Saturday, October 6, 2012

Barbour: Fall 2009

Fall 2009 or fall 2012. It really makes no difference. Barbour is timeless. Barbour...or at least their capstone icon models like the Bedale and the Beaufort, remains a correct constant amidst all other things trendy, transitory and tacky.
But other things do change. And I don't like it. Nor do I have to. I want this little girl back. The one who would do things with me like run...really fast...towards the Fiction tent at the National Book Festival on the Mall because she knew how much her daddy wanted to hear Daniel Silva speak about his newest thriller. This was "let's hurry daddy because I know how much you love Daniel Silva"...not the current... "the faster you walk, dad, (not daddy--that's been banned) the faster I'm gonna walk. Sorry that you're offended but really, you can't expect me to actually be seen with you."
I want my little girl back. The one who wasn't embarrassed to be at the book festival in her soccer kit because her daddy forgot to pack a change of clothes at 0-dark-thirty when they left for her first of the morning soccer game.
You know, the little gal who looked upon with almost fan-like admiration, the chivalry of her daddy relinquishing his Bedale to her so that she'd stay dry and comfy.
You remember, right? The piccolo sized gal who was still little enough for her daddy to prop up on a table so that she could see and hear her favorite at the time...Jeff of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. Daniel Silva be damned, my baby was not gonna miss the thrill in being part of Jeff Kinney's story telling.
Daddy's  little partner...who gladly allowed and quite frankly expected...that he steady her with a paternal hand. Steadying her while daddy gets soaked by a constant, misty rain. No eye rolling, no tisk-tisking. And in the fall of 2009, daddy's IQ had yet to plummet so precipitously as has been the case since. Going steady? Ain't gonna happen.
Where is my sophomoric silly girl? The one who, on the arduous walk back to the car, post Daniel Silva and Jeff Kinney book signings--daddy and daughter were both so happy to meet their authors and get their books personalized--amused herself with skits about being attacked by the Barbour Bedale Monster Within.
So who's currently the child? I am. I know. Pouting all-to-be-damned. And if the man-child above...wore those high waisted Gurkha shorts today, surely the no-longer-a-little-girl would send him "right back upstairs to change, young man." She'd probably grant clemency on the Barbour. Everything else though, is bound to change.

Onward. Reluctantly.



heavy tweed jacket said...

Great post. Our lives change, but it is a comfort to have the constancy of loved ones and well worn things. As LFG matures I'm sure she'll love the memories in these photos.

James said...

They come back, I promise you.

Cubanchem said...

You should write abook, don't even care what it's about, I'd read it.

Claire M. Johnson said...

I ache for you. Yes, they do come back, but they come back as adults. Which is a hell of a lot different. The glory of children is that they tap our own innocence, a time when our hearts were a little lighter and we could breathe a little freer. It's generally a love that doesn't have a lot of baggage. You're now building baggage with her, which is normal and the stuff of all relationships, but still hurts like a mofo.

LPC said...

She'll be back. You'll occasionally catch a glimpse of her cheek that will convince you it's the same girl.

I know you're deadset against, but do consider the possibility that having another kid or two to absorb all that yearning might balance out any impact to college tuition funds etc. There's a point where our love for our children tips from benefit to burden. I don't mean to imply that you are there. More to observe my own experience.

Anonymous said...

"the faster you walk, dad, the faster I'm gonna walk."

This is striking. I'm bowled over by this, Max. Something about this quotation popped free from literal context, and stands alone for pondering.

It's a powerful quotation. Maybe you can see if it speaks to you in more ways than intended.

Meanwhile, I kinda know what you're talking about. When I remarried, this adorable man brought along 6 grandchildren with him. The eldest is now 13, but she was around 5 when I first met her. Oh boy. She used to run up and hug me for no reason, break open into a gorgeous smile, cling and laughhhh and hang on to my every word, everything made her joyously happy, she adored me/everyone. Now? She stands in a contrapposto position for all to notice, sulks openly, announces that she is bored, and waits for us to entertain her out of her boredom. This is when I put her to work, so far so good.

Did you see what Toad's doing tomorrow? Picking up those two little boys, taking them cross town to the open air miniature trainride, they're gonna have a blast. He picks them up, they have a blast, he drops them off again. Uncle-ing, I guess you'd call it. You would be the best-ever uncle, Max.



Main Line Sportsman said...

James is correct..they come back. The new relationship can be...and is for me...just as consuming and fun and full of shared experience and live.So...suck it up.

FLW said...

My dad(dy) switched to the night shift when I didn't couldn't be left at daycare. Then he 86'd his career for good when the late shift went screaming into the night. I still did the sprint-walk when I was a teen and talked back when he tried to help with most anything.

Skip ahead some years and now he's probably my best friend and certainly my best man in about eight months. God knows I admire him for sticking with me when I sure as hell did not reciprocate that sentiment. He even continues to give good advice ("Unless that bag holds bottles of embalming fluid, I don't know why you're in black shoes.")

