Spring is my favorite time of year. A time of rebirth, renewal and review. Â I get to celebrate my birthday and plant a garden. Â The days get longer, giving me more opportunity to enjoy my yard and play outside. Â Soccer starts up next week for me, and my daughter’s team had their first game yesterday. Â 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. Â Spring cleaning has been especially satisfying this year and I was able to take a truckload to the dump last weekend. Â 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. Â Over 50 people, including kids, came over to eat food and visit. Â The kids had a great time on the play structure and running through the woods in the back. Â I commanded the grill, with another dad as my assistant. Â The flames were high and the fat was sizzlin’. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â We took the last few orders and cooked something for ourselves. Â 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. Â Everyone had a great time, Little Bit held court in the living room, delighting everyone with her cuteness and mobility. Â At the end, there were just a few people, all of them parents of other fourth graders at our daughter’s school. Â As usual, we’d invited people from all parts of our lives: Â my parents, Mrs. Kyle’s mom, bar friends, long time friends, my geek buddies, and families of other fourth graders. Â Increasingly, it’s the other parents we have the most fun hanging out with. Â 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. Â My mustache is pretty light, but has gotten wirier over the years. Â I don’t usually trim it unless it gets long enough to feel at the corner of my mouth. Â My beard has gotten wiry and more profuse over the years, but still doesn’t meet in the middle: Â it grows on either side of my chin cleft, and down my neck. Â 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. Â The other night, however, I picked up my wife’s razor and pulled it gently across my dry skin. Â The stray hairs I targeted disappeared without a fuss, but I know better than to do too much without foaming up first. Â I’ve been pondering the idea of shaving instead of trimming for a while, in fact, my ElderSpawn suggested it a few months ago. Â 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. Â In fact, it kind of turned me on. Â The man in me doesn’t have many body parts to call his own, so the facial hair means a great deal. Â Shaving is a manly ritual and my male self didn’t get trained in it as a boy. Â I don’t know what it means to others, but the idea of shaving my beard is a big deal. Â 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. Â 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. Â 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. Â Their coaches have the girls playing all positions, with several taking turns at goalie. Â My daughter prefers goalie and defense and played extremely well in midfield defense during a tough section of the game. Â I’m very proud of her and her teammates.
Next week brings the Science Fair, for which I’ve volunteered to be a judge. Â Â And next weekend, I’ll start my soccer season. Â Next Sunday, my family will be flying to Florida for spring break without me. Â I’ll miss them and miss the lovely weather they’ll be enjoying, but I’m looking forward to having some time alone. Â It’s been ages and ages. Â And at the end of that week… Roxy‘s coming and I have some work to do getting ready for thatÂ wondrousÂ and much anticipated event.
Have a great week.
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