A super surprise did not arrive because the mailman had left a package behind to be picked up at the post office, and Lin had waited all day. The mailman arrived very late and it was too late to get the surprise, but she told me what I had waiting for me. She had found a company that would make pajamas for me and for Zachary, my little grandson, so that when we did a little baby sitting, we could be in the same outfit. With my second card, Lin gave me the real surprise. If you've read my entries, she's the one who gave me the ride in a Spitfire. Her gifts are not to be taken lightly. This one was a fabulous present for the man who has everything and drives the car that has almost everything. Well, now it has EVERYTHING! She got me a Magellan GPS, so we can take the car anywhere. Now this is the woman who won the Magellan Award for navigating us through downtown.... I guess, it's Central London, during rush hour, when one could still drive through London. She is also the person with the most infallible sense of direction, comparing to the swallows returning to Capistrano, the salmon to their birth place, or the monarch butterflies returning to the Monterrey peninsula. Trouble is, it's 180 degrees off. North is south, and left is right. But, it's infallible! The first entry in the address book is daughter, Beck's house, so that we may drive to Corte Madera (Marin County)... and baby sit for Zachary and Haley. I recall complaining about my rounds, and the distance my Porsche travels, but my real rounds, the ones I treasure the most, are the rounds that I don't make often enough... rounds to my children and grandchildren. They are beginning to outnumber my dialysis stops.... almost, but not quite.
travellingrhea has requested a genealogy, and this being Father's Day, what better occasion to introduce my children. I don't have time or space to tell all, and they wouldn't want me to, and even choosing the pictures is liable to put me in trouble, but, with all those caveats, here are seven reasons why I'm the luckiest man in the whole world. Introducing.... (fanfare, from hunting horns..... kind of medieval.... )
My oldest son is John, who just celebrated his 41st birthday. He is a deputy district attorney. He drives, on occasion, a 1969 Porsche 911S, which was once my second Porsche, and is now his backup car. He loves cars, and he works very, very hard. He is seen showing a VIN number to his son, Geoffrey Robert, who, at age 3, can identify many makes of cars, BMW and Porsche, of course, and outdoes his father, and his grandfather, and that's not easy. He already has slipped behind the wheel of the '69, and he will be driving sooner rather than later.
John's 13 month younger brother, Geoffrey, is also a deputy district attorney. They live in the same city and they are close. Boy, are they close! That's what their mother and I wanted. Two sons who were close. We had no idea. Geoff is an excellent writer who briefly worked in television comedy. In fact, this was a generally hilarious experience, as the show was named, "Built to Last," and through no fault of his, it folded after its first show. Jake is his adorable son.
In trying to present a rational explanation of fatherhood, at least the fatherhood that I am responsible for, I thought first of my four sons, and my three daughters. I could have, and probably should have gone either chronologically from oldest to youngest, or chronologically, in when they had entered my life. The truth is that I required more than the fewest number of collaborators to achieve this state of paternity. So, I will intersperse the information that John and Geoff are sons that were borne by my first wife, Sally. My second wife, Jaroslava, bore Dirk and Eve. Laurie was the prize in a brief marriage to my third wife, Sally (The Last.)
Rebecca and Josh became my children when I married Linda twenty years ago. I know it is confusing, and it would have been a lot simpler had I got it right the first time, but then I never would have been the father of seven, and certainly not this seven, and I wouldn't trade any one of them in for the world. I say in my defense that none of my ex-wives were beheaded or confined to the Tower of London, and I wish all of them well, and I am grateful to each of them for their roles in my life and in the lives of my children. There may be an exception, but it will go unmentioned here.
So, if I planned correctly, and I won't know until this is "published," Dirk shares the same line with Joshua.
They are about 5 weeks apart in years. Dirk is shown at his birthday celebration, last September, with Christy, and I wish I could tell you their story, but it is THEIR story! I have to say that Dirk shares my love of basketball, and he can actually play the sport! I look on from the stands. Dirk is fond of Syracuse and Arizona and only he knows why. Christy just tuned me into NPR's Peter and the Wolf, for which I will be eternally grateful. As with all of my children and those close to them, I don't get to see them enough.
Josh and Tammy, his wife, have just brought Myles the Magnificent into the world, the first of my grandchildren to have his own story in neophron's senescence. Josh, as most of my sons, is a car enthusiast, and, he shares with me, an interest in airplanes. Geoff and Josh have played tennis with me. Josh introduced me to the PDA and he is the computer and electronics wizard in the family, and serves a more financially rewarding role at Boeing.
I have left the beauty for last, and I'm going to start off by saying that there is no way I can show you just how beautiful my daughters are in just a picture or two. I'm not well enough organized to come up with "the best picture" of each, and besides, no one is ever happy with the picture I select. There will be enough of a hint in these pictures, and I'm sure I'm already in trouble for what I've written, or failed to write. (Hey, kids, get your own LJ!)
Rebecca is shown with Haley and Zachary, and they live, almost, the farthest away. They live in the place where I would love to live, Marin County, and, as with all of my children and grandchildren, I can't get enough of them. Rebecca is called Beckster, or Rebecky. She was a former pharmaceutical representative, and before that, she taught welfare moms how to get a job. As are the married daughters, she is a fantastic mom!
Eve Sybil, named in her middle name, for my mother, has two lovely daughters, and through marriage to Chris, two, very tall, sons, who are still growing! She is always on the run, but she manages to be mom, wife, nursery school teacher, and still look beautiful. I apologize to Samantha, who is not pictured, as I had to choose a handy picture, and it included my oldest granddaughter, Kayla Christine. All of my grandchildren will be shown in due course.
Laurie Victoria and her husband, Matt, live way out in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where Laurie has cut a wide swath through Western Nebraska Community College, and will soon be a Cornhusker. She is currently finishing the year with Aerobics and Modern American Literature, and is a server at Applebees. She is an honor student and I've encouraged her to start a blog. They all should be blogging!
I haven't introduced my daughters-in-law, or most of my grandchildren, but I will see what flak comes my way for this effort, before going farther.
This family, and it truly is a family, a cohesive entity in which I am, literally, the least common denominator, owes its existence to one person.... the Queen. Normally, she doesn't dress the role, but this picture captures Her Royal Highness at a princess party, where, naturally, she was the Queen. Queen Mimi, the person who keeps this family on track, who makes the calls that facilitates the get-togethers, who remembers the events, who phones everyone on a regular basis. Lin, Magellan award winner, navigator extraordinaire, Queen Mimi, grandmother of nine, quilter, real-estate magnate (in her dreams), homemaker of the highest merit, and my Goddess, pal, friend, lover, lover, lover.... I saved the best for the last. After all, it's Father's Day, and I'm the luckiest guy in the world.