Almost Time

February 27, 2012 by  
Filed under Danny Thomas, Family, Kids, Urban Dweller

By: Danny Thomas

there is something mystical about a
morning
when the sky is bluer than blue
azure
and the sun is bright
but soft
and it’s ten degrees

something otherworldly
about the combination
of cold
and soft

I turn
39
next month
that is an
“almost” forty

I have the biggest problems
with the
“almost” numbers

I am not okay in
almost time

I am barely okay
in any time
but
“almost” years

feel like
potential

w/out fruition.

I like fruition.

there are people
who were born at a time
and in a place
that makes
Britney Spears
the beginning
of music for them.

This as much as anything else
makes me feel old…
right now.

what is it that makes
a time
your time?

that makes
this time
our time?

We have a new baby.
a third girl.
We’ve been calling her Zuzu.

She was born five months and twelve days
before her big sister’s birthday
who was born five months and twelve days
before her big sister’s birthday.

my wife did this math
this calculation
while in labor
hard labor
she was in sort of a trance at the time
out of her mind
somewhere shaman
and laboring mothers
and Buddhas go

eventually the epidural kicked in
and she came back to earth
and shared
those numbers with me…

I don’t even know what to do with that information
but it seems significant…

mystical,
otherworldly…

She is magical,
Zuzu.

She is strong
and delicate
and unique
and full of potential.

and she has two big sisters
filled with love,
and two goofy stumbling,
bumbling parents,
also filled with love
and a very furry cat,
that is filled with something…
like love…
only more feline.

how lucky she is
and how lucky we are to have her.

in this time
our time

I guess the thing about time is that
time
is all potential
it’s always
almost
time.
it happened.
it’s happening.

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To Be

February 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Danny Thomas, Family, Urban Dweller

By: Danny Thomas

I have written about parenthood, and life in general, being a practice of
giving in to chaos,

and about it requiring a sense of humor,

about the challenges of prioritizing and balance.

All of these things…

over and over again come up in my writing.

Funny thing is, all those things feel like part of what has
always been on my mind…

They just seem to take on more weight

as a parent.

Lately, I have been noticing
that what keeps me going is something like
straddling a fence
on one side is actively making moments
and the other is actively taking moments, or receiving the moments I am given.

It’s like
riding a wave…
somehow finding a way to be in control of myself
and the experience
while letting the tide of pandemonium wash over me…

Lil’ Chaos and I
spent the afternoon
building spaceships
and trucks
with Legos last Friday

it was the best.

It was the best
combination of
making a moment
and letting a moment happen
that a dad could have…

and here’s why,
I think,
it worked;
I set aside a few hours for Lil’ Chaos,
but we didn’t have a plan.

We talked about our time together ahead of time.
looked forward to it
with anticipation…

there were a number of things we’d been intending to do together
for a few days; play with legos, play in the snow, make a movie…

our time came, and we had some things to choose from
and it was Lil’ Chaos’s choice.
It was pretty darn cold outside
so we skipped the snow
and chose to play with Legos and film it…

The next time we have designated time
one of our options will be to edit our film.

I guess the point of this story
is that it is an example of riding that tide…

All around me
all the time
there are things to do
chores and tasks and schedules to keep

but also

all around me
all the time
are an abundance
of glorious moments
to take in.

the list of chores can’t be helped…
it’s a function of parenthood…
of life, in our place and time…

and yet right now, as I type, Kidzilla is snuggled against my left side
eating a banana
and watching Curious George
and there is a moment to receive…

it’s a matter of
knowing those moments are all around me
and making the choice -
between acts of scheduling, doing, and managing…
to be.

here, in this time,
a day past the due date
of our third daughter
I am finding it more important than ever,
and also more challenging,
but attainable
sometimes
to be.

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Out With The Old

January 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Family, Same Sex Parent, Ted Peterson

By: Ted Peterson

At 3 o’clock in the morning on the last day of 2011, I woke up with Ian screaming with pain, doubled over. We were in a hotel we had checked into in Laguna Beach the day before; we had treated ourselves to a junior suite, so Mikey was in the next room. I saw him start up in bed, going instantly from horizontal to vertical.

“Don’t scream, Papa!” he called into our room. “You’ll be all right!”

These, of course, are the kinds of things we say to him all the time.

Ian could only groan, “I’m sorry.”

“Papa has a hurt,” I offered, and instantly Mikey burst into terrified, hysterical tears.

I couldn’t blame him. None of us knew what was happening, but we knew as parents we had to remain calm for Mikey. I got my clothes on, helped Mikey into his clothes, and Ian slowly got into his. The extreme pain had ebbed enough that he was able to describe the symptoms so we knew we were probably either dealing with food poisoning – we had sushi six hours before – or kidney stones. In typical fashion, Ian suggested that we didn’t need to go to the emergency room, worrying about insurance and money. He said he was feeling a little better, though he couldn’t walk without help.

I drove, and Ian sat in the back with Mikey, who held his hand and gave him kisses to make him feel better. The doctors at Mission Hospital brought Ian in right away, and later told him that if this had happened 24 hours later, in the middle of New Years Eve celebrations, the calm, quiet atmosphere would have been very different. They put him on a saline drip to hydrate him after he told them he had been vomiting, and they told us they would give him a catscan and we should go back to the hotel for a couple hours.

“We’ll need your cell phone number,” said the doctor, scribbling the number I gave him on a piece of paper, next to the descriptor: “Ted. Next of kin.”

Hard to imagine three more fatalistic words than Next Of Kin.

On the drive back to the hotel, Mikey and I talked about how the doctors were going to take care of Papa. He was curiously calm, but wide-awake, considering that it was still the middle of the night. I don’t know how we slept when we got back to the hotel, but we woke up three hours later with a phone call from Ian, saying he was ready to be picked up.

It was kidney stones, and while he was under a narcotic cloud, they had passed mercifully out. There is something wonderfully symbolic about expelling junk from your body, however painfully, on the last day of the year.

Talk about “out with the old.”

We are lucky. Scary nights like this are a rarity worth noting. My and Mikey’s fears for Ian were short-lived: 12 hours later, we were on the beach, laughing and chasing waves. Between his job and mine, we are doubled-up on insurance, so four hours in the emergency room cost us nothing out of pocket. Lots of people have no insurance, and lots of gay couples don’t work at jobs which cover the partner.

Like I said, we’re lucky.

But we’re not so lucky that we’re going to miss out on some kinds of trauma in the future. We’re growing older, and neither of us is immortal. We don’t know what 2012 and the rest of the future holds, but we know at least this much: our legacy will include a son whose first inclination on being woken up at 3 o’clock in the morning is to comfort and give healing kisses.

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