My wife turned her head. “What?”
“I’m 30 on the East Coast. The Facebook ‘Happy Birthdays’ just started.”
She smiled, putting a comforting hand on my shoulder. Having just kissed her own 20s goodbye in November, she’d (understandably) had moments of panic when her day drew near and had been bracing herself all week for a potential flip-out on my part. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m okay.” And I was. I really, really was. But still… “It’s just…It’s really happening, you know?”
“Oh, I do,” she emphasized, nodding wide-eyed. “Believe me.”
My straw sputtered as I downed the last of my drink and clomped the glass back on the table.
“Let’s get the birthday boy another one,” she grinned, rising from her chair. “Or should I say ‘old man‘?”
“Ha. Ha. Make it a double,” I snarked. I watched her as she zig-zagged through the throng of suits and dresses crowding the dance floor towards the bar.
Tags: 007, 30th birthday, alcohol, auto-tune, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, board book, bride, daughter, Don't Stop Believin', Dr. Seuss, Ewok, Facebook, family, father of twins, fist pump, flower girl, George Lucas, Glee, gray hair, groom, Jack and Coke, James Bond, Jersey Shore, journey, License to Bear Rings, License to Kill, living the dream, Most Interesting Man in the World (Dos Equis), music, new parent, O Loyal Reader, Oscar (Academy Award), Ph. D., ring bearer, SAHD, slow-motion, social networking, son, Star Wars, stay at home dad, Steve Perry, Technicolor, technology, The Sopranos, turning 30, Twincidents, twins, walk down the aisle, walking, wedding, Wes Anderson, wife, Wyld Stallyns
This is usually the time of year I ask inanimate holiday store displays to at least wait until Black Friday to assault me with their raised red and green elven fists. Don’t get me wrong–Christmas is my favorite holiday. I’ve just always felt that when stores crank up the Jingle-Bell Muzak while vampire costumes and Jack-O-Lanterns are still in stock, it undermines the experience of Halloween and Thanksgiving–both excellent holidays in their own right–all to make a few extra bucks. Plus, decking the halls that early and intensely has often left me tired of open-fire chestnut-roasting, intentionally-kitsch reindeer sweaters, and that impressively obnoxious Mariah Carey song long before the actual December 25.
At least that’s what I used to think.
As a parent, you rediscover to the wonder the world inspires. You see things “again for the first time” through your children’s eyes. And that’s why this year is different. This year, my wife and I will be giving the Twins their First Christmas Ever, and we are so psyched for it that we’ve been discussing its grandiose possibilities since June.
This fervor was recently amplified by the arrival of the Target Holiday Toy Sale catalog.
Tags: "All I Want for Christmas is You", "Be excellent to each other.", A Christmas Story, academic journal, Alex Winter, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, Black Friday, capitalism, catalog, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, child model, Christmanticipation, Christmas, commercial, commercialization, coupon, cowboy, December 25, Deck the Halls, dryly-written academic journals, dump truck, dump truck enthusiast, elves, family, father of twins, first Christmas, Halloween, Halloween costume, history, holiday, Holiday Season, holiday sweater, homework, I don't wanna grow up. I'm a Toys "R" Us kid., impressively obnoxious, inanimate objects, Jack-O-Lantern, JC Penney, JC Penney Christmas catalog, Jingle Bells, Keanu Reeves, knock-down drag-out, live-action commercial, Mariah Carey, Muzak, my dad, my mom, my sisters, new parent, Nintendo, Nintendo Gameboy, opening ceremonies, over-commericialization, Ph. D., ranch hand, Red Rider Air Rifle, rocking horse, roundtable discussion, SAHD, Santa Claus, sibling rivalry, single-income, single-income household, smile, stay at home dad, store, sweater, Target, Target Holiday Toy Sale catalog, Technicolor, Thanksgiving, The Christmas Song, tooth and nail, toy, true meaning of Christmas, tug-of-war, Twincidents, twins, vampire, wife, wonder, World's Sweetest Dump Truck
With Month-Marker Eight looming in the not-so-distant future, I find myself in futile daydreams of Steampunk time-pausing/travel inventions allowing me to (re)experience the unfathomably amazing moments of The First Year. Even though I’m with the Dynamic Duo more than anyone, it never feels like it’s enough because I know this babyhood thang is temporary.
