Archive for ‘Saturday’

March 20, 2010

The Tooth Fairy

Charis asked me what the tooth fairy looked like after losing her first tooth. I decided to draw her a picture. For some reason Rachelle has banned my picture from public viewing in my own house. I’m deeply hurt. Apparently there is no room for creative interpretation in my house for what the tooth fairy looks like. Well, here is my rendition for your viewing pleasure.

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November 28, 2009

Saturdays Are For Stories

A child’s logic is an amazing thing.

It was a long day. I was tired, ready to be home with my precious quartet of ladies. I walked into the house, gave hugs, kisses as I numbly listened to the ramblings of three little ladies speaking simultaneously. Into the bedroom I walked to change in a comfortable outfit.

That is when I saw it. I stopped; the talking continued. The shadows from the setting sun concealed it a bit on the soft lavender paint behind it, but it was undeniably there – right above our headboard. Someone had been writing on my wall. All three girls stopped speaking, sensing something had just changed.

Me: Who wrote on the wall?

Ladies: Not me.

Me: Remember to not lie.

Charis (My oldest): I did.

Me: Why did you do that? You’re the oldest and know better.

Charis: Well I didn’t want you to get mad at me for going into the playroom to get a piece of paper.

May 15, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

A Love Story

This is a typical love story. It begins as most love stories begin. A boy, Guy, catching a glimpse of a girl. It was love at first sight. Not some existential overstatement of the situation, but real love that blossomed as soon as the seed rooted itself in the fertile soil of his heart. She was one of the prettiest jewels his eyes beheld. He had no choice but to love her.

As the situation had it, her life was entwined with his. Guy counted himself lucky. He found himself changing his routine to have more time with her. He would come up with silly games to try to catch her attention. At first he had little success, but as time wore on he fine-tuned the skill set etched within the very being of his soul – skills he never knew existed – and he had success. He created situations to have contact with her, whether it be a smile, a laugh or a brushing of her hand against his arm. It eventually led to kisses, her gently caressing his cheeks with clear wonder and awe, hugs of immense magnitude and a sharing of the wonder of the world around them as they discovered anew all that they encountered. He found a piece of heaven – truly, as he began to grasp the importance of their relationship.

It was a new drug – one that conquers petty competitors like alcohol, drugs, books, television and money. Guy’s days were days of elation filled with utter happiness. Sadly, little by little things began to change. Guy discovered that strife was arising at every corner. He would say “hot” and she would say “cold.” At every point of life together, he discovered her constant needling of him as she bucked against his very fiber. Modern foolishness would wonder at the fact that his love for her still grew. He could not help himself for she was incomparably more valuable to him than his life. He would instantly give it up for her if need be – no question, no hesitation. The result was many restless nights filled with fits of tears and frustration in the dark closet of his heart.

There were many things about her that exhausted him, but his desire was not so much to change these things as it was to get past them. Clarity was given to him and he started another leg of this love affair. A precious gift was given to him and he realized what was at stake. “God help me!” he cried.

There is silliness and humor in the midst of this progressing tragedy. Everyone other than Guy knew the situation. Had he availed himself to others’ wisdom and insight maybe the lesson would have been less painful. As it is Guy found himself with a little more silver in his crown. Guy’s intentions and persistence grew each day as he found himself convinced a life of consequences would follow them both if he did not discover the cancer at the core of their relational fissure.

So he began to notice, little by little, that her antagonistic tendencies matched his perfectly. So blind was he! How could he have missed it all this time. Part of her magnetic appeal to him was how much like him was she. In truth, not a closer match could be found. What bothered him, bothered her. When he felt the need to defend, she too defended. When he found joy in aggravating, she too found joy in aggravating. When he was ambiguous, so was she. The reasons for this exact match are many and to laborious to go over in the midst of a love story.

Guy had known this all along, but did not want to account for it – for it was his accounting, his due, his wage and his penalty. To see those things in yourself that frustrate you to no end and bring you to the brink of breakage is a special place. Guy would say it is part of the pavement that leads to paradise. With this newfound knowledge Guy engaged in a different strategy with his love.

He begun to engage her in an intentional way to encourage the better parts of herself while he downplayed his sour side. He realized, of course, that at this point years of damage had been done. No matter how hard he tried how could he possibly undue all that he had done? Still, he owed it to her to try. Funny thing is that as he forced himself to reflect and respond in a more mature manner the more he found himself truly changing. Now, you may be asking how could she even stay committed to the relationship this long, much less long enough for his hopes to be fulfilled? Anyone who has fought for the sake of another through the agency of love knows the answer to this question. But the answer to this question is something you must discover for yourself.

Back to our true story…I did mention it was true didn’t I? Don’t worry the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Guy was thrilled with the changes occurring within the very fiber of his soul. It was as if he were a guitar out of tune and someone was finally tuning up the strings. Giving them a pluck here and a turn there. It was a precious and gentle time of one string being tuned before the next was fiddled. Of course, if Guy bought into the lie of self-esteem he would have counted the entire experience a success since he had forever been changed, but this story is about love and the inescapable value of another and no other outcome would do than the saving of a relationship that even in its infancy had microscopic tears that had begun to tear at a cataclysmic rate.

