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Rainy Day Diamonds

It’s been a long time since the kids have had to contend with a truly rainy day.

They settle into their new “office”, fashioned the day before by Daddy and Papa as part of this year’s Christmas rearrangement. They pass thirty minutes playing hangman on the new whiteboard. But, limited vocabularies drive them to other pursuits.

They cut diamonds. They write, “I love Daddy”, “I love Papa”, “I love Fisher”, I love Boston”, “I love Quincy”, and “I love Kohl”, one one each. Out comes the glue stick. They string them together into a streamer. They ask Daddy how to spell “by.” Cory writes, “By Cory.” They argue over whether it should say just “and Fisher” or “and Fisher (helping)” because Cory isn’t sure that Fisher’s contributions warrant shared full credit. Fisher reminds her that he cut the diamonds.

FLASH! BOOM! RUMBLE!

Eyes go wide. They stare at Daddy.

F: Was that lightning?
C: Is this a thunderstorm, Daddy?
D: Well, now it is. It’s now officially a thunderstorm.
F: Because that was thunder?
D: Yep.
C: What the what!?
F: In California!?
C: It’s like we’re in Missouri or something!
After a hundred questions about thunder and lightning, they get back to the diamond streamer.
F: But, Cory, I cut all those diamonds, so…
C: No, you didn’t cut them all. Daddy cut the first one, Fisher.
F: Well, I cut the rest. I cut the rest of them, Cory. So, I shouldn’t just be “helping” or something.

He’s got her. Full credit is given. The final product is ready for presentation to Daddy. The rain looks to last all day. Creativity will be tested…

But He’s Cute

The dogs have Papa’s number.

Every time he comes home, they surround him, squealing and whining and howling, until he relents and gives them treats. And, he always relents. Always. Which, of course, trains them to pester him when he comes home, to squeal and whine and howl. Because it will lead to treats. Every time. But, a definite down side to feeding dogs a regular raw food diet is that too much processed kibble or treats, without whole chicken to right their systems, leads to, um, very, very unpleasant results, especially for the person who walks those dogs daily. That person would be Daddy.

Daddy has repeatedly asked Papa NOT to reward their behavior with treats because…well…shit. Literally. Be the human. Um, again, literally: be the human in this situation. But, every time the dogs surround and pester, Papa relents. Every time. They never bother Daddy like that. Never.

It’s Thanksgiving. Daddy is out with the dogs for a walk that passes through downtown Los Altos. Birds are chirping. Sun is shining. Good tunes are playing on the iPod. All is right with the world. Daddy spies an oncoming stroller, pushed by a smiling Indian man. Daddy pulls the dogs off the sidewalk up toward a business on the side to let the man pass with his child. The man smiles and starts pointing out the dogs to what looks like a six month old. Daddy removes an earbud to exchange pleasantries. Halfway through a sentence, Daddy sees the guy’s focus fade to somewhere behind Daddy. Daddy turns.

Boston is involved in butt-wagging projectile elimination…right there in front of that man, his newborn, the front door of the business, and other random passers-by. The exchange of pleasantries draws quickly to a close, the man smiles awkwardly, nods, moves along, and Daddy stands there, holding poop bags in his pocket that might as well be Kleenex.

A half hour later, Daddy reenacts the scene at home, playing Boston, of course. The twins belly laugh, mainly at the butt wagging. Papa tries not to smile, working hard to maintain a “whatever” attitude. Fifteen minutes after that, Daddy drives back to the scene with a bucket of water, a broom, a plastic trash bag, and some wipe ’n’ dipes. A truck load of nearby landscapers gestures and smiles, as Daddy gets to work. Ten long minutes after that, all traces of the low point of this year’s Thanksgiving are gone.

For those of you with a spouse who listens, be thankful. Daddy has one that’s cute.

Day After Thanksgiving

C: Daddy, why does Dickens Double Schnickens like Papa so much? I want Dickens to like me that much.
F: Well, he can sleep on Papa, Cory. I think he’ll like you that much when you get big enough to sleep on, right, Daddy?

Happy as he was to return home yesterday, Dickens no doubt wandered around his house, a little dissatisfied, the old spots not feeling quite as comfortable as the new one he found the day after Thanksgiving.

Cream Dessert Face

Fisher eats a solid portion of the cream off of his face on the way to the bathroom to clean the rest of it up.

D (on the way back): Did Cousin Boston or Boston Cheekbiter splat your face with that whipped cream?
F: Cousin Boston. He’s funny, right?
D: Right.
F: I liked that he did that.
D: Why’s that?
F (back within Cory’s earshot): Because I got another dessert! It’s a yummy one.
C (clear disappointment): Ooooooh! Daddy, can I please have another candy corn?
D (looking around for a can of whipped cream to even things out more directly): No, Cory, no more sugar tonight.
C: Aaaaaahhhhh!

The Big and the Small

The kids are sleeping past 6:30 am, which they haven’t done since the time change. There’s definitely that to be thankful for.

Also, what feels like an age ago, I imagined far more happy lives for myself without children than with. I then met someone who saw no future for himself without kids of his own. Needless to say, I’m thankful that he’s so persuasive, that I’m so accommodating, and that our children are so…here.

In a better world, it would end there, but the world is not better than it is. If you know history, and I do, Darin and I are very fortunate to have been born when we were than at almost any time in the past. If you pay attention to world events, and I do, we are very fortunate to have been born where we were than in most places on this planet. And, if you pay attention to national events, and I do, we are very fortunate to have the means to locate our family in a liberal setting, where it is allowed, accepted, and appreciated, as far from the dark clutches of the reptilian brain as possible (although it could never really be far enough).

I am thankful for all that, the big and the small.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.