Wednesday, May 8


two weeks old already!
what the heck?!
my itty bitty little lovely lady lilli is something special:

what a beauty, what a sweetheart, what a good baby!
i don't think i've ever seen more than one picture of my dad holding me.
i don't actually even know if i'm remembering that right.
if there's a bunch, i don't recall.
i do know that i want all the pictures of all the kids, all the time.
a record of everybody, interconnected and involved,
actively participating in life as it unfolds.
lucky for me,
breezy is 100% on point when it comes to real-life documentation in photographs.
i like that:

she looks at me like she just can't quite figure out what the heck is going on.
...and she's very alert and observant in the short bursts of wide-eyed wakefulness
 that occupy her in between milky sips and sleepy snoozes.
she is very small, but not this small:

it's all perspective.
lilli is gaining weight.
she's got a firm grip, and the kickiest legs on the block, too.
she's healthy, and that's all due to her mama having innate
and attuned skills at expert-level momming.
i know i've said it before, but she's positively MADE for raising little babes.
it's so great to see her at it.
i'm impressed and i'm infatuated and i'm inspired and it gives me SO many feels.
my whole heart hurts about it.
and speaking of feelings-
my old man has been gone for a whole year as of yesterday.
i haven't heard his voice telling me some kind of terrible advice for a year.
hell, i think my impression of him is becoming a caricature of accuracy without
an infusion of his raspy, wheezing wild ideas and wholly inaccurate assessments of
how real life works.
i miss it all.
the same seven questions during every morning phone call.
the loud argumentative television news personalities interrupting every family function
from the screen in the living room.
the angsty stricken face of literal disgust at the mention of broccoli.
the custom shoes he kept that didn't fit.
the vampirical long-on-purpose fingernails....
he was such a character, he was such a weirdie,
and he had a huge,lasting impact on my entire life.
okay, so true story-
i did the literal non-exaggerated exact opposite of every single piece of advice
that he ever gave me, which, incidentally was always unsolicited.
also, by example, i lived my life as a photo-negative opposite of his as well,
with certain and measurable success as the result.
i carry a whole lot of gratitude for our time together,
but it's that trial-by-fire tempered steel kind of a feeling.
if he'd been soft and sweet, available and engaging,
i would never have had the fuse lit to be the person i am.
and the wildest sh!t?
we overlap in action in waaaaaaaaay too many ways for two men
who had so little in common.
i see him in so much that i do,
and i see him in so much of what i don't do, too.
those echoes of influence shaped me from the jump.
i remember being jealous of how much he liked my sisters.
maybe he just related to them more.
they certainly shared more positive experiences in what i'd consider negative behaviors.
don't misunderstand me.
growing up, i don't think ANY of us liked each other.
it wasn't easy, and that many super-strong personalities were bound to make friction.
that's the thing though-
nature wins.
that DNA  is powerful stuff,
and we all forged new paths from that forgeworld cauldron of fire and force.
you can't change what you're made out of, you just get to pick what you do with it.
i'm grateful for the time we spent as two adults,
as two men,
as abrasive sh!t-talking hammerheaded hamden warriors,
as unique individuals doing our damned best to find SOMEthing to unify our time together.
it was literally never easy.
the effortlessness of others was never going to be how we did our things.
and that's not bad.
it's not a measurement of quality.
it's reality.
we had hard styles, and hard times, and harsh language, and hard feelings,
and all of it couldn't stop us from finding time for each other almost every single day.
THAT'S the real truth.
he told me a lot of things, and i heard 'em all.
jeez, he repeated himself a LOT.
there's a definite family resemblance there.
i may not ever have as close a kinship as my ma did with him.
i may not have the memory of him that my sister does, either.
but i still love him, and i miss him;
never quiet, never soft.....

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