Friday, January 28, 2011

Old Man & Winter

We've had so much snow this winter, it has begun to remind me of my time as a boy growing up around Boston. But even in that colder past, I only recall two or three winters that packed this many punches. I've felt like I sometimes have when I'm overmatched by an opponent and the best I can hope is to hold it together long enough to live to tell about it.

This last week left the latest layer of snow, a good fifteen more inches. We're running out of places to put it all. At least half of our parking spaces on the street are now occupied by 7 foot tall piles of snow.

"Reminds me of Boston," I said to a neighbor and fellow expatriate of our fair city. We were shoveling our adjacent cars out of deep snow drifts and trying to find a place to put the snow.

"Yeah," he said, smiling and added in true Boston fashion, "It's wicked snowy this winter."

Then, forgetting that he was a bit younger than me, I added, "Reminds me of the storm of '78."

His face just went into blank wonderment, and it was a good ten seconds of silence before I realized he might not have been born for that one.

"Or the winter of '92," I said trying to recover.

"Yeah," he said, "I remember school being closed a lot that year."

"School!" I thought to myself, "Oh boy. I was in school in '92, but I was teaching."

We chatted a few more minutes and finished our shoveling. It was amicable, but I felt a little embarrassed.

Everyone has one of those moments when you know you've crossed another of the many thresholds of age. And even though I know I'm still young by many standards, this was one of those moments that made my progress through time feel rougher than normal.

I've looked at that snow out there a little differently this week; I've been thinking how my father was younger in 1978 than I am now in 2011 and the future that I had always imagined so far away as a boy is now upon me like the layers and layers of snow that sit just outside my door.

Winter makes you feel old I've heard people say. I think personally it's time for a little early spring - I'm ready for some younger thoughts.

Good night.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Just a really quick post tonight. My little guy has begun to sleep for a fairly long stretch at night, which is a good thing. But he takes a long time to put to bed, which is driving me a little crazy. One hour, two hours, sometimes three hours of stories, pleading, putting my head in my hands and trading places with my wife to get the little guy to sleep. It's like waiting at a bus stop when you're late for work and watching as bus after empty bus ride by with the "NO SERVICE" in the placard window.

But right about the moment when I'm just about to lose it each night, the little guy, without fail, will look up at me with a rascally little grin spreading over his knowing face and he'll say:

"I love you too Daddy," and then he'll laugh.

It's like the bus still hasn't arrived, but a free donut and coffee truck showed up while I was waiting. It's just unbelievably sweet and delicious.

You can imagine, I just can't be anywhere near mad when he does this. I know that in part he's just trying out another power phrase and enjoying the reaction he's getting out of me; but there's also a little part of me that just loves to hear those words come at me from that boy - what a feeling.

It more than makes the three hours of picking him up and putting him back in bed feel worthwhile. It's like working a long weekend and being given a new car to drive home. It's weary and wonderful.