Suburban Butch Dad report, 3/21/2010

A couple of weeks ago, our spawns were hanging out in the living room while the missus and I prepped for dinner.  I heard snippets of the song my eldest was singing, it sounded familiar, but I couldn’t identify it from two rooms away.  My wife went out to the living room for something and I heard her ask ElderSpawn what she was singing.

“‘Don’t Stop Believin'” she answered.

“Oh yeah?  Where have you heard it before?”

“Art class, we bring in music to listen to during art.”

I joined them and before long ElderSpawn and I were having  a great conversation and bonding over Journey.  She only remembered part of the chorus and was singing it over and over again.  I suggested we listen to the whole song.

“You have it, Mommy?”  And I laughed.. oh yeah, kiddo, I’ve got that album, on CD and vinyl, plus most of the rest of Journey’s catalog.  I put the CD on and then told her how I’d bought it on vinyl when I was a senior in high school, how I’d listened to it over and over again in my bedroom at night.  I sang along, memorizing every word, inflection and pitch that Steve Perry’s pipes produced.  She listened with big eyes, clearly enjoying this insight into the person I’d been when I was just a little older than her. I pulled the liner out of the CD case so she could read the lyrics.  We sang along to one song after the next, and she was very impressed that I still knew all the words without having to read them.

She wanted to listen to it again, but it was time for dinner, so I handed her the CD and told her she could listen to it down in the family room later.  She played it over and over again that evening, and the next day and the next.  She was singing along, with all the conviction and passion her 10 year old self could muster and she sounded pretty good.   A couple of days later, she invited me to come down to the family room to listen to her perform ‘Don’t Stop Believin”.  Now, anyone who really knows my ElderSpawn, knows that she doesn’t just sing songs, she performs them.  She choreographs dance moves and hand gestures and facial expressions like a pro.  So I brought the Little Bit downstairs and we settled onto the futon for the show.

She spun and dipped and sang along and before the song ended, I was singing along with her.  The CD kept playing and we kept singing along until it was time for dinner.  Since then, when we’re in the car together, I’ve been quizzing her whenever a Journey song comes on.  I have so much music that I’d love to introduce her to, but I’m waiting for her to lead the way, I think it’s going to be fun to see where her musical interests take her.

What’s that you say?  You want to hear about Little Bit, too?  Well, of course, what’s an SBDR without a report on the latest in developmental milestones by the little miss.  She’s crawling now, yep, passed right over rolling or scootching forward.  She is so cute and excited when she gets going.  She squacks as if she’s encouraging herself, or maybe just to make sure we all notice what she’s doing.  Her motion is still a bit herky-jerky and robotic, but she can get to where she wants to go pretty quickly.  Most often where she wants to go is where ever the kitty is, or into corners that we haven’t completely baby-proofed yet.  My wife’s mom is visiting, seeing Little Bit for the first time since Thanksgiving.  They hit it off right away, LB wanting to sit on Nana’s lap instead of one of ours.

I’ve done my duty as an American and filled out the census for our household.   I checked the ‘unmarried partner’ box once, and ‘female’ four times.   It used to be automatic to check ‘F’ to the question of my gender, but now I always hesitate for a moment.  I wonder if I’ll live to see that ‘either/or’ question disappear in favor of something a bit more inclusive on forms.

Fountain of Youth?  Portrait of Dorian Grey?  Or something else…

I’ve been thinking about about age a lot lately.  Not surprising considering I just had a birthday, I suppose, but it’s not something I spend a lot of time pondering usually.  Recently, though, I saw a picture on Facebook of one of my classmates.  I was shocked at how old she looked, how worn out and tired.  And if she doesn’t look like that all the time, it was a very poor choice for a profile picture.  That picture started me thinking about how it is that my age is regularly guessed at 10 years younger and this woman looks 5-10 years older.  I know I have to thank genetics for some of it, but I think my attitude about life is an even greater factor.  I am not a pollyanna kind of person, but I am an optimist.  I tend to see life in terms of possibilities, rather than concentrating on the failures and rough spots.  Everyday, I look for something to be happy about, something, no matter how small, that will make me smile and remember the good and joyful side of life.  My daughters’ smiles, the daffodils blooming, sunshine glowing on a tree trunk, the flash of green/purple/blue in a mallard drake’s plumage.  I think joy is always all around us, we just have to be open to it.  It’s not always a big thing either, sometimes you just need to recognize the small happinesses often enough so they build up.

I’m also a big proponent of letting the child-within have regular exercise breaks and in that spirit, I tweeted this the other day:

“Don’t bother looking for the ‘fountain of youth’, perversion, kink and buttsex are secrets to a youthful face and positive outlook”

And, yes, the child-within me is a dirty-minded, kinky-playful type… as happy to splash in the mud puddles as pull his girlfriend behind the bushes for a bit of intimate wrestling.

 

I do not like….

… half-chewed, vomited-up rodent remains left in prominent places for me to discover in the morning before I’m fully awake.  It must be spring, cuz the foul little gifts are showing up with greater and greater frequency.

… the way people leave shoe grit and baby powder all over the benches in the locker room.  Be considerate, clean up after yourselves!  I shouldn’t have to worry about getting my clothes dirty, or slipping on the powder-slick tiles.

… jackasses who think they’re so damned important and special that they don’t need to observe the law or simple courtesy while driving through my neighborhood.  Hey, asshole, you know that white striped band that goes across the road at the intersection?  That’s called a cross-walk, and when people are waiting at the cross-walk, you’re supposed to stop your stupid ass so they can cross.  Zooming through the intersection above the speed limit is not an acceptable alternative action.

I do like…

… having cool neighbors who watch out for us and our kids, who are fun to talk to over the fence while we’re both doing yard work.

… watching as drivers stop and let people cross the road safely and the people who let me back out of my driveway even though there are 10 cars behind them inching forward to get through the intersection.

… the freshness of the air on an early spring morning, when it’s too crisp to stand outside in short sleeves for very long, but you know it’s going to be pretty warm in the afternoon.

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