Been a bit since I wrote.  Honestly if feels weird celebrating and writing a quirky story about my life and family when we are all stuck. Some in really crappy financial situations, others literally dealing with life and death.  I should have written a million stories during my time home.  The computer is always on, always pulling me towards it, but then I would start something and bail because I saw my Doctor friend being interviewed on the news and all my little “and then I farted on the couch” stories seemed really insignificant and not in good taste.

But, then I remembered, I write to escape, I write to remember, I write to laugh a little, cry a little, and to just feel something.  And I hope you read me for a little of all of that too.

So, here goes.  I fell in love yesterday.   I’m not leaving my wife, although she probably wouldn’t mind at this point.  If my kids asked for their emancipation I wouldn’t be surprised.  Four people stuck in a house, a small house,  for months isn’t a recipe for love, it’s more likely a murder suicide situation.  And, if you have read me at all you know that there is much more estrogen in my house than testosterone.   Every battle I fight is 3 on 1.  Now, if you asked a few months ago I would welcome a fight between my wife and kids verse me.  I can hold me own, stay on subject and win a few rounds before I was knocked out in the 12th round of the fight.  I like when they challenge me.  I love learning about their perspective.  As wrong and off as I think it is,  it’s still important to me to know why they think the way they do.   But, now, I can’t even get out of the first round.  They are ruthless together, and now they know when I am throwing a punch.  They can see the punch coming, and before I know it I am picking myself up off the canvas.

After a full day of mental warfare, and losing almost every battle, we sit and watch a tv show together.  All four of us, crammed on the couch, fighting for whatever space we can find, before eventually just being okay laying on each other for a few hours.  The night goes exactly the same.   We watch an episode of the show and then another and then at the end of the third or fourth episode I announce that this will be my last because I have to work in the morning.  The youngest falls asleep in the first 10 minutes of the final episode and just as it finishes we wake her up and she asks her Dad to help her with the sheets on her bed.  Her Dad fixes the sheets and completely forgets that for most of the day he was losing his battles and he falls in love with his family all over again.

But, the love I am writing about today is about another person in my house.  I don’t know if you have ever experienced a child crying when you held them.  But, I went thru it with my Dad when my god daughter was born four and a 1/2 years ago.  She loved everyone else, smiled with them, but cried her little eyes out when my father or I held her.  I would laugh it off, tell my wife it didn’t bother me, but she was my god daughter,  she was supposed to know I was going to be her friend for life the second our eyes met.  I tried everything, but the only thing that actually worked was time.  I put in a lot of time with her, because, even though she wasn’t loving me, I knew one day she would.  I knew she would figure it all out.  And one day she woke up and decided we were best friends.  When I see her I smile, when I need to smile, I think of her.

Well, my brother and his wife recently had a baby, well, I mean, she’s a year and 1/2 now.  I just don’t see her as often as I do my god daughter.  But, that’s nobody’s fault.  My god daughter and my sister live at my parents so I would see her all the time.  My newest niece lives a town over.  Because both our families were always so busy, I would really only get to see my little niece every Sunday at family dinner.  She would follow the same path as my god daughter.  Just absolutely hating me and my Dad.  My Dad found his way to her heart with Ritz crackers.  My Dad is good at that, always know the right meal or dessert to make.  He knows us all very well.  He pays attention to everything we do and say, well, except my Mom, cause, you know, they have been married for like 42 years.  But, I never could find my spot with my little niece.  Tears every time I looked her way.  But, I learned from my god daughter that this was temporary.  I knew someday she’d figure it out.

During this quarantine my brother and his wife’s daycare closed.  Both are still working so they reached out to my older kids and asking to babysit.   My wife and I both were able to work from home so we knew we could help the kids with her.  Of course, I feel awful for her because she would be forced to hang with her enemy for an entire day.  And Day one went exactly as I thought.  She cried lots of the day, while she was with her favorite cousins, the enemy was in the kitchen working and could scare her at any second.  The second day she came over she was a different person.  Didn’t shed one tear.  Just hung around with her cousins, watching her ipad.  Then her third visit she finally came to see her uncle Marky to give him a high five.  So, I figured I would try my Dad’s approach and I got her goldfish.  And a few minutes later she returned tapping me on the arm saying “mooorrrre” and I was in.  I watched her eat maybe 100 goldfish.  Nowhere near the healthiest thing to feed a 1 and 1/2 year old, but every time she said “mooooorre” it was another second where she was learning that this uncle Marky guy wasn’t too bad.

She’s been over twice a week for about a month.  Each time we spend a few extra minutes together, at first it was because I was getting her a million snacks, but now it is to kick the soccer ball back and forth.  She’s a great distraction for me during my workday.  But, it wasn’t until yesterday, or Patriots Day that she absolutely stole my heart.  My wife didn’t have to work and my kids did not have home school that day.  They were excited that little Alice was coming over and they planned on spending all day together.  I still had to work, so I thought it would be great that my wife was off so I could get a lot of my work done.  As I walked by her on the couch I smiled and tickled little Alice’s neck a little.  She laughed and yelled her favorite word “moooorre”.  I did it a few more times and then I said I had to get back to work and I exited the living room and then it happened.  She cried because I left the room, not because I entered it, because I LEFT it.

So, I told her to come hang with me for a little. I picked her up and put her on the table next to my computer and laughed with each other for a bit and stared out the window.  After I bit I had a conference call so I brought her out to hang with her cousins and my wife while I spoke.  The second my call was over I yelled for her to come hang out and she didn’t hesitate getting off the couch to come sit with me.  We spent lots of the day laughing and looking out that window.  I got NO work done.  I just got to hang with my little beautiful buddy Alice.  It was a day I’ll never forget.  I got to fall in love with our newest tribe member.

My god, or whatever the hell you believe in, I am the luckiest guy to walk this earth.



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