Archives For Parenting

Today my amazing and beautiful son turns ten. In the twelve years in which I have been married to Michele, we have moved halfway across the country, lost friends and gained new ones, traveled thousands of miles by plane, train, and automobile, took a big boat and decided never to do that again, buried cats and adopted more. We’ve laughed and cried, we’ve snuggled under blankets for warmth while laying in rooms so cold that we could see our breath. We have had to flee our new house at three in the morning because the fleas in the carpet all came out at once to attack us. And, throughout the vast majority of the time, we had our son right next to us.

Elijah is the most important thing in my life, and watching him grow has been such an insanely beautiful experience. Seeing how his mind and body has grown, witnessing the slow process that has brought him from this tiny thing that I could hold in my arms to the strong young man that he is now, has been the absolute joy of my life. When I look at my son, I see not only an almost alchemical distillation of Michele and I, but the ways in which he is so remarkably his own person. I feel so honored to be able to watch that person come into being. To be allowed to witness his evolution from a kick and fluttering heartbeat in my wife’s uterus, to the strong-willed and independent young man that he is. To watch as he educates himself, and learns the ways of the world.

Right now, my parents are in town. Tonight, all of us are going to go out to eat dinner. At that table, there will be three generations of Parham men. It is a thing that doesn’t get to happen much these days, and it is also something that might not get to happen much longer. But, today, the day that my son begins the process of coming out of childhood, my father and I can sit with our wives, those strong and fierce women that have supported us and given us the gift of fatherhood. All of us can sit, and break bread and witness someone who is gathering up the knowledge to build on the ground that we have won[1] for him. We get to watch this beautiful boy gain the strength to climb across the ridge to see what waits for him in the next valley.

It is so strange to have been a part of this wild ride. It is a thing that I almost can’t believe is happening. But, every day Elijah wakes up and hugs me, and I know that I am involved in something magic.

  1. Yes, constant reader, that is a Queen reference!  ↩

I’m sitting here in my lovely writing den, with my cat at my feet, my son slumbering peacefully across the hall. Content with the world, so to speak. Except for the chipmunk that is hiding in the closet next to me.

See, what happened was this. I was watching a documentary on the TV downstairs when I fell asleep. It’s a warm day, the sun was shining, and there was a lovely breeze coming in from the open balcony door. I drifted off, and was slumbering peacefully when I was woken by the sound of my cat growling. He was growling in that way that he does only when he has been up to no good. I knew that I was about to receive the bounty of his love in the form of a dead animal. My cat’s a giver! My first thought was about trying to figure out if I should finish off the tube of Pringles that I was staring at so that I could use the empty tube to scoop up the bird carcass, or find a mason jar. I was clearly leaning towards using the Pringles can, because Pringles. Natch. That’s when I noticed that my cat was not holding a dead bird in his mouth, but rather what looked to me in my sleep crusted haze to be a squirrel. A very much not dead squirrel.

I quickly motioned for my cat to go back onto the balcony where he came from and take care of his business there. I thought that a sharp jab in the air towards the open door was a fairly unambiguous gesture. Clearly I was wrong, because the cat just immediately dropped the rodent on the floor like this was some kind of well rehearsed circus routine.

Of course the thing took off running, with my cat in hot pursuit. It was the Bullitt car chase with my cat as Steve McQueen. The chase went on for so long, and was so fast that I couldn’t even track what was going on. Gray would get the thing cornered and then it would dart out from some hole and run headlong into another redoubt.

At this point I went upstairs to my bedroom to get my phone so that I could text the Mrs. about what was going on in the house. When I got back downstairs, the cat was gone. I ran around the house looking for him. I went down to the basement to see if he had chased his prey down there. I went outside in case he had jumped off of the balcony in pursuit. I searched to no avail. I hoped that his hunt was successful and that he’d return home soon. Then I went to the kitchen to get a bottle of water. And then I heard the sound of scratching above my head. Damn. The chase was still on, and was happening in the one room of our house that I hadn’t looked. My son’s room. I’d avoided going in there because I didn’t want to wake him up. So of course that’s where my cat had chased his quarry.

I sprinted up the stairs and found Elijah fast asleep underneath the blankets with my cat jumping back and forth over his head, pawing at the radiator. That’s when I brought out the big guns. With a janitor grade broom in hand, I went to work. In short order I had the thing flushed out from behind the radiator and back on the move. Bullit Grey was back on the move and I finally got a good look at it. It wasn’t a squirrel, but a rather large chipmunk. And it was now in the closet in the hall upstairs. The one that is full of junk piled on top of more junk. The one with all of the tiny nooks and crannies that are perfect hiding spots for a wild rodent. Great. #Winning.

The kiddo, of course, slept through the whole thing.

Michele got home and set up a box with some raw cashews in it hoping to lure the thing out. It doesn’t seem to be working. At this point we have three options. Get a live trap and hope that it will sneak out of the closet at night. Realize that we now are the proud parents of a feral chipmunk and name the thing. Or call the Turtle Man.

This is my life. Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair.

At least it’s not another bat flying into the house…

I’m sorry that you haven’t heard from me in a while. The vacation has been going really well, but this has been a busy weekend. We have left Seattle and I am writing this from our new location in Vancouver, WA. For those of you who are interested (and it seems that there are a lot of you all!) this post is just a quick (or as quick as possible) update about the last few days activities. Also, Michele has encouraged me to set up a Facebook page for this blog here. If you would be so kind as to click over there and “Like” it, I would love you all just ever so slightly more than I already do. It doesn’t look like much yet, but I promise that it will be all nice and redded up soonlyish.

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