minifans

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


With David's charm, charisma, and dashing looks he could focus his enthusiasm for football into a highly profitable and physically safe career as a sports broadcaster.

Mom's always have the last word

I just saw an X-ray of a boy's arm with a break which allowed the bones to overlap by an inch. This injury occurred whilst playing football.

Did I mention, An Inch.

From this moment forward the only sports my lovely angelic boys are allowed to play are:
Underwater Basket Weaving
Competitive Knitting
Air Hockey
Horse Shoes
Speed Walking

The Mother has spoken.

Monday, October 08, 2007

the fightin' miters

I am working 2 football games 2day &wont get 2 start watching K-State ku until late. So, if U text me during the game i won't read it until after i'm done. GO CATS.
Msg stored at: OCT 6, 8:40 am

Msg Delivered at: Oct 6, 8:41 am

U might as wellget used 2 it, David already likeS it & Simon won't B far behind. Warms the cockles of my heart.
Msg stored at: OCT 6, 8:44am

The man speaks the truth. Dad referees high school football. Last Friday night Grandpa, David, and I drove to Solomon to watch him referee an American Football match between the Fighin' Solomon Gorillas and the Fightin' (and winnin') Frankfurt Wildcats. Interesting thing: they have seating for fans of the home team and for fans of the visitors, but not for fans of the referees. I really didn't expect David to catch much of what was going on during the game but he surprised me. After the first completed pass (and tackle), he turned to me with a look of pure delight on his face and exclaimed, "He caught the ball and the knocked him down!" Later, he described a scuffle at the last ten yards from the end-zone with similar glee: "They're fighting!"

But dad might not have hit the mark with Simon. Saturday, while the rest of the state was driving west to Manhattan, we headed East to Kansas City to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the church in which Jaime and I were married. On the way, David asked out of the blue if Simon would get married when he grew up. I said that I hope so; that he either marry or take monastic vows. Turns out, this was a prophetic conversation. Later that day Simon cinched the decision by crawling to the middle of the nave and picked up the orlet--a small circular rug that the bishop stands on--declaring his intentions as far as I am concerned. How does that relate to football? Well, bishops are busy on Sundays, which in the world of TiVO is probably not the impediment that is used to be, but we can hope, can't we?

later, hierarchical fans

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

mean kids

I have always encouraged David to be friendly and outgoing. Either because of this or because he inhereted his mother's natural social exuberance, he is able to hold is own well in social situations. He is conversational and friendly with just about anyone regardless of age. I remember when he first got his tricycle last year an we were walking/riding down the sidewalk when a neighborhood boy who is a couple of years older planted himself in the middle of the sidewalk, stopping David. Enthusiastically the boy said, "I have a Spiderman scooter in my basement."

There was a pause just long enough for me to wonder to myself how David would respond to this aggressive friendliness, then he replied with equal enthusiasm, "wow!"

On the playground, I encourage him to play with other kids and if he does strike up a playground friendship, I have taught him how to introduce himself and ask the name of his playmate.

Here is my question: doesn't anyone else do this?

Many times lately I have watched out the door at a scene where David approaches a group of neighborhood kids, all of whom are either a bit older or a bit younger than David, only to be ignored at best if not treated rudely. This evening he was playing outside as I finished feeding Simon. I went to check on him. He was outside among several people. One group was Christopher, who is a year younger, with his mom. They were leaving and David was tagging along trying to strike up a conversation--probably about Buzz Lightyear. Christopher's mother was ignoring David and Christopher was simply an oblivious two-year-old. I kept thinking to myself, why doesn't she stop and help Christopher say hi to David and explain that they are leaving and that he hopes they can play later? Shortly David turned to some older boys were wrestling. He was doing that hesitant step-hop thing that someone on the outside of a social circle does as they try to interject themselves into that circle. Fortunately, one of the boys was the only socially competent child in our neighborhood--the same one with the Spiderman scooter, if memory serves. He interacted with David, sorta. He held his friend in a a full nelson and let David hit him in the stomach. It's something.

The real problem here is that, when I see David rebuffed by these kids (and their parents), I am actually seeing myself. For reasons that I have never satisfactorily determined, I was socially incompetent as child. Typically, I was picked on teased, and excluded. These are of course memories of an eight-to-twelve-year-old, not a three year old. And they are memories that I long ago deactivated in favor of the present reality in which I am quite the man about town. But when I see David treated this way, those feeling rush back. I am heartbroken and even feel a little of the shame that plagued me as a child that somehow it was my fault that other kids were mean--that maybe they were right and I was unworthy of their attention. It floods back in an instant and for an instant and my heart breaks.

I have no idea how David feels about this. Not having my life experience, I assume that he does not share my feelings. There is evidence to suggest that he is sometimes hurt. One time Christopher was rude to him out of simple two-year-old orneriness and the look on David's face was crestfallen. Other times, he seem oblivious, like when Cody, a five-year-old with anger issues, was berating him so strongly that I almost intervened just as his dad stepped in. David seemed oblivious to this. He just wanted to see Cody's new bike. But he is not going to be oblivious forever. I keep watching because I know that sometime soon, it is going to sink in. He is going to get really hurt by the way these kids treat him and then he is going to dish it right back out. He is going to be mean to Christopher or to some other new kid who moves in. Now don't get me wrong, I don't believe that this behavior has to be learned, it is the default mode--especially for children. I just wish I could see more parents trying to teach their kids a different mode.