There She Goes

The start of a new school year is hard enough with tweaks in daily family routines and checks written. But when you’re forced by nature to watch your youngest child grow up and make her way into a new day, it’s soul crushing.

When I met my wife, blending our family of three daughters I listened to a lot of advice from friends, family, and foes. I was bringing a then 4-year-old little girl into a situation that would contain a then 12-year-old girl, and a then 3-year-old girl. Everyone, including the internets told me that it would be the oldest one that would sail or sink the whole deal. Wrong. My oldest, in this blog known as Tay, was the easiest. We were friends. We got along so well, it shocked people. It was Tay that first asked her mom, after only three months of dating, “so, are ya’ll going to get married?” Tay’s now 16 and the relationship’s changed. She looks at me with the same disgust she used to reserve for mom. I’m her dad and she treats me that way.

The middle one, now about three weeks from turning 9 and known in these parts as Bug, was easy too. She loved my wife from the start but she’s a little bad ass. She doesn’t lovey dovey anyone. But like her older sister and father, she’s a people pleaser at heart. So, there wasn’t anything complicated with her. The youngest girl, known here as The Goose, was a different story.

Bobina was fresh off a divorce. Goose was still very attached to the other dad. She’s also a mama’s girl so her affections were almost exclusive to Bobina. I thought my winning personality (sarcasm) would win her over the way it did with her older sisters, but no. Goose, like any great diva, made me work.

Goose is amazing. She’s the most unique little girl I’ve ever met. She runs our house. She calls herself a Princess, because a Princess becomes a Queen. She can run in heels, has better fashion sense than a Milan runway, and doesn’t take no for an answer. We clashed for a while, and it was all my fault.

This morning I saw our father-daughter dynamic turn the corner. She’s not a morning person, In fact, she expects the morning to wait on her to be ready not the other way around. Goose also loves being 7-year-old. She’s exactly a month away from turning 8, but she stills call herself 7 and loves the perks that comes with being the baby. She hangs on mommy, takes kisses from whoever offers, expects her hair to be perfect, and for you to acknowledge her eminent power as a future Her Highness.

Yesterday, the first day of school, Bobina took the day off and got Goose ready. They were all over each other. All I had to do was follow behind them and carry the trains of their dresses, metaphorically. Bobina went to work early this morning and left me in charge. I woke Goose, made her some cereal, then she did the rest. Her hair was coiffed, her outfit was assembled, and her book bag had everything she desired. She allowed me to hold her hand until we got to the bustop, then let go when she saw people. As the big yellow taxi hit its hydraulic brakes, she looked up, grinned, and leaned in for an air kiss. I knew what to do. I may have curtsied afterwards. She let me in and we fell for each other all over, again. She really made me dad today. Of course, I got in a shot for myself. I intentionally knotted her shoelaces so she’d be forced to ask for my help. I think that’s why she insisted I tie them on her feet.

Touche’, Princess.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Dude Write

Today’s song plays in my head sometimes when Goose is holding court. This morning it took on new meaning. Here’s There She Goes by The La’s

My Generation

Thirty-five years ago I heard The Who’s rock anthem, My Generation, for the first time. It was 1977.  I just finished the first grade. The line, “I hope I die before I get old”, made me laugh so hard I shot Nestle Quik chocolate milk through my nose. The singer, Roger Daltrey, was 32 at the time and I remember thinking, “he’s old!”. Earlier today, at age 41,  I heard My Generation. When that line blared through my car speakers, I laughed so hard I spilled my diet dr. pepper and pulled a muscle in my back.

Accepting middle-age is a new situation for me. When I turned 40 almost two years ago, I handled it poorly. I made life for my wife and kids awkward and difficult. As a kid, people who in their forties seemed ancient.

I’m young for my age. While I’m carrying fifteen pounds I’d like not to with gray in my beard, and pains in places that I didn’t even know could hurt, I don’t look like dudes I knew who were 41 when I was younger. I have eight tattoos. My CD collection is more impressive than my teenage daughter’s, and I’ve adapted to the life of internet and social media with aplomb. I believe I’m more open-minded and self-aware than my parents.

Holding on to youthfulness is a foolish dream. In about ten days I’ll take a family vacation to Disney in Florida. I’m already dreading the long lines, sweltering weather, high prices, and what my back and feet will feel like when the sun goes down on each day. These are things a young man doesn’t care about.

The biggest issue I have with aging is how difficult it is it to maintain myself, physically. Going to the gym is a chore, a necessary evil, that is consistently shirked in lieu of father and husband duties. Roger Daltrey, wherever you are, I hope I don’t die so I can appreciate old.

****blogger’s note****

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

I went personal for Trifecta Writing Challenge’s “New” word prompt – http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/ and thus why I only wrote 333 words of my middle-age lot.

Here’s The Who, when they were young, on The Smothers Brothers Show. Crank it, before you get old.

Idioteque

I don’t know what excites me more about week two of 100 word song. The response to week one or the chance to play week two’s musical inspiration.

Remember, the rules are very loose here. I give you a song, usually under 4 minutes, then you give me exactly 100 words inspired by the tune. How the inspiration manifests, is up to you. Deadline for entries is next Tuesday, 6pm Atlanta, Georgia time.

We’re all winners at 100 Word Song. Just like the politically correct Little League baseball leagues we all grew up with, everyone gets a virtual trophy. Several pieces from last week stood out for me. Michael gave us a great interpretation: http://innocentsaccidentshints.blogspot.com/2012/01/lances-100-word-song-challenge-polly.html Marian showed us what music can do when we’re young and impressionable http://www.runawaysentence.com/2012/01/goodbye-yellow-brick-road.html but the one that seemed to get me the most was Lisa http://www.seekingelevation.com/2012/01/take-me-to-pilot.html laying in a tattoo artist’s chair, facing pain and physical change. She had to sing to sing Elton John to prove herself. That’s good stuff. Lisa got to pick this week’s song. She and I are huge Radiohead fans. Get ready to get weird. I love weird. This week’s 100 word song is Idioteque.

 

Here’s my 100: 

She’s good looking enough to make me leave my house. She’s not interesting enough to make me stay in this dance club. The strobe lights are making my 40-year-old eyes hurt. I’ll be wearing my glasses for weeks.

“Hey buddy, here’s your change.”

I can’t believe I gave that guy a twenty for a whiskey sour and all I got was $11. There she is. Damn she looks gorgeous. Her smile is dangerous. I don’t have the heart, yet, to tell her she’s my rebound girl.

“You got a drink! Woo hoo! Having fun, yet?”

Dating is lying.

“Yeah, of course!”

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