is a bitter irony that we prepare to celebrate yet another Independence
Day, commemorating our decision so long ago to throw off the shackles
of tyranny in favor of the frightening yet exhilarating experiment
of self-government. A bitter irony indeed, considering my current
me explain, with what little time remains. I sit in a darkened
room, frantically typing these words, fearful lest the noise of
the keys should betray my whereabouts. I pray I shall have the
opportunity to finish, but that eventuality is decidedly uncertain.
Oh, uncertain indeed!
there is tyranny afoot, my friends -- a tyranny so all-encompassing
as to give the lie to any misguided notions that it too should
pass. Even as we celebrate our deliverance from long ago servitude,
there is tyranny afoot as I write, tyranny in this very South
tyranny, in fact, is centered in my own household. And the tyrant
is not quite two years old...
when Clara came into our lives (not quite two years ago, naturally),
I was ecstatic, as most of you know. I was, I thought, ready for
the responsibilities of Fatherhood: the 3 AM bottles, changing
diapers, buying diapers, fetching diapers, changing diapers again,
fetching brushes, socks, pajamas, putting on jackets and shoes,
taking off jackets and shoes -- and did I mention diapers?
I was ready, I thought.
I was not prepared for was the following typical an-exhausted-Joe-gets-home-from-work
Sit down!" I sit.
Over here!" I move.
color Mickey Mouse!" I color Mickey Mouse.
-- sing song!" I sing a song, awaiting with dread the inevitable
word that strikes such terror into the hearts of all parents of
musical angle of this tyranny has evidently extended to Mommy's
car as well, wherein Clara has been known to demand the repeated
playing of a particular song I recorded a few years ago. She has
even been heard to proudly exclaim, "That's my Daddy's song!"
have become an expert at rendering passable versions of "This
Old Man", "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star", "The
Wheels on the Bus", "Itsy Bitsy Spider", and hundreds
of other ditties too frightening to name. I have in addition learned
way more about purple dinosaurs, fuzzy red monster puppets, heroic
pre-school pets and a certain Dora than I would ever care to admit.
Clara seems to think that all she needs to do to keep me content
in this tyrannical state of perpetual servitude is, when I have
found a particular lost toy or book of hers, to look up at me
with shining eyes and say: "Yay, Daddy!"
she's right, of course. It works. I wouldn't have it any other