Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Best Kind of Tears

The kids and I had scurried around the house unobstructed by the woman of the house for almost two hours when Gumbo stopped me in the hall "I have something for you." He handed me a brown paper bag. "It's a raincoat. It's for you, from me." Sure enough, a nice yellow raincoat lay on the bottom of the bag, my size and everything. He took by surprise with that oh sooo smooth gift giving ritual. Some people work on it their whole lives and never learn to give a gift that well. I cried big macho tears, laughed, hugged the boy, and tried it on so we could have an indoor singin' in the rain session. The part that he got so well was waiting until his mother had been gone for so long, banishing the spectre of Mom contrived cuteness. Turned out that it was supposed to be a birthday present for me, and he had let the coat out of the bag ahead of schedule. Bless that wonderful boy. The other day he asked, "Can we go to see Santa Claus? At Burning Man?" And one recent evening, shortly after my return home from work he chimed "Dad?"

"Yes Gumbo."

"I like you." The kid charms like climbing a rope of sand I ain't kiddin'.

The daughter doesn't do so bad herself. Last night she chilled in my lap for a good several minutes while I chatted with my mom, then, when Jerry came up on shuffle play strumming the first few notes of To Lay Me Down I started rocking side to side and singing along. As the emotion of the song started to carry me away I watched her eyes droop and close as she journeyed down the 700 dreamsteps. Once again gratitude started slapping me in the head like a giant cayenne coated sunfish, causing tears of joy to run screaming love down my face. I thought, wow, twice in one day, and recalled that the first time in my life that I cried tears of joy and gratitude was less than one year ago. I calculated the odds of twice in one day. A google to one, that's how the odds add up, so I carved another miracle notch in my psyche, and put that wee lady in her crib. I should be so lucky, soooooo lucky.

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