Posts Tagged ‘holiday’

Special Monday

30 May 2011

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Dear J-

I could have gone in to work today, pulled down double time (holiday and regular time at least) and done something that would be no doubt as pointless as any of the work I feel like I’ve been doing lately. I would have spent probably two hours on the road on top of whatever hours I sank into work, spent roughly ten bucks on gas, but I would have come out a few hundred dollars ahead and you never know what will happen, that would have been something to feather the nest with, sock away against a rainy day. We could have treated it just like any other Monday and not said anything different.

I took the time off. I won’t apologize for spending a few extra days off doing the mundane work of Mondays with family, grocery shopping and finding entertainment for kids and parents alike. This is a side of life I don’t often glimpse, spending time and money in unexpected treats and places, the regimented routine immediately disturbed just by the unexpected fact that dad is around and watching. What’s better is knowing how nice it turned out to be today, and how you would have otherwise spent it inside away from the daylight apart from everything you believe in while slaving away for a few bucks more.

They say that time is money and maybe five years ago before kids I would have thought why not and gone in anyway. I need to get up early most days anyway and I might as well stay on the regular five-a-week right? There is a lot of truth to that old aphorism but they don’t tell you what you can buy with those bucks: memories, days, dreams, delights, desserts. Drive slowly enough and you’ll find more delights than you’d believe possible.

Mike

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Spin Cycle

29 November 2009

Dear J-

So if you want to go someplace touristy in your hometown over a four-day weekend, save it for Sunday: for this Thanksgiving, Thursday is reserved for family, Friday is filled with desperate folks looking to escape the shopping crush, Saturday is left with people trying to wring the last drops out of the weekend, but Sunday is a travel day for most and everything is pretty deserted. We completed our trifecta with a trip to the Zoo today; our original plans involved sticking around to see the lights, but they told us they wouldn’t be on for another two weeks.

It’s been a long time since we had four days off together in a row, it’s almost like re-learning how to function as a team. We work at cross purposes at times; we pull like mismatched oxen as we each have separate ideas as to what’s best. Through it all we’ve spent more time laughing than not — yesterday, for instance, we stood in line to meet Santa at Sea World, where she declared, “That’s Christmas; Christmas is wearing a hat.”

At some point, unnoticed, she’s turned into a little kid. There are small things we could work on, but by and large we’re well past the point of helplessness. One of the things the unnamed they tell you is how quickly it passes, blink and you miss it. After all, it is one of those things you have to experience for yourself to understand, right? We spin in cycles, we repeat every lesson our parents and their parents learned; the wheel revolves in silent amazement.

Mike

Today Tonight

26 November 2009

Dear J-

And so today I’m thankful for zzz … folks like to shout out their favorite holidays — Thanksgiving and Halloween being some of the popular choices, as for most of us, they involve a lot of food and generally warm feelings (especially for those of us who don’t spend the day slaving over a stove — I offer, but everyone knows better by now than to let me anywhere near edible preparations). Christmas tends to be a bit too much pressure for most to really enjoy: between preparations for guests and fighting crowds, everyone spends the first few weeks of December in a sour mood.

Thanksgiving in the States, on the other hand, sneaks up like a favored cousin: you run along high on sugar for a couple of days after the candy-fest of Halloween, stop off for Veteran’s Day on the way, and before you know it you’re stuck on the road with a million other drivers on the way to the inevitable overindulgence. And yet if it wasn’t for the traffic today would have been nigh-perfect, figgy running around and charming after the initial shyness (she has learned how to kiss, albeit moistly), good food, good company, good memories: the cousin confessing her wishbone wish hoping all days could be like this.

We have holidays to remind us of different things: Labor Day isn’t just a day off, New Year’s Day is redolent with the promise of fresh starts, but it shouldn’t take a special day set aside to proclaim what we’re thankful for. We’re all some mother’s child, after all.

Mike

MomsDay

10 May 2009

Dear J-

You talk about these Hallmark holidays like Mother’s Day not knowing that they’re just card-selling gimmicks, right? There’s some powerful greeting card lobby out there that forces all kinds of arcane holidays onto the official calendar; before long, you know, there’s going to be some kind of Hillside Goat Day designed to recognize the importance of the foliage-control caprines keeping our burnable hillsides safely cropped. On the other hand, there is that saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes …

I will readily admit that I thought the two big parental holidays did nothing but move flowers and provide a nice rhyme for “Grads and ___” up until it happened to me. To us. Yeah, it’s the standard cliché that you never know how your life changes until it, well, changes. You have the vaguest idea from what people tell you, but you don’t realize what sacrifices are made until you give them up yourself. The one thing that I’m rich in is time, and while I used to give freely of that to work, I prefer to bank and save that time for home now. Time only scratches the surface, though.

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We need to remember what sacrifices moms make today, though; the list is long and exhausting; when I try to play at being mom, I know that I’ve got a lot of shortcomings. When figgy wasn’t taking milk from a bottle, that made for excruciatingly long Fridays and Saturdays; when she decided only one of us could read her bedtime stories — that one not being me, by the way — when she needs the million things that only mom is able to supply, I am profoundly humbled and grateful to have found the right moms in my life to have helped me along the way to be the man I am, the son, the husband, the father. Thanks. I love you.

Mike