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Archive for May 2012

Happy Birthday

Posted on: May 6, 2012

Today would be my dad’s 73rd birthday. As on all of his post-shuffle birthdays, I got with the girls to do something good for someone else. Unfortunately, this year I had left things a bit to chance and was about to have to just write a check to some soup kitchen or help Mrs. McDonough cross the street whether she wanted to or not, in order to keep my tradition alive. Fortunately, fate intervened.

The guy who mows our lawn is amazing. For the past three years he has held a job, gone to college and done yard work on weekends. He immigrated here from West Africa with his wife and two kids, and I swear to God he has not stopped working since the plane was wheels down. I adore him, even–and perhaps especially–because I can tell he is desperately uncomfortable speaking to me without my husband present. He is not at all sexist; he just feels improper. Which is fine, because there is little conversation and much work when he rolls up to our house.

So having said all that, I will now confess to having talked massive trash about the guy for the past three weeks because he has been AWOL.  And you do know what overgrown grass does to my property values, Veruca Darling. Once I had established he was physically fine but still not present, I was irked that my back yard was going to necessitate kiddie tick checks every 5 minutes. Blah blah bourgeois bullshit blah. You get my point. Him: absence. Me: bitchery.  Well, he finally comes today looking like twelve kinds of hell. So I ask about his family and find out he has “one more very new member.” I said, “so you are not get getting much sleep?” He smiled and kept apologizing for being late.  When I asked about college he said that he took time off to provide for his family, which I know equals jobs #4 and 5.

I immediately thought of another guy I knew who once had three little kids, multiple jobs, and tremendous pride precluding the acceptance of charity. And after I said happy birthday to him in my head, I decided we were going to do a good deed or three for Mr. Lawn guy to celebrate his life. Bambina helped me develop an idea that would be a good deed but would not be charity or even in the spirit of charity. I’m really proud of her suggestion and  the fact that she understood the importance of maintaining anothers pride and dignity.  Maybe I’ll tell you what we did at a later date. But the real point is that it was done. My father’s spirit lives on in my girls. A member of our human family had a little bit of a burden lessened. Everyone is richer for the experience. And before any of the 1% want to comment that perhaps a guy on the financial edge shouldn’t be having a third kid I just want to say this:

Every kid on this earth is and should be thought of as a blessing.

The man is not and never has been on welfare. So what the eff is it to you if he has a third?

And, most importantly, if that other man struggling to make a living in 1972 had heeded some do-gooder’s advice to forego a third, this world would be short 120 pounds of pure Scottish awesomeness. Not to mention 35,000 inappropriate jokes and 1.6 million utterances of the word Fuck. So I say “welcome” and happy birthday to any baby #3 you folks want to make.