Hang tough, my good man. And keep writing. She will love it some day.

ADG said...

FLW...thanks! And this general comment is for all who've commented...I am blessed beyond measure, on balance, regarding all aspects of LFG. Admittedly, I have my moments such as the one that moved me when I found these old Barbour pictures. So I'm generally hangin' tough. But every now and then I'm gonna sulk. Better to do it here than live in front of friends who are close enough, physically, to slap me.

Touch--Toner...The logical me knows this, my man. What excacerbates it for me is that amidst this phase, I'm literally at best, since she doesn't live with me, I'm seeing her less and less. Maybe you/I can sue her!

Flo...I hadn't pondered the deeper aspect of "you walk-I walk" but I hear you.

LPC...As always. Thanks. I DO still get a glimpse of her from time to time. She's still young enough that, when she's tired, a little bit of that tender gal emerges. As for other kids...I'm not going to father biologically any...but I've always been welcoming of friendships and dating situations where little people are part of the package.

The little blond cherub who makes his way into a tumblr or a blog post from time to time, is a former neighbor's little boy and I revel in visiting with and babysitting him.

And finally, LPC, my wise friend, I am at that inflection point of the love/burden/pro-con thing. And I recognize it and I'm working on/with how/what to do/navigate. Thanks. As always. are spot on! And I love that you ended your "truth" with "mo-fo". It's the mo-fo part of this immutable phase in the journey that causes, thank God only transiently, me to pout and behave like a child.

PAB of the bad shoe karma...You are too kind. If I wrote one, it would be you and eleven family members who would read it.


HeavyTweedMon...I'm betting the bank on what you assert.

Anonymous said...

"If I wrote one, it would be you and eleven family members who would read it."

I'd read it. That makes 13. I'll even host a booksigning event too, featuring you and LPC when you're both hawking your books down here in the southeast. I love how you write these tearjerkers, Max. Last time I welled up like this was the bit you did around your wallet, whereall you'd been while the same wallet sat snug in your back pocket, and now this with the Barbour and Ima mess. You's got writin skills Max. Keep writing....


Kathie Truitt said...

First of all, those blue eyes of hers are so piercing.

It won't be long....I'd say about 16 is when she will once again stroll hand-in-hand with you and call you 'Daddy'. After that, she'll never stop. Never.

'This' is all worth it...I promise. She must go through this stage so she can grow up, fall in love and lead you into THE best stage of your life. Grandparenthood. Okay, pick yourself up off the floor and resist the urge to block me!

Trust me on this - you can not even FATHOM the best at this point in your life, but it IS yet to come!!!!


Bean gal said...

I feel your pain. I am constantly thinking ;have we met' when I speak with- excuse,an deigned to be spoken at by- my 10 year old. I hate to say it 'a*^hole sometimes comes to mind, and my heart aches too and fear creeps it gone forever?

It reminds me of the Samuel Clemens quote (at least attributed to him) - When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." -

Keep your head, and keep loving her- that's all you need according to four lads from Liverpool

Anonymous said...

Just a note from one of your thankful anonymous readers.

When I read your post 3 years ago, I had no idea who Jeff Kinney was. Well, he was back at the Smithsonian Book Fair this year on the Mall and my daughters are now of an age where they read the Wimpy kids books voraciously. I waited an hour and forty-five minutes with my daughters to get their books signed.

There are very few adult authors who I would be personally interested in waiting so long to have sign my book (Tom Wolfe and a couple others excepted). But spending that long in line with the family to make my daughters happy? No brainer. Your post reminds me of such priorities.

Anonymous said...

That makes 14 of us. Wonderful, moving writing. Thank you.
Douglas in Philadelphia

ELS said...

Oh, I remember that weekend, it was when I started reading your blog and was enchanted by the literary and Barbour alike. You know all that stiff-upper-get-over-it schtick I've been pedalling recently? Post this post consider yourself excused for several days for a jolly good wallow.

Anonymous said...

i gotta tell you, what you wrote a few weeks ago about kids rings so true. you wrote somthing to the effect of "have none at all or more than one", my little girl is 2 1/2 now and it's so much work to keep up with her but we can't get enough. we don't want her to grow up too fast and we're enjoying every minute with her. we're starting to think it's time for number two.

ADG said...

Thanks again, everyone, for the additional great and insightful comments.

1. Your responses let me know that even though I don't like it, the dynamic I'm amidst ain't unique and in that context, I'm not special. That's a good reminder.

2. I'm glad that some of what I write re: the divorced Dad co-parenting thing, resonates with some of you in ways that induce you to be a better, more thankful parent.

3. It's all good. I'm done wallowing. I figure I'll have a bout of it every 3-4 weeks and it seems that when it does manifest, it's about a 72 hour thang. Kinda like my relationship track record--post marriage. bam.

Anonymous said...

Love reading your blog Max. You have humor without question, style beyond measure, wisdom and the capacity to eloquently entertain, teach and remind us all that this is a great journey we are on...
Please keep up the good work!
MWG Vashon Is. Wa.