Guess what that makes me? Yep, a kid herder. Of course, four of them are adults, and the illusion that I ever had any control over them is long gone. Though one did call me, today. That was nice. While I was talking to my Dad on the phone. Great son am I. Not. But we had a nice talk. He told me today that he has accomplished the one great goal of his life: to outlive his father. Who died at 71 from Tuberculosis exacerbated by having burnt lungs from being gassed in WW1.
I used to lay on the floor in my Dad's Dads house, in a ray of sunlight, and read the Bible to Grandpa while he sat smiling in his easy chair, on his rare visits home to Grandma from the VA Hospital. He always seemed bemused that a child as young as I could read such a book coherently.
My Dad misses me, but I rarely leave the house. Heck, there are days when I don't even go downstairs. Family comes to me. Brings food. Talk. Hug me. Nat and Johnny are on a regular rotation. They decide at some point that they have had enough 'No Dad Time', and knock on my door (unless it is closed) and then come in, and drape themselves over me and soak me up. And I them.
The wife is on her way home right now, Thank God. She has been at a Hen Party up at a resort in Idaho. For five days. And I am so tired of parenting, I could scream.
Nat just bounced upstairs and told me about the Black Power Ranger, and how he has propped himself up against the couch, and is leaning on it with one arm, and she is feeding him soup, and his last cup of coffee, because he drinks five cups of coffee a day.
Got all that? Then her finely honed TV cartoon senses detected that 'Iron Man' was back from the ad break, so she asked me to please excuse her, and fluttered off, saying over her shoulder that she had to give the Black Power Ranger some more soup.
Oh yeah, and she said she loved me. And I did not get a single syllable in edgewise during her soliloquy. Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.
The kids couldn't take it anymore, they snuck into the wife's room and busted out the gift she has tortured me with for a week: Command & Conquer 3. And Nat had wrapped up a little camouflaged Hot Wheels car, because she said it 'would remind you of when you were in the Army'. To her, everybody who is in a uniform is 'in the Army'. One size fits all. She had also packaged a small candy cane with the car, for some reason I forget. I asked her if she liked them, and she said oh yes, she loved them very much, so I said that because I enjoyed the car so much, I'd be honored if she and Johnny split the candy cane and munched it down. I despise candy canes.
I've been reading the C&C manual, and it looks awesome. But I'm afraid that my GeForce 5600 video card might not be able to handle it. What makes me crazy, is that I have an awesome card my oldest Marine sent me when he upgraded, still in the box, because the motherboard I have is not compatible with it. Sigh.
I mean, the sucker is still going for $300 bucks. Heck, my sound card might not be able to handle it, either. Boy, I'll be pissed. The idea of kicking NOD ass for awhile, and then leaving this earth with a mouse in my cooling hand, appeals to my nature a great deal.
I dread the day when a Father's Day becomes a reminder of the one I am missing, when that inevitability happens.
Which is why you should endeavour to never die on Christmas. Fucks it up for everybody.