Tag Archives: Wonderful Woman

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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One More For The Shortie

by Richard

Today’s a bit of a travel day for me. Not only are we working in Speed Racer’s birthday, but we’re also shipping George of the Jungle out to computer camp.

I know. I just love the image of a pocket protector on that lion-skin, too. It makes me giggle. Which makes George of the Jungle look at me strangely. Well, more strangely than normal.

With that in mind, I’m out of here for a today.

Before I go, though, I’d like to wish a belated happy birthday to my grandmother. She shares a birthday with Speed Racer and, for the last 11 years, has loved her birthdays more than ever because of it.

She’s a wonderful woman who’s been going through some difficult times lately, but doing it with grace and a sense of humor. Happy birthday, Mama. You’re loved by a whole bunch of dudes, not least of which us.

I’ll talk to the rest of you tomorrow.

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How Many Is Too Many?

Recently, a woman in Southern California gave birth to octuplets, this when she already had six other kids at home with her. Reports are that Nadya Suleman, 33,went to a fertility clinic for each and every birth.

In various newspaper reports, I’ve read that Suleman had asked for more than million dollars to appear on various talk shows. She didn’t get it. And this was before the news broke that she wasn’t the mother of eight, but the mother of 14. Now it seems as if she’s not getting any of the other benefits traditionaly associated with such astoundingly large births.

“Women who give birth to six, seven or eight babies are often showered with dazzling gifts from big corporations, local businesses and strangers. But that is not happening with the Southern California mother who delivered octuplets last week.

The news that she is a single mother with six other children — and that all 14 were conceived by having embryos implanted — seems to have turned off many people, and companies are not exactly rushing to get publicity by piling on the freebies.”

Personally, I’m a little bit appalled. Not so much at the mother, although I do think she might need a little counseling and pretty darn toot sweet, but mostly at the fertility clinic and fertility doctor that performed the implantation of eight fertilized eggs into this woman. That doctor and that clinic had to know the situation with Suleman, in that she had no regular means of support other than her slightly less than middle class parents, and that she already had six kids in the house.

I mean, seriously, unless she has some kind of super-mothering power which has remained hidden until now, things could get really ugly really quickly in that house.

Okay, this next bit is probably a little stupid, but I’m going to do it anyway. I am married to a wonderful woman. We are relatively well off. We have three kids. And I think that’s about the limit of what we could do. We want out little dudes to have experiences we never had, opportunities we never even saw. How is that going to happen in a home with borderline poverty and 14 kids? I really worry about those kids.

Speaking of financial calamities, here’s another couple of fun facts:

“For a single mother, the cost of raising 14 children through age 17 ranges from $1.3 million to $2.7 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Suleman octuplets’ medical costs have not been disclosed, but the average cost for just one cesarean birth in 2006 was $22,762 in California. The Suleman babies were born nine weeks premature. In California, a single premature birth in 2006 led to an average hospital stay of 25 days and cost $164,273. That would amount to a $1.3 million bill for eight.”

Yeah, that shouldn’t be a problem.

While I can’t say I know for sure what should be done here, if anything can, I do know there should be some very hard, very serious looks at the fertility clinic and fertility doctor in charge of starting up this whole mess.

Okay, I’m done ranting now. We’ll be back tomorrow with something that’s actually funny.

— Richard

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