The 4 Year Anniversary

27 02 2015

It’s weird how normal things are – or how normal they seem. Sometimes I think it shouldn’t be this way – shouldn’t feel this way. But it does. 

It seems that Ellis shouldn’t happy and perfect (in a self-absorbed extremely bratty kind of way that I think you would appreciate ). That Carsyn shouldn’t be grown and working and studying and sweet and a great big sister. That Hogan shouldn’t be about to graduate from high school and (despite being a remarkably bad shaver ) giving every sign of coming into his own, ready for the next step. 

It’s harder for Hogan and Carsyn. They don’t have E. 

I got lucky there. 

I’m trying to think of a way to describe what she is like. 

She is a little like me and a little like you – but mostly she is just this whole other weird cool thing. 

She hates getting in the bath but loves STAYING in the bath. 

She asks total strangers for help finding items in the grocery store. 

She loves TV but is suspicious of movies. 

She LOVES dresses but likes to wear pants with them. 

She runs out into the snow, slides down a hill of ice laughing, hits her head at the bottom and cries. Then goes back to the top and does it again. 

She loves flowers but hates bugs. 

She cries and throws fits for little reason – like because the Mac and Cheese was too crunchy. 

She wakes up in the middle of the night to give everybody hugs. 

She is proud of her hair but hates to brush it. 

She likes to make me go get her pizza from the fridge in the middle of the night – just because she can. 

She insists that she can only have one friend at a time at school. When I tell her she can have lots of friends she says “That’s not how it works daddy!” and drops the subject. 

When she is going to sleep she quietly whispers to herself, creating plots about which friend she wants to have the next day. She thinks about the best way to tell the previous day’s friend that they are now out of the picture. 

“SHHHH daddy – I’m thinking”, she says when I try to ask her what the hell she is mumbling about. 

She makes up stories about things she did with you. “Mommy bought me this when I was a baby. “. “Mommy taught me this dance. ” “Mommy said it was ok for me to not take baths any more. “

She has gotten older – so when she is sad and upset with me she sometimes asks for mommy. I think she does this because she knows it will stop me in my tracks, unable to think of what to say. 

She gets philosophical at night – at least as much as a 4 year old can. 

Two nights ago we had this conversation. 

ELLIS: Why did Mommy die?

ME: I don’t know

ELLIS: I wish I had a mommy like everyone else. 

ME: I know. I wish you did too. 

ELLIS: It’s not fair! 

ME: No it’s not. You kinda got screwed on that one. 

ELLIS: (thinking for a bit) Daddy?

ME: Yes E

ELLIS: Will you go get me some pizza from the fridge. I’m hungry. 

And that’s where we are. We are ok, maybe better than ok.  We have Carsyn and Hogan and your family and my family and everyone helps and everyone loves her. 

We are good. Weirdly good. There is pizza in the fridge and E will give me a big hug when I go get it for her. I can’t ask for much more than that. 

We miss you very much. But we are ok. 

Ellis Has A Boyfriend – A Valentine’s Lament

21 02 2015

Ellis has a boyfriend – sorta. She denies it to me but tells her sister she does. It’s good to know that the “keeping secrets from dad” thing starts at 4.

She is finally trying to sleep in her own bed at night – despite her father’s warnings that “It’s probably cold and scary up there”. This is a good thing, I guess, but I’m thinking of warning her about the monsters in the walls.

Last night (Valentine’s Day) as she was going up to sleep she took my cheeks in her hands, looked me straight in the eyes with her best “I’m being very serious now” expression and said “I’ll never forget you” and kissed me on the forehead.

The boyfriend’s name is Renfro (not his real name). He is in the class ahead of her so he is 5 or 6 but they share the playground at recess.

I have warned her about older guys trying to be all cool and impressive – with their reading and ability to tie their own shoes. But did she listen?

“He has a loose tooth” Ellis says with a dreamy look in her eyes.

She pointed him out to me whenI picked her up after their Valentine’s party, cruising down the hallway – holding his mom’s hand.

“That’s Renfro” she whispered as if a Greek God were strolling by.

Renfro is tall, maybe 3’10”, and his hair is pretty much a giant cow-lick. He has on mittens and waves nonchalantly at everybody as he makes his way past, too big jeans rolled up 2 times at the ankles, the tips of his sneakers lighting up with each step.

He smiles, a big gap in front. Ellis gasps. Actually gasps. How could a girl resist?

He stops when he gets to us “Hi Ellith” he says and stares straight up at me.

“Hi Renfro” she says, staring at him as if under a spell.

“Are you named after the Houston Oilers receiver who had a touchdown taken away in the ’79 AFC championship against the Steelers, costing Earl Campbell his best chance at a Super Bowl?” I ask with a hint of accusation in my voice.

“Huh” says Renfro, as he comes dangerously close to a full on nose pick, stopped only by the clumsiness of his mittens.

“DADDY!” Ellis says. “Don’t be WEIRD!”

I nod as we trudge towards the car. “You should probably get used to it”, I say.

The End

Ellis Goes To The Dentist

21 02 2015