A Special Day

16 03 2012

“I Forgot to Be Your Lover” by William Bell

Have I told you lately that I love you?
If I didn’t, darling, I’m sorry.
Did I reach out and hold you in my loving arms
Oh, when you needed me?

Now I realize that you need love, too,
And I’ll spend my life making love to you.
Oh, I forgot to be your lover,
And I’m sorry, baby.

Have I taken the time to share with you
All the burdens that love will bear?
And have I done the little simple things to show you
Just how much I care?

Oh, I’ve been workin’ for you doin’ all I can;
To work all the time didn’t make me a man.
Oh, I forgot to be your lover
And I’m sorry; I’ll make it up to you somehow.

“I Found You” by the Alabama Shakes

This isn’t sometimes—
yeah, it’s for always
if I’m gonna love you with all of my heart
and if there is no more time,
this always remains.
even as the world spins itself apart…

cuz i remember them days i waited so patiently
for God to bring someone who’s gonna be good to me
and then He blessed my soul

well, i traveled a long way
and it took a long time to find you…
but i finally found you…

i remember all them lonely days
i traveled out on my own
then you brought me everything
ya made my house a home
if it’s not the real deal then i don’t know it
cuz it sho does feel, and i think it sho does show

i remember all them days i waited so patiently
until God brought someone who’s gonna be good to me
and he blessed my soul…

But, I traveled a long way
And it took a long time…
to find you…but, i did find you…

and he blessed my soul….

“Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

Alabama, Arkansas, I do love my Ma & Pa
Not the way that I do love you

Holy Moley, Me-oh-My, you’re the apple of my eye
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you

Man, oh man, you’re my best friend,
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothin’ that I need

Well, hot & heavy, pumpkin pie,
chocolate candy, Jesus Christ
There ain’t nothin’ please me more than you

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La la la la, take me Home
Baby, I’m coming Home

I’ll follow you into the park,
through the jungle, through the dark
Girl, I’ve never loved one like you

Moats & boats & waterfalls,
alleyways & pay phone calls
I’ve been everywhere with you

That’s true

We laugh until we think we’ll die,
barefoot on a summer night
Nothin’ new is sweeter than with you

And in the streets we’re running free
like it’s only you and me
Geez, you’re somethin’ to see.

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is wherever I’m with you

La la la la, take me Home
Baby, I’m coming Home

“Jade?”
“Alexander?”
“Do you remember that day you fell out of my window?”
“I sure do; you came jumping out after me.”
“Well, you fell on the concrete and nearly broke your ass and you were bleeding all over the place and I rushed you off to the hospital. Do you remember that?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Well, there’s something I never told you about that night.”
“What didn’t you tell me?”
“While you were sitting in the backseat smoking a cigarette you thought was going to be your last, I was falling deep, deeply in love with you and I never told you ‘til just now.”
“Now I know.”

Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is whenever I’m with you
Ahh, Home
Let me come Home
Home is when I’m alone with you

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The Wild Thing

23 10 2009

There was a time would E would sleep through the night, 12, 14 hours, without so much as a rustle. We knew we were lucky, lucky to have a baby that would let us have the night to ourselves, undisturbed.

That changed when E started climbing out of his crib. I think it must have been around month 20, in the summer. He’d start awake from a nightmare, climb out of his crib, and seek us out for consolation. What were we to do? The kid just had a nightmare. You’ve got to let him sleep with you.

Pretty soon it was every night. We changed out the guard rails for a set that had an opening in them because there was no point in pretending that nothing was stopping him from just hopping over them any time he wanted to. We’d put him to bed and sneak out when he fell asleep, but at one or two in the morning, when we ourselves were sure to be in bed, he’d climb out of his crib, march down the hallway with his favorite blanket, and claw at our bed.

The Chinese have a nickname for their little ones. They call them Little Emperors. E is almost two now. He is eagerly testing out newfound powers of refusal, of demand, of whiny attrition. He is our Little Emperor.

And Dana just gives in. She’s ragged from all the school work and stress and doesn’t have it in her to deal with wet eyes and screaming sirens of protest. But I’m the Dad. I’m the man of the house; I’m the law. The buck stops with me, buddy.

So one night, when Dana is away, I decide to take the opportunity to put my foot down. I give E his bath, put him in his pajamas, and turn out the lights. I fish around for the Mighty Brite reading light and read him Goodnight Moon. He’s yawning. Good sign. We say our prayers, and I lift him in my arms and set him in his crib. As I do so, I say, “I’m leaving, E, and I want you to stay in your crib. I don’t want you to leave this room tonight.”

He rocks his head back and forth and ever so faintly says, “No. No.”

“Yes, E. Stay in your crib. I am closing the door,” and I latch the door shut.

Then I go down the hall, get in bed, and wait.