Guy’s wonderings about how or when he would know if there was hope in salvaging this relationship did not go unanswered. Did I mention that his love had no idea all this time there was an issue? Its true. How it happened I cannot say, but it was majestic and beautiful. It was a night that reminds the soul of hope and beauty and the value in striving through the hard times. It was a night that began with dinner and a time of talking and laughing with all around. Then, as he lay her down for sleep, he found her for the first time caressing his cheeks and looking in his eyes in a way that had never happened before. She wrapped her arms around his neck and gently pulled his cheek to her lips and kissed him so gently and willingly. It was a time of true vulnerability and preciousness. The immensity of the situation could not be denied and Guy knew instantly its significance. Then she pulled herself to his ear and whispered in his ear so as only he could hear – so only they would share – and gently sighed the words “I love you too Daddy.”

I love you too Naomi.

February 14, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

Valentine’s Day Love Letter

February 14, 2009

To my dearest lovely Lady,

It may take a while for you to remember who I am, but let me reintroduce myself. I’m the guy who sleeps next to you. Just close your eyes and think of the peculiar smells that fragrance your life at odd hours of the day. Do you remember me now? Good.

Well it is Valentine’s Day and I’m required to tell you how much I love you. This is an easy task for me but not sure you will appreciate it. After all, I was showing you my love when I hid in your yard and watched you at night. I thought you would appreciate having your own private bodyguard watching over you while you sleep. That restraining order was an odd way to show your gratitude.

I’m so glad we got passed that mix-up when you gave me another chance. What choice did you have? Car broke down in the middle of the night with the nearest town thirty miles away. Love had us in its sights. How else can you explain our chance encounter despite the restraining order. I can still hear the first friendly words you spoke to me as if it were today. “I’m out of gas.” Just my luck! I quickly grabbed a quart of gasoline from my trunk and put it in your tank. I still can’t believe that gas doesn’t really come in a quart. Those companies should make their labels glow in the dark for such an occasion. Come on – they are both petroleum products. Count it a lesson learned – cars don’t run on oil.

Just like everyone else we’ve had our ups and downs, our highs and lows, our blacks and whites and our own fist fights (wink, wink). Remember the first meal I ever cooked for you? It was Valentine’s Day. We were out for a…sniff…wonderful day of shopping. First we stopped by the grocery store and picked up the pork tenderloin, as well as a few other choice items. Then we did what you wanted – went to the mall. It was my honor to spend such a lovely 80 degree, sun shining, birds singing, flowers blooming, butterflies fluttering, children running and laughing, sounds of life exploding all around us, not a cloud in the sky February day with you indoors…in tight spaces….with an over capacity crowd…who, no doubt, don’t wash their hands after using a public restroom. Yup, I was honored as if it was a once in a lifetime event – and believe me – It was a once in a lifetime event. I still feel the same sense of joy (panic) whenever we drive by that glorious (dreadful) site. I’m so glad we have clear channels of communication. On a side note: I’m still embarrassed over the whole lost and found fiasco. Who knew you had to be the kid’s parent in order to claim them.

After a full day’s events we went back to my place where I cooked you dinner. My nostrils are still filled with the delightful sickly sweet smell of our undercooked pork. You would think they would put a warning label on pork not to leave it in your car trunk all day. I mean, really, don’t tell me you knew, like its some unspoken rule everyone knows. You can’t know common sense until someone tells you. I do feel badly even though I know no one is to blame here. The bright side is your noxiousness at the mere mention of pork has made our shopping and weekly menu easier to make. How simple things are if you don’t have to worry about pork. Another benefit is now we’re kosher. L’chayim!

The good thing is while you were in the hospital I remodeled the house. What doesn’t tell your lady you love her like fixin’ up the ol’ castle? You would laugh now if you were there. It was a blaze of glory. I still get chills thinking about it – or maybe its the electricity searing through my body. Again, you would think they put some kind of label on positive and negative wires warning against the dangers of bringing them in contact. It seems obvious now, but you weren’t there. All those wires in the wall were a mess. It just made sense to braid them. Well, you did get a new house from it.

Yeah (deep sigh) – that was how I ended up in the hospital bed next to you. That was a great Valentine’s Day, our first, so many years ago now. For Valentine’s Day this year I’ve decided to show you my love by doing absolutely nothing – and I know you’ll love me for it.


The Stud of a Man in Your Life

January 31, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

Man’s Bane

What was Paul’s thorn in the flesh? Despite the fact that there are too many theories tucked away in obscurity, I have discovered the answer. Actually, I’ve always known the answer, just as every man actually knows the answer. You see – Paul’s thorn in the flesh is the bane of every man. By The Man Code of Ethics we are sworn to secrecy. What can I say – you are born into the club. By this code we are bound to ensure that our secret is to never get out lest we, like Samson, are conquered by a mere she-devil. All these interesting theories about the bane of man are merely defensive tactics, not of Shock and Awe, but of Stop-n-Gawk. It is mildly humoring to discover what position women take on this subject. The more successful Stop-n-Gawk tactics include women, money, toys, cars, tools, books, fine cigars, red meat, cognac, and gardening. Please note that every one of these theories is WRONG!

