Friday, January 01, 2010
One day my buddy Mick the Mad Irishman and I were flying together. We landed in Morgan City just before a line of rain moved over the heliport, and we sat in the helicopter waiting it out. We chatted about this and that when Mick asked a question.
"How often do you and Rhonda get a babysitter and go out to dinner or a movie?"
"Never," I answered.
"Never," I answered again.
Mick looked a little stricken. "You've never left him with a babysitter and gone out, not once?"
He looked dumbfounded, and said nothing for a moment.
Finally, he said, "That's f***ed up."
I merely chuckled at first. Mick has never, since I've known him, had any trouble offering his opinion on something he thinks is "f***ed up." In a few moments, though, I was laughing so hard I was in tears.
Mick offered, "It's not bloody funny, it's f***ing tragic, mate." That really got me going.
Now, Mick and his wife were and are devoted parents to their two daughters. In fact, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more devoted dad than Mick. But, Mick and his wife were in their early thirties when their first daughter arrived. They needed to get out now and then.
I explained to Mick that there's a been there done that thing with older parents, and that we didn't feel we were making any real sacrifice in forgoing "dates," since we'd had plenty of time to indulge in dinners and movies before Dylan's arrival.
Mick didn't buy it. "That's f***ed up," he said, summarizing his feelings on the matter.
Last night, I had a plan to have my cake and eat it too, with Rhonda's encouragement. I planned to dash into town and catch the early set of the Jim Dyar Band, and make it home to see in the new year with Rhonda and Dylan. Jim is a friend of a friend, and I've been wanting to catch him and his band for a good while now.
I never left home, though. Part of it was that I have a cold and it was rainy last night. The other part is that I'm away from the two people I love most too much anyway. I love live music, but I just couldn't find the motivation to go away for a couple of hours.
We told Dylan that he could stay up until midnight. But, Rhonda was asleep by 10:30, and Dylan fell asleep at 11:00, leaning against my shoulder as we watched the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy.
When the new year arrived, I kissed his hairy little head and whispered, "Happy New Year, Punkin'." (He's now demanding that I desist calling him "Punkin" in public.) I carried him to bed, and looked at him for a few minutes, wondering how nine and a half years went by so fast.
I had a wonderful New Year's Eve. I hope yours was wonderful too.