I’d prefer not to tritely say “They grow up so fast” (even though it’s SO true), so I hereby submit a far greater phrase for nation-sweeping candidacy: “They grow up faster than a Red-Bull-guzzling cheetah in a Lamborghini on the Autobahn with his pregnant, twin-carrying cheetah wife going into labor.”
Go ahead, picture that for a minute. Man. Now that’s fast.
Coping with Age Velocity is common among parents, and I’ve found my personal remedy to be occupying as much hard drive space as possible with photos and HD video, immortalizing epic Twincidents on this fine publication, and simply being present. I’m as guilty as anyone of distracting myself with social media and my beloved television shows, but when I weigh reading Facebook statuses about going back to work again or pictures of meals people for some reason feel compelled to broadcast against snuggling my offspring or cracking them up to the point of hiccups with stupid human tricks, it’s a pretty easy decision.
Due to the recent addition of raptor-sharp teeth to Thing 1 and Thing 2′s mouths and their growing interest in non-cannibalistic foods, the Breastfeeding Buffet has officially closed up shop. It was a difficult journey for my wife, especially to feed twice the usual mouth quota with absolutely no experience, and I’m so unbelievably in awe of her resilience and desire to fill our Twinfants with the Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner of Champions. Now that it’s over, I know she feels like a layer of connection is missing between the munchkins and her, but it’s getting better as we’ve watched them exponentially blossom with the acquisition of new essential life skills such as playing toy pianos with one’s heel, biting one’s sibling’s toes, and escaping the clutches of a diaper-changing table at all costs.
So, as Cafe Mommy throws in the towel, pump, and Boppy, I’d like to commemorate its months of legendary customer service with a testimonial from our daughter.
But it’s not a verbal testimonial. It’s far greater.
Every night, just before bed, my daughter would get into her feeding groove, her eyes gradually closing as if losing herself in a shoegaze indie jam. And that’s when my wife and I knew it was coming.
The Pete Townshend Windmill.
That’s right. Believe it or not, with her mouth still firmly attached, our daughter would swing her arm just like the legendary guitarist of The Who. She’d do a few semi-circle warm-ups, and then rock out to the thumping of Mommy’s heartbeat.
How do I express to you, O Loyal Reader, the sheer awesomeness of this occurrence? My already-mind-blowingly-cute daughter…taking after my musical hero…PLUS BOOBIES!
Are you kidding me?
I will concede that her arm did not always travel as quickly as Pete’s. However, one particular adaptation of this iconic gesture is a dead-on representation of her breast-milk bliss–the future Wyld Stallyns fans in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
I may not have a time-traveling phone booth at my disposal, but I’ll still always be able to return to my daughter’s air-band performances in my mind’s eye, and, at least to me, Woodstock’s got nothing on them.
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If not, maybe you can invent a time machine and get that time back. If you do, let me know. I’m in the market for one.
Tags: "They grow up so fast.", 7 months old, Age Velocity, air band, Alex Winter, Autobahn, baby laugh, Batman, being present, Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, biting, boob, BOOBIES!, Boppy, breast pump, breast-milk bliss, breastfeeding, Breastfeeding Buffet, Cafe Mommy, Cameron Crowe, catch phrases, cheetah, classic rock, customer service, cuteness, daughter, diaper, distraction, Dr. Seuss, Dynamic Duo, epic, essential life skills, Facebook, family, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, father of twins, first teeth, first tooth, First Year, foot, foot musicianship, guitar, guitarist, HD, heartbeat, heel, hiccup, high definition video, icon, iconic, indie rock, invention, Keanu Reeves, labor, Lamborghini, legend, legendary, mind's eye, mind-blowing cuteness, mother-child connection, munchkin, music, musical hero, My Generation, My Stories, new parent, noncannibalism, O Loyal Reader, Pete Townshend, Pete Townshend Windmill, photography, piano, pregnancy, pregnant cheetah wife, raptor-sharp, Red Bull, Robin, rocking out, SAHD, shoegaze, sibling, social networking, son, stay at home dad, Steampunk, stupid human tricks, teeth, teething, television, thang, The Cat in the Hat, The question as to whether or not you are kidding me, The Who, Thing 1/Thing 2, this fine publication, throw in the towel, time-pausing, time-travel, time-traveling phone booth, toe, towel, toy, tv, Twincidents, twins, Wheaties (Breakfast of Champions), wife, Woodstock, Wyld Stallyns