Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

To be better.

It's early. I'm working downstairs. Bea whimpers and moans upstairs, most likely her covers are strewn about; she doesn't get pulling them back on yet. Mama gets up to get her, to pull her into our bed and go back to sleep.

My parents are sleeping in our new garage guest room. They'll be heading out today after spending over a week with us for Christmas, of which my sister and kids actually joined us for, even if it was only for a few hours on Christmas day. Never thought it would happen anytime soon.

And it was only two years ago this morning that the pregnancy test was positive.

Never say never when raising the ever-amazing and tasty bittersweet life-sicle-cycle high above the head. This is why, per my favorite writer, I identify with being a rational romantic mystic cynical idealist.

Cynicism wanes this time of year for me, though. It's always been my favorite time of the year; I really do strive to find and live the essence of Christmas and New Year's each and everyday. Everyday is Christmas when you're your own personal Santa and Savior. Everyday is New Year's Day when you own your actions and reactions.

I'm so thankful that Mama, Bea and me are healthy, ready to take on 20-10 with the zest and zeal of nearly 7 billion New Year's Eve revelers, our hearts as big and bold as balls of fiery crystal falling fast to ignite the center of the earth.

But yesterday a dear old friend of mine shared that her daughter now has hearing loss in both ears and will have to wear hearing aids, and the doctors think it's progressive. As she put it, "For someone that followed all the rules for a healthy pregnancy and goes organic much of the time, the new reality took a little time to adjust to."

Anger at the universe, grief and sadness. Then she said:

"She is my little hero...I want to promote a can-do, positive attitude and be her role model. So, onward we go for a new road in 2010."

Because that's a choice, and one that reminds me of why we've evolved, of why we're here. We shake our heads at the tragic alternatives that play out around us, but we can elevate and rise above.

Our children are our heroes and we are theirs.

God empowers us; we empower God.

To be better.

Happy New Year my dear friends and family. Be better.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Year One: Silent Shriek, Holy Shriek

Do you have the Santa pictures from 1-10?

How many of them were you crying in? Probably the early years for sure. My first couple were huge criers and after my sister was born my mom had us take the Santa pics together and her first two were the same.

I need to get copies of those; my mom has them safely tucked away in one of many memorable family albums. Good times.

Now we've started our own Santa series with Beatrice.

Year One: Silent Shriek, Holy Shriek

Merry Christmas! We hope you're feeling the holiday love. We're sharing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Because it's for our children, the malleable essence of us.

I'm going to take this time to work on healing my family and be a better husband and father.

Tiger Woods was quoted as saying something to that effect recently.

Really. And it's been bugging the crap out of me ever since.

Why didn't he make the time before all this? Before the alleged affairs and his supersonic fall from grace?

We don't know for sure what specifically may or may have happened over the years in Tiger's life. Or in Mark Sanford's life. Or in John Edward's life. Or in too many others.

But we do know of their infidelities.

I know my birth father was a big womanizer when he was married to my mom, along with being an abuser.

I had my own bouts of under-the-table behavior while pretending to be the golden boy everybody loved, crashing and burning like the rest of these wretches.

We get caught. Maybe we feel pangs of guilt prior, maybe not. Maybe its the holidays that drives sentimentality to the surface.

That's the way it was with my birth father.

I'm so sorry. I'm going to stop drinking and be a better husband and father.

Merry Christmas, right? But nothing ever changed post December 25. The same behaviors resumed - the affairs, the domestic violence, the drinking.

One of my dear friends posted this quote in Facebook this morning:

"The boy who is going to make a great man must not make up his mind merely to overcome a thousand obstacles, but to win in spite of a thousand repulses and defeats."

--Theodore Roosevelt

If more fathers aspired to be better, took responsibility and made actual changes in their lives for the better - learned to trump their genes - then the thousand repulses and defeats would be worthwhile to their families, even if their marriages can't withstand it.

Because it's for our children, the malleable essence of us.

Merry Christmas Daddies. Live life like it's golden.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

That's the magic of Christmas. And keys.

For Beatrice, there is no yesterday or tomorrow. There isn't even today.

There's only now.

Which is why it's fascinating to watch her play, explore and learn. The series of the most inconsequential discoveries to us are heavenly revelations to Bea.

As it should be. That kind of mindful presence unearths the purest learning and awareness, the God-light empowered.

That's how Bea came to be actually. A series of self-aware events, even inconsequential at first, that eventually amassed critical to the eventual conception.

Most of us struggle with this kind of focus, and it's always the holidays that increases our focal strength, sometimes painfully so, the reflection of what we're not more powerful than what we are.

Bah-humbug, depression or worse. Just watch It's a Wonderful Life or The Family Man a few hundred times and you can join me in the bawl-fest to end all bawl-fests. Or listen to Linus tell the Christmas Story.

*sniff* *snort* *sigh*

Now our little explorer has found an undying fascination with keys. Our car keys in particular, the ones with the buttons that lock and unlock the doors, open the trunks, set the alarms off.

You know, the metaphorical gift that keeps on giving, opening doors to things we want to see, and things we don't.

Watching Bea take the keys and try to open our front door is priceless to me. Yes, I know that everything our baby does is priceless, but when I play out the metaphor in the dust-bunny filled nooks and crannies of my mind, I am God-light empowered.

The keys of quiet discovery glean insight to now.

That's the magic of Christmas. And keys.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Blown fuses and a melted daddyboard. Nothing family time can't fix.

It's like that.

After a couple of weeks of heavy daddy reflection, falling Bea's and bangs and bruises (again with the never-ending falling), crazy busy client projects and new client launches, and a weekend of whirlwind Christmas parties and holiday faires, daddy blew fuses in his frontal lobes and the daddyboard melted down.

And he threw up a little Christmas in his mouth.

Daddy needed a rebuild and a recharge.

Christmas party bowling was part of it. I prefer Wii bowling, but after over a decade of not stepping into a bowling alley, real bowling was a lot of fun. No, the pink ball wasn't mine.

But yesterday morning after a rough night of sleep for all of us, Mama was in baby's room early to sooth that savage teething beast. The baby monitor was still on and I could hear Mama and Bea cooing with each other, and then softly Mama said:

"Daddy. Sweetie."

The morning call that makes it all worthwhile. Fixed with family cuddle time -- then the morning song and the day has begun!

A day full of wonder and lots of good fun, let's get up, get going, the day has begun!

It's like that. Let's do it all again.