For some reason summers are always hard on our family; Especially August. I guess there is always so much to do and so much change for people when August winds down. This last month has been really hard for us with more obligations than any two working people could ever be expected to handle. Along with the little jabs life throws at us like the bad wind that came and blew down my gazebo:
I guess that's what I get for shopping on clearance.
My big announcement is that I have a new job. A good job. It pays better than my old desk job. And I get to buy new tools. Soon I will be one of those special people with Health Insurance again. And I won't have to pay a dime for it. Health Insurance doesn't make you feel so special when you have it but it's a pain when you don't have it. People look at you as if you're telling them you're heading across the Sahara Desert with no water when you tell them you have no insurance:
"What insurance do you have?"
Paaauuuuusssssseeee. Beads of sweat. Lowered voice, "How are you going to pay for this doctor visit?"
"The kid was fine when I brought him in for his check up. What are you planning to do to him while he's back there? Will I need a loan?"
Anyway, the Brotherhood has eyes everywhere and I finally have something to lose again so I'm going to avoid talking about the new job as much as possible. But I will say that people who administer drug tests for a living shouldn't make small talk. And while they're making inane small talk, they shouldn't interrupt themselves to bug their eyes out and say things like, "Wow! It looks YOU needed to go more than you thought."
The ray of light in our life has been our family. Our parents have done all they can for us and our kids have been almost just as helpful. They are funny and sweet. Jonah jumps on and off of everything. He even goes out of his way to create a reason to jump. And with every jump he opens his little two-year-old mouth and releases a, "Hup!" It's funny.
Olivia is hilarious. The other day I asked my wife if she had a dollar so I could buy myself a drink from the vending machine at work later in the evening. My wife said, "Here. Just borrow a dollar from Olivia." And she took a dollar out of the soup bowl that Olivia uses as a bank.
A few days later I gave my wife a dollar and said, "Here, give this back to Olivia for me." My wife went into my daughter's room to return the borrowed dollar and Olivia saw her and asked what she was doing. My wife explained that I had borrowed the dollar and was now returning it.
Upon hearing this, Olivia jumped up and yelled, "Yes! I knew it! I knew I had more money than you guys!" The sad thing is, depending on the day, she was probably right.
A little later, my wife were in our living room and our daughter came into the room with her soup bowl full of money. She said, "Here you guys. You can have it."
I said, "No. That's your money. You should keep it."
She said, "No. I don't want it. I want you guys to have it."
And I pulled rank as Dad, "Go put your money back in your room."
She went and put the money away and it was a little while before we saw her again. Then she returned with THIS PICTURE SHE DREW:
Olivia drew a picture of her parents. Look at them, they are elated. They are ecstatic. They are beyond themselves with joy because their daughter has given them all of the money in her soup bowl. Look at all of those coins on the ground. She even gave them the green rectangle dollars. Have any parents ever been as happy as Olivia's parents? Probably not. Olivia's parents are so happy because she has bestowed them with her boundless treasure. She knows it and she is proud of herself.
Here is something that Ethan and Olivia made together. It's an American Robin. Ethan made the bird using paper, Scotch tape and scissors. Olivia colored the bird. Both sides. And pretty accurately.
They have drawn some other awesome pictures that usually include princesses locked in towers, dragons, skeleton witches (because everything is in its ultimate form of scary when the word "skeleton" preceeds it) and ninjas.
Ethan has his way with words. He says to my wife:
"I love you like I love Zonk (his salamander)."
My wife, "Really?"
Ethan, "I will ALWAYS love you like I love Zonk."
My wife, "Thanks."
Ethan, "Do you love me as much as the bunnies?"
My wife, "I love you more than the bunnies."
Ethan, "Do you think Zonk would cry if I died?"
My wife, "I would cry if you died."
Last night Ethan called me at work. He said, "I miss you. I want you to come home."
Thinking out loud, I said, "I might be able to." Because it was my day off.
Ethan said, "Good. Go tell your boss."
Then I had to say, "No, I'd better stay till we're done working. I'll stay home tomorrow night."
Ethan said, "Okay. But I wish tonight was short-day at your work."
I said, "Me too."
I woke up one day and it was the quiet of morning. The curtains were closed and there wasn't any noise. I found Ethan sitting quietly on the couch. I couldn't tell if he was half asleep or pausing in cosmic reflection. I sat quietly, too.
After a minute, Ethan turned to me and said, "One day you are going to get really old and then you're going to die." It was a hard thing to argue with so I just said, "I know."
Then Ethan said, "And then I will live for a long time and then I will get really old and die, too."
I said, "Yup."
He said, "After I live for a long time and then die, I'll come to Heaven and look for you."
I said, "Okay. Do you want some Fruit Loops?" But I was really wondering if a day would ever come that he would ever think to say that to me again. Because deep down I think that is what every parent wants to hear.
I don't think he'll ever say it to me again so I'll just remember it as it was that day, in that dark and funny way. Maybe one day I'll remember it and it will make me laugh and cry. Maybe when I'm older. Right now, a bowl of Fruit Loops sounds pretty good. But damn if little kids can't drive daggers into your heart. He always tells me he misses me and that he worries about me when I'm gone. Feels like he's stealing my lines as the caregiver.
The point is: My kids are cool. A lot of people can't even begin to grasp that concept.