I posted this very recently, but I would like to talk about this image, which in my mind is the best image of me that has ever been taken:
What you see here is me with almost ten years less and certainly several pounds less. For that alone, I could love this picture.
But there’s so much more to this.
The small human you see on my shoulder is our first child. You can see the sleep deprivation on my face and the joy that lies behind my eyes. I see strength in myself as a new father and someone ready for the next great adventure, but also the frailty of that “OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL DO WE THINK WE’RE DOING” just beneath the surface.
There are things about it that aren’t ideal; my lip is a mess from my anxiety, the exhaustion is clear on my face, and the light is harsh. But I love the subtle set of my jaw and the feeling of my being on guard for this little person.
So many things have changed since this was taken. Joshua is an older brother to three siblings and one yet to come. I have been through no less than three career sharp turns, with what was once a situation of despondence and worry turning into the greatest opportunity of my life to help change the world. There have been immeasurable joys and unimaginable sorrows.
I have learned that life is an amazing adventure and I do not know where it will take me even still.
What would I say to the man in this picture? I’m not sure I even know. But I know that he couldn’t have imagined the wild ride that was in front of him.
Some of you have had conversations with me—especially via Twitter—regarding games of all kinds, so I thought it’d been a while since I’d shared a picture of the game cabinet. I like to do this every once in a while.
You can click on the picture to go to the Flickr page for the photo, which has notes for everything in the cabinet to detail them for you.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. For the first real time in the history of this household, a round of sickness is washing throughout the entire family. Joshua started the madness last week Wednesday, and it seems as though he tried to close the circle last night with another round.
The youngest two have so far been unaffected, but the delay in appearance from the first child getting sick to the second (three full days) has the entire house just waiting to see what happens. Amanda finally got hit with it all day yesterday, and I called off today because I was certain it was headed in my direction next.
Thankfully, I haven’t been hit by it so far, and I seem to feel all right, even though I’m almost certain it’s just a matter of time before I’m in the same boat. In any case, Amanda certainly needed my help cleaning up after the “event” and tending to the children in their respective cases—which usually means forcing them to sit still and take it easy while they recuperate from being sick.
None of them actually want to remain still and just be sick.
I have two other, much more mundane posts in the draft hopper that are going to be posted later today when I get the time to do so, but both video games and my stuff breaking seemed at least a bit trivial in the wake of this afternoon’s slight scare that I’m not too worried about getting to them until after the children are in bed and my wife has returned home for the evening.
Early last week, Amanda began to display very faint signs that she was headed for pre-term labor with Hannah. We didn’t think much of it the first day, but when it happened a couple of days in a row, we were mildly concerned, so I had her call her doctor. She was told that she should report to the women’s evaluation unit at the hospital if she should experience any further symptoms like those she had seen, to at least go through some tests and maybe an examination to make sure she wasn’t going to have the baby anytime soon.
For those not in the know, Amanda and I celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary this past Thursday the 18th.
We used up two days to celebrate, wihch is something we try to do with anything that’s a big deal in our lives in order to stretch it out and not make it feel as fleeting. On Thursday, we had our anniversary proper, with no gifts (not in the budget for this year), but a wonderful meal of stale bread soup, which combines all sorts of things we both like, such as beef stock, northern beans, thick bread, diced ham, garlic, and spinach. It’s really very good.
Last night, we used up a gift card my parents had sent us for Mothers’ Day and snagged some Applebee’s to go. Good stuff – I’ll take any excuse I can to have some ribs, she got this seasonal-item steak sandwich that looked really good, and we shared an appetizer of tavern chips, which are little, thinkly sliced pieces of potato that are then fried, covered entirely with bacon pieces, jack, and cheddar cheeses, and packed with a little dipping tray of ranch dressing that’s had a whole bunch of awesome spices added to it.
All told, we are just extremely pleased to look at how far we have come and see the changes and the challenges we have faced together over the past five (and really, more like nine!) years. It hasn’t been an easy path the whole time, and there have been times where we have disagreed rather strongly on one thing or another. Sometimes, we wonder how we managed through some of the more upsetting things that have happened.
But at the end of each day, I love my wife and I love her for everything that she is, and I would never trade what we have for anything in the world.