Tuesday, September 30, 2008

365 # 84: Kenny G.

Your first name-last name initial combination is, shall we say, unfortunate. Lucky for you, you don't have long curly Sideshow Bob hair, and your musical tastes don't venture anywhere near light jazz. In fact, I think you know the lyrics to damn near every rap song written before 1992.

I think it was our third or fourth year working together at summer camp when you got the extremely unKenny-like idea that you wanted to brand yourself. Like a piece of cattle. You wanted searing hot iron applied to your flesh so as to leave behind a permanent mark, the mark in this case being the brand of the summer camp/ranch that had employed and come to mean so much to us over the years. And you wanted me, your friend, to man the irons, to be the guy to put brand to flesh.

Come on, Tee-ravis, you gonna do it?

It seemed like a joke at first, the kind of thing you could never possibly go through with. So I humored you.

Sure buddy, I'll brand you. Why the fuck not?

As the summer passed, it became clear that even if it had started as a lark, the idea had taken on a level of grave seriousness in your mind. It was some kind of test, a portal that you felt you needed to pass through. When I realized that it was no longer a joke, that perhaps it never had been, I did what any reasonable non-frat boy would do and stated emphatically that no, I would not place red hot metal against your skin, and that I didn't think anybody else should either. Brands are for cows, cows have much thicker skin than people, and I'm not even sure they enjoy it all that much. You really think a cow views getting branded like it's a fucking vision quest?

My failure to come through on my commitment pissed you off so much that you threatened to just do it yourself. You got as far as fetching the iron and a bag of charcoal from the quartermaster before you pussed out came to your senses. Thank you for not being a fucking idiot.

Monday, September 29, 2008

365 # 83: Jennifer S.M.

I remember the first time you took me over to your parents' house. They seemed like such nice people, I'm glad I didn't know I was about to become an accomplice to theft from their home. After introducing us, you called me into another room to "look at some of your old yearbook pictures." When I walked in, you were rooting around in the back of a closet, out of which you emerged, grinning ear to ear, bearing half-full liquor bottles. "Here's me in band" you said, loud enough for your folks to hear, as you quietly tucked the bottles into your bag. You were clearly pleased with yourself. "Oh, and look at this picture!" I got the feeling you had done this before.

We've known each other for fourteen years now, but somehow, that story kind of sums it all up.

Friday, September 26, 2008

365 # 82: Jason S.

You were a white kid from the suburbs who wore his hair in a skater cut across one side of his face and carried upon his shoulders the weight of all the guilt and sorrow for every wrong ever done to the Native Americans down through history. So passionate were you about this subject, so enraged were you by the sins of our ancestors, I swear your voice was sometimes close to cracking when you would describe one atrocity or another. It was like it had happened last week. You would reach the end of your story and then flip your hair out of your face so you could use both eyeballs to glare at your audience, daring any and everyone to, to...well I don't know what you were waiting for exactly. I'm not saying you should just get over it, but, well, just stop yelling, would ya? I didn't do anything.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

365 # 81: Inappropriate Randy

You perpetrated one of the earliest acts of extreme inappropriateness that I can remember. But really, you could hardly be blamed, for you, like me, were only a child at the time. Like the rest of us, you probably had only the vaguest awareness that the spaceship that had disintegrated that morning over the Atlantic Ocean had been carrying real-live people, all of whom were dead now. I can't remember if it was the same day or the next, but the teachers decided to show us a videotape of what had happened and then talk to us about it. We watched as the Space Shuttle Challenger launched into the sky, raced towards the heavens, and then exploded into a massive plume of smoke. The whole class was silent, but you had one word to say.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

365 # 80: Varick F.

You were interviewing me for a job, one which, I might add, did not require all that much in the way of mental math skills.

VARICK: So, what's twenty-five times twenty-five?

ME: Six-hundred twenty-five.

VARICK: Allright. What's twenty-six times twenty-six?

ME: (thinks for a few seconds) Six-hundred seventy-six.

Varick takes a moment to work it out on paper, eyeing me suspiciously the whole time.

VARICK: Nope, not quite. Okay, I'll send the next guy in to finish up the interview. Nice to meet you!

You left the paper upon which you had performed your calculations on the table in front of me. After you left, I pulled the paper over and checked your work. I had been right! I was going to be pissed if I didn't get a job because you sucked at math.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

365 # 79: Stephen K.

