Tag Archives: Time Travelers

Madame Leota’s Crystal Ball Says. . .

We are all time travelers: moving into the future second by second.

Which does us absolutely no good at all as far as planning for the future goes because we can’t see the future until it’s the present and then it’s too late to change it into anything but the past.

Ugh. Time travel makes my head hurt.

Anyway, I was reminded about this issue recently when I was discussing with She Who Must Be Sleeping Because It’s Dark After All a course of action regarding our oldest dude.

The actual specifics of the discussion aren’t all that important (well, they’re important to us and certainly important to him. However, for the sake of this bit here, it’s more the results rather than the cause.), but I found myself thinking of Robert Frost.

One of my favorite poets, Robert Frost wrote about “The Road NotRobert Frost, one of America's best poets, extolled the virtue of taking the road less travelled. Taken.” In exactingly precise words of immeasurable beauty, Frost talked about how we often face choices in our lives and we can think of them as forks in the road.

We take one fork, make one choice, and that forever shapes all that is to come. Take the other fork, make the other choice, and that also forever shapes all that is to come.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So we sat discussing our course of action and because the substance of the discussion, the nature of the choice, was so important to Sarcasmo’s future, I’ve never wished more fervently to be able to see the future.

“Are we making the right choice? Will this work out in the long run? Will this be good for him or hurt him?”

This is something we parents have to think about every single day in almost every single decision. It’s not often such a stark choice, but it is there.

Do I make him eat those zucchini slices or not? If no, am I teaching him that he will get his way when he whines? If yes, will I be teaching him that bigger people can make smaller people do things?

The more I think about it, the more debilitating it becomes until I can enter into a state of analysis paralysis. For those of you not up on your rhyming aphorisms, analysis paralysis means you start thinking about something so much that you never make an actual decision. Which is, in effect, a decision. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

There’s an old saying in project management: There comes a time in the life of every project when you simply have to shoot the engineers and run with it.

Now, that’s not actually encouraging people to kill engineers. The issue is that engineers are never finished. They always see one more thing that can be improved upon. One more thing that needs just a little adjustment.

I like to think it’s something similar in parenting. We don’t know what we’re doing.

We don’t know how our actions today will affect the life of our child tomorrow.

All we can do is make what we think is the right decision and then work for the best outcome. Which is, in and of itself, a significantly frightening thought.

So, now that I’ve spent two days scaring the pants off you, I’ve only got one thing to say. . .

You’re not wearing any pants! Neener Neener Neener!

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Blood Tales: The Great Escape

by Richard

There really was no choice. We weren’t going to let the doctors in Cozumel perform a potentially quite risky surgery on me without having the blood supply necessary to save me should things go wrong and we weren’t going to pay $30,000 to fly back and leave the young dudes to their own devices in Mexico.

It was time for The Great Escape.

We informed the doctors that I would be checking out immediately. We figured this should be all right (for the most part) considering my hemoglobin count had stayed stable overnight and I was able to walk to the bathroom without passing out. (This part was important to me because I was sincerely tired of redecorating rooms with my face.)

The doctors were, to put it mildly, not pleased. Still, we were adamant and eventually were allowed to leave.

Leaning on my the arm of my wife, known to me then as She Who Must Be Literally Supportive, I managed to shuffle into a taxi and from there across what seemed to be a couple of acres of hotel lobby. I collapsed on the bed in which Sarcasmo and Zippy the Monkey Boy were staying. For the next couple of hours, I did my best impression of a wet washcloth and tried to conserve what little strength I had.

As an aside, just let me tell you that the Mexican version of Cartoon Network is seriously strange, at least to these anglo eyes. Eventually, we headed to the airport where we proceeded to lie our butts off to American Airlines. See, if they knew that I had a possibly uncontrolled gastrointestinal bleed, they’d never have let me on the airplane and we’d be stuck. So we told them that I’d hurt my knee (which explained the wheelchair) and then had fallen and hit my face (which explained the face). Thank, FSM it worked.

Though, I should point out that none of this would have worked without my dad and his wife. They are both big-time travelers on American Airlines and, because of their trips, they have tons of air miles. They stepped up to the plate and hit a home run for us. They purchased coach tickets for the young dudes and first/business class for the adults. We’re really indebted to them. We couldn’t have made it home without their help.

I’m just thankful they were able to get the first/business seats for us because I spent every minute of the flights (from Cozumel to Dallas/Fort Worth and from there on to Charlotte) huddled under blankets, shivering with the blood-loss-induced cold and sleeping. Having half my blood volume, I was tuckered out just from breathing.

Going through customs in Dallas/Fort Worth was certainly interesting. Normally, we’d have to wait in long lines with the rest of the folks, but that wheelchair put us — ironically — into the fast lane. I got wheeled to the head of every line and just cruised on through.

Once we arrived in Charlotte, we were met by my mother-in-law and father-in-law who took the young dudes home while dropping off a car for the adults. Within an hour of landing, we were in the emergency room with a x-rays done and a bag of A negative blood hanging above my stretcher.

Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip.

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Freaky Friday: Time Travel

We are all of us time travelers. What? You didn’t know? Yep. We’re all moving into the future one second at a time. Okay, sure, that’s a bit of a cheat, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Right now, I’d like to talk about the kind of time travel that sneaks up on you and whacks you in the back of the head with a wet cod.

Today is my oldest little dude’s birthday. Today he’s 16 years old. And, dudes, that makes me feel really, really old.

Heck, I remember it like it was yesterday. When I was in high school I thought of myself as most likely never to conceive. Oddly, that was the consensus of most of the girls back then too, but I think they might have had different reasons. Well, no matter. Bygones.

The little dude isn’t so very little anymore. He’s taller than I am and he’s not only got scruffy facial hair sprouting out, but he’s actually growing hair on his chest already. And he’s going to be allowed behind the wheel of a car by the state of North Carolina. The fools! One thing that hasn’t changed is that he’s still late for just about everything he does.

He was two weeks late when he was born. His soon-t0-be mom and I went into the hospital and she got started with her labor-inducing medications. For most of the morning nothing happened. In fact, so much nothing happened that at lunch I was sent out by her to go rent a movie so we could watch it during the day. Hah! If only we’d known. I got a frantic beep (this was back in the dark ages before cell phones became common.) that demanded I get back to the hospital RIGHT NOW!

By the time I got back, my wife, known to me then as She Who Sort Of Scares Me, was in full labor. You know, the kind of labor that makes you regret ever learning how babies are made in the first place. The kind where you want to grab hold of your loving husband’s hand, grip it and then, with one savage jerk, pull his entire arm off and beat him to death with the bloody stump. Needless to say, the anesthesia wasn’t working as well as it might.

Eventually, the little dude came out via c-section while his dad cowered behind the operating screen, wanting absolutely nothing to do with seeing the scalpel cut into his bride and the mother of his child. Seriously, for a beautiful event there sure is a lot of blood and gunk and stuff best left unidentified.

The past 16 years have had a lot of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. It’s a joy to see his face light up when he’s excited about something, or to hear some unique insight that I would never have thought of in a thousand years. He’s a heck of a kid and I’m glad to have him.

Happy birthday, dude. I love you.

— Dad

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