Starting School

“Can you believe our firstborn is starting school?” My wife asked me this question a few days ago, her eyes going wide as she said it, and it ridiculously enough took me completely by surprise.

My son is about to start Begindergarten, which is a cute way of saying an “Early Fives” class. He is going to attend it in an elementary and he will be there all day just like all of the bigger kids, using their same cafeteria and their playground (not at the same time, of course). My wife and I were so focused on getting him into the right school in our area for the last eight months that I didn’t realize until recently how much this change meant for all of us in our little family and for him.

This was about to be something new…

In preparation of this first day over the weekend we drove him to his new school and allowed him to play in the playground for about an hour. While he loved playing in the playground (trying everything he could), I kept noticing things, my parental eye kicking in.

  • Who was it that left these empty beer cans here on the playset? Will these people who would drink at a kids’ playground be around the school? Heaven forbid, or will they actually be attending?
  • Why are there so many weeds?
  • And are those soccer nets going to be fixed?
  • Is that rust?

Yes, while this playground is better than anything I had growing up (and this is a great school district), I still was catching everything I possibly could. This could be a super power of mine. A lame super power, but still a power. You can call me “Protective Dad.” And I am here to shake my head and wag my finger at others! Irresponsible people of the world be warned! Protective Dad is among you now! Continue reading

Advertisements

Upon The Ground: The WOMB Story

The twelfth story from my collection Upon The Ground is up at www.greenspotblue.com.  It is called “The WOMB Story.” On a side note, part of this was inspired by something Ray Bradbury said about his memory.  I’ll just leave it at that.

Here is a snippet from the beginning of the story:

“The WOMB Story”

I can recall EVERYTHING.

I remember being three and chasing clouds with my dog and being one and being rocked to sleep by my mom (“Hush little baby don’t say a word. Momma’s gonna buy you….”), but, more amazingly, I can remember being in the womb. I remember it because it was the safest I had ever felt in my life.

It was warm.

My mom’s heart was always there and I could feel connected to it (Thump. Thump. Thump.). I was connected to nature. Life in its purest moment. I could feel hands touching the stomach. I remember kicking and the taste of my thumb and the cord and the echoes of the voices outside laughing and talking.

Those memories are what warp my dreams today.

I can’t tell my wife. She won’t understand…. Well, she will claim to understand, but she won’t. It was my wild imagination that attracted her to me in the first place. She’s a Kindergarten teacher (“You’re like a grown child.” “How am I supposed to take that?” “As a compliment. You treat everything as a new experience. I love to watch your eyes.”).

You can read the rest of the story here. And in the Upon The Ground page you can find links to the other stories already from the collection. Thanks for reading!

Upon The Ground: Breathing Lessons

A new short story from my collection Upon The Ground is available via the literary Web site, Green Spot Blue. This is the sixth story from the collection (You can read the other stories via the links on the Upon The Ground page on this site).

This week’s story is entitled “Breathing Lessons.” You can read it here. Here is an excerpt from the beginning of the story.

“Breathing Lessons”

She has asthma. And sometimes it could get really bad. Especially when she was very nervous and scared. When she was a little girl, bullies would tease her because of it. They would watch her face turn blue and laugh when she started making wheezing noises through her throat. Then she would start to hyperventilate and once she even passed out from the excitement. She remembers waking up later in the nurses’ office with a cold rag held to her head.

But all that was so long ago and now it was very rare when it would get that bad. The last experience she had with it that bad was during her wedding. She remembers vividly the old feelings running through her mind as she tried to keep standing on her feet.  “Try to keep calm. You’ll be fine,” she said in her mind throughout the ceremony. She could feel the attention bearing down on her. His hand reached out at just the right moment….

“He did this to me,” Stacy said as she rubbed her enlarged stomach. “This is all his fault.”

She sighed. That was a lie. She wanted to have the child. He felt it was too soon, but he didn’t argue the point. So really it wasn’t all his fault. It was her decision. Well, it was her choice. She just forgot to worry about the pain aspect of it and what that would do to her nerves.

“I have too much time to think,” she said to herself. Her doctor ordered her to stay in bed (she felt something that didn’t feel right) and she had as many days as it would take of not moving to look forward.

You can check out the rest of the story here. Thank you for reading!

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Vasectomy

This was my end of the bargain.

My wife would have our two lovely children and when she was done I would go to the guillotine, as it were. I would be Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities, with both hands tied behind my back being led to my destiny while reciting, “It is a far, far better thing I do…”

That sounds strangely noble in theory, but in actuality, I must admit, with the birth of our second child I had been avoiding this doctor trip like the plague. I had postponed the visit two different times (scheduling then rescheduling… twice), but after a year, I was running out of excuses for myself.

On the day of the appointment, I was freaking out. I tried to explain this to my wife, but, as sympathetic as she tried to be, she didn’t get it. And comparing it to what she had to experience in the birthing of our children, didn’t help. Yes, I am sure birth is a bigger life changing, panic-driven, and painful experience. But for a guy, this is something. Yes, it means something, and it’s not something that can be easily explained, it’s in the gut, it’s in the animal part of the brain. It is part of what defines us as male. Hear us roar!

I ended up making a quick excuse to run an errand, and then in a parking lot called one of my oldest friends to talk me down. I was the guy on the edge of the building preparing to jump, he was the understanding cop with the bullhorn explaining to me that I still will have a lot to live for.

I was going to be fine… I was going to be fine… I stepped away from the ledge. Continue reading