When I pick G up from school, I always ask how her day was. For years, her answer has been “boring.” Recently, however, she’s accidentally messed up and replied “Great!” – especially when we’re bringing a friend home with her. Even more recently, she’s begun being completely honest, even asking for advice on how to deal with problems with friends. (My advice on that has ranged from “Take the high road”, to “I wouldn’t reward bad behavior with what they want”, to “That doesn’t sound like someone I’d bother being friends with anymore.”
I’m sure that sometimes my advice is followed, and sometimes ignored – I’m just glad that she is finding her own way, but still letting me into her life.
But even with all that, I still love when she comes downstairs to get help with math homework. Tonight was more awesome than usual – it was one page, front and back, about 10 problems in total. I help her work through them, but make her do all the thinking – I’m just here to guide and assist.
We get done in about 15 minutes. She flips the paper over, and says, “I thought that would take a lot longer.”
I’ve been friends with a couple of guys for 20 years now (since it’s 2016, officially). They’ve been best friends since long before I met them. Tonight, I got a call from one of them, confirming my worst fear – the other one is now officially in hospice, and is sinking fast, leaving behind a wife and young daughter. The phrase “too soon” is an understatement.
Those of you that have known me for any length of time will probably recall a time when there has been a stripping clown. This guy is the reason. Most of my memories of him involve me laughing to the point where inhaling air HURT. He is responsible for my antitheist preference for “I acknowledge your sneeze without further comment” over “Bless you.”
I have a “trophy shelf” in my office. On it are many mementos, such as the doorbell from my Grandma Tonne’s house (one of my earliest memories). On it also are at LEAST 3 items from when he and I worked together, not the least of which is a “mulimedia etch-a-sketch”. (The two others I can think of without going up there are “Catbert” and “Birdbert”…)
For the first time since he got sick, he wants visitors. For that reason alone, I fear that it will not be long before he is taken from us forever. I asked G to join us for the visit – and she, being the kind soul that she has always been, said, and I quote:
I want to go see him anyway. If you told me you were going I would probably ask to come.
My daughter, ladies and gentlemen. Even as my heart is breaking, it swells with pride. I’m trying to brace myself to be brave, and funny, and touching without being maudlin. In the meantime, I’m going to watch some Marx Brothers films to lamely attempt to cheer myself up.
We whiled away a delightful and filling evening with Didi and Torsten, gorging ourselves on a delicious steak dinner and earlier munchies. Then, to top things off, G and her friend decided they wanted to bake some dessert while the menfolk sat on their asses and watched UT decimate Kansas.
Those of you who have watched “The IT Crowd” will understand that I’m telling you that what is on G’s face is chocolate.
And, as always, I remain convinced that the best sound in the world is my daughter’s laughter.
is helping G with homework. She came down for help with math early today, and we got that out of the way easily. She easily learned where the parenthesis belong with cross-products. Then, she wanted help with a short story. I gave her a few paragraphs and a funny ending.
She re-wrote everything, and returned with a heart-wrenching tale that will not leave my memory for a long time.
And what really gets me, is that that was her teacher wanted. All I did was to give a spark — which was discarded. She kept the theme (which I kept asking her to select out of 4 options) but went completely her own way.
I couldn’t be happier to be heart-broken. And just so you know, my ending was to have one girl shoot a retallitory spitball into her little brother’s mouth just as he was going to sleep, and to get a high-five from her mom who was walking by at the time. G managed to top that ending.
So, if we go by the eventually allowed marriage certificate, Cy and I have been married a whole three months since yesterday.
If we go by our accounting, we’ve been together 30 years today.
The best part of my day? Telling Cy to go back to sleep while I help G with her homework. He’s earned a rest after 30 years, and I’m so proud that she is taking full responsibility for her own homework.