Archive for October, 2009

I just went and picked up glasses for my 9 year old daughter…$250.00 f-ing dollars on glasses for a 9 year old child. I remember wanting glasses when I was her age, now that I have to wear them the want is less.  So, yes she was excited, something new…yes, she was very appreciative. I’m thankful that she understands and recognizes, and appreciates,  that she could pick out whatever she wanted. And yes, she asked me if I wanted to go to the electronics store and look at big screens to take away some of the sting of the $250… “Since we’re already out” she offered as a consoling gesture.  I guess it warms my heart a little to see that happiness…But DAMN!!!…$250.00!!! …and I know that braces are just around the corner. What is the point in even looking at big screens?

BUT, this is my world…my station in life. My little girl is spoiled, maybe not rotten, but spoiled…and that’s okay. I thank heaven for this spoiled little girl every day.

My daughter is going to be 10 years old in a few weeks… that is, if she agrees to it. She usually has her own set of plans, her own rules. Those rules and plans are generally different from society’s accepted standards of practice. She wears what she wants to wear; she eats what she wants to eat. She cares very little about anyone’s opinion on her choices. She has very little need for anyone’s approval.  Report cards and teacher conferences confirm that she is a pretty smart chick, and never a behavior problem. She has that quirkiness that an artist has…that skewed view of the world that will forever make her special, and can sometimes make her an outcast. She is the light of my life, and has been since the day I first saw her.

Alexandra Rae was supposed to be a boy…she was supposed to be a Jack. When my wife was carrying her, we didn’t find out who was coming because we wanted a surprise.  The genealogy didn’t really line things up for there to be much of a surprise. I say that she was supposed to be a boy because it seems like I have about 1,000 cousins on my father’s side of the family, and  like 5 are girls. Those facts may be exaggerated,  but for whatever reason; everyone just expected a boy.

But secretly, in those private, reflective, father-to-be moments, for 38 weeks I wished for a little girl. I know you’re not supposed to think like that when you’re an expectant father. You are supposed to want 10 fingers and 10 toes, and a healthy heart. Of course that was all I ever prayed for, but very quietly…very privately…I hoped for a little girl. I was always a little nervous about that. Was I tempting fate by wishing and hoping?

The nurse who greeted us in the maternity ward on the day my little girl was born  was absolutely gorgeous…only about five feet tall, raven black hair, eyes as green as emeralds, and a tight little package that was built for speed These facts have nothing to do with this story, they are just worth noting.

She asked us beforehand if we knew who was coming, and we told her we were pretty sure it was “Jack”. During the very short labor (about 90 minutes) in the middle of all the drama and chaos that went on in that room, (the same as in every maternity ward, every day) our nurse chanted a few times,“Jack be nimble…Jack be quick”. Our first child was very nimble and very, VERY quick, she just didn’t turn out to be a Jack. My wife did not plan on a natural child-birth, but our daughter had a different set of plans.  Alex didn’t have time for anyone to hook up an epidural, and we were on her clock now.

When our hot little nurse uttered those magic words, “Well Mom and Dad, you have a perfectly healthy baby…. girl!” My wife and I were shocked.  I was happiest about the “perfectly healthy” part of her statement for sure, but I have to admit that I always felt like maybe I cheated a little bit.  On April 27th 1999 I got what I prayed for, and what I hoped for.  That’s a pretty good day.

On that Tuesday in April almost 10 years ago, my little girl grabbed my index finger, squeezed harder, and cried louder than any living thing of that size should be able to. She looked right at me, and in her own language  she seemed to be saying, “Look, I know you’re scared, and you probably should be – you are not remotely qualified to do this job, but God and Mommy will get you through. Just understand that  things are gonna change around here dude…and you’re gonna buy me shit…lots and lots of it…clothes, toys, shoes – (I will never understand the shoe thing)…and you’re gonna complain about it out loud, but deep down inside, buying me shit is gonna make you happy. Because deep down inside the thing that makes you the happiest, is making people you love happy…and right now, this very minute, you just realized that you’ll never love anybody the way you love me…pretty cool huh? Now pick me up; I won’t break. Oh by the way, I came two weeks early, In April, because I like diamonds, and the birthstone for May is an emerald. Emeralds just don’t work for me. That’s how I roll.”

At least that’s how I remember it all. She seemed very wise for somebody that was only a few minutes old.

So……..the $250.00 that I spent on glasses today does NOT make me happy. The light in the eyes behind those glasses always makes me happy. Those eyes melt my heart every day. The light in my little girl’s eyes make those glasses worth every penny. I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for 10 years now. For 10 years, I have thanked Heaven every day for this little girl.

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Here We Go!

Dear Friends and New Readers,

The Large Man Chronicles on WordPress is a present to myself for my 50th birthday. That happens on Sunday the 25th…I’m just opening my present a little early.

For the past 2 -1/2 years or so, I have been writing stories that I have published via email to a fairly close circle of friends. Since the first post to 6 friends from my youth, the distribution list has grown to about 100 people.  From feedback that I have received, it appears that some of the stories (chronicles) get forwarded to friends of those friends. And so on, and so on… This is all very gratifying, very exciting, and honestly quite humbling.

I’m a husband, father, brother, and friend…I travel extensively for my job, and I see stuff. Then I write about it. That’s pretty much how it works. It started simply because I travel, and I spend too much time in  hotel rooms – alone. Writing keeps me out of bars, strip clubs, Hooters (most of the time) and the stock market – all places that I should avoid! I offer opinion, and a view of things from my prism or lens, but I will never try to sway your opinion or what you see. Not my gig, not my job, never my intent.

Also, sometimes I just make shit up. If I’m being completely honest, that is my favorite thing to do. I am a recovering bullshitter, descended from a long line of bullshitters…one of my friends from the original 6 Large Man readers once asked me to”try and use your bullshit for good instead of evil, and see how that might work”. It took about 25 years for me to honor her request, but here I am. I guess better late than never. Thank you Rachael.

That being said, most of the people on the Large Man Chronicles distribution list seem to like the real stories about my kids, life in general, and the crazy stuff that I run into while traveling.  So that’s mostly what The Large Man Chronicles is about. Little vignettes on life, love, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and beer.

Things you should know:

  1. If it’s true I’ll tell you… if it ain’t – I’ll tell you that too.
  2. I make fun of myself a lot. Don’t let that fool you. That’s just my humor…my self image is very healthy. (Probably healthier than it should be!)
  3. I use … a lot…but I’m working on it… I find it as distracting as you do…
  4. I believe in God, but I struggle with organized religion.
  5. I am a passionate patriot, but I believe that criticizing the way things work is a right and a responsibility. You do NOT have to agree.
  6. You do NOT have to agree… with anything I write.
  7. I sometimes use language that is inappropriate for children under 16
  8. I am not educated in creative or journalistic writing…puntuation, sentence structure, and general grammatical rules suffer, but I do try.
  9. Women and beer are my weakness. I like beer, I love women. I tend to write to, and for women. (PS on that – I’ve never walked away from a chicken wing either…just sayin)
  10. I absolutely love to write. I do this because I enjoy it, and for no other reason. If I could do this for a living I would, but I’m not selling anything here.

That’s about it. If you read this stuff, I hope you like it. NEVER will I demean, belittle, or betray a family member, friend, or enemy. Dignity is my priority – yours and mine. ALWAYS, my intention is to generate laughter, thought, reflection, or a little tug on your heartstrings.

Please offer your thoughts – what you liked, what you didn’t, and what you think…these things are always appreciated.

So here we go…my blog journey starts here…up next is Thank Heaven for Little Girls

Thanks for reading.

JC – The Large Man

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