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Saturday, October 07, 2006

I'm Baaaaack.


Finding something you didn't really lose.

Hmmm..... I guess blogspot isn’t a demanding taskmaster. Saw some friends today who commented that they had read my blog. I’m thinking "Blog? What Blog? Oh yeah, that thing I haven’t written anything for in months (four to be exact)." So why is that the case? It’s not that things haven’t been happening.

My 20th high school reunion came and went without my presence there. Then, I get an e-mail from one of the most unlikely members of that class telling of the event and how everyone is doing and laying bare his soul. He had links to numerous websites of other class members and I experienced that strange something you get when you realize time passes for everyone. Those people aren’t 18 anymore. Some of them have become amazing adults very different from who they were. Maybe if I’m lucky I have as well. I wish I still had a locker next to some of these guys and stood in a cafeteria line with them 5 times a week.

What else? I had a birthday. Turned 38. So I guess I need to edit my profile.

I was diagnosed with arthritis in both hips. That was fun. Some kind of congential defect where the hip bone’s connected to the thigh bone, just not in the right way. So the joint has worn itself out. I thought maybe there was some scar tissue or something in the joint flaring up that could be cleaned out, but no. One of the foremost hip specialists in the country (who happens to work here in Nashville) took a look at some x-rays and said "Well, you’re a candidate for early hip replacement surgery when the pain starts to get problematic." Oh. Thanks. Be sure to tell whoever helped you develop your bedside manner that they did a bang-up job. (That’s sarcasm by the way in case you couldn’t tell). I was at a playground with the kids today trying to chase them around with sore hips, a stiff lower back and a messed up shoulder that I woke up with one morning a week to ten days ago that won’t go away. I watched other kids and moms and dads clambering around like monkeys and hated the fact that I felt more like the tin man at the beginning of the Wizard of Oz.

My wife took an upholstery class this summer, so we're now the proud owners of 4 or 5 pieces of stray furniture in various states of repair that are in need of a good homes. (Sorry honey, I had to throw something in there about that).

Public service announcement. Fade in from black over sounds of ripping fabric. "Upholstery." Sounds of staple guns firing in rapid succession. "It's not a hobby. It's an addiction."

My daughter started kindergarten. That’s a short story in itself rather than a blog entry. Maybe a novel.

My wife now has a daughter that started kindergarten, that’s an epic poem.

My son slept through the night. Or at least came close a couple of times. We’ve put him down around 8:00 and he slept till 5:00 am. If we knew that was going to happen, I think we’d have climbed in bed about 8:30, but we were expecting the typical up 2 or 3 times a night thing, so we didn’t get to really take advantage. Neither one of our kids has slept well. They are both amazing and delightful people, they just won’t @#$#ing sleep. There’s a guy I work with who was recently diagnosed with sleep apnea. Wears some mask now at night and says it’s made him a different person. Energetic, feels good, more sex drive, happier, more optimistic, blah, blah, blah. So let’s see.... Out of the last 6 years, my wife and I have probably spent 4 of those years with chronically bad sleep. What’s that doing to us? Waking up 2 to 3 times every night to the cardiovascular stress test of having a little person scream and cry and in your ear. Hmmm.... Restful nights? For those of you with kids that sleep, keep it to yourself.

Most seriously and recently, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. Colon cancer. It appears to be in very early stages and very treatable. She’s having surgery this Wednesday. We’ll know more after that. But there’s something about the c-word that changes everything. I guess now and for the rest of her life, she’ll be a cancer survivor until she's not. She lost her mom to a protracted and very ugly battle with cancer back in the mid-80s, so her memory banks have a built-in personal slide-show of horrors that probably plays her to sleep every night. We are all hoping and praying it won’t be the same for her. The issues here seem to many and too personal for a forum like this.

So a lot has been going on. Tonight, while my wife got out of the house for a while, I got the kids to bed solo. Pretty easy go of it. I was able to divide and conquer. But during the process of rocking my son to sleep, he dropped my watch into the bowels of the recliner we were sitting in. He calls it a "tick-tock" and likes to hold onto it sometimes when I rock him. The practice is cute and sweet and sometimes helps him to sit still. So it slips out of his hand and falls down beside the cushion. I get him to sleep and into the crib and start looking for it. It’s not under the cushion. I tip the chair over to see if it slid all the way through to the floor. No dice. But in jostling the chair I hear it clink around in the guts somewhere. I try everything. I pull off the cushions. I’m reaching under some of the batting trying to feel around. I tip the chair over. I recline it. I extend the footrest. All the time I’m working in the dark and trying to make as little noise as possible so as not to wake one of the kids.

I try to reach up under the sides. I stretch the springs of the seat to one side and scrape up my forearms trying to reach around in the guts of the chair. I’d leave this timepiece there till morning, but I’m afraid I’d forget where I lost it and search for it for days. During the course of this nocturnal expedition I of course discover a couple of small board books, a train car, some change, some unidentified objects I decided were better left where they were and miscellaneous dried out food stuffs that I’m probably glad I can’t see and which I'm certainly not looking for. Finally, I'm lying face down on the carpet in the dark room with the chair reclined and me contorted under the footrest and reaching an arm up into the frame hunting blindly and getting grease and dirt and the aforementioned ancients food bits ground under my nails when my fingers brush the smooth cool metal links of the watch band and I’m able to retrieve my measure of time that my son had lost.

And that, I guess, is why I haven’t written for four months.


Blogger wordsonwater said...

Delighted to have you back. I had almost given up hope. I'm so sorry about your Mom, but it sounds like she is one of the lucky ones caught in the early stages. I am no stranger to what cancer can do to a family. My own Mother actually died at Vanderbilt Hospital April 18, 1994 during a surgery on her liver trying to remove a spot of mastisized colon cancer. Her father, who never complained about anything, was diagnosed when he started vomiting blood in 1980. He was dead in 2 months. My brother has it now, but has survived for 10 years. I know this is not cherry information, but I did want to let you know I really do understand. Oddly parallel, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when I was about your age, but the doctor was basically full of it, because after 4 years of treatments that made me lose most of my hair, another physician told me I never had it at all. I have a bit of the usual age related stuff now, but gosh, yours sounds much worse than anything I’m experiencing. I have kept up with your beautiful children through your wife, and I’m sorry about the upholstery addiction. There are some 12 step programs out there for it I think, but they’re not very successful. I look forward to your unique take on life as you jump back into blog world, my own little addiction. I swear I can stop anytime I want.

4:32 AM, October 16, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David, glad you're writing again. I enjoyed your post about Loving an Ungrateful Child and one other blog site I found so much that I finally decided to blog myself. I have barely written since the writer's group in Nashville, since I felt woefully-inadequate-yet-grateful-to-be-there every week. I thoroughly enjoy your insights and the way you tie them to literature, real life, and ideas with depth. Your post this October is more of the same.

We look forward to seeing you again sometime soon!

6:42 PM, October 19, 2006  
Blogger valis said...


Good to hear from you. I'll be in Chattanooga with work the end of October so hopefully I can see you and your expanding clan sometime that week. I hope all is well.

7:30 PM, October 20, 2006  

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