Thursday, April 17, 2008

If only I could sing

It is tradition in our family that we rotate through the kids (my siblings) and every year for my father's birthday we share a memory, we share the gifts he left us with. This year it is my turn. I thought I would share what I posted on my family blog.

I have been thinking about this post for a very long time . . . four years to be exact. As the youngest of four children it is my turn to commemorate my father on what would be his 60th Birthday. I wish I could add some photo's but none capture him right. So I will try to paint it with my words exactly what I want you to see.

I was six or seven years old , Mom and I were home together. I remember the gold velvety set of chairs in the very clean living room. Dad was up all night at the hospital and came home on his lunch break for a much needed nap. I thus entertained my self in our split level 70's basement. Popcorn ceilings that cornered to plastered white textured covering for the top 1/3 portion of the wall. Some fabulous dark wood paneling covered the remaining wall that carried your eye down to the multi colored carpet. Of all colors to mix (on purpose) the owner's choose the brown/red/orange/black carpet . . .Do you remember how us kids called it the throw up carpet.

It is in this creative sparking atmosphere my youthful drama began. I preceded to meander and hum my favorite songs. As I worked from the rocking horse, to the book self still singing. I was my own back up, my own echo, I was a one girl choir. As time went on the volume increased. Before no time I was Dancing and bolting out any and every song I knew. I really only needed to know a percentage of the actual lyrics, as I could figure out new rhyming patterns and words.

Just at the climax of my bizarre musical I met my father coming down from the top floor as I was dancing up from the basement. At this moment (not a moment earlier) I connected the dots that my dad was trying to nap, and I was screaming appalling half lyrics to tone deaf rhythms.

I was startled and braced myself for the appropriate scowl and lecture. I was even more startled by his reaction. One in which I ponder on often. I am tearing up as I vividly can see his face it was more youthful, with his big ears, clean shaven and a huge smile. He tenderly says, "I really enjoyed your singing, Thank you". He gets to the living room, I am still a few steps down in the basement, and looks back at me. To this day I don't know if it ever registered what he said next, I was absorbing the first compliment. I do know it was an uplifting and funny compliment at my grotesque attempt at being a movie star.

As all of you know it is not shocking that Dad would compliment or find the good in being kept awake. It is not that this was a rare glimpse into his heart. Dad was a caring person that his actions were driven from his heart. The amazing thing is that he read my inner heart, my deepest secret wants and desires and needs. I loved to sing, as bad as i was I sooo enjoyed singing. In that minute experience from 23 years ago my father told me; he loved me, loved me more then him napping, loved me enough to hear my off tune screeching and have it be music to his ears. Dad told me with out words "I was listening and it was great seeing my child be herself that I didn't, couldn't interrupt her". He loved my wacky creative chaos, he loved my shortcomings.

This event is neatly packaged and placed in the back of my mind. I have wandered to it thousands of times, running through the dialog, the story. Every time I think upon it I feel like a better person, I feel more able, I feel empowered and loved. Dad just as easily could have yelled form upstairs to quiet down, and I would not have thought about it again. Yet he gave me the time and space to express my inner soul (if you will). As rough and off tune as it was he found such beauty in my creation of mix matched rock 'n roll songs jumping from chorus to chorus of different songs.

Now as I am a mother and have children inventing them selves I grow to appreciate it even more. When Jeddy yells to me "Mommy, look at me" with all the excitement he can muster as he hangs of the edge of a slide backwards with one foot kicking up and his tongue out. I try to give that same encompassing smile I received and say great work Big guy, as I run to catch him before he falls. When Madisen brings me cards she has scripted, "Mom I love you, I am glad god made one of you. I do not want 2 of you or 3 of you , I am happy with one of you". I give her a big tear filled hug. I did not correct her backwards g's, I did not ask "what would be wrong with having 2 of me, am i that bad?"I know she is coming up with her own words to tell me how much she cares, she does not want hallmark to do the work for her. As Benson races the big kids up the stairs and tip toes to get 'his' toothbrush (which is usually Madisen's) and shows us he understands . .. "kids go get your teeth brushed". I give him a proud wink, He knows how to obey.

