It may seem selfish, but my kids’ birthdays always become a moment of reflection for me. They are milestones and milestones usually have that impact on a person, no matter if they want it or not. Yet, as first years go, this one seemed to speed past, leaving a soul wondering where all of the time went and why it had to go by so fast. Here are nine of my initial thoughts on her birthday and the last year…
1. I have heard that many say when your babies age, it makes a parent feel older. That has yet to be the case for me. Maybe I have a touch of the Peter Pan/young at heart thing going you see in the movies, but having kids has made me reclaim bits and pieces of my own youth. I wear brightly colored shoes now, I know all about superheroes, and I can read Fox in Socks incredibly fast. To be honest, I like being this guy, I like being a dad. In a way, it is a gift my kids gave to me… If that doesn’t sound too Hallmarky. Continue reading →
Last night I had to write my first obituary, and it was for someone still living. See, my grandfather, Charles D. Southard, has always wanted to see what I would say about him.
It’s not like it was initially a morbid request or fascination (my grandfather is not known for wearing all black all the time if that is what you are thinking, Goth Senior Citizen), I’m sure it began as a real point of curiosity built out of a joke. He wanted to see my reaction to the request, and I’m sure it was funny. The problem is that this desire has stuck with him, and for twenty years, I would hear about this from time to time; if anything this interest has grown into something more, both for him and for myself.
I admit I avoided doing it. I’m not a superstitious man, I didn’t think he would just drop dead the second I did it; honestly, I just didn’t think as a writer I was capable of doing it. How do you sum up a person, a life, in only a few sentences? Continue reading →