I love vacations… But now, I’m back at work, and a week’s worth of emergencies are sitting here staring at me. I hate being indispensable.
You know, I need a vacation. The best part is, I’m taking one!! I’ll be gone next week, so please don’t expect anything (like anyone reads this anyway).
My wife thinks I’m beautiful… And that’s enough for me.
I have a job. I work a lot. I’ve worked for the same company for almost six years (my entire 20’s experience almost). My dad has had more jobs in the past six years than I’ve had in my entire life. He’s not even a bum! These jobs are well-paying and pretty cool. Am I TOO stable? Am I TOO predictable? Beats me.
So, my brother and his wife are here, and I took Max over to play last night. It was so great to see my son and my brother playing together. Tim chased Max around the yard, showed him flowers and leaves, and played Max’s “Pick up rock, drop behind my back” game for a good long while. It made me want to cry, but my knee hurt so much, and my allergies were so bad, I forgot.
Oh yeah, my stupid knee. I had my ACL replaced on 5/4 of last year. I figured, “Hey, it’s been a year, let’s try some volleyball”. Yes, you can call me a dumbass now. I don’t THINK I didn’t anything serious to it, but my kneecap hurts like hell, and walking sucks. So, I’ll give it a couple days, and then call up my patient and long-suffering doctor.
And the worst part about it is that I’ve done this to my wife already. It was really hard on her. I feel guilty already, and I don’t know if I did anything to it. I’m sorry, sweetie. I will never play sports again, ever ever ever.
My brother and his wife are flying in this afternoon. I can’t wait to see him. We were the best of friends growing up (he’s two years younger than me). He graduated from college this week, and is mulling his options. Actually, he may be post-mull, and have a decision, but I don’t know what it is yet.
I miss the times when we were little and played or hours and hours. We’d invent characters and stories that I still remember. We’d go on “adventures” and run all over the place. When we lived in North Carolina, there was this exposed root system at the top of this hill we used to call Yoda’s Hut. We’d ride our Huffy’s up there, find some other kids to play with, and then play until it got dark, or someone skinned their knee (which happened almost daily – I still have scars).
Then, in high school, we got better at playing games. The game became “what can we get away with”. We’d find ways to sneak out, around or through whatever we could, which became a lot easier when I got my driver’s license, and started dating. Tim became the “chaperone”, which was a great excuse not to double-date.
Ok, I don’t know where this is going… except that I miss him. We’re both married now, live in different places, and are at different places in our lives. I miss having him around to talk to and sneak around with. I’ve never had a better friend than my brother.
I hate springtime. I have allergies, and they’re worst when the weather is the best. When plants bloom, so do my sinuses. It feels like I have a bowling ball inside my face. My head hurts, and my eyes are about to fall out of their sockets. Yes, thank goodness for springtime, when the earth renews itself, and I want to hibernate. Benadryl, take me away!
I was right! Today is worse. I’m really sleepy. But, the class went really well. I think I like teens best when they’re barely awake. It made teaching easier. I’m looking for The Maxx graphic novels (I have the first two), but I can’t find any. I’m not in the mood to write anything today, so I won’t waste any more time or space.
I’m very tired today, and tomorrow’s going to be worse. I have to get up really early to go substitute teach a class for church (Friday morning, you ask? Seminary for the high school kids. I have no idea how I did perfect attendance for four years – amazing).
Today? Let’s talk about being a “grown-up”. It’s hard stuff, especially when I still think “When I grow up, I wanna be…” all the time. I don’t FEEL like a grown up. But, when I look in the mirror, there it is, my grown up face staring back at me with the grey circles under my eyes and glasses. I’m married, have a son, own two cars, have a job with responsibility and pay a mortgage every month. I guess that qualifies me as a member of the adult club. It’s not what I expected. I thought I’d be wise, and know how to do things. I’m not, and I don’t.
This is all stemming from a realization I had a little while ago. I realized that who I am now is probably who I’ll be for the rest of my life. I always thought, deep down, that there would be some great awakening where I would suddenly feel mature and a part of the great flow of grown ups in the world. I figured I had time to be stupid and lazy a little while longer. Now, I’ve realized I didn’t have all that time, and that I’m pretty much the same guy I was when I was 19, just slower, fatter and with more stuff to do every day. I’m no more industrious or “together” now than I was then. I still have the same problems with time management, responsibility and authority I had then. I still feel I’m “missing something”. Like a part that makes the adult me wasn’t included in the original package. The real problem is I don’t know what that part is, or how to fix it.
This all sounds pretty bad and unhappy. It’s not. It’s just puzzling. I’ve been reflecting on decisions I’ve made, the experiences that got me to this point, and wondering how it all happened like it did. I truly like where I am. I love my family. I like my job (love it some days). I am content with who I am at its core. But, there’s still that nagging feeling that something’s not there that should be.
Ok, all this navel gazing is tedious. I’m done for now…
(preface: I know I said I’d continue the Tucson story, but I don’t feel like it. Get over it)
I’ve decided something. I don’t have enough uncles. I have one that I have any contact with, and well, that’s just not enough. My wife has a ton of them. There’s something cool about watching them all together. Her dad has four brothers and two sisters, who I now see more often than my own solitary uncle. They’re all funny, slightly raunchy (in a Sunday-old-man kind of way, stuff you grandma might blush at, but nothing really awful) and narcoleptic. One uncle fell asleep mid-sentence at Thanksgiving dinner a couple years ago. I’m straying a bit, but you get the idea. There are even the in-law uncles, Norm and Watts (first name, not last), who are great too. That’s a grand total of 6 semi-uncles I have now. I love them to death (well, most of them). But, they’re not MY uncles. I get them by association.
We’ve gone to visit them in Michigan a couple times now, and they all came to Tucson for our wedding. I love seeing this giant nuclear family together. I just wish my side of the family were more like that. Maybe it will once the other kids go and start families, and we become the aunts and uncles (one way being the oldest sucks).
Back to my original point of not having enough uncles. Uncles are fun. Uncles do cool things. Uncles should be good for embarrassing stories about your parents. I have one uncle who I don’t talk to enough, and doesn’t seem to dish the dirt on my mom (I think because he knows she could kill him even though she’s 5’6″ and he’s 6’4″). Uncles should also be good for advice. You should be able to go to your uncles for manly advice about things you wouldn’t ask your dad about. And here’s what I realized today, I want Garrison Keilor to be my uncle. I listen to Prairie Home Companion whenever I’m in the car on Saturday night, and sometimes on Sunday mornings, and his voice is always so wise and comforting, even when it’s funny. I read his column @ Salon.com, and he says wise, comforting, funny, uncle-y things to the people who write in. He seems like a good guy to go to dinner with. And who can ever have enough people to enjoy going to dinner with?
I’m back, but still tired. This parenting stuff is hard. BUT, Max and I invented a new rowdy game last night. Before I tell you about it though, I need to talk about Max for a just a minute. Wow, this kid is big and strong for an 18-month old. We have this big sectional in the living room (or, as I call it, the wrestling ring) with these bulky, 15 pound cushions. Max likes to pick them up over his head and throw them over the half-wall into the entry way. And he’s only 18 months old!! What am I going to do when he’s 3 and can kick my butt?
So, the new game. It’s called “The Big Pillow Game” (can you tell I came up with the title?). Max takes a bed pillow, holds it over his head and runs around sectional until he comes to me, and then throws the pillow down on me, and falls on the pillow, making a human-pillow sandwich. This is all lots and lots of fun, because there’s nothing better than the laugh of an 18-month old boy. Nothing at all.