Saturday, November 17, 2007

Not a new picture, but from a beautiful day towards the end of October 2007 - Beautiful Wife and Dear Alex at play. It's one of my very favorites - a picture that sums up an awful lot of how it feels to be Daddy, and to live as we do these days.
Lil'screamie (the blog) was never abandoned - It's more as though it was allowed to lie fallow for a while as Daddy figured out a way to manage the sheer density of life and the progress of a spectacular child. There is an endless fascination in watching your own child grow, and how is it possible to share this magnificent intimacy? The truth is you can't - and I've really given up on the hope that this record, as evanescent as it is will capture the details of my new life's work. The only way forward, really, is to simply note the significant passages as one can, and hope for coherence later.
It seems that it will never be a narrative, but a series of snapshots that provide a little context and content - it turns out that there are no turning points, no real significant passages, just an endless and delightful parade of incidents and moment that demonstrate that the Dear Baby Alex has transitioned from infant to toddler to child seamlessly and without difficulty. And that's all you can ask for.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Snow. Tires. Responsibility.

We had the chance to get away from the city this last weekend, and I was more than ready for it - It was October - a month of weekend plans and halloween parties and business that kept us in the city with it's own promise and delight, but this weekend away was surely needed. We left the city in a very light rain, the roads a little wet, and I drove with my usual caution, hoping to carry both Beautiful Wife and Dear Alex safely and surely to The Undisclosed Location. As we left the city up the FDR all seemed okay until I hit some spots of undrained water on the road - the car hopped a bit and slid side to side, so subtley that I think only I (with my hands on the wheel) felt it. Ahhh, hydroplaning, a little slower worked better. I'd felt a little oddness in the handling of the car before, but put it down to something else (an undiagnosed noise and un-fixed squeaking from the front end) and chose to ignore it. I forgot the most basic instinct that I've learned from years of motorcycles and flying - If it feels wrong, it probably is. If there is a problem it won't go away by itself, and the best thing to do is fix it now, before it hurts you. I write this to 'out myself' and remind myself to never take what seems like a little thing for granted. Don't ignore your instincts. It was all okay in the end, but getting to Dear Alex's house in the country had me so tense and 'clenched' that I ached the next day. Under other circumstances, it would have been a great drive - the girl, true to form, did not fall asleep, and felt compelled to comment on all that passed, drop things from her car seat, and whine for them, all while I'm hanging on for dear life - The drive was maddening, but eventually magical as the rain turned to snow - and Dear Alex calmed down, probably as mesmerized as I was by the large snowflakes streaming hypnotically past the windshield. We made it home without incident, and I had the gratifying moment of silence as we shut off the car and the snow fell silently in the headlights. Beautiful Wife took the girl upstairs and to bed, and all was right with the world. On Saturday morning, Dear Alex had a great time looking at, commenting on, and walking in the freshly fallen snow before we left to get a set of new tires for the car. We spent Saturday morning (I took the girl to give BW a break) at a 'Tire Center', and Dear Alex had a great time seeing the car up in the air without it's wheels and walking daddy endlessly around the parking lot and splashing in puddles. It made a world of difference - nothing wrong with the car - just needed tires, all around. This is not really a lilscreamie post, but more of a reminder to myself to not ignore the gut, especially when there's others involved. I've come a long way from when I could just get on a motorcycle, make it work, and get away without a care. It's an odd and humbling feeling, being ultimately responsible for a new person's life.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

New girl in the house

I've been busy not working lately - catching up, mostly on life and the things you put off while you're trying to find time in the daily work routine. One of the more important things that was on my list was to find a replacement kitty for Emma, my Manx cat that died way too young - Dear Alex missed her, and I surely did. I'd been looking and waiting since last February until I found a cat that seemed right, and bless the internet - and - there she was. It took a lot of email and some planning, but I'm happy to say that a new adopted Manx cat has a home, and feels right at home in her new place. She was adopted as 'Pepper' - a fine name, to be sure, but as she sang to me all the way home from New Jersey, and that I have a history of names with my cats, and that Dear Alex had a definite preference (When asked, the first choice was "Pie-Eye", then "Tik-Tik", her new names for everything) by parental fiat the name of choice is 'Ella', or occasionally 'Emma', depending on whether or not Dear Alex is paying attention. The names are interchangeable to her, and I guess that's okay for now. Ella's adjusted well and quickly to our routines, and her place in the household. After a few days of hissing, I think that Gracie (the other cat) has found a new friend just as she had with Emma. It is funny to me that Ella (or Pepper or Pie-Eye) has claimed Emma's favorite spot as her own, and is more or less open to the approaches of my sometimes less-than-gentle two-year-old. Many thanks to for helping make this happen. Adopt a cat.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Costume crazy

Although Dear Alex was certain about the fireman costume she did have a lot of play with other bits and pieces of other outfits - we'll haunt her with this one for a long time...