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April 20, 2010

Black Holes and Deedo Um

[Did you notice that I often write about coming home? Sorry, but coming home is absolutely my most favorite thing to do and to remember. So...]

I usually can't pull into the driveway after work. There are bikes, monster trucks, baseball bats, and makeshift bug jars all over the place.

"Deedoo ummm!"

Nosey Parker is excited. Ecstatic. She squeaks for joy, throwing up her arms and extending her torso as in jumping, but her feet don't leave the grass. She does her pigeon toed gallop with arms extended stiffly in my direction, falling forward at the point where she knows I can reach her.

"Daddy home!"

Buggies is also quite pleased with the situation. He hops skippingly in three big circles, then buries his nose in my leg. He wants tickled and thrown around, but not held.

"Hi Daddy!"

Ducks sprints from whatever it is he's doing, usually with Luke. He makes eye contact and smiles the grand canyon. Some have called it "Nix Nucks" and others a "shit eatin' grin." He hunches and creeps toward me in a sneaking fashion, though we both know I see him. He pauses, motionless at my side, cocks back, and rails me in the hip.

"Daddy can you..."

Luke walks over after finishing up whatever it is he's doing. He's good for a hug, but he doesn't drop everything and run anymore. He does often lead with a question or a request to come see something he's done or caught that day.

What he's lost in excitement is gained in depth. Luke's the only one who can keep up on a bike and play real catch. He wonders about the colors of bees and if God could make Tai Lung (villian in Kung Fu Panda) good and why telescopes can't see inside a black hole.

I take in this revelation and try to consider how each child changes while I'm changing and our relationship must change. This is a black hole that I will never get to the bottom of. There was a time when they were not, and suddenly, now there are these four beautiful things with a voice and desires and offerings and will of their own.

Call the present an "event horizon" that you can't see past, but one can make a calculated guess. The hi daddy's will progress to hey dads then to practically nonverbal head nods and then hopefully back to a hi dads again. And of course the mystery of their timeless soul is beyond my comprehension.

Please don't say there is a bottom to the hugs. Hugs may closely resemble an arm lock with a punch to the scapula when they are about fifteen. But call it a hug. Hugs there will be for as long as I'm given days for hugging.

There's no limit for Amy and the kids. Wherever and whatever happens, they can gravitate toward my arms. I'm like a black hole of hugs.

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Anonymous said...


Sam Van Eman said...

Bob, I found your blog tonight through I'm a culture editor there and I was out looking for new family writers for a colleague.

You have great content here. Down-to-earth, edgy, profound, hilarious, and all wrapped up nicely from a dad's perspective.

And then I looked at your About page, and you're from Mechanicsburg. Seriously? Of all the towns in the world, you live in Mechanicsburg? I live in Mechanicsburg. My wife and two kids and I moved here about 6 years ago from Erie, PA.

It would be great to meet you sometime. I don't need any PT right now, but I'd love to catch breakfast or lunch sometime. Dieners? Neato Burrito?

Funny stuff. I'm at samvaneman (at) gmail (dot) com