The Big Moveouski

movingMy cousin and his wife are moving out west, we said our goodbyes yesterday. I will miss them. We did not see each other often, but we were close, funny how that happens with some people, you might speak only once a month or once a year, but you feel totally at ease with them. Funnier still, when someone only lives a few blocks from you but you only get the occasion to see them once every few month. Ahhh life is a funny thing.

As we were talking yesterday a looked of surprise came over my cousin’s wife’s face and she exclaimed “We have no keys!” They had sold their car and it had been picked up in the morning. They were finishing packing the last few things that needed to be packed in their house and they were going to walk out the door, leaving the keys in the house. They were in fact homeless, jobless, and going to a brand new place thousands of miles from what they have called home, to start all over. This, my friends, takes some stones.

Can you remember the last time you did not have a set of keys? Keys to the office, keys to your house or apartment, keys to the car, keys to the filing cabinet, tool box, shed, bike lock. OMG there are so many keys. The Buddhist say it is only by giving up all our worldly possessions that we can achieve peace and freedom (I think it is the Buddhists, those guys are pretty smart, anyways, someone said it). It actually looked like it scared the shit out of my cousin and his wife. As it would me. We are very attached to our keys, it’s what we know, it is what we are brought up to believe we should have. The more keys the better.

I think tomorrow when my cousin and his wife get on the plane and head off to a new chapter in their life together, they will be pretty happy they left their keys here. I hope it works out for them, I wish them the very best. Maybe they found the key and it is to leave some keys behind.

Gus

 

another one leaves the nest

imagesCAVRVOAKThis blog had to come, my youngest daughter has been waiting for it for some time. She is leaving home in January you see, moving into her first apartment. My daughters make fun of my blogs, they call them sappy, and ya I guess a lot of them are. Soon as I have finished a blog I text both of them to let them know, they are my biggest fans I think. My youngest daughter has been asking “so when are you going to blog about me leaving home?”. To tell the truth, I think I have been avoiding the whole subject. One of those ‘if I don’t think about it, maybe it will go away’ things.

I am not sure who I am more worried about, my daughter or my wife and I. Yes, we still have my son at home for awhile yet, this is true, but still…

I remember moving my eldest daughter into her first downtown apartment. It was in a bad neighbourhood. No word of a lie we had to shoo a bum off the step of the apartment so we could move things in. I kept on asking her “are you sure you are going to be ok here?”. I drove home crying, wondering what kind of father leaves his daughter in a shithole like that, then called her as soon as I got home. She did fine there and moved onto a couple of other crappy apartment before settling down.

There are so many steps they need to take in life that keep me on the edge of my seat waiting to see what path they are going to take. Steps we have all taken. I want to yell at the top of my lungs some days, “No No that is the wrong way!! Turn back!!”, but I can’t. I realized sometime ago we can gently nudge our kids in the right direction, but they have to make their decisions, they have to live their own lives. I think the best we can do is to be there when they finally do say “I have made a mistake”, give them a hug and let them know it will be ok, give it another try.

Last weekend, I bit the bullet piled a few of my daughters things in my car and we drove into town to drop them off at her new apartment. It’s cute, cozy, looks relatively safe (though I will put enough locks on the door that it will take 10 minutes to get in!), clean, on a busy street, and I HATE IT!

I hate it because she can now come and go as she wants. I hate it because she can have her boyfriend over all night. I hate it because she can come home late at night and shower and cook and make all the noise she wants.

But mostly I hate it because my little girl is grown up now and doesn’t need her dad as much.

Good luck Kiddo, you will do fine, I know it but I sure will miss you.

Gus

Father of the Bride, Oy Vey

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Shaar Hashomayim Museum

My oldest daughter is getting married. How do I feel about this? Had someone asked me about this before the engagement party I would have said that I felt great, no big deal. I wish her all the best. But then came the engagement party and I was a wreck afterwards. It was really strange, it was one of those things you do not see coming until it is right in your face, WHAMO!

My daughter is getting married to a very nice Jewish gentleman, does this matter to me, no it does not, so why mention it? The truth is that I am learning just how ignorant I am about somethings. You see I am a half black (half afro-canadian?, help me out here), middle-aged man. I know as much about the Jewish religion as Inuits know about beach volleyball. This does not seem to be a problem when it comes to the husband to be. One of the first things he said to me was not to worry about it he was only Jew-ish. I know he did this to put me at ease and it did the job.

When I first met him I was luke warm, or tried to be. As any father with a daughter can tell you, you gotta make them sweat a bit. But he won me over pretty quick, he is just a nice kid. But more than that he makes my daughter happy, I could see it from day one, and I still see it every time I see them together. So I have grown to love him, he is now part of my family. I will admit, it has been a bit tough adjusting to my new in-laws. They seem to be wonderful people and we actually seem to have somethings in common, I am just so scared of pulling an Archie Bunker. Some faux pas in the middle of the wedding or other function (Jewish people seem to have a lot of functions). But I will also deal with this. Good people are good people, whatever religion or color or creed. You find things to laugh about together and pretty soon you are just people enjoying each others company.

So now we come right down to it don’t we, what is bother me about the whole thing? I think the engagement party was when it really hit me, my daughter has grown up, she is now a woman. I know I should have known this already, she has been on her own for quite a few years now, but it is not something that I thought about. It was like she was just sleeping over somewhere or something. If you have teenage kids you know what I am talking about. You hardly ever see them, they are in and out. My youngest daughter still lives at home but between school, work and her boyfriend I might run into her a couple of times a week.

I realized that my little girl is indeed going to be getting married, having kids (sooner than later I hope for my wife’s sake), buying a house, maybe moving away, who knows what can happen! Life can happen and is happening, and sometimes you just want your kids to stay your kids and stay home where you can keep them safe and watch over them. But everything changes and kids grow up.

I am more proud of her than I will ever be able to tell her with words, and more happy for her than she will ever understand. Well maybe one day when she has kids she will understand, but until then she will do fine, her mother raised her right.

 

Gus