The Summer Of Suck, Still Continuing

Did you ever have one of those years?

I hope it’s just a year, and that we have only one month left.

For part 1, look here.

Since that time, a wicked combination of our new puppy and groceries on the stove could have burned our house down (fortunately, we just had some damage to the countertops and the vent hood).

Our middle son has been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. He’ll be fine, but it has changed things drastically at our house.

Our water heater burst over the Easter weekend, requiring the replacement of said water heater and the carpet in our playroom.

Then, on the way to Soccer this past Saturday, we got hit by some lady who didn’t see us coming – the new Jeep (less than 7 months old) gets it’s third rear bumper in it’s short lifetime.

We’re gonna catch a break, I can feel it. But looking back on it, perhaps we already have. Most of the trials we’ve faced have only been financial in nature, and the one truly significant issue (the diabetes) is something that can be managed, and perhaps cured in his lifetime.

Our New Addition!

Well, I lost.  My family has been putting maor heat on me for months about getting a pet.  The fish we’ve had since the school silent auction a couple of years ago weren’t satisfying the pet need, and the rabbits eating the weeds in the backyard weren’t getting it done either – “look boys! your pet rabbits are back!”   “Awwww dad – when can we get a dog????”

My wife has had the SPCA website saved on her computer, and I’d get emails periodically from her – “isn’t he cute” kind of things.  The pressure was subtle in ways much like a jackhammer.

I finally decided that we could go check out the amazing facility that the SPCA operates off of Tryon Road.  The first trip was more of an exploration, the second trip was the done deal and Kasey, a dalmation/lab mix had a new home.

I would whole-heartedly recommend the SPCA experience.  The animals in the adoption center stay there until they go home with someone adopts them, so the pressure to take a pet home is non existent.  The adoption process is surprisingly thorough –  we had a 30 minute interview, and had Kasey been more of an outdoor dog, a site inspection may have been necessary.

My “Pre-teen”

I watched my oldest son Brad on the playground this past weekend. He’s nine, and is just beginning to enter that insanity that is puberty. Thankfully he’s got a ways to go, but little glimpses of what is to come occur entirely too often these days.

We were at Scott’s (my middle son) and I was entertaining Jay (the youngest) at the playground. Brad had climbed on top of the jungle gym (are they still called that?) like the alpha-male he tries to be. I noticed a posture that seemed an attempt at cool – and then I realized why.

Her name was Regan. They were both participating in some pre-adolescent flirting that was amazing to watch. I couldn’t help but be proud – she was a cute girl. I gave them some space and Jay and I returned to the soccer game, mentioning to Anne and even the girl’s mom to watch the two of them.

They explored the playground together. They walked around the greenway, just spending time together, and they were inseparable.

It was one of those moments that really moved me. Brad and I are very alike in many ways – it’s scary how similar we are. He’s the oldest son (as am I), he has some attention issues that make it pretty clear it’s a genetic thing (and not from his mother’s side of the family), a love of music, and beneath all the bluster, he’s got a great heart. A heart that sets a standard for me to achieve.

After the game, I noticed Brad and his mother having a hushed conversation. Later, under the strictest of confidence, I was informed that Brad had declared his love for Regan, and that he thinks she loves him back. He told his mother “She likes to climb, and so do I” and that when she was resistant to going back to watch the soccer game, he turned to walk back to the field, and she followed him.

I’ve gotten to relive many things because of my parenthood, and this one is a biggie. I remember as a “pre-teen” and teen the joys and pains of love and perceived love. I remember the crushes, the unrequited loves, and the girls that didn’t know that I existed. I remember the excitement of a new relationship, and relationships that began and ended all to quickly. I look forward to those things for Brad – the joys most, but the pains too knowing that he will learn from them as well.

It will be interesting to see if he is concerned about what he’s wearing to this Saturday’s game, or if he has moved on to other things. I’m not sure which I hope for.

A Great Day

We had the best day Sunday January 12, 2003. James R. Rogers V was baptized at church. He was wearing his great-grandfather’s (James R. Rogers Jr.) baptism gown. Doug said that he was deemed most cooperative, something that Gene Daniel told me would be the last time a Rogers would be called that. What made the day extra special was that Anne and I had joked with Mike Trexler that we sure would like for him to sing “I Was There To Hear Your Borning Cry” at Jay’s baptism, not really expecting him to do it, and we would never ask for real. He did it, and furthermore, it was not listed in the bulletin, so it came as a surprise. It was awesome.

I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry

I was there to hear your borning cry,
I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold.
I was there when you were but a child,
with a faith to suit you well;
I’ll be there in case you wander off
and find where demons dwell.
When you found the wonder of the Word,
I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living God,
to whom you now belong.
Should you find someone to share your time
and you join your hearts as one,
I’ll be there to make your verses rhyme
from dusk till rising sun.

In the middle ages of your life,
not too old, no longer young,
I’ll be there to guide you through the night,
complete what I’ve begun.
When the evening gently closes in
and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been
with just one more surprise.

I was there to hear your borning cry,
I’ll be there when you are old,
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,
to see your life unfold