Being a fine, upstanding gentleman I am going to out all the other men in the world by exposing our bane here. Please note: within 24 hours a smear campaign against me will hit the airwaves. This way no one will believe my “silly claims” and man’s secret will still be safe. Of course, the media’s lies will all be nonsense driven by chauvinism. Well then, you are reading at your own peril for “they” may run a smear campaign against you too.

Think you know man’s bane? Here’s a true story – see if you can’t find it. A few weeks ago, on a Friday, I allegedly was trying to go home after a long work week. Going through the customary routine of gathering my personal property, locking cabinets and closing computer systems I gave my enthusiastic goodbyes as I embarked into the night. Coming to my car, I tossed all my belongings into the back seat while climbing into the driver’s seat. Searching my pockets I looked for my keys. I went from one pocket to the next to discover no keys. Getting out of the car, I stood and did the standard patting down of all pockets. Then I continued the pat down checking pant legs (you never know). From there I did a thorough check of the car. Still, no keys. I rechecked my steps throughout the work day at least three times. This search took over thirty minutes. It didn’t help that we actually had plans that night and now were running late. I finally had surrendered to the fact that I had lost my keys. Just as I was about to call Rachelle to pick me up I checked my pockets one more time – and guess what, that’s right – there they were. I had to have shoved my fists in my pocket fifteen to twenty times as I diligently searched for the keys (SIGH).

This would have been a happy, cuddly story for everyone if this was the end, but sadly, it is not. The next morning I went out to do some work on both our cars. After a time, I needed to make a quick trip to the Auto Store. To my chagrin – and the smiling faces of women everywhere – I could not find my keys. I just had them. I just finished unlocking both vehicles. Where could they have gone! Another torrid inspection over thirty minutes topped off with screaming and kicking but still no keys. This time I was sure the only place they could possibly be was my tool bag. I looked through it at least three times, but no keys. I took each tool out until the bag was empty, but no keys. Finally from pure exhaustion combined with frustration I forfeited to my keys. They won and I lost. Sadly, I couldn’t even find a white flag to waive in surrender.

The keys remained incognito the rest of the weekend. Finally, on Sunday night, I decided to give that tool bag one last look. Pulling the zipper and prying the edges open, I peered into the gloom of the bag to see the sparkling beauty of the jagged edges of my keys glisten in the florescent, artificial light shining from above. There were angels singing “Hallelujah” in the background.

Now, you may hear this story and think that man’s bane is his inability to see what is right in front of his face, but you would be wrong. You might read this story and think our bane is impatience, but again you would be wrong. You see – man’s bane is a living being who thinks and deceives and gets its kicks by torturing us. In a very real sense, it has declared war on us men. If you missed that then you missed our bane. Man’s bane is…..keys! That’s right, from the days of Paul up to our own our bane has always been the key. Keys are not the lifeless piece of metal they appear to be to the unassuming. The evidence is in every story every told by a man about lost keys. The keys really were not there just a minute ago. Those keys got up and moved to an undetectable high vantage point and watch us frustrate ourselves for their own pleasure. Then just as we succumb to despair they return to where we actually left them. That way not only have we succumbed to despair, but now we look stupid too.

My message to keys everywhere – I’m onto you and now others know too!

January 3, 2009

Saturdays are for Stories

The Sneak

People speak of “the terrible twos.” What about “sneaky seconds.” Our youngest, Rebekah, accomplished these two feats within the last week.

The first setting has Rachelle exercising at 6:00 a.m. Out comes an invader, tip toeing very quietly and moving in slow motion. She tip-toes along the wall, slowly making her way to the recliner directly behind Rachelle. She avoids making eye contact so as to ensure that Rachelle will not see her. Slowly, diligently, she climbs quietly into the recliner and remains motionless for a few minutes. Then, determining that she has not been detected she slowly inches towards the table and delicately lifts up a bag of chips off the table so as not to make a “crinkle.” Eyeing her mother, she unclips the bag and uncoils its lip. She then tears into the chips with cackles of delights with an enthusiasm not seen since the Tasmanian devil. When she sees her mother looking at her she says, “Mommy, you got some chipses?”

The second setting is a few hours after the children have been tucked sweetly in bed. Songs have been sung, stories have been read and prayers have been prayed. Teeth are sparkling, bladders are empty, animals are sweetly hugged and the moon has been told goodnight. As I place down a book I’m reading, I hear a very slight “cccrreeaakkk.” “What’s that?” “I don’t know.” So I get up to investigate. As I come around the corner I see the girls’ bedroom door come to a close. Pushing open the door there is Rebekah, on tip-toes, pulling her wagon of legos into the room with a wide grin on her face. These are stories of the sneak. Her legend grows with each passing day.

Finally, today is my mother’s birthday. While I desire her to have a very happy birthday, my first consideration must be of her safety, as well as for the rest of those who inhabit London. So, mother – please forgo the birthday cake! Or else tomorrow’s headlines will read….

American Woman attempts to celebrate Birthday in London unsuccessfully.