Mosquitoes like me

After a family outing at Liberty Lake County Park, I have counted the following mosquito bites.

One on the back of my left hand at the base of my thumb.
One on the back of my left calf.
Two on my left shin.
One on both knees.
One on my left forearm, just below the elbow.
One in the bicep of my right arm.
One on my collar bone, right side.
One on the outside edge of the pinna of my left ear.
One at the base of my skull behind the pinna on the right.
One along the hairline above my right temple.

Note to self: buy bug spray.


Dear kids,

It's Father's Day. I know that you have all been working on some sort of surprise. You're trying to put on a play in our basement like it's a Broadway production. You've been scribbling on paper pilfered from our printer supply. It's all hush hush and I'm not supposed to know about it. You want this day to be great. Because I'm your dad and you love me.

Sometimes, that's hard for me to grasp that concept. It's easy for me to understand why I love you. I can overlook all of your flaws because I know that you were all born into this world with some unfair disadvantages stacked against you. I can endure your bad days because your good days make you shine like stars. I know that when you make mistakes, it's because you're learning. You're trying to figure out how to be a functional human being in a world that celebrates dysfunction. When I see how much you're accomplishing I find new ways in which I can brag about you without shame. I know you're not perfect but you have a good excuse. You're kids. And it sucks to grow up.

But me? I'm not a perfect dad. I don't have an excuse. I'm the grown up. When I hear you say stuff like, "You're the best daddy I could ever have," there is a voice inside me that wonders, What did I ever do to deserve this? I could explain in a million ways why I love you, but sometimes, the reasons you love me are elusive.

Sometimes, I just don't get it.

But that's not your fault. You don't need to try harder. Just be who you are. Through all of the laughter and tears, the whispers and yelling, your moments of fear and joy, discovery and repetition; you have become the highlight of my existence. The three of you are my biggest blessing.

Today, it doesn't really matter if I deserve the love you show me. The fact is, if I'm doing my job correctly, you will learn to love others who least deserve it. Even if that other person is me.

So give me your surprise that I'm not supposed to know about. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be great.

Sincerely, your dad.


The feline conversation

Tonight, I asked Bekah a question that she probably never expected me to ask: "Did you know we have a cat?"

Consider the following.
1. I'm not fond of cats. I don't mind other people's cats but I would never choose to get one for myself.
2. JJ is allergic to cat dander.

As Bekah was in bed watching TV and I was in my office listening to music, I saw a shadowy figure slinking up the stairs. Our kids are known for their ninja-like skills when it comes to sneaking into our bedroom in the middle of the night so I assumed JJ was trying to slip past my watch.

I stood up and started to ask, "What are you doing J?" Then I noticed, it wasn't JJ. Instead of my five year old perched at the top of the stairs, it was a dark grey tabby with darker stripes - possibly a dragon li if I had to guess the specific bread.

As soon as it saw my movement, it turned and fled. Down the stairs, through the dining room and out the open back door. I followed to see where it went, arriving at the back slider just in time to see it hop up to the deck railing and make a two story leap to the grass below. It dashed off between the fir tree and the fence that separates our property from the neighbors that complained about our dogs in their yard.

I suspect our unwelcome visitor is their cat.


What happened to...

So my grand plan for the month of May fell apart. For reasons.

At this point, I'm not sure if I'm ready - or even know how - to offer a logical explanation. The easy (and therefore short) answer is that external circumstances have sapped my motivation to write. And for the past two weeks, I haven't written a single word beyond what is required for my job.

Yet, the words are still waging a shouting match inside my head. It's filled with ideas and plans and thoughts - so much that it sometimes hurts. I do have a direction that I want to go, but for now this blog does so in absentia.