Archive for category Holidays

Forevermore
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Here it is!  Twenty-Eleven.  MMXI.  Fifteen days into the New Year.  Can it be that I’m finally about to post something again (rhetorical question)?  Typically we writers are told to stay away from asking the reader a bunch of questions.  So, maybe this means a change; a new direction; maybe a new writing style for me . . . are these more questions?  That one sure was.

So what has changed?  What is different?  Hmmm . . .  I’m married now.  I know, I skipped right by that.  I guess it’s to be expected.  My last two posts were on either side of the big day (one in February, the next in May); considerable time between the posts as my writing tapered off and my attentions turned to preparing a future with my new wife.  Although, you may have been able to derive all of this from a few of my tweets.

That future began on a Friday, February 26th.  A cool breeze flowed in from the lake as dusk approached.  Perfect weather:  crisp blue skies with a peppering of thin, faint clouds.  My bride and I stood amidst tall oak trees, hanging moss, and large fallen leaves that failed to resist the Florida cold.  My little boy—almost three—shivered next to me in a black tux and Chuck Taylors.  I exchanged a toy train with him to receive the entrusted ring box with vintage wedding band for my new bride.  It was just past four-thirty—the big hand swept slowly up—as we spoke our written vows with our parents as witnesses.  And at Azalea Park, in front of Greek columns atop a crescent-shaped wall, we said: “I do.”

Forevermore.

Forevermore

February 26, 2010

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Happy Mother’s Day
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The bedroom is dark. A faint blue hue blankets the room—its origin, the clock-radio that serves as an alarm during the work week. In the darkness, the soft blue extends and paints the silhouette of a once crib, now toddler bed. The glow rests as arches on each rail from the column of stacked spheres that make them up. Curved outlines of the rails glide down to a soft pillow that cradles the stirring head of my small boy. Previously a crescent of stillness curled on the edge of the mattress, he now sits up and calls out to me.

“Daaaaddy . . . Daaaaaaddy. Daddy, I wanna get up.”

Typically I would do what any sane father would do in the wee hours of the morning—play possum. On those occasions I would breathe silently and attempt to not move for fear that the slightest rustle might give way my true state; that I’m now awake. This is particularly important since we currently share the same room. If my silence was unconvincing and my son became persistent, then a glance at my nearby cell phone would confirm the early hour, and I’d call out to my son to go back to sleep. I too want to go back to sleep, and retrieve what little rest I can before the start of the morning. After all, I do have to keep after a boy who’s about to turn three.

But today is different. Today is Mother’s Day. And although this is my weekend and my time to spend with my son, he will be spending it with his mother. And she had requested to pick him up close to the time he generally wakes: six-thirty in the morning… I’ve given pause to allow that to sink in. Especially since I know that any parent whose child wakes early is going to fight for a little more sleep on their weekend; be it minutes or an hour. And let’s all be honest here, how many people are really and truly awake when their kids drag them out of bed. I’ll admit that I’m usually a shell of myself and walk as a zombie, seeking the TV for help, and hoping it distracts long enough for me to make coffee.

Granted, I get Father’s Day. But I would consider planning times that are more conducive for most people. Now in her defense, it did sound as though there was a need to amass with her family members early and depart to a hospital where her grandmother has been admitted during illness. And she was willing to pick him up instead of meeting somewhere half-way like we normally do. But still, six-thirty in the morning? I mean, they can’t be travelling more than ninety minutes, and I’m not even certain that visitation hours start that early. But who am I to question. It’s a holiday, and I don’t pry or care to know too much of his mother’s comings and goings. Only as far as my son’s well-being is concerned.

So it’s Mother’s Day and is five-thirty in the morning. I know, because I glanced at my phone before telling my son he can get up. And we’re up so I can spend time with him and play before he leaves in an hour. In three more days he’ll be gone for a little over a week. I’ll miss two of my days with him while he’s at a family reunion of his mother’s. And last night was an upsetting night for my little one because he went into time-out before we got him ready for bed. He threw an especially large fit for not wanting to clean up as it came time for his bath. We were all tired from the long day, and wore it on our face, and he then in his actions. Thus this morning was an opportunity to re-connect and bond again.

We played blocks, listened to counting songs, traced our numbers from one-to-ten. Afterwards we wrestled and found that his nails were long, so I carefully clipped them all back as he patiently watched and helped. Several times he hugged me, and told me he loved me. Then I received a text that his mom was fifteen minutes away. We changed his diaper (he wears pull-ups now and helps). And then I helped him dress. There was a short span where he was upset at having to take off his sleep shirt, but we quickly talked through it and he was happy again and excited at the prospect of wearing his green dinosaur shirt. His mom texted she was here. He gave kisses his own way—a bonk from his forehead, the rubbing of noses, pressing his right cheek against mine, the same on the other side with his other cheek, and then a firm hug. No more pecks on the lips from him, although he still wiped his mouth like we did. Then we walked down to meet his mom, so he can spend the day with her on Mother’s Day.

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Colby’s First X-Mas!!! Part 2….
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Colby’s first Christmas was a huge success!  It started basically with the annual Christmas Eve party at my mom’s house, December 24th.  Colby was able to meet the extended family, of brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces, nephews, etc.  Colby was the hit of the party!  Everyone commented on how well behaved and cute he was.  This makes me a very proud papa!  Colby usually has to nap, but on this evening, he was able to stay awake and alert for a long time, while continuing to be in a good mood and continue to learn his smiles!  He was smiling at all of the family, which was just adorable. 

