Posts about “parenthood”

The last regular season NFL game was a banger. After spending the day logging and wrapping and putting away all the decorations, my son and I spent a few lovely hours watching the Bills beat the Dolphins before I shushed him off to brush his teeth and get in bed. Goodbye, Christmas 2023.

One of the (very, very many) things that suck about losing your mom before forty is that I remember almost nothing about my own daily life prior to high school. And because my parents were divorced and I only got to see dad for a few weeks in the summer every year, there’s nobody I can ask. I have two sons and am constantly writing (and printing) notes and reminders for them, like, “You loved to eat oatmeal with blueberries and pineapple every morning for breakfast in my forty-two year-old Empire Strikes Back cereal bowl until you were six and decided that you hate oatmeal.” Or, “If you want to make pancakes the right way you have to use the frying pan with the blue enamel.” I would probably collapse in a puddle if I ever found even a single note like this from mom. She was a writer and left hundreds of notebooks and thousands of loose pages of things. She wrote me cards and letters nearly daily from the day I left for college until shortly before she died, but sadly I’ve never found anything along those lines.

They are taking so many things with them:
their sewing machines and fine china,

their ability to fold a newspaper
with one hand and swat a fly.

They are taking their rotary telephones,
and fat televisions, and knitting needles,

their cast iron frying pans, and Tupperware.
They are packing away the picnics

and perambulators, the wagons
and church socials. They are wrapped in

lipstick and big band music, dressed
in recipes. Buried with them: bathtubs

with feet, front porches, dogs without leashes.
These are the people who raised me

and now I am left behind in
a world without paper letters,

a place where the phone
has grown as eager as a weed.

I am going to miss their attics,
their ordinary coffee, their chicken

fried in lard. I would give anything
to be ten again, up late with them

in that cottage by the river, buying
Marvin Gardens and passing go,

collecting two hundred dollars.
Faith Shearin, “Telling the Bees”, 2015

Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.
William Somerset Maugham, (b) Jan. 25, 1874

There’s no use in regret. You can’t change anything.
Your mother died unhappy with the way you turned
out. You and your father were not on speaking terms
when he died, and you left your wife for no good
reason. Well, it’s past. You may as well regret missing
out on the conquest of Mexico. That would have been
just your kind of thing back when you were eighteen:
a bunch of murderous Spaniards, out to destroy a
culture and get rich. On the other hand, the Aztecs
were no great shakes either. It’s hard to know whom
to root for in this situation. The Aztecs thought they
had to sacrifice lots of people to keep the sun coming
up every day. And it worked. The sun rose every day.
But it was backbreaking labor, all that sacrificing.
The priests had to call in the royal family to help,
and their neighbors, the gardener, the cooks… You
can see how this is going to end. You are going to
have your bloody, beating heart ripped out, but you
are going to have to stand in line, in the hot sun, for
hours, waiting your turn.
by Louis Jenkins, from Tin Flag: New and Selected Prose Poems

Our greatest responsibility is to be good ancestors.
Dr. Jonas Salk

What Is This?

davidgagne.net is the personal weblog of me, David Vincent Gagne. I've been publishing here since 1999, which makes this one of the oldest continuously-updated websites on the Internet.

bartender.live

A few years ago I was trying to determine what cocktails I could make with the alcohol I had at home. I searched the App Store but couldn't find an app that would let me do that, so I built one.

Hemingway

You can read dozens of essays and articles and find hundreds of links to other sites with stories and information about Ernest Hemingway in The Hemingway Collection.