Friday, January 21, 2011

Normal Tuesday, except I cried

Around our house, like millions of other homes, we have a night time routine that we try to adhere to. Libby puts Paige to sleep around 7PM. A little before 8PM Lucy goes in the bedroom with an evening snack to watch a recorded episode of The Berenstain Bears or Caillou. While she does this, I typically finish cleaning up the kitchen, have a beer, and catch a couple sports scores. When Lucy's show is over we read some books, use the bathroom, brush teeth, and then turn off the lights.

While this is the ideal plan, more nights then not there is at least one curveball. From wanting two snacks instead of one, not wanting to put her pajamas on, or not wanting to brush her teeth we feel like we have heard it all. If you are a parent you know the delay game and all its inner workings. Paige even got in on the act last night. At 7:45PM Paige, who is usually asleep for the night, woke up and decided she wanted to hang out for a couple more hours!?!?! It is amazing to think that some day these kids will be teenagers and we will be begging them to get up out of bed, but I digress.

The reason I mentioned the night time routine is because on the night of Tuesday, January 12th, during the 20 minute window that Lucy watches cartoons I started watching President Obama's memorial speech in Tucson, AZ. Without diving too deeply into politics I will admit that I am fan of the President. He is a gifted orator and I enjoy listing to him speak.

When I tuned in he was eulogizing those who were lost in the terrible, terrible shooting in Tucson. The last victim that he discussed was nine year old, Christina Taylor Green. As he described her activities that included gymnastics and swimming, I couldn't help but think of my girls. Lucy is currently taking a gymnastics and swimming class. Christina's interest in meeting her representative made me think of the excitement Lucy has when she is learning about something new or preparing for an adventure.

I am not sure if it was fatigue from a long day or what, but I started to well up thinking about Christina and her parents. The President then went on to discuss that earlier in the evening Representative Gabrielle Giffords had opened her eyes for the first time since the shooting. I had never heard of this Rep. Giffords before the incident, but that didn't keep me from losing it.

I am not someone who cries often, so I found myself asking myself, why are you crying, what is wrong with you. In addition to trying to lean on fatigue as an excuse, I concluded that this is what parenting does to you. Parenting has made me feel emotions (including happiness and stress) at a stronger level then ever before. The incident reminded me of the depth of the love parents have for their children.

Before the president had concluded his remarks, Lucy was yelling, "Daddy! The show is over." Quickly I was brought back to the present moment and back into our nightly routine. As I headed into the bedroom I tried put myself together, but was quickly greeted by looks from Lucy and Libby that said, "What the hell happened out there?"

I briefly explained the situation to Lib and before we could discuss it too much, Lucy had a couple questions of her own. First she asked if I was ok. When I replied that I was, she quickly moved on to more pressing issues. These issue included, but were not limited to, finding out how much older Brother Bear is then Sister Bear and why Papa Bear always wears the same thing.

January 12th by many accounts was a very normal Tuesday. I will look back and remember this day not only because I turned into a blubbering mess after watch a few minutes of a speech, but because in the midst of our normal routine I was reminded of how much I love the routine and those I do it with.


  1. Love your post - PJ. I would think Brother Bear is older. Guess your best!
    N & C

  2. I love this post, Paul! Nothing wrong with feeling deep empathy, especially in the face of a tragedy! I'm sure you weren't the only one choking up during the speech!