Tag Archives: Mama

The Luckiest Unluckiest Day Ever

It wasn’t until later that I realized he was born on Friday the 13th.

Unluckiest of unlucky days in Western culture, Friday the 13th is a triskaidekaphobics worst nightmare. It rarely comes about, but when it does, it’s usually wielding a machete and wearing a hockey goalie mask.

But not this month. On June 13, Casa de Dude celebrates! We kick up our heels and dance and sing (although not as much these days for reasons that should become apparent in only a few moments) and just generally enjoy life because June 13, this year falling on a Friday, is the day our family became complete.

Friday the 13th of June is Hyper Lad’s birthday. This is the year he’s turning 15, which means he’s already got his grubby little paws held out and ready to take the car keys and go for a little spin. The fact that he has no learner’s permit because his driver education teacher still hasn’t gotten around to him yet. . . Well, that means little.

He’s fifteen. He’s ready to drive. At least in his mind.

I say our family became complete because Hyper Lad is the youngest of our three young dudes. He’s six years younger than our oldest and five years younger than our middle son. In fact, we weren’t supposed to have Hyper Lad at all.

My wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Her Way, and I thought we were finished procreating (although not practicing) after Zippy the Travelin’ Boy. Eventually, though, she began to yearn for another female in the house. Once she said that, it became apparent that I really needed a daughter as well since I look darn good on the dance floor wearing a tux at a wedding.

Instead, we got lucky and didn’t get our wish. Instead of a girl, we got a Hyper Lad and we couldn’t be happier.

Our oldest son, Sarcasmo, had to suffer through first-child paranoia as his mom and I freaked out about anything and everything related to our darling. Our middle son, Zippy the Travelin’ Boy, stayed sheltered in the harbor of our good graces and had vigilant parents every on guard. Relaxed, but on guard.

By the time Hyper Lad came along, we were pretty much okay with him doing just about anything short of juggling the razor-sharp blades we kept in the open, unlocked drawers in the kitchen. And even that, provided he had a good reason for it.

Having older brothers, Hyper Lad has benefited from being around (slightly) more mature age cohorts for most of his life. He’s probably more emotionally mature at 15 than his brothers were when they were his age.

Since he was smaller than everyone around whom he wanted to hang, he had to develop a quick left and an even quicker wit to survive. And he has.

His teachers see the same things that we do: one of the sharpest minds, with one of the most wicked senses of humor to have come around in a long while. He’ll frequently make an offhand joke about current affairs we happen to be discussing that’s amazingly quick, amazingly on-target and blisteringly funny.

His mom and I will just turn and look at each other — once the laughter finally dies down — and trade astonished gazes.

While Hyper Lad lives up to his name (and his blog name here), he’s not constantly rushing around and ignoring everyone else. The young dude is consistently polite (to non-dad people) in almost every situation and looks for ways to help everyone he can.

Not to say he’s perfect, of course. I mean, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve come thiiiiiiisssssss close to popping an aneurysm in my brain from the crap he will drop — literally drop — wherever it is he happens to be done with it. If that means he’s finished with a band-aid wrapper six inches from a trashcan. . . Then he drops the wrapper to the floor six inches from the trashcan.

And, being a teenager, he’s now discovered the joys of sleeping in until the sun warms up. . . say, sometime around 3 pm.

So, yeah, he’s got a lot of things to work on. But, here’s the deal about that: We’re just so glad we get a chance to watch as he does. It’s going to be an interesting experience.

Here’s to you, Hyper Lad! Have a happy birthday and know we love you. And we dearly want to live through you learning to drive, so please work on that.


We also take a moment to remember Hyper Lad’s Great Grandmother, my Grandmother, Irene Jones. A wonderful woman, my grandmother died three years ago. She and Hyper Lad were both born on June 13 and called each other Birthday Buddies. So here’s to you as well, Mama. You’re missed and loved.

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Change Your Clock, And Not Just Because You’re In Another Time Zone

by Richard

Yeah, it’s that time of the year again. Time to change your clock an hour ahead, robbing yourself of an hour’s sleep just so we can keep up an ancient (okay, less than 100 years, but it feels positively antique) tradition that has no practical application in today’s society.

It’s the first day of Daylight Savings Time.


Remember to move your clocks ahead one hour today or you’re going to be late to a whole lot of stuff.

You’re going to be late. Not me. Because I’m in San Francisco.

Which is why you get this oldie moldie song today. It’s written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas, and sung by Scott McKenzie and it’s called San Francisco. This is the one that talks about wearing flowers in your hair so put on your hippie inoculation vests and enjoy!

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Another Good-Bye

by Richard

Dude, I can not wait for 2011 to be over.

I’m in Gainesville, Florida, again today. This time I’m here to say good-bye to my grandmother, Irene Jones, better known to everyone in my family as Mama.

Mama passed away in late July following a long period of weakness. At age 95, she lived a long and, for the most part, happy life full of friends, family and love.

Leaving behind her son (my dad) and daughter (my aunt), Mama’s chief bequest to the generations who come behind her won’t be from the kitchen (although — believe me — she was one amazing cook) but in the love she gave to and received from so many people.

Mama spent her working life dealing with kids society labeled juvenile delinquents. She spent the other parts of her life helping out kids who were part of the University of Florida athletic program, most specifically the football and track teams. I can’t tell you the number of time I have been approached by players who knew and loved my grandparents for being such good people.

She will be greatly missed.

After all the stuff life’s thrown at me this year, though, I can tell you with certainty that I will not be missing 2011. Even with the end of the calendar coming in 2012, that’s got to be a better year than this one. And it’s barely half over.

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