Monday, April 23, 2012

Mea Culpa

Mea culpa - noun - an acknowledgement of your error or guilt

My older daughter and I were having a conversation today, which devolved into an argument.  Well, not exactly an argument, as much as her telling me that I haven't been giving her the support that she needs... that she thinks I'm disappointed in her.  How we ended up there really isn't important for the purpose of what I'm writing at the moment.  What IS important is that she feels I'm disappointed in her, and that's not the case.  I suspect that when I told her this during our conversation, she felt a little bit better; but that's not good enough, so I'm here, now, writing this to acknowledge my failure to make her feel significantly loved and accepted. 

Bakin, I really don't know where to start, except to say I'm sorry.  This isn't going to be an "I'm sorry, but..." type of apology, either, just me saying that I'm sorry.  You, my wonderful daughter, are one of the greatest things in my life, and based on our conversation earlier, I have failed to sufficiently express how incredibly blessed I am to have you in my life.  This is a shortcoming as a father, and as a man.

I am pleased that you're enjoying cosmetology school, and am tickled that you're at the top of your class.  I'm impressed that you can do this while holding down two jobs.  Though I obviously haven't said it enough, I have noticed how little time this leaves you for leisure, and other optional things, like sleep.  The fact that you manage to do all of this while pregnant makes me all the more impressed with you.

You should understand though, that the pride I've just expressed is a woefully incomplete picture.  Your presence is a treasure...  YOU are a treasure... a treasure that I want to selfishly hoard until my days on this earth have come to an end.  I'm not just proud of what you're accomplishing now, I love the woman you're becoming.  I love the child you were.  And like many parents before me, I realize that in the blink of an eye, you will be starting your own life.  I may occasionally joke about how I'm looking forward to being an empty nester, but believe me, I will miss you terribly.

Bakin, I've been writing this for almost 90 minutes, and this is all I have to show.  The fact is, I can't adequately express how wonderful you are.  I know that I am pretty good with words, but I'm not going to sufficiently express myself today.  So please know that I do love you, and I am proud of you.


And yes, dear reader, if you were paying close attention earlier, you will have noticed that I will soon be a grandfather.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Sometimes You Can Only Learn Through Experience

For as long as I can remember, I've been a dog person. My dad brought home a Cocker Spaniel when I was a young boy, and even though he was kind of an asshole dog, I've loved dogs ever since. One thing that always puzzled me though was how a dog owner could go out and get a new dog within a month of the previous dog's death. It always seemed to me like these folks were trying to replace the pet that had died. I've had a dog for the last 12 years -- two for the last nine years. One thing that I've always been firm about though, was that I wouldn't go out and get a puppy immediately after a dog died. In fact, I figured that after the first dog died, I'd go with one for a while, and then after the second dog died, I'd go dogless for a year or so. With Athena's death a couple of weeks ago, that mindset seems to have changed. Now that Athena's gone, my home is a little out of balance.

This out-of-balance feeling isn't like losing a friend or relative. I grieved when Athena died, but it's like the process occurred at light speed. Furthermore, there was no anger, denial or pleading when it came to my dog's death; outliving a pet is part of the natural order of things. But like I said, things are just a little bit off. It's kind of like driving down the road with one tire that's low on air. The car isn't quite driving right. You know what's wrong, and the fix is pretty easy.

Shortly after Athena died, my younger daughter asked me if she could get a dog, saying that she would take primary responsibility for training and day-to-day care of the dog. She even said that she'd consider it a 16th birthday present, and that she'd be willing to wait. To my dismay, I found myself not only saying yes, but saying that we could start looking when school is out for the year (months before her birthday) and I found myself looking on the Humane Society's web site this morning.

Monday, April 2, 2012

... On Business and On Government...

I read two interesting articles that chapped my hide, but my comments will be short and sweet.

In this article, entitled "Obama Issues Stern Language on Supreme Court Health Care Decision, Obama says that he's confident that the Supreme Court "will uphold [ObamaCare] because it should be upheld (emphasis mine). Am I the only one who thinks that's just horrible logic?

Later in the article, he borrowed the term 'Judicial Activism' from conservatives by saying "For years what we've heard is the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism." I think it's pretty slick that he adopted that terminology for this issue, but I really hate the terms judicial activism and legislating from the bench. The constitution basically says this... The legislative branch (congress) writes laws. The executive branch (the president and governors) approve and/or enforce laws, and the judicial branch interprets laws. What this means in English is that the judicial branch merely interprets the law, generally based on precedent, in cases that are brought before them. Furthermore, from a historical standpoint, each branch of the government has had more than one turn being the dominant branch in our government, which by design is full of checks and balances.

As for the business side, I read this article about a teacher's aide who was fired for refusing to give up her Facebook password. In my humble opinion, this is just wrong! Why is it wrong for the government to stick it's nose into my business, but it's acceptable for my employer to demand my Facebook password as a condition of continued employment? This is another example of business having too much power over the individual.