You were my age, the youngest son of the Scoutmaster of my Boy Scout troop. I was always jealous that you had such a cool dad, but I figured out over time that being your dad's son was no easy task. Expectations for you and your older brother were high.

I remember once on a campout, you let me borrow Cypress Hill's first tape. Wow, there's an image for you: two white boys in scout uniforms jamming to Cypress Hill. How gangster is that?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

365 # 78: Coach Shipman

The mustache. The sneer. The polyester pants wrapped tightly around the beergut. The Coors-fueled rage that often simmered beneath the surface, only to emerge on the sidelines in the midst of battle. You, sir, were the quintessential assistant football coach. Not to mention your math classes. Maybe it was just my high school, but it always struck me as odd that so many math classes were taught by coaches. Perhaps you were driven to it by the game, for with all the uncertainty that comes with sports, maybe you needed the absolute certain finality that only numbers could provide. A squared + B squared = C squared, goddammit.

Except I didn't play football, and I never sat in any of your classes. No, you and I came into contact when you landed the job of assistant soccer coach. It was immediately apparent that you knew very little about the game. But what you lacked in soccer knowledge, you made up for with your ability to make some motherfuckers run some laps. You also totally rocked at getting mad. We weren't the worst team in the district, but we were pretty far from the best, so we did endure a few ass-kickings. I remember near the end of one particularly bloody slaughter, you called a time-out so that you could scream at us. "I don't care if you have to punch somebody, just make something happen!" I'm pretty sure we failed you in that regard. Ah well, I'm sure you had a La-Z-Boy and a six pack to go home to.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

365 # 77: Kelly H.

We dated for a grand total of two weeks. The purpose of our relationship was for you to punish your ex-boyfriend, who you reunited with at the conclusion of the two weeks. I really surprised myself when you broke it off and I realized that I didn't care. I didn't know I was capable of such apathy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

365 # 76: Russell T.

You were the first kid I knew who lost a parent. It was, what, 5th? 6th grade? You were absent one day, and the teacher told us that your dad had died, and that you wouldn't be back for a while, and that we should keep you in our prayers. And since it was a Christian school, there were prayers throughout the day, and you and your mom were mentioned in every single one during the weeks that you were out.

Your first day back to school was a field trip day. Everybody was so happy to have you back, I remember the morning assembly felt almost a bit celebratory. I still remember your great big oversized jolly kid face, and how it would light up when you shouted "Party hardy!" I think that was like your catch phrase. I hope you've grown from a great big dorky jolly kid into a great big dorky jolly adult.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

365 # 75: Chris H.

I had this really vivid dream about you once that, in my mind, captures the very essence of who you were. In the dream, you were the drummer in Louis Armstrong's band. Except Louis was playing a guitar. Maybe it was B.B. King, except I know you were playing jazz, not blues. Maybe this dream wasn't so vivid after all. What I do remember was that you guys would play these extended free-form jams, and then between every song, Louis or B.B. or whoever the old black fellow was would nod his appreciation back to you, at which point the whole band would produce various pot smoking devices and light up in preparation for the next song. You kept a bong behind your drumset. I remember telling you about this dream the day after I had it, and you really dug it. "Fuck yeah dude, I could go for that."

I can't say exactly why that dream was so perfectly Chris, I just know that it was. You were, in fact, a fan of jazz, and you did play the drums, and you did have some level of familiarity with bongs, but I hate to suggest that this was the be-all end-all of your person. Perhaps some real life examples of your Chris-ness could elucidate the matter.

Outside of the dream realm, you and I made friends one summer working at camp. It was my 18th summer, your 20th. I remember my age because I had just graduated high school, and I remember your age because you were just one year shy of being able to buy us alcohol. Every week, you and I were in charge of taking all the kiddos who had signed up to learn about wilderness survival out into the middle of the woods so that they could build shelters and get all survivalist with it. We'd build a nice big fire, then sit around and tell ghost stories until it was time to send the kids off to sleep on the cold hard ground under their lean-to's . Hey kid, it's the wilderness, them's the breaks. You want your merit badge or not? Once the young'uns were all down, you and I and whichever other staff members had tagged along would sneak over to the dried up riverbed next to the campsite to smoke cigarettes and shoot the shit until the wee hours of the morning. I'm going to estimate that about 48% of our conversation centered around girls - I even still remember the name of the girl that you were madly in love with at the time. Kara this, Kara that. I eventually got to meet her, and had to concede that she was pretty hot. Your crush was well-founded.

