Archive for December 24th, 2011

So, for some reason I woke up this morning thinking about death. It may have to do with the fact that I have been with my family for the last 67 hours and 20 minutes, but who is counting. I love my family, but holidays are stressful.

It starts off with trying to get out the door. We got three kids, and we need to make sure everyone has what they need for the annual trip to the great white north. Of course, this year, the north is not so white. Not a flake of snow this year, and it’s Minnesota. What is up with that? I am not a huge fan of snow, but even for this California boy, it is weird. It does make the drive less stressful, which is nice. This year is particularly difficult, as I still have grading to do, my oldest is sick as a dog, and I can’t seem to figure out why on God’s green earth my wife’s suitcase is so freakin’ heavy. Next year I am implementing a new family rule, if the wife can’t load it into the car, it is too damn heavy. If I was an airline, I would charge her 50 bucks. Actually, I like that idea better. Just call me United, because I am charging for extra bags and over the weight limit bags next year.

There is also of course, the standard snide remarks and evil looks. “We were supposed to leave an hour ago.” “I am hungry” – this is not the kids, it is me. “Can you change Violet’s diaper?” “I can’t do that at the same time as doing the last thing you asked me to do.” “Where is the camera?” “Why is your suitcase so heavy.” “Did you bring the camera?” “Maybe it is in your suitcase.” “I thought you had it.” “I didn’t have it, why would I have it?” “You had it last.” “No I didn’t, you used it at that thing.” “It doesn’t matter, where is it? Oh here it is.” And then of course, after everyone is loaded in the car, the wheels are beginning to spin in reverse, the it-never-fails, “Shoot! I forgot something.” Ugggggggghhh! Eventually, we arrive to the father-in-law’s house without incident. Let the holidays begin.

As I said before, my oldest son was sick. He is feeling a lot better now. While we were trying to get out the door, he was asleep in his bedroom. We did not leave without him, but I thought it would have been funny if we did. The reason I thought about this was because I completely forgot about him as I was loading the car, then all of sudden he came out of his bedroom with his backpack full of the things he needed for the trip. I then thought, “Oh yeah, my son is coming with us.” How funny would that have been if we had left without him? Half way to Minneapolis, “I feel like we are missing something.” I told this to my son. He did not think the possibility was as funny as I did. Did you know that many people have a story of how their parents left them alone somewhere when they were a kid? If I remember correctly, my ex-wife was left alone at a gas station. She came out of the bathroom and her family was gone. I wonder how often this happens.

So, back to death. As I stated, I woke up this morning thinking of death. Not in a Nicholas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas sad kind of way, but more in a uplifting Leanardo DiCaprio, Titanic kind of way. My heart will go on. You see I have been very impressed with my kids over the last couple of days. Let’s start with Violet. She was wonderful in the car (almost five hours) and seems to be comfortable wherever we go. She explores, smiles. and interacts with everyone. She is quite frankly, a joy. My son, Isaac is awesome as always, but what has been most wonderful is his patience. If you have ever met my son, Isaac, you know that he has enough energy to power a major city, and I mean Los Angeles. And with all the waiting around, packing and unpacking, he has been awesome. And finally, my oldest, Brett Jr. He brought his violin. And has put on two concerts already, and the family has loved each and everyone of them. I am so proud of the way that he has presented himself and how wonderful it is to watch him play the violin for others. He has one more concert, and that will be on Christmas day. He is amazing.

So, when I die, I want there to be no ambiguity in my children’s minds on how I feel and felt about them. On my deathbed, there will be no question of how much they meant to me. Why? Because I will tell them now, and everyday until my death. In this holiday season, regardless of your belief, take a moment to let the ones you love know how you feel. Don’t let it wait till your eulogy, tell them now. May love be shared this holiday season, and may it be shared as strong and powerful as the One who gave His Son to be born on Christmas Day. Merry Christmas everyone!

Cool. It’s snowing.

I was at the post office and I saw a Kwanzaa stamp. Are people still doing this? I am black, and I’m still unsure exactly what it means to celebrate Kwanzaa.  I agree with Stanley’s response to all of the political correctness surrounding the Holiday Season, from the TV show, The Office, “I don’t want it.  Christmas is Christmas is Christmas is Christmas.  I don’t want no Kwanzaa wreath.  I don’t need no dreidle in my face, that’s its own thing.  And who is that black Santa for?  I don’t care.  I know Santa ain’t black.  I could care less.  I want Christmas!  Just give me plain baby Jesus lying in the manger Christmas!”  I agree with Stanley.  I’m just sayin …


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