My Baby You

lizzy

So a funny thing happened on the way to my life last year. I became a father. That’s my daughter in the picture up there. As of this writing, she is 10 months old, and it’s hard to believe she’s gotten so big so fast. That’s cliche, I’m sure, but so is most everything else you hear about becoming a father. Except, it’s all so true.

Like, that deer in the headlights dazed and confused feeling that you get when your significant other tells you that she’s pregnant? Yup, that happened to me. I don’t even entirely remember the sequence of events when Nadine told me. It’s kind of a blur. There was a lot of shock, and even some awe. It took a while to get my head wrapped around the idea, especially because it was not expected. We were not trying to have a kid. It just kind of happened.

Then there is the requisite freakout when the baby is born. Yup, it happened to me too. I really am just a cliche machine.

You know that whole cliche thing about how you can fall totally in love with your baby just looking at them? That’s so true it’s almost sickening. From the moment I first looked at her, and held her, it was game over for me. Understand, I can be a sardonic, misanthropic asshole in this world, but this little girl melts my heart in ways I didn’t think possible. The way her face lights up when she sees me come into a room, or after she’s just woken up, is almost indescribable. Seriously, I did not know it was possible to love someone that much. That’s cliche too, but so true it hurts.

Anyway, I’m going to stop before I get all verklpempt, but when you think about it, sometimes the most cliche things in life turn out to be the most true. Who knew.

Aside time: I almost titled this post “With Arms Wide Open”, because it is a song all about finding out that you’re going to be a father. This is what having a kid does to you. You’ll take the scorn and ridicule of going with a Creed song because the stupid lyrics match up with your feelings a little too well. But, can we talk about Creed? Can we talk about how amazing of a run they had from 1997 to early 2001? Can we talk about how every goddamn song from their second album made it onto K-Rock in 2000? That’s absurd! Now Scott Stapp is just a punchline. Proof that fame is fleeting, I guess.

The Rising

Tribute In Lights

I wrote this three years ago for an earlier version of D6. I don’t think I could ever sum this up as eloquently as I did then. This is still one of the pieces of writing I’m most proud of.

I was sound asleep. I was a 20 year old college student on that Tuesday morning, still living at home. I didn’t have class until that afternoon. I didn’t work that day. So I was in bed like a normal 20 year old college kid. I remember being woken up because I heard my mother in the house. She was crying. To this day, I will never forget coming downstairs, asking her what was wrong, and the total feeling of disbelief that engulfed me when she told me what happened. I remember the surreal feeling that set in the rest of the day just watching TV as a rescue operation turned into a salvage operation turned into a smoldering, smoking wound in the heart of our city. After that Tuesday, I will always understand what people mean when they say they always remember exactly where they were when Pearl Harbor was bombed or John F. Kennedy was shot.

I’d only been to the World Trade Center once, way back in 1997, with my grandparents and my uncle. I remember going on the roof and how you could see so far out to everywhere. I think I took a whole roll’s worth of pictures that day. I wish I knew where they are today. That view was utterly breathtaking.

There’s a point when you’re driving up Rt 1-9 northbound between Woodbridge and Rahway, just when you cross over the NJ Coast railroad tracks where, on a clear day, you could always see the twin towers standing tall over the NYC skyline. I always remember that from driving through there growing up with my family, and later with just myself. After the attacks, that view was… empty, devoid of its centerpiece. It sat like that for years. Tonight, as we were driving home over that very same stretch of road, we could see the annual tribute in lights shining into the night’s sky, right next to the gleaming phoenix of the new 1WTC tower, finally rising defiantly to reclaim the southern Manhattan sky.

Photo Credit: quintanomedia on Flickr with a CC by 2.0 license.

Raining in Baltimore

West Baltimore

I kind of feel that this expresses so much of the anger and the fury behind the current troubles in Baltimore. Sometimes, you can say a lot in only 140 characters.

Photo credit: /u/rudmad on Reddit.