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My, How Time Does Fly

Wow, Laura and I were married sixteen years ago today. Sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but the rest of the time I can’t even remember what life was like before marriage. And yes, that’s a good thing; saying “I do” was probably the best move I ever made.

We went longer than some couples before having kids — a full ten years — and I think that was a good thing for us. It gave us time to get to know each other, to travel and do a lot of the things we wanted to before letting kids take over our lives. But honestly, now that we’ve got them — and as time- and energy-consuming as they have indeed turned out to be — I often wonder why we put off the fun for so long.

Laura’s been getting together the kids’ old clothes and toys for a consignment sale coming up this weekend, and it was a weird experience going backwards through time as we unpacked the bins. Here is Jason’s old sleeper, here is Scott’s old shirt, here is Grace’s “Daddy’s Little Girl” pajamas…it’s bizarre how foreign and ancient those artifacts can seem when none of them go back more than six years. And sobering to think those little people were here for so fleeting a moment, replaced by their older selves, who in turn will vanish on us soon enough.

Grace is flirting with walking now; she likes to toddle around the house with us holding her hands for support. Yesterday Jason let her go and she stood unaided for a couple of minutes, beaming. Later in the day she took one or two steps at a time between Laura and me, but by then she was pretty tired and had trouble staying on her feet.

Last week we took the kids to Toys-R-Us to shop for Grace’s birthday. She’d never been, so it was a real treat for her; every time we turned an aisle in her stroller, she’d let out “oohs” and “aahs”. The boys of course wanted everything in the store. Later Jason told me if we go back again he’s taking his notebook so he can make a list for Christmas. “And the last thing on the list will be a new notebook,” he said, “because I’m going to fill this one up.”

I think it was last Saturday I was watching one of those numbingly stupid Leslie Nielson movies on the local Fox affiliate. “Wrongfully Accused,” it was called. I’d never heard of it, but if you’ve ever seen a Leslie Nielson movie you already know what happens. Anyway I was soon laughing in spite of myself and Jason and Scott came in to watch with me. At one point, Nielson is trying to make a stealthy escape from the police and hot-wires a car. Unfortunately for him it turns out to be a “low rider” that bounces around playing “La Cucaracha” on the car horn, which considerably complicated his escape but sent the boys into hysterics. That gag got us through the rest of the weekend as we worked it into everything we did. For example, Jason’s Flash action figure and Scott’s Atom action figure are under attack from Lex Luthor, so I bring Batman to the rescue in the batmobile…bouncing along to the tune of “La Cucaracha.”

What can I say, I’m a comedy genius with the 6-and-under crowd. But alas, soon enough they grow up, and then Daddy’s more embarrassing than funny…just another clueless geezer pulling faces and spouting corny punchlines for cheap laughs.

Suddenly I have a new appreciation for Leslie Nielson.

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