Suburban Butch Dad Report: closing out 2010

As the last week of 2010 meanders along, I’m busy with holiday related activities, my family and fulfilling my personal goals.  We had a pretty good Christmas with a holiday party on the Eve, then family brunch at our house that morning, and lots of lounging time that afternoon and evening.  However, we’re also dealing with sadness and loss over our beloved boy kitty, Walter.  This is the same cat who sustained a head injury from a car and drug himself into the house.  A few thousand dollars later, he was back to his loving, adventurous self.  Unfortunately, that adventurous spirit has led him away, we haven’t seen him since last Tuesday.  We’ve checked the sides of the roads (fearing he was hit again) and walked around the neighborhood calling his name.  We’ve stopped by Animal Services and filled out a lost cat form.  I’ve placed an ad in Craig’s List.  The next step would be to go door-to-door and ask our neighbors if we can search for him in some hiding place.  And all this is because we can’t accept that he’s gone for good.

Walter is my daughter’s beloved companion.  The first couple of days he was missing, she cried herself to sleep.  His disappearance falls right between her birthday and Christmas, a time of year we should be celebrating and light of spirit.  Instead there’s been an undercurrent of sadness and stress, sometimes spilling over into more tears and passionate pleas for his return.  It’s breaking my heart to see her so sad, I’ve been through this kind of loss countless times before, but I hate seeing her go through it.   Roxy counsels that even if I can’t save the day, I can be a hero to my daughter by allowing her to feel her sorrow and to see me feeling mine.  A major part of parenting is modeling behavior, so I guess this is my opportunity to model grief?  I really hate it, hate that I can’t solve this problem, that I can’t give her the gift she really wants.  I look over sometimes and see her staring off into space, a tight pained look on her face.  It’s all I can do not t0 burst into tears.

Ok, well, that was a downer, so let’s bring the mood back up if we can.  On the positive side, we really enjoyed having time with my brother and his husband on Christmas day.  My bro came early so we’d have extra visiting time with him.  He’s just started as an associate dean at a major California college and I’m very proud and excited for him.  He’s been working his way up through the ranks, working at four other colleges and universities to prepare for this position.   Not for the first time, as he was talking, I realized that I could be doing similar things in terms of career advancement.  The difference between us two (one anyway) is that I put a lot of my mid-30s time into home and family.  He and his husband just bought their first house together last year and are now talking about adopting.   He and I are very similar in drive, intelligence and ‘soft skills’, so anything we put our minds will probably be accomplished before long.  He put that drive and strategic sense into his career and I split between career and family.  Both of us feel justifiably good about our accomplishments.

Speaking of accomplishments, I’m close to submitting my second piece (ever) for publication in the next couple of days.  It’s a 5000 word story about a boy and his Sir in the dungeon.  Since this is for a Lesbian BDSM anthology, I worried a little about using ‘boy’ rather than ‘boi’ but there are plenty of juicy details that leave no doubt what my, I mean, the boy’s anatomy is like.

While my ElderSpawn goes through physical and emotional growing pains, the Bunny is growing in height and devilment.  Well, her devilment is probably constant, she’s just tall enough to get into new things.   The kitchen drawers have all been victims of her grasping hands.. she can’t see into them, but will grab and abscond with anything she gets in her little paws.  Just this weekend, she figured out how to slide open the hall way closet doors, opening up a whole range of things we’d rather not see strewn all over the house.  Last night, she was in the kitchen, by herself.  My wife and I were in the adjacent office, enjoying the fact that she wasn’t harassing us.  Bunny’s sudden maniacal laughter and screams of delight brought us out of our happy zone.  There she was, sitting in the middle of the floor surrounded by a pile of quart-sized Ziploc bags.  She’d pulled them out of one of the drawers and was delighted with them, apparently.  I sat down and started putting them away, until the last one, which she clutched tightly and refused to give up.  I had to resort to extreme tickling.

This is how it goes in my house.  I come home and never know what will be lying about, but knowing it will be an obstacle course, probably made up of plastic containers and lids, magnets from the fridge, toys, kitchen towels, shoes of all sizes with a sprinkling of Cheerios and graham cracker remnants.  Even if my wife had picked up a half hour before my arrival, the Bunny can spread house-wide havoc in a short time.   I usually spend the first few minutes picking up the things in my path.  Perspective older parents beware, the chasing around that will exhaust you, and the bending/stooping/picking up will kill your back.  But enough of my grumpy old man rant.

Bunny is also a charmer, for all her havoc raising baby-devil ways, she gives loves and kisses out in high volume.  She sits on my lap so we can play together, and recently has started sitting still so I can read to her from board books.   She will look at me very sweetly, with her coy smile, as she’s reaching for a toy bin she’s about to spill all over the floor.  I’m in serious trouble, aren’t I?


Coming up:

Tomorrow, I’m taking the ElderSpawn to the Harry Potter Exhibition at the Seattle Center.  This is part 2 of her birthday present from me — part 1 was going to the movie together last week.  I’m taking a half-day off of work so we can go in the afternoon and take our sweet time geeking out on all the props, costumes and what-not.  Then we’ll have dinner somewhere between Seattle and home to finish it all off.  She’s pretty excited, to the point of jumping up and down in anticipation yesterday.  It’s good to see her happy and excited about something and I’m looking forward to having quality time with her.


I’m not taking a month long hiatus like Sinclair is (lucky dog), but I am going to take some time to think about my goals for this blog (and other aspects of my life).  I appreciate all of my readers and especially thank those of you who leave comments or email me with feedback.  I’m hoping you all have a happy and fulfilling New Year ahead.

Thank you, 2010 for all you have given to me and the ones I love.  As for you, 2011, I have high hopes.


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