Thursday, September 11, 2003

The Game of Love
Cat's in the Cradle

Went out to celebrate the birth of one of our friends on the block, her 40th I'm told (but didn't ask), so it was bittersweet and fun. As we walked from the restaurant to the club for some dancing, a whole horse carriage of drunken twentysomething girls clopped past, and they, for some reason, were celebrating Mardi Gras, in September, in the middle of downtown Denver no less. Some people actually had beads, and these girls would flash their boobs to get a string, as the tradition goes. A comedian I saw called this phenomenon "breasts in the wild", in that these aren't your wife's boobs which, though still wonderful and enticing, aren't the same as getting a glimpse of a stranger's boobs. (Yes, yes, men are freaks.) The comedian said this was like God saying, "Have a Nice Day!" My wife, to this day, will point out a breast in the wild if she notices I haven't noticed, bless her heart.

Yet, even with unexpected gratuitous live nudity, the highlight of the evening for me was when our daughter got to ride in the limo they rented for the night, before all us adults blasted off to an urban evening. We had to go pick up some friends in another cul-de-sac, so all the kids piled in and we went. The look on her face, that wondrous shy and slightly-stunned-with-the-novelty demeanor, and being there for another first experience were like soul candy.

That's what being a parent does to you.

This morning, she got up and got herself ready for school all by herself, and she's going to be seven in just over a month. Recently, she's begun to keep a diary. A freakin' diary! At six! Can you imagine reading a diary you kept at six? She's made my wife and me solemnly promise we won't read it. We got her one with a little lock on it, and she's thrilled. I can't believe how fast this time is going. Joni Mitchell says eventually you "drag your heels to slow the circles down". Hell, I would toss out an anchor if I could.

I wish that I had kept a blog from the time before my daughter was born so I'd have it all recorded, and some written memories to go back to and reminisce. Yes, we have the videos and the pictures, but the words would be nice to have, too.

James Lileks does have that, and it's wild to read and see the changes a child brings. Even as a vicarious experience, it's compelling. I've read Lileks pretty much since he put up his site (I think I found it when it was three months old, back when he could reasonably respond to his email), and from the time he announced he was going to be a dad, it was one of the more enjoyable reading experiences I've had. Here is the post where his daughter is born:
Read through some of the posts before and after. You'll probably not encounter a better depiction of the dawning of a new life anywhere else.

And, hey, it gets even better. Dooce, aka Heather Armstrong, is pregnant right now with her first child. If you want to have the experience "live" as I did reading Lilek's wonderful posts, add Dooce to your bookmarks. On top of it all, she's probably one of the most hilarious bloggers out there. It's always fun reading a new parent trying to describe one of the most moving and life changing events we can experience as humans (outside of seeing Star Wars for the first time, of course), and Heather's even treating us to weekly tummy pics. (Note to self: make sure you read her husband Jon's blog for the new daddy perspective.)

Here's to life on this momentous day!

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