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Saturday in May

Saturday in May

So look; Nobody wants to go out and mow the lawn. It’s not on anybody’s list of fun things to do with an afternoon. But your wife took the older kids to Scout-o-Rama, so it’s just you, the three-year-old and the baby, and they’re both asleep or busy and you feel like a dolt just sitting around doing nothing.

So you go outside and try to get the lawnmower started up and then remember to put gas in it and drag it out front and fire that puppy up and pretty soon your lawn is clean and short and has those lines in it that say you’re a responsible home owner instead of some punk kid who somehow managed to buy a house and doesn’t deserve it at all, not that you ever feel that way. Nope.

But you’re not done yet. Pop open the garage door and grab that new cordless trimmer/edger thing. Grab a battery pack off the shelf and slide it into place with a sweet click like you just jacked a fresh clip into your 9mm, because you’re about to go all Dirty Harry on those blades of grass that defied your mower. Three minutes later the fence line is clear and you do that twisty thing with the edger, flip it over and start shaving the lawn along the curb, trimming that line so straight you could use it as an example for boot camp barbers, but your edger is starting to lose its zest for life.

No problem. You’ve got four battery packs for this thing. Click, slide, click and suddenly that sucker is off to the races, sounding like the angriest metal hornet ever forged. You clean up all the curbing around the flower beds, then go in the house, grab a bottle of milk from the fridge and get it warming up, because not only are you the manliest dang weekend warrior on the block, but you are sensitive and nurturing as crap and you’re going to spend some quality time with your newborn as soon as you get all the rogue grass around the newly planted peach tree cut down to size.

Here comes the cool part, slide that battery pack out of the edger, slap it into the blower. Turnaround time: 5 seconds. Two minutes later your sidewalks and driveway are clean enough to do surgery on. You got your lawn looking good and looked good doing it. And with a lawn like that you don’t worry so much about those last ten pounds you haven’t been able to lose or their 40 good friends. Now it’s back in the house to give that baby a bottle and make sure he’s clean, happy and dry before your wife gets home.

Baby’s not awake yet, so you go get some laundry in, because real men wash they own clothes, dog. Baby wakes up just as you finish putting all the clean laundry away, so time to sit down on the couch, prop your iPad up on its sweet lime green case/stand thing and watch some Phineas and Ferb while you feed your new son, because not only are you extra manly and super sensitive, but you’ve got a whimsical streak a mile wide and people like that about you.

Later that night you’ll install a new doorknob on the shed because you’re handy like that, but for now just pay attention to your son and the animated antics of overachieving preteens. Not bad, kid. Not bad.

The Valley Part II

The Valley Part II

My Aunt Shelly is probably going to die in the next few days. Her heart stopped yesterday, and although the doctors were able to get it started again she hasn’t shown any sign of waking up or indeed any brainwave activity at all.

Shelly is 13 years older than my dad, so I never knew her well. We always knew her as the fireball aunt who was now in China, now in California, now in Egypt, always moving, always roaming. She passed through our lives on occasion, and was (also) always loving.

It’s hard to think about losing an aunt. Even (especially?) one to whom you aren’t close. We lost Libbie’s sister to Lupus in February, and the shock waves from that one haven’t entirely died down (nor will they ever, I suspect). I don’t know what to think about this one; I don’t know where to put my thoughts. I should be more upset, but maybe not? Maybe the end of life is okay, if you’ve lived your life to the fullest? Maybe maybe maybe.

These problems aren’t new, nor are they particular to me. People have been losing distant relatives and have been unsure what to do about it for millennia. Hopefully one of them was able to say something intelligent about it. If you have a quote, I’d love to see it in the comments.

NOTE: for obvious reasons, the comments on this post will be heavily moderated.

The Valley

The Valley

My little sister Kadie had a baby yesterday. She is sweet, happy and brand new to the world and the apple of her parents’ and grandparents’ eyes. All is well, Mommy and Baby are healthy, Mommy and Daddy are tired, and generally a brand new little family has begun. The Miracle of Life really is a miracle. But here’s why:
Every new baby is brought out of the Valley of the Shadow Of Death.

Human design1 has us built so that it is just barely possible for babies to be born. The babies are just barely small enough, the mommies are just barely strong enough. In older days it was about 50-50 odds that you would lose the mother or the baby in the process. With today’s medicine2 we have gained significant ground, and our losses are much fewer. But it takes a team of three or four doctors and a similar number of nurses all working together to make it happen.

I’m the father of three, and those all three were born healthy and happy.3 But I’m grateful to my angel wife for agreeing to go through it to make our family the happy and wonderful family it is and I’m proud of Kadie for getting through it as well.

  1. intelligent or evolutionary or both. Not the point of this post []
  2. in America with the right insurance []
  3. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t scary! []