Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Delilah Helene

My daughter is amazing. When people compliment her to me I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react. Yes, she’s of my genes, and I’m partly responsible for her beauty, not with anything I’ve done, but even so, when someone says, “You have beautiful eyes” it’s not because you’ve worked hard to sculpt the eyes you have (typically), but still you say, “Thank you.” And yes, Delilah has my eyes. And they are beautiful. But if they say she has beautiful eyes, is it appropriate for me to say “thank you”? It seems like it, but then I don’t deserve credit for my own eyes let alone hers. People say she’s so smart, and she is, but can I take credit for that? If they say she’s very well behaved, it seems even more awkward to say “thank you” for that, but in fact it’s more appropriate because her behavior is one thing I do have something to do with. More often than “thank you” though, I find myself responding to “she’s so smart, she’s so beautiful, she’s so sweet, so well-spoken” with, “Yes she is.” Obviously if these were compliments someone gave me about myself this would be a very douchy thing to say, but with her is it? I don’t know. So sometimes I just say, “We couldn’t be much more proud.”

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Growing Up Sucks

Great things happening at home. Delilah is getting so big, so grown up. I’m starting to feel it. Starting to get sad about the loss of innocence. She hasn’t lost that much of it, but the little bits are starting to hit home.
She’s recently started saying that she doesn’t love Woody anymore. Seems innocuous enough, but let me put some perspective on it. When she was really little, like a year old, she would sit and watch, completely absorbed, any of the Toy Story movies. Woody was her favorite. Then, after seeing Toy Story 2 about 7 million times, she really took to Jessie. But she still loved Woody, the ol’ Woodster.
So nowadays she’s saying “I don’t love Woody. I love Jessie and Buzz.” That’s fine, of course. It’s up to her to decide who and what she loves (we’ve even had to accept and not punish her for saying, “I don’t love Great Gramma!” because we can’t change that), but it makes me sad, and reminds me of the birthday I had over 30 years ago when my brother gave me his Vans shoe box full of Star Wars character action figures.
We had spent years collecting them, playing with them, flaunting our acquisitions in front of each other, and it was a really big deal. We had vehicles, we had habitat things (I don’t know what you call them) like I had the Hoth one with the collapsing ice bridge, and he had the Tatooine one, and it was a huge part of our lives. So one day, on my birthday, not accustomed to getting gifts from him anyway, he just gives me his box full of “Star Wars guys.” It was a really emotional moment for a number of reasons. For one thing, there was a certain sadness apparent in him as he did it, presumably for the same reasons it hit me so hard. It seemed to signify the end of an era, a conclusion to our childhood. Here’s something we’re not going to play together anymore. I think I said something like, “no, you can’t give me all of these!” I think we both cried.
Another aspect was just the sacrifice of him giving me these long-valued items which, until that moment, seemed like cherished objects.
Last and probably least was the fact that, by giving me all he had, suddenly the entire collection, mine and his combined, lost its value. Like any currency, if nobody wants it, it isn’t worth anything.
So whenever I think of Delilah no longer loving Woody, I have to fight back tears for the loss of her childhood (at least early stages of it, driving like a rusty drywall screw into my temple the point that time marches on) as well as this memory of the loss of my own youth. We’re obviously still brothers, but after that point it felt like just not as much.
So now I’m spreading out my sleeping bag in the “let’s have another baby!” camp where Emily has been set up for a while.