Another 33% of our conversation was about music. We didn't have a lot in common on this one, save for classic rock. You were a jazz fiend, not to mention a Phish fan, a lover of all things improvisational, free-form, and complex, whereas I was at the height of my metal obsession. I think 18 is a good age to do that. In spite of these differences, you were cool enough to give me a ride to the Pantera concert, though I wasn't able to talk you into coming with me. You missed a hell of a show, man.

And the other 19%? I don't recall exactly, though they probably had to do with cigarettes, drugs, coworkers, kids, outdoor skills, Austin...oh yeah, Austin! You were already living in the city that was soon to become my home and attending the school that would become my alma mater. In fact, it was you who told me about cooperative living, and who first took me the co-op where I would eventually take up residence and meet my first wife. Weird that I can draw a connection between you two on a timeline.

Oh, and how could I forget New Orleans? One weekend, we ended up getting an actual 48 hours off instead of the usual 24 due to the fact that they decided to schedule all of the Mormon troops to come the same week. They apparently have some sort of Sunday travelling ban. So you and I and a few others hopped into a truck with a camper on the back and took off to New Orleans. Your folks lived there, so we had a free place to stay after we were done getting rip-roaring ridiculous. It felt odd driving back to Boy Scout camp after such a debauch of a weekend.

You ended up moving back to Louisiana not long after I moved to Austin, but I didn't take it too personally. I've tried to look you up a few times, but you have one of the most generic names possible. Of all the people I've lost track of, you're one of the ones I'd most like to see again.

Just A Reminder: You Live in the South

I don't know how I got on these people's mailing list, but they want to make sure that I don't forget my ever so proud heritage:

Which reminds me, I'll say one thing for Sarah Palin: she's at least reminded me and the rest of the country that rednecks are not confined to the South. They're freakin' everywhere, even Alaska.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

365 # 74: Amparo G.

Some calls it a poker face, I calls it writing teacher's face. And you had it. Based on my experiences in playwrighting classes over the years, I don't think I would enjoy teaching it. You, however, were equipped with a whole host of qualities that made you good at it, not the least of which included your patience, your ability to keep from rolling your eyes every other line of dialogue, and your way of finding something positive to say even in the most wretched piece of script that your students dragged into your classroom festering and rotting, week after week. And of course, there was all that knowledge you dropped about structure, story, character, conflict, etc. etc. blah blah blah. That was helpful too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Do Not Feel Sympathy For My Children

By all accounts, this has been what officials would term a "rough week." It all started a week from this past Friday with the beginning of my semester, which means I'm back on the working schlub/dad/husband/student schedule which, if you're not familiar, is a rather tight one. Sitting in class last Friday and Saturday, my brain felt as if its little brain-legs were mired in swamp water, making it impossible for them to run fast enough to keep up with the pace of the information zinging past. Consider me mentally gut-checked.

Monday, the boys attended their first day of actual day care, actual in this case referring to an entity outside of familial relations. See, when The Ash went back to work a few months ago, we placed the little fellows in the care of their grandparents. T'was an arrangement that seemed agreeable to all of us at the time, but alas, we finally reached the point where we had to concede that it simply wasn't working out for any of the parties involved. So we found a nice little place whose philosophies we agree with, whose facilities seem conducive to learning, and whose tuition will not require me to deliver pizza in the evenings or sell drugs on the weekends. As nice as the place seems to us, it must appear as the Gates of Hell through the eyes of my eldest son, for he has resisted going there with every ounce of resistant strength he could muster. Which of course makes our mornings that much more awesome. He's denied, he's debated, he's even attempted escape on foot.

Now I know, I know, it sucks to be two years old and tossed into daycare. But what I need to ask from you now, good people, is that you take all of that sympathy that you might be feeling for my children and direct it towards me. And maybe some for my wife too. For you see, my kids get plenty of sympathy and loving nourishment from the many people in their lives. And it's not as if they read the nice comments and emails that you leave on this blog. In fact, I'll let you in on a secret: I haven't even told them I have a blog. I'm still trying to figure out how I'll drop that bit of knowledge on their fuzzy little heads. So yeah, your sympathy would be much better spent on me than on the younguns. You understand.

Where was I? Oh right, the daycare defense mechanisms. Yeah, when denial, debate, and escape failed to achieve the desired effect, Henry went all Potter on me by summoning his toddler magic to make himself sick. "Sorry pops, I'm sick...can't go to daycare today. Too bad." I knew there were some my-kid-is-sick days to be had in my future, but I didn't think they'd come in the first week.

