Hello from suburbia, it’s Kyle with another Suburban Butch Dad Report, this one sponsored by Alaskan Amber Ale.
I’ve been fighting a cold for several weeks, mostly keeping it at bay, but this week it jumped on my back and pushed me down. I went home early on Thursday and slept most of the afternoon and evening away. By the time I woke up on Friday, I felt a lot better and was able to put in a full day of work. Since then the coughing has been minimal, though I don’t think I’m completely over it yet.
It was a brilliant sunny day but I didn’t spend much time outside, instead I spent time pulling paperwork together so we can get our final pre-tax medical reimbursement filed. I did go out to my parent’s house to deliver Spawn1 and pick up my Christmas present. Now, don’t give me those side-eyes, the present I got this year filled the back of my pickup and more. My dad built me a bench swing, complete with frame. He’d built one for himself, and one for my sister, over the last few years and promised a while back to make me one, too. I got the best one, the culmination of his efforts to refine the design and technique. So today we loaded most of it in the back of my pickup, with the bench part in the back of his and drove it over to my house. It’s all unloaded, sitting against the east side of the house, under the cedars and out of the weather. He’ll come back when it’s time to reassemble it. As to when that will be, it depends on the weather, my time and motivation. I need to prepare the site and, in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s still winter up here.
Anyhoo, tonight Dad and Spawn1 are at one of the numerous Daddy and Daughter dances held in this area. They’ve been going since she was about 4 years old I think, and they both enjoy it a lot. I like that my daughter gets treated to a night out with a real gentleman and that my Dad gets special one-on-one time with her. I’m hoping this exposure to how a real man treats a lady will be something she remembers in the not so distant future, when she starts dating. In related news, the other night Spawn1 asked if she could call her good-friend-who’s-a-boy to say goodnight. It was already after hours, and I was poised to read to her, so I said, no, not that night, that it’s something to plan ahead for. She was ok with that.
And yes, I read to her every night, for the past year or so we’ve been working our way through Harry Potter books. We capped off number 6 recently and have just started number 7. We read about a chapter a night, if they aren’t too long and I’m not too tired. Little Bit (Spawn2) joins us most nights and plays with her feet or hands while we follow Harry and his friends as they fight the good fight. Sometimes we’ll stop and discuss a word, or a concept, or to remember earlier portions of the story that now make much more sense. One night I remember we were talking about a conversation Dumbledore and Harry had, about how Harry’s apparent destiny as the one who would ultimately face Voldemort. Harry was fixated on the prophecy, but Dumbledore kept gently pulling him in a different direction. He was trying to show Harry that the prophecy wasn’t the reason Harry would continue to fight Voldemort, ultimately killing him or dying in the effort. The reason was that Harry was driven by his personal history, the evil that had been done to him, a wrong he wouldn’t rest until it’d been righted. Dumbledore painted a fairly bleak picture for the 16 year old, that he would be alone in the end, that it would be his will and determination and heart that would accompany him. And there was no question in Dumbledore’s mind that Harry would stand up to the challenge.
Spawn1 and I talked about that a little, how even in our lives, where we didn’t have evil wizards running around, there were people doing bad things, wrong things to other people. We talked about how sometimes people can’t stand up for themselves and that it was up to those of us who believed in doing the right thing to stand up for them. I reminded her of the times she’s spoken up for other kids who were being picked on, trying to show her that you didn’t need to be a magic wand wielding wonder kid to be a hero. She’s like me, this skinny blond kid with big dreams and a big heart. She wants to do the right thing, wants to be a hero and save the day. I’m simultaneously proud and a little afraid for her. It’s not an easy way to be.
As for the Little Bit, her latest trick is rolling over from back to front. If you’re a parent or have spent time with babies, you’ll know that we’re on the brink of some very busy times here in Chez Jones. I remember Spawn1 going from that stage to rolling all over the house very quickly. We still laugh about the way she’d get stuck by rolling across the room until she was partway under the couch. And so, my wife, Spawn1 and I have been giving each other slightly horrified looks, even as we cheer the wee one on. We haven’t had to do much baby-proofing yet, there’s not much necessary until they’re mobile. And we’re on the brink of that so we’re gonna have to be looking at all the ways a rolling/crawling baby can get into trouble. The cords she can grab, items left behind by the cats, choke-ables.. all have to be found and picked up. And soon she’ll be pulling up and cruising the furniture, prompting another level of childproofing. That’s how it works, in case you’ve never done it, you work from the floor up, in layers, as needed.
I’ll wrap this edition of the SBDR up with a word about tomorrow’s big game..
Ok, that was two words, sue me. We’ll be heading up to north Seattle, to a Superbowl party hosted by some friends. My wife went to high school with the wife and they always put on an excellent spread of food. For game watchers, they’ve got two rooms outfitted with big TVs and lots of comfy seating. Their friends are fun and it’s an easy route to a good time while watching the game. I’ll probably have my phone handy so I can follow SaintChick’s tweet stream play-by-play. If you watch the game, who ever you root for (and it better be the Saints, Who Dat!), have a great time.
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