Thursday, September 27, 2012

Oh, the places you'll go!

Four years. Not what most would consider a significant chunk of time, unless you're a U.S. President, Olympic gymnast, or perhaps a dog. But long enough time for me to forget most of what the good pastor was saying that afternoon.

I just can't really recall much of what they said to me or what I said in return. It wasn't that I didn't care or was indifferent towards the matter. Perhaps it was nerves or the guzzled Red Bull and vodka handed to me by my almost brother-in-law moments before.

I do remember the feeling of hundreds of eyes burning into my skull as I considered the possibility that my fly was in fact, down.  It wasn't.  I remember reciting her name in my head over and over so as not to screw that part up.  So of course, I couldn't remember my own name. I remember wondering what blunt object the Maid of Honor would choose to bludgeon to death the world's most incapable DJ. It was either public shame or an extension cord, I don't know. I was rushed off for six thousand more pictures.

It's the moment we walked down the dirt, pine-needled path together, arm-in-arm, that I do remember. Like it was yesterday. The sight of her groomed toes peeking out from wedge shoes. The contrast of white against the green and yellowing aspen leaves. The sweet smell of her hair, and the BBQ spread. 

Somewhere during those first steps, and in countless ones since, the words of a great Doctor came to mind.

You're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting,
So... get on your way!” 

That mountain may include a secluded hot springs on your honeymoon in the pitch black of night, with no flashlight and naked strangers, but whatever. You put your faith in someone and keep going.

"You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?"

We moved to Minnesota in December - proof I'd follow her anywhere. Regardless of the physics of minus 32 degree weather.

"And when you're alone there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.” 

Like the thought of having to be single and date again.

"So be sure when you step,
Step with care and great tact.
And remember that life's
A Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left."

Full-time jobs. Graduate schools. Two mortgages. Joint checking accounts. Joint phone chargers. A child. A dog. Date nights at the grocery store. Knowing someone else's favorite flavor and what goes in the dryer and what doesn't.  Yeah, that's deft.

"And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)"
     - Dr. Seuss, Oh, the place you'll go!

Thanks Dr. Seuss, for all the wise words and favorable odds.

And thank you, babe. I'm in love with you.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Things that go squish in the night

It has been almost a month since I last wrote here.  Sorry. I might be a little lazy these days. Or maybe between the pesky full time job, the missus's ridiculous work/travel/grad school regimen, or the increasingly destructive toddler that demands food, attention and a full time custodian pretty much daily now, I might be a tad busy.

I should also probably mention we're in the process of getting a new roof and kitchen ceiling and if you happen to work in the insurance, banking, construction sales, or general contractor business I have probably spoken to stalked you and we are no longer friends.  And then there's our hero dog that saved us from certain doom recently by bravely slaying a wild animal (mouse) just feet from our back door. Now that he's tasted blood and pride, when he's not demanding to go out for the 489th time that day to run a security sweep, he stares out the windows like twelve year old boy looking for an errant boob on a Mediterranean beach (speaking from experience.) This dog has survived traffic, ingestion of enough sharp objects to fill a tool box, near hangings, surgery, a wife with thin patience, and more "this time, we're really getting rid of him" threats than I can count. But I'm fairly certain it will be a massive aortic rupture caused by a small rodent taunting him from outside that will finally do him in.

Back in May, the wife, on a rare school break, emerged from behind her laptop and textbooks and accompanied me on my weekend routine through greater suburbia.  Her ghostly pale skin aside, it was good to have the extra set of hands along. And the adult company too I suppose. We ended up in the local furniture store in search of a bed for our freakishly fast growing toddler.  Her dimensions and burgeoning physical abilities telling us that the crib was becoming obsolete and this was a purchase I didn't want to handle alone. 

The new bed sat in the garage for four months. Mostly because we were too chicken to set it up and deal with the ensuing carnage.  Mostly, I'm the chicken.  I wake up if the dog farts at 2 a.m: the thought of a little person with a knack for finding pens and lotions wandering around my house in the middle of the night sends me straight to hard booze.

For a few weeks we refused to accept reality as our daughter's screams sent us into to her room every few nights. Hearing the familiar stuck daddy, stuck!, I would walk in to find her straddling the crib rail with both legs like she's on the balance beam from Hell. Thanks, Olympics!

The final straw came on a Friday night, of course.  Both legs over the railing this time, her rear firmly balanced on the rail and instead of the normal terror-filled look, her sheepish grin said "I got this. Watch." 

So from Friday night, we went from this:

To this by Saturday morning:

To this three weeks later:

The first few nights were the worst, but as expected. Since then, it's been mostly calm with the occasional skirmish turning into a full blown battle.  Or some nights, when it's quiet and the dad-sense tells you to check on her anyways, you may find her standing in the dark with what was a full tub of ointment a few minutes earlier. You may then find yourself Googling things like Vaseline, hair, carpet, removal and homemade Xanax instead of doing other things, like writing a blog post.