And, indeed, ten minutes later I hear him get out of his crib. I hear him run his hand across the door. What is this? The door’s never been shut before. How am I supposed to get out? I can hear him scratch at the groove between the door and the frame.

And then I hear him go nuts. He starts to whine. And then bawl. And then I hear him stomp around the room blindly. He starts opening all his drawers and flinging out all his clothes. I almost get out of bed when he starts throwing his toys. He  starts banging against the door, first with his shoulder, then with his head. He presses all the buttons on the toys attached to his bed. And then it sounds like he’s ripping pages out of one of his books.

I hear a thud, thud, thud, and then I realize he’s tipping over the rocking chair.

I’m sitting up now, but it’s suddenly gone silent. I sit uneasily for five minutes, ten minutes. What’s happened? Is he hurt — trapped, perhaps, under the rocking chair? Is he lying on the floor, exhausted? Is he back in bed?

I think I see a flash of light underneath the door. No… how can…?

And then, dumbfounded, I hear the doorknob being rattled. Chk-chk. Chk-chk.

Is my son seriously…? Chk-chk. Chk-chk.

And before I could answer my question, the door flings open, and E comes howling like a banshee down the hall, waving the Mighty Brite wand so that I see white flashes of his wrathful, grimacing face racing towards me like an avenging spirit.

I was literally flat on my back in fright. I almost fell out of the bed and found myself scampering away from him as he came to the side of the bed and started clawing up. When I got him to settle down and nestle into bed — my bed — sweetly asleep, I could still hear my heart thumping, and I had to laugh out loud, nervously, to force myself to exhale and calm down.

Needless to say, he still sleeps in our bed every night.





Photo Update

30 06 2008

Summer’s here, e’s past his half-year point, and life is going by fast. As you can see, e has had his first dip in a pool and is already into computers. He loves banging on the keyboard.

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We just got back from a family trip to Baltimore to see my mom and dad (and grandmom made a trip up too for a day). Unsurprisingly, e got all the attention.

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Highlights include a family dinner out at a Korean restaurant (e loves to taste-test tabletops)

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and a day trip to the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor.

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Lullaby: Smile in Sleep

7 05 2008

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Lullaby: Smile in Sleep
by Robert Penn Warren

Sleep, my son, and smile in sleep.
You will dream the world anew.
Watching you now sleep,
I feel the world’s depleted force renew,
Feel the nerve expand and knit,
Feel a rustle in the blood,
Feel wink of warmth and stir of spirit,
As though spring woke in the heart’s cold underwood.
The vernal work is now begun.
Sleep, my son.
Sleep, son.

You will see the nestling fall.
Blood flecks grass of the rabbit form.
You will, of course, see all
The world’s brute ox-heel wrong, and shrewd hand-harm.
Throats are soft to invite the blade.
Truth invites the journalist’s lie.
Love bestowed mourns trust betrayed,
But the heart most mourns its own infidelity.
The greater, then, your obligation.
Dream perfection.
Dream, son.

When the diver leaves the board
To hang at gleam-height against the sky,
Trajectory is toward
An image hung perfect as light in his mind’s wide eye.
So your dream will later serve you.
So now, dreaming, you serve me,
And give our hope new patent to
Enfranchise human possibility.
Grace undreamed is grace forgone.
Dream grace, son.
Sleep on.

Dream that sleep is a sunlit meadow
Drowsy with a dream of bees
Threading sun, and the shadow
Where you lie lulled by their sunlit industries.
Let the murmurous bees of sleep
Tread down honey in the honeycomb.
Heart-deep now, your dream will keep
Sweet in that deep comb for time to come.
Dream the sweetness coming on.
Dream, sweet son.
Sleep on.

What if angry vectors veer
Around your sleeping head, and form?
There’s never need to fear
Violence of the poor world’s abstract storm.
For now you dream Reality.
Matter groans to touch your hand.
Matter lifts now like the sea
Toward that cold moon that is your dream’s command.
Dream the power coming on.
Dream, strong son.
Sleep on.





Dana’s Big Three-O

5 04 2008

For Dana, April 5, 2008

So what if now you’ve reached the big three-oh?
You must admit it took you by surprise.
Each day comes full these days when — miney moe!
You turn and learn you’ve earned another stripe.
Things haven’t slowed. In fact, if anything,
Time seems to spin on plates — you learn the grace
As you stumble along, and balancing
Keeps focus in the running, not the race.
But now that you’re aware what day it is,
Just go ahead and let the china fall.
Hell, yeah, kick up your heels and leave the kid
And dishes with the husband. Take no calls.
Do nothing. Cleanse your palate of the clock.
And rest atop your pillowy three and aught.

Dana’s birthday is easy to remember: 4 – 5 – skip the six – 78. Of course, I nearly forgot it.

