Halvin and Cobbes

Christmas came and went and after the presents had been unwrapped there was one gift remaining. A new bedtime routine courtesy of Calvin and Hobbes.

I don’t know why Santa Claus thought my five year old son would enjoy the misadventures and mayhem of a young boy and his imaginary tiger. Much of the language and irony would be lost on a child so young, so innocent. Perhaps it was the physicality, the slapstick, the exploration. The teachers turning into intergalactic space monsters or the toilets becoming bathtubs. Whatever it was, he took to it instantly. After the first night he asked if tomorrow we could read more “Halvin and Cobbes”. (I still only correct him some of the time.) He isn’t exactly sure when to laugh but finds all the crashing, falling, loud noise making to be uproariously funny. Sometimes I have to remind him to keep his voice down for fear of waking his baby brother, a reality that I instantly lament for what’s being alive if you can’t laugh out loud?

For me, reading Calvin and Hobbes again as an adult is a chance to go back and relive an important part of my childhood when I was a little older than my son is now and would stay up way past my bedtime devouring page after page until my eyes were blurry and cheeks sore from smiling. Back then I idolized Calvin. His freedom. The way he existed without fear, without restraint. I wanted a friend as loyal and honest as Hobbes. A confidant. Someone to share secrets, express fears and doubts, joys and happiness. Their world was one of a never ending daydream and I sometimes wished my childhood could be as exciting and spontaneous. 

Now as a man, more importantly as a father, I get to read along with my son as he is introduced to something that offered me such great joy. My experience today allows me to decode much of the meaning I may have missed the first time around.  Because buried beneath the whimsy of a young boy and his imaginary tiger are complex stories full of sentiment, sophistication and an earnest attempt to tackle life’s biggest questions. What happens when we die? Is their such a thing as true love? And, can a red wagon really move down a hill fast enough to defy gravity?

My five year old son is too young to carry the burden of such existential crises. But I have dealt with loss. I know a heart can break. That tigers can’t talk. 

Yet even now, as a young child, he knows what love is and so do I. And it’s not hidden somewhere on the pages of a comic strip. No the answer to life’s greatest mystery lies in the routine. The hug and the kiss goodnight. The promise that I don’t know what the future holds, none of us do, but I promise you that life has never been better than here with you right now.

Together with our friends Halvin and Cobbes.

The Wait of Gravity

A hole in space offers more questions than answers but the exploration of the unknown remains paramount to understanding our existence.

If gravity can be heard then perhaps it can be harnessed and shaped to create another dimension where space and time are relative.

Life is after all but a series of seconds. Hours. Days. Years. But what if a clock didn’t just move forward but backward as well? The hands of time bent according to the laws of human nature. Survival. Our most primal instinct. Would we choose to change our past or adopt a new future?

Perhaps our greatest mistake is assuming that we remain in control. That destiny and fate are quantifiable, logarithmic functions, downloadable and ready for consumption.

Sadly we remain bound to much more than a reasonable doubt. The limits or our knowledge too often determined by fear and uncertainty.

Therefore now more then ever we must let gravity be our guide to new worlds of knowledge and possibilities. Before time has run out and the wait is no longer.

When Carl Went to Caucus in the Caucasus

 

When Carl went to caucus in the Caucasus he thought he was headed to Iowa but ended up in Georgia instead. The country not the state. Bordering Armenia and Azerbaijan and far, far away from Ames. He stayed in the Trump Tower of Tbilisi. Residents were really nice but wanted to talk Turkey instead. About immigration reform. Mexico? No. Syria, silly, and why build a wall when we live in the mountains?

When Carl went to caucus in the Caucasus he asked about taking a cruise. Locals figured he was crazy since the Caspian’s been frozen since the fall. He tried the pool but got lost talking himself into a corner about Chechnya. “Marco!!!” But Rubio was already somewhere in Cedar Rapids.

When Carl went to caucus in the Caucasus he checked his email on a server somewhere in Russia. The line to Moscow was secure but Carl likes to keep things classified when he can. Communism and socialism are different things but in Des Moines that might not matter much unless the scorched earth campaign can burn bright and hot through the Hawkeye State.

 

 

 

Fantasy Foursome: The President’s Cup

The President’s Cup, international golf’s version of a red-headed stepchild, returns this week tape delayed and in high definition from the Korea Peninsula where the game’s best, excluding Europeans and Brooks Koepka, endure four grueling days of match play in an attempt to call themselves world champions. Or something like that.

In an effort to preview the upcoming event I’ve decided to dust off the ole scrapbook with a Fantasy Foursome for the 2015 President’s Cup.

Kim Jung-on: Surely the apple can’t fall too far from the tree for the supreme commander/despotic overlord of North Korea whose father, Kim Jung-il once boasted of carding 11-holes in one in a single round. Now if only the North Korean government were as good at supplying their people with power and food as they are with their mid irons.

Donald Trump: A trip to the 38th parallel might very well give the presumptive Republican nominee for President some insight on how to best construct a wall along the US/Mexico border. Suggestion Donald, make sure it includes water hazards from your some of your bankrupt golf courses.

Pope Francis: After he’s done with climate change and income inequality, perhaps the Pontifex could say a few Hail Mary’s for Jordan Spieth’s hairline.

CC Sabathia: Life is a series a mulligans. May the road to sobriety include lots of links and laughs.

 

 

 

 

 

Dad of the Day

The Dad of the Day for October 5, 2015 is  …………(drumroll)………..

this guy,

cuttingcrust

 

 

 

 

 

 

guy who cuts the crust off his kids’ bread.

School’s been back in session for well over a month now and as a father on the run, nothing speeds up the morning clock quite like the extra seconds required to fastidiously trim the crust of your child’s peanut butter almond butter and jelly sandwich. Why kids have such a aversion to the chewy, caramel colored edges of a loaf of multigrain remains a mystery to me but I can tell you with confidence and experience that very few things sour a young student’s snack time quick like the crust. Leave it intact and your child’s brown bag is sure to return home with the mangled remains of a golden delicious complex carbohydrates, which, if you’re a dad like me, isn’t the worse thing in the world when you’re just home from work and the stomach begins grumbling for some pre dinner hors d’oeuvres. (What, you thought you were the only one rummaging through your kids lunchbox for leftovers?)

At some point our children will grow old enough to enjoy the crust, but until that moment arrives let’s take a moment to praise the thankless devotion of dads everywhere who every morning risk sawing off their thumb with a serrated blade all for the well sated bellies of endearing picky eaters everywhere.