I am grateful for the awareness that I now carry to enjoy the molding of my kids. I am grateful for the example he was. I am grateful for his humor that made so many terrible events tolerable. I am grateful that he made things that were important to me, important to him. Hopefully I can encourage my children to sing out of tune, to make up lyrics they forget, to apply for grad school, or what ever it is, to be who they are . . .because just as my Father loved me, I love them.

Happy Birthday Dad, I miss you.


your atilla the hun

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Famous Encounters

I just read a blog from my buddy Lynn, and I think this is a great subject. Absolutely no point involved, just a little game I thought would be fun for my group of blogging friends that want to play. We have all met our share of famous people. And when we do we usually get all excited and tell everyone we know for the next few days and then we forget about it. Well, I am going to go back and remember all the ones I can remember. I really hope you leave a story or 2 in either your blog or as a comment to my blog.

Here goes.

1989. San Francisco Bay Area Earthquake. Earlier in the day, my buddy Quiant Myers introduced me to a former pro bowl Defensive End for the SF 49er's, named Pierce Holt. After the earthquake, I was skateboarding home from Quiants and at the ice cream parlor I saw Pierce. I stopped to talk to him, and he tried to ride my skateboard, almost falling down. So I almost ruined his career, luckily he caught his balance and gave me a ride home in his truck. Pretty cool as a 13 year old.

1994. Instead of Senior Ball, my friends and I decided to go to Disneyland. We stayed at the same hotel that the Oakland A's were staying in. Rickey Henderson, the all time greatest leadoff hitter in baseball, sat down next to me in the lobby and had a drink. I never talked to him but after he finished the drink, I took the glass and I am pretty sure it is still in a box in my parents attic. Some day I will pull it out and show the grandkids. Another story from that trip. I was in the elevator with my buddy Bryan, and 2 A's players were in there. One of them farted, and tried to blame the other one. It was pretty funny. Made me glad that when I grew up I could still be kind of a dork.

1997 or 98. I was working as a bus boy in Provo Utah for Los Hermanos Mexican Restaurant. In walked Michael Stipe, lead singer for R.E.M. I was a big fan of REM, so I recognized him instantly, as I figured everyone else would. So turns out he wasn't as big in Utah as California, and I was the only one who recognized him. I went and got his autograph. I said, um, your Michael Stipe right. He said yes. I asked, what are you doing in Provo, Utah. He said he was visiting his grandma. That was it. Seemed like kind of a shy,quiet guy.

Also in this time period, Steve Young at same restaurant. My good friend Caroline King served him, and she was much cooler than I would have been.

2006. This is my biggest celebrity sighting. I was in the Las Vegas Airport, and there was some buzz about a movie being shot at the end of the terminal. So I go check it out and lo and behold the best looking man on the planet, Brad Pitt. He was about 6 feet away and he was this little petite man. I was really surprised, he had the frame of a woman. Like a waif model. Anyway, I am completely comfortable in my heterosexuality to say he is one hot man. I say that because I remember being boggled as a youngster about how a girl can tell if a guy was good looking. Girls it is easy, but guys just look like guys. He was the first guy that I saw that I could tell what girls meant, when they thought a guy was good looking. I say that in the straightest way possible, really. I don't know if anyone out there is starting to wonder about me, but I am secure enough to say it. I remember thinking, if I looked like that guy, I know girls would think I was hot. Plain and simple. Thanks Brad.

This was the scene I saw, at the end he walks right towards me

I also met a Superbowl winning QB of the Redskins, Mark Rypien, at an amusement park in Virginia. I met some girl in Jumanji, and guy from Robin Hood, Men in Tights on my mission. Now that I think about it, my celebrity sightings are not super impressive. But it was fun remembering. If you read this, Tag, your it, Lets hear yours.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Family Pic's

So we decided to get some pictures as a family. Just so happened it was after a long day for Benson, because he was not very cooperative. We did get a few good ones, thanks to a great couple of photographers. Here are our beautiful kids, their beautiful mom and their lucky dad.