Gmail Chat on Monday:

Gmail - Chat with Timothy Kim_1207508170331
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

So once it was decided that we would throw Dana a surprise birthday party, I spent the rest of the week getting harassed by Bro-bro and Debs. “Who’s coming?” “We need pictures.” “What’s going to be the schedule?” “You need to get her out of the house for at least a few hours.” “I hope you know the guest list is ballooning.” “We’re maxing out our credit cards.”

Meanwhile, I just kept pleading, “Simple, guys. Low-key. Don’t go over the top. Please?”

On Friday, I announced that for her birthday I was going to clean the house. Yeah, I know it was suspicious, but she bought it. (Turns out she nearly forgot it was her birthday as well).

On Saturday, we headed out for brunch at Sabrina’s Cafe at the Italian Market with Elijah.

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We stuck to the brunch specials of the day: I had Apple-Snickerdoodle-Orange stuffed French Toast with berry syrup, and Dana has the Opening-Day Mexi-Burrito. I also ordered a side of polenta fries. It was our first time at Sabrina’s, and I must say, it will not be our last. But next time, we’ll make sure we’ll share an entree — the portions are huge.

Ultimately didn’t stop us from cleaning our plates, though:

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I spent some time with e in the car while Dana grabbed some stuff from the Italian Market. Note to self: Changing a kid’s diaper on your lap in a car is not as easy as it might sound.

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Yes, his ears are huge. The plan was that I’d get back and start vacuuming. As is typical on weekends, the arrival of food coma radically re-routed those plans.

I woke up in time to let in Bro-bro and Dana’s cousin Grace. I’m cleaning frantically. Urgent whispers in the basement. Flurry of calls. Everyone’s darting in and out on Dana, hovering over her and the baby. And still, she doesn’t suspect. Man, is my wife gullible.

At 4:00, I’m like, “Isn’t he done feeding yet? We’ve really got to go out and take a walk around Ikea.” Dana doesn’t bat an eye. I’m a genius.

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5:40, Dana gets a call from Nancy. “Oh, we’re heading home now… Sure, come on over tonight… Mmm-hmm.”

5:55, Bro-bro greets us at the garage, offers to take e in his car seat upstairs. Dana needs to go to the bathroom. I suddenly notice neat rows of other peoples’ shoes lined up in the back room of the basement beside the bathroom. “Hurry up, Dana, I need to go myself.” I try not to look too weird hovering beside the bathroom door.

Washing my hands, I hear: “Surprise!”

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I spent the entire evening waddling around, still over-full from brunch and half-nauseous from ogling all the delicious food.

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It was Sandy’s birthday, too. She was a real good sport to come and be a part of our little party.

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Did I mention our friends are awesome? We’re blessed to know you, guys.

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Red-velvet cake from Brown Betty’s. I did indeed un-notch my belt and made room for a slice.

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Thanks to everyone — and especially Bro-bro and Debs — for a wonderful celebration. Dana and I had the best time. We’ll have another party in ten years!





I’m Not Only the President…

9 03 2008

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e has a big old bald spot in the back of his head from thrashing his head around in the crib. My mother-in-law commented the other day that it’s a little sad that his beautiful blond highlights are turning dark. Dana’s hair is also falling out at an alarming rate (not uncommon for new moms dealing with declining estrogen levels), while mine is graying all over.

I’m just glad that e has a nice round head, unlike my pointy one.





Note to Self: Enforced Slack

7 03 2008

On Monday, I attended a protracted professional development lecture on mental health issues for adolescents with an emphasis on anxiety disorders and OCD. Also on my mind was this article in the Wall Street Journal which talked about how Finnish culture promotes a kind of relaxed independence and, at the same time, deep valuation of reading and other basic intellectual pursuits — resulting in top-ranking academic scores on a global comparison.

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During the lecture I brainstormed several parenting rules for myself to keep, several of which may seem radical but (to me) necessary:

  1. Strictly enforce sleep. Staying up past 11 is simply not allowed — not for recreation, not for academics. Eight hours (or more) a night. Period.
  2. College: Options without expectations. Take family trips to college campuses. Talk about my personal experiences about the advantages and disadvantages of going to one type of college over another. But DO NOT make any option — including going to college at all — mandatory. Community college? If you want. No college? Fine. Be educated; learn stuff; make something of yourself — I don’t care how, though.
  3. Go on retreats. Take summer vacations that require a nice long break away from technology and “normal” life: camping, hiking, travel. No phones, computers, communication or entertainment devices allowed. Books okay.
  4. Refuse to see grades. Don’t open report cards. Emphasize that life is about process, not results — that school should be about learning, growth, and self-actualization, not credits for a life not yet lived. Have my kid(s) cut and paste teacher comments on a separate report card without grades, so I can read those instead.
  5. Model reflection, confession, and problem-solving. Acknowledge and work through mistakes out loud.