Then we had a long day, on Christmas day as well.  We started by opening gifts at my house, that Santa left for Colby.  Well, he must have been a really good boy this year, or, in his four months of life, because Santa left him plenty of good toys.  After that, we went to my parents home to open more gifts, and had brunch.  After that, we went to my wife’s parent’s home, and again opened more gifts, and had dinner.  Colby was a real trooper throughout this long day.  He did take a long nap at my in-laws, in his pack and play, while we put some Christmas gifts together. 

All in all, it was a fantastic first Christmas for my son, Colby and his proud papa.  It was extremely joyous, and I look forward to many more!

Colby’s First X-Mas
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Colby’s First X-Mas!

Colby has another milestone coming up! It will be his very first Christmas, and I can not be more excited!  I want to buy him everything and get him all he could ever need and want, and he is only going to be about 4 months old!  Ha!  Now, I do realize that he is so very young, and he will not remember this event, only in pictures and such.  But, I do believe in my heart, that I am starting a foundation or the idea of Christmas in my eyes, and how I would like it to be.  I believe that I am instilling or starting the culture, values, and traditions of years to come. 

It begins by putting up the decorations around Thanksgiving time, which include decorating the front yard with several decorations, lights, and putting up the tree.  Then it’s on to watching the Christmas events on television, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, reading Christmas Stories, tuning into Christmas shows and watching Christmas movies that continue throughout the month of December.  These include, but are not limited to:  Santa Claus is coming to town, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and several more! 

Next is the annual Christmas Party with my wife’s family usually about a week or so before Christmas day.  After that, it’s the start of Christmas break, where both my wife and I have two weeks off for the winter holidays each year.  At some point during this month, I’d also like to start the tradition of driving around the town, looking at Christmas decorations and lights with Colby.  (This will most likely begin next Christmas, as he is still in an infant car seat and not able to really see the lights.) 

Next is the annual Christmas Eve party at my parents’ home with my entire family.  (And of course, there is usually this little movie on called “A Christmas Story”, perhaps you’ve heard of it? And it plays for 24 hours straight from Christmas Eve, through Christmas day, and I find myself compelled to watch it at some point during this time.)  And finally, comes Christmas day!  Yay!  In the past, I would open gifts at my house, with just my wife and I, which seemed to pass quickly, and then it was off to both of our parents’ homes where we would spend some of our day.  This has been the ritual or routine for the past several years. 

But, as I have been thinking about it, and remembering how fun it was for me to just open gifts as a child from Santa and be able to stay at my home and play with them all day, I realize that this is something that I am also going to want for Colby.  I believe that probably starting next year, we will have to figure out a way to corporate all of these things into our day, but not race out of my home so fast, as I’m going to want Colby to be able to stay and enjoy Christmas at my home for the mornings.  I believe that we are going to have to start by spending our day here, for more time than I would in the past, and either have the parents (Colby’s grandparents) come our way if possible, or go and visit them later in the day.  This is something that I treasured as a child as my parents were able to give this to me, these wonderful Christmas mornings and days of playing with my toys from Santa.  And I want very much to be able to give this time to my son Colby as well. colby 834a

And of course, starting the tradition of having fun with Colby taking silly pictures! haha…

Thankful for the little things
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It’s a rainy, overcast day. The time is five o’clock; rush hour; cold and unusually dark. It looks and feels like nine o’clock. Small drops still mist onto the windshield, forcing the need to squint through wipers at the red glow of the holiday congestion. Those not coming home from work, drive to a destination for tomorrow—Thanksgiving. The weather is colder than it has been, closing in on the forties; the average being twenty degrees warmer. But it’s always cold come Thanksgiving; from shorts and t-shirts, to pants and jackets; overnight.

The ride home reminds me that, although I have a new family to spend the holiday with, my divorce arrangements leave me without my son . . . every Thanksgiving.

Home at last, the walk up the sidewalk and to the stairs of my condo are marred by overzealous lights decorating the neighbor’s house across the street: dancing icicles along the roof, a wall of bulbs across the garage, glaring lines beside the landscaping, and a twenty foot tree from more conspicuous strands. All but the icicles pulse to the Christmas music blaring from his yard. This spectacle—on display for the past week—continues for another month and screams each night until just after eleven o’clock.

It’s all just another reminder that this time for family is fleeting. A mere blink in the moments we have together; or, in the case of my son, apart. I try to stretch out the time with family and the time to be thankful. I fight off decorating for the next holiday until the current one has passed. But even I’ve succumbed this year.

The jostling of my key in the door causes it to open from my fiancé, eager to greet me. As we hug I see the tree I bought and that we decorated with my son. My compromise to create tradition for a time I normally don’t have him—our family tradition to decorate the day after Thanksgiving.

But this year looks to hold more promise. I jumped the gun with our tree, because improved communication between his mother and I has allowed us to hold true to that tradition. We have him the day after Thanks giving. And as luck would have it, my parents have a tree void of ornaments. It may seem silly or trivial, but I have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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