Monday, December 4, 2017

"Justice League" and Memories

I started to blog in June of 2008 mainly as a sort of a diary to keep my memories of my son. I knew that time would pass to quickly. And it has. I wrote this post on June 18, 2008 with this photo:

“Though Ethan is expressing his individuality and independence -- often proclaiming "I can do it myself" or "I need my privacy" or "I want to ride down the street alone," there are times when he is a daddy's boy and wants nothing more than to curl up in my lap. There's really nothing better than that, and I know the years will rush by. I'm enjoying these special moments as I can.”
That sentiment has not changed despite the years. As he approaches his teen years, I relish the special moments we share.
On Saturday, my son and I spent the day doing just stuff. We both got haircuts. Our wonderful barber mentioned that Ethan is getting taller every time he gets a haircut.  He is 12 years old and about 5’5”. 
Of course we all laughed that his haircut takes a long time because he has really thick hair unlike his dad.
After that, we had lunch together. Simply have a quiet lunch with my son made me sentimental. He chatted about school, hinted about girls (not too much because I am just the dad), friends, dreams, his interests, music, etc. I often grinned when he would make an irreverent comment.  After lunch, he rated the cheeseburger and fries. “It was a 7 Dad.”

When we got the check, I asked him if he had any money. “Dad. I paid the tab for you, Mom and me on Black Friday using my lawn mowing money. Do not push your luck!” And he laughed. I paid. 
That afternoon, we saw the movie “Justice League.”  As we do rating his cheeseburgers and fries, we rate previews and the actual movies. The scale is the proverbial “Up or Down” plus “1 to 10.”

That rating system has been in place almost 6 years.
After my strokes when it was difficult for me to speak at all, Ethan avoided me. Starting to see movies together helped with our healing process. My wife would drop us off because I could not drive. In the darkness of the movie theater our raw feeling of loss started to heal. I did not have to talk. Often, Ethan would hold my hand.  "Everything is find Dad."
After the movie on Saturday, we headed home. He went upstairs to his room, and I followed. I hugged him saying, “Ethan! Thank you for hanging out with me today. We did really do anything other than just being together.”
He hugged be back, and said, “I really love you, Dad.”
I went downstairs feeling really emotional and teary eyed. He yelled from his room when I was on the stairs, “Dad! Everything is fine.”
Perhaps this blog post seems pretty “oh hum.” Just an ordinary day.  Yet, it was everything to me.  When you almost lose everything, nothing is ordinary.

On the cusp of being 13 years old in January, Ethan is exploring is his world and dreaming of his future. Wait for me Ethan! Hold on!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Burger King Grudges and Christmas

I went to Burger King today, December 1, 2017.

I had a "Whopper." Nothing happened.

So, why do a blog post about it? Well, this was the first time I went to that specific Burger King on Overland and Orchard in Boise, ID since Christmas Eve in 1974.

The difference is 15,683 days.

On Christmas Eve Day in 1974, my brother took me to that Burger King. It was supposed to be a quick lunch because we are finishing last minute Christmas shopping. After that, we drove to our dad's house, the trouble started to "brew."

In other words, both of us got food poisoning. It was a Whopper!

I remember moaning for a couple of days.

Our mother was the champion of grudges. I had a grudge against Burger King for decades.

Nevertheless, it might be another 15,683 days for me to have another Whopper again.

I am my mom's son after all. Grudges, food poisonings when you are 13 years old, and ruining my Christmas still reverberates through the years.