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December 25, 2003

Merry Christmas!

Posted by Mike on December 25, 2003 10:55 PM

Al and I exchanged gifts and spent a pleasant morning together, went for a walk through Laurelhurst Park in the early afternoon, and went to see "Return of the King" in the evening.

Here's a Christmas card for our loyal readers:

(click for a bigger one)

It's been a pretty good year. The looming arrival of junior has been the motivation for just about every major decision made since late April, and it has colored every event.

I found a picture a few days ago:

(click for a larger image)

It reminded me of a project I abandoned pretty quickly, the Stork weblog, which now exists as three brief entries I copied over to Puddingtime. It reminded me of Stork because, well, there's my dad and there's me as a little boy. I don't know how old I was. We spent a day seeing the sights in Washington, D.C. (that's the Washington Monument in the background) as part of a bigger trip that included (I think) trips to Gettysburg and Harpers Ferry. I can narrow it down to some time in first or second grade because I remember the house in Pennsylvania where I played with a cap gun musket I got from Gettysburg, and I know we didn't live there very long before it was time to pack off to Chicago.

But in the picture, Dad can't be much older than 30, and there he is with this little six- or eight-year-old me, plainly being The Dad. But when I look at myself in the mirror, I'm not seeing "The Dad" even though that eventuality is looming so close that we're talking weeks (or even days), and tomorrow afternoon is probably going to involve a visit to the hospital so we can figure out exactly where to take Al when it's time.

Too many entries spent dwelling on wondering if I learned to build model rockets well enough, or can be trusted to explain how to glue together all the parts of a model anklyosaurus in such a way that more generations of little Halls can continue to build rockets and anklyosaurs would make for a weird legacy for little junior. If he grows up with a quicker wit than his old man (and don't get me started on how slow I feel lately), I suspect his discovery of a carefully preserved CDROM in the baby book years down the road would result in some sharp interrogations:

"I was just looking over that Stork thing you did while you were waiting around for me to be born. Did you have any fucking clue?"

"Well, son, it's like this..."

"No. Shut up a second. Read the December 5, 2002 entry. I'm a month away from birth and you're blubbering about how there aren't any adequate rites of passage and that your army years just convinced you that our civilization is in decline. Jesus. Did you tell mom this stuff? Did she smack you?"

Best we never have that conversation. Some day the hard drive on which this entry resides will crash, and a backup will not have been made, and that will be that. I'll be much more resolutely Dad-like by the time the little fellow's able to read his baby book, which involves little more information than "Mommy is from Indiana and Daddy is from Texas ," with some space for hand and foot prints plus the guest list from his first birthday party.