Spring is my favorite time of year. A time of rebirth, renewal and review. I get to celebrate my birthday and plant a garden. The days get longer, giving me more opportunity to enjoy my yard and play outside. Soccer starts up next week for me, and my daughter’s team had their first game yesterday. Life is good.
With the strong spring sunlight shining through the house, it seems all the more stuffy and grungy after a winter of being shut and dark. Spring cleaning has been especially satisfying this year and I was able to take a truckload to the dump last weekend. We’re going through piles of stuff throughout the house, utilizing freecycle and other ways to pass our unwanted items off for reuse or recycle.
On Saturday night we had a gathering of family and friends to celebrate my birthday. Over 50 people, including kids, came over to eat food and visit. The kids had a great time on the play structure and running through the woods in the back. I commanded the grill, with another dad as my assistant. The flames were high and the fat was sizzlin’. Remarkably I still have hair on the outside of my wrists — usually it’s absence is a sign that grilling season has begun in earnest. My wife brought home a Costco carrot cake with a birthday message on it but the real treat was mini-cupcakes made by the mom of one of our ElderSpawn’s classmates. Chocolate cake, raspberry mousse with a gorgeous yummy raspberry on top.
I’d cleared the grill twice before realizing my assistant and I should eat something. We took the last few orders and cooked something for ourselves. It was still a good hour before I finished eating, people were still arriving, there were gifts to open, people to introduce, all the typical party host activities.
Throughout the night, I had my trusty Flask o’ Tequila to enjoy and share with others. Everyone had a great time, Little Bit held court in the living room, delighting everyone with her cuteness and mobility. At the end, there were just a few people, all of them parents of other fourth graders at our daughter’s school. As usual, we’d invited people from all parts of our lives: my parents, Mrs. Kyle’s mom, bar friends, long time friends, my geek buddies, and families of other fourth graders. Increasingly, it’s the other parents we have the most fun hanging out with. They stay to the end, they enjoy themselves, relish the opportunity to socialize with other adult, are responsible and fun.
I have a hairy chin and upper lip. My mustache is pretty light, but has gotten wirier over the years. I don’t usually trim it unless it gets long enough to feel at the corner of my mouth. My beard has gotten wiry and more profuse over the years, but still doesn’t meet in the middle: it grows on either side of my chin cleft, and down my neck. I usually let it grow for several days, until I’ve got quarter inch or more bristling out, then I’ll pull out the trimming sheers and take it back to the epidermis. The other night, however, I picked up my wife’s razor and pulled it gently across my dry skin. The stray hairs I targeted disappeared without a fuss, but I know better than to do too much without foaming up first. I’ve been pondering the idea of shaving instead of trimming for a while, in fact, my ElderSpawn suggested it a few months ago. The ‘dry run’ the other night was a way of gauging my feelings about using a razor and I can report that I liked it. In fact, it kind of turned me on. The man in me doesn’t have many body parts to call his own, so the facial hair means a great deal. Shaving is a manly ritual and my male self didn’t get trained in it as a boy. I don’t know what it means to others, but the idea of shaving my beard is a big deal. Roxy says that there’s a lot of development my male self didn’t get a chance to experience, being forced within in favor of the female self. I guess that might help explain the irrational giddiness I felt truncating a few hairs on my face that night.
Last but not least, the spawn report:
Little bit is crawling like a champ and just in the last couple of days figuring out how to pull up to her feet using furniture, large toys and other people. She is incredibly proud of her accomplishments, as are we.
ElderSpawn played her first soccer game of the season this Saturday as her team won 2-1. Their coaches have the girls playing all positions, with several taking turns at goalie. My daughter prefers goalie and defense and played extremely well in midfield defense during a tough section of the game. I’m very proud of her and her teammates.
Next week brings the Science Fair, for which I’ve volunteered to be a judge. And next weekend, I’ll start my soccer season. Next Sunday, my family will be flying to Florida for spring break without me. I’ll miss them and miss the lovely weather they’ll be enjoying, but I’m looking forward to having some time alone. It’s been ages and ages. And at the end of that week… Roxy‘s coming and I have some work to do getting ready for that wondrous and much anticipated event.
Have a great week.
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