|Steve, Joseph, Melis, Mom, Me, Dad, Mireille, Mark|
There were plenty of entries I've wanted to write, but I've never really had the chance to either because my nephew Joseph wants to play trains or tackle me, or because my mom wants me to eat because food is ready, or because we're out in D.C. touring around, or because my dad, brother and I are hitting golf balls, or because I'm out to town, reconnecting with friends and family over food, laughter, and well, alcohol.
Today's my first real break. Steve and my cousins just left to double deck bus tour D.C., Melissa's at class, and I have the whole house to myself. Bliss.
While I can't possibly begin to write everything I've wanted to write (I have at least two or three entries that go on in my head every single day), here are my few takeaways:
I love, and I mean love, my family. It's been clear since I can remember, it's been clear this week, and I'm confident it will be clear in the future that I can always retrieve a source of happiness and joy from my family. Consistently, conveniently, completely. Several main highlights:
1. The moment in the hospital room where Melissa is finding out if her kid is going to be a boy or girl. All of us are in there: her, Steve, Joseph, mom, dad, and me. (Mark and Mireille couldn't make it) Here's the conversation:
Assistant on Melissa's stomach: "OK, here's the nose, the ears, hands, feet, oh, ope," she puts the camera on the Eiffel Tower of a penis, "It's a boy!"
Everyone: "Aaaah! Wooow!"
Melissa, smiling but snapping her fingers: "Dang! Well a girl next time."
Steve: "Yes! I told you! I guess we're not done yet." Proceeds to give Melis a knuckle pound, "Good job, babe."
Melis, pushing his hand away. "Don't give me that! Look at him trying to give me knuckles. Like I did all the work. It takes two to tango."
Steve: "I'm gonna have two boys! On my way to making my basketball team..."
2. Getting to go to Mass with everyone, all of together, filling almost an entire pew. I'm at the end at it's a sight to look down at all of us, praying, celebrating Mass together.
4. Driving range with dad and Mark. In this summer the three of us have gone to the driving range three times, and it's three times more than I can remember in recent memory that my dad and his sons did something with just the three of us. I loved every bit of it. It's funny how Mark and I have coincidently started picking up golf at the same time (this year). The three of us all kinda suck at golf haha. My dad, "I don't like the roof above us, my balls sometimes hits it." Mmmm, I don't think you're suppose to hit the roof above you man if you're hitting it right. But we've all gotten progressively better, with practice, and Mark and I sharing tips with each other, of course without much to back our words as we slice our balls hard right.
But, for anyone who knows me well and how much I care about fatherhood and a father's relationship with his sons, this was heaven for me. A part of me felt more complete as a son, a brother, and a man. It's a rare thing I know I should be grateful for.
These past several days with my three-year-old nephew has been some of my favorite ones. I love the way he grits his teeth right before he's about to tackle me, or while he's (literally) choking me. Every time I think in my head, "Yeah! You're such a boy! Get that aggression out!" haha. And I rough-house him, throw him around, tackle him, get grabbed, and be tackled. "Ah, you're too strong, too strong Josph, you got me!" "I got you! I'm strong!" John Eldredge, you'd be proud. Haha, anyway, he's such a great kid raised by great parents in my sister and Steve.
Anyway, I think that's all I have for now. There's more I'd like to mention, like the past three nights of going out to town, the Youngs coming to town and spending a great time with them and their kids (they're also great parents), the oasis and getting to not always do the "right thing" but coming away with a good friend, and how good sweet tea and vodka tastes. All that will just be written in memory.
I love it. All of it. Thank You, Lord. Amen.