Deacon Blue Version 45.0

On Sunday, I turned 45. But it was Palm Sunday, and my 7-year-old goddess wanted to go to church to honor the son of God rather than letting me have a heretical sleep-in day, so 45 didn’t seem so old after all. Jesus is what…pushing 2,046 years old now?…so I won’t complain about being halfway through my 40s.

A time for minor self-reflection anyway, though. I’ve known my 21-year-old son for what is now approaching 18 years, and later this year I’ll clock in a “sweet 16″ years of marriage to his mom. By the end of July, I will have been a biological father for eight years (well, with diaper changing duties, at least; I guess I should count those nine-ish months in the womb as well and make it 8.75 years of bio-fatherhood by July).

I don’t know if I’ve been the best father and husband, but I like to hope I’m at least in the top 80th or 90th percentile (70th? Please don’t say 50th or 60th…). No one’s complained overly much about my performance in either role (well, not daily, anyway), so I’m going to assume I’m doing all right. Good thing, too, because I’m getting too old to change much.

But anyway, it made my birthday to get this card from my little goddess-girl:

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When I open the googly-eyed cover, what does the card read inside?

“…from your smart-ass kid!”

It seems my daughter found the card before my wife realized she was rooting around the more grown-folk cards. But, but that time, it was too late. They both realized I’d get a big chuckle out of it (I guess my goddess-girl is starting to “get” me), and so my wife relented in letting our daughter pick it out for me. Besides, she’s heard a lot worse than “ass” come out of my mouth…it’s a family tradition; you should have heard some of the words and colorful phrases my cool-as-hell-and-still-miss-her-a-lot mom popped off with when I was a kid).

I mean, my daughter was practically crawling out of her skin for me to open the card the night before my birthday because, as she put it, “I really love to hear your laugh, Daddy.” But I made her wait until the morning for her to get that payoff.

Now, I’d be remiss to leave out my wife’s contribution. She got me a fancy 3-D textured card with faux parchment pages inside instead of just the usual cardboard:

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Inside that card, aside from the normal romantic/sweet pre-printed sentiments, my wife wrote a little note. But we’ll leave that between her and I…oh, it wasn’t anything salacious, you pervs (God love ya for being that way, though), but still, it’s that from-the-heart stuff, and I don’t want to go ruining my wife’s hard-earned tough-but-fair, bacon-eating-but-also-yoga-practicing reputation.

In short, glad to have another year on the planet to be a husband, as I don’t know what I’d do with myself without my wife. Glad to have another year under my belt as a dad; even though the goddess can drive me up a frakin’ wall sometimes, I find it hard to imagine life without her and already dread the day she leaves our home. Overjoyed to see my son find success in college and in his music and elsewhere. And, frankly, glad to be starting another year of life to fling prose at folks like you, in yet another blog (but please, someone knock me out if I try to start yet another one next year without killing off an existing blog).

So, it’s Deacon Blue version 45.0. I doubt version 45.1 next month will look much different, nor will v46.0 in another twelve, but let’s hope I do learn a few new and valuable things along the way.
Oh, and as an addendum, this from my little girl…

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What makes this special isn’t necessarily the minimalist, semi-abstract painting style (I mean, her painting can be pretty cool but her drawing is where it’s really at right now) but rather the sentiment behind it. The petite goddess went to bed very late on Saturday night (after 10) and, as is typical (even though we didn’t outright say it this time but dammit she knows better), she’s not supposed to get up early when she goes to bed late.

Despite this, it turns out she got up at around 7 a.m. to start watching Netflix on the iPad. However, when I got out of bed at eight to put the percolator on so that my wife would have coffee available well before 9 o’clock rolled around, my little girl had temporarily relocated from her room upstairs to her painting nook downstairs. And she told me, as I came downstairs, “Don’t look, Daddy, I’m painting something for your birthday.”

Later, when I was up and about for real, this is what I was allowed to finally look at. So, given her loving vibe of wanting to spend some of her prized weekend screen-time to paint me something really early in the day, I’ll forgive that whole “getting up way before she should have” thing.

The Birthday Fairy

So, after my recent post on the fact that I offed the Tooth Fairy not that long ago, one of my Twitterfolk inquired about the birthday fairy I mentioned in passing in that post. I figure that’s my in to have another topic for posting, right? Y’all care about our little family traditions, right? You wanna hear about this, right?

Sit down! Those were rhetorical questions. I took out the Tooth Fairy. I took out the Leprechaun. You better take a lesson from them and not get on my bad side.


Anyway, I’m not sure exactly how it all came about, but a few years ago, we introduced the concept of the birthday fairy. We were doing a lot of the fairy-house-building kind of thing and my little household goddess was (at the time) more into the fairy thing than the Barbie thing, so it seemed natural. She’d already heard of the Tooth Fairy, though I don’t think she’d lost any teeth at that time yet. She knew about Santa and the Easter Bunny. And to me, it seemed like birthdays got the short end of the magic stick.

Also, we had these pretty stalks growing in our side yard in a near-perfect circle maybe 18 inches in diameter. They got up to a couple feet high and in the summer, when our little goddess has her birthday, they would have these pretty, white, bell-shaped little flowers growing on the top third or so of the stalk. We came to think of that as our home’s fairy ring, and one year the birthday fairy started leaving a modest gift each birthday in that ring for our daughter to find.

The fairy ring is gone now, a victim of overeager landscapers we had doing some yard work, but the tradition persists. At one point, I felt the need to create a history for the whole birthday fairy thing and even gave her a name, which is my wife’s full first name backwards. This is what I came up with and printed out for my girl so she could have some kind of tangible record of her birthday fairy (and I included a picture of a fairy…with skin roughly as brown as my daughter’s own…can’t have just Caucasian fairies now…):


Birthday Fairy

Akimahs is the birthday fairy for all children born on the day of your birth.

(Each day has its own fairy)

She is responsible for remembering everyone who has a birthday that day, and in special cases, when a child is really deserving, she will give one or more gifts to that child.


So, feel free to create your own birthday fairy traditions. After all, I’ve established that each day of the year has its own fairy, and there are 364 slots left open; I won’t sue you or charge you royalties for using my fantastic idea (unless you’re Hallmark. If they steal this idea, I will *ruin* them). I bet the fairy for February 29 is some lazy, drunken lout, since he or she only has to work every four years…