As it turned out, both boys were sick as little dogs, which meant they got to stay home Thursday and Friday. Devious move, little Holmes.

Oh yeah, and my Mom stayed in Houston to greet Ike. I asked her to come stay with us, but she opted to sandbag her house and put her furniture up on blocks. It's impossible to get old people to do anything. She's allright and her house is still standing. I guess maybe you can send some sympathy her way too.

Today, I went to one of my favorite coffee shops to bang out some homework, and I ended up doing all kinds of eavesdropping on the table next to me. In my defense, these two women were talking rather loud. I would've had to put on headphones to drown them out, but then I wouldn't have been able to listen to their conversation. They were both lamenting the difficulties that they've been having with their teenage sons. One of them is apparently mother to some kind of musical genius, and the other day he came home and announced that he's going to become a shaman. "Like a medicine man?" asked the other bewildered mother. There was little elaboration on how he intends to go about achieving this goal, but it sounded like a serious concern. I started to laugh, but then I remembered that teenage boys are in my future as well. How would I react to a shaman son? Would I too cry about it at the corner coffee shop? Hard to say at this point.

The boys are both feeling better, so tomorrow it's back to day care. But don't feel too bad for the little buggers. They're gonna be just fine.

365 # 73: Neil D.

I couldn't help but think of you while watching "In Bruges" a while back. You weren't technically a midget, but you were very much on the short side, and you wore your racism proudly on your shoulder throughout high school. Except you lived in a nice house in the suburbs, so where all this hate came from is a mystery to me. We all thought that the whole yay whitey thing was just a phase that would fade after high school once you got out into the "real world." Sadly, I think we may have been deluding ourselves. The last time I saw you was on a campout one summer during college. I could tell you were about to go off into your rants, so I just asked, "do you really hate people just because of the color of their skin?" You responded "uh, yeah" as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. That officially cemented you as one of the most awful people I've ever known. I hope we never meet again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

365 # 72: Emily R.

You and I were fellow mailroom monkeys, working together to keep the mail a'circulatin' at the law firm where we both worked during college. Your vision for your future included law school followed by a career fighting for the poor and down-trodden with the law and your wits as your only weapons. As idealistic as it sounded, I should have been totally stoked for you, but by that time, my vision of the legal profession was somewhat jaded, and I half-joked that you would graduate law school only to go on to slave away in a firm much like the one that currently employed us. And so you bet me - big time corporate law: I win vs. poor, down-trodden, and lots of pro bono: you win. As it turns out, you went on to help victims of domestic violence in the courtroom. I gladly concede defeat.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

365 # 71: Nykki D.

You probably had more bustling creative energy than anyone I've ever met. Every stitch of clothing that you wore to school was created by your own two hands, and every bit of it was cool and different. You were a walking testament to your talent. The theater teacher roped you into doing costumes for a few productions, but your main drive was to work in fashion. I hope that's what you're doing now. I also hope you're still radiating kindness the way you did back in high school. I remember at the official school sanctioned prom after-party, there was this terrible stand up comedian. Not a single person in the crowd was laughing except for you. You just felt bad for the poor guy.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

365 # 70: Kid I Threw A Block At

Tonight's installment of class reading included a brief mention of early memory recollection, specifically the significance of a client's earliest memories for use in some forms of therapy. Which got me to thinking, what are some of my earliest memories? Maybe it's because my boys started daycare this week, but the first event that popped into my mind occurred when I myself was a little boy in daycare. You and I were playing with blocks, though what exactly we were doing, I can't recall. Building a tower to the sky? Creating vast cityscapes? Actually, I think we were each just doing our own thing in close proximity to one another. Some sort of little boy conflict arose between us. I'm sure it seemed like it was of utmost importance at the time, but I can't recall it now. All I remember is that I picked up a rather large and oddly shaped block and threatened you with it. I remember my exact words were, "I'll throw this big block at you." God, what a little asshole! Apparently you didn't comply with whatever demand I was making because I followed through on that threat. The next bit is kind of hazy, as if I blocked out the actual moment of the throw, but I clearly remember the moment after, your face all tears and screaming, daycare workers running up to both of us, and then me crying and screaming. That was a really shitty thing for me to do. I hope I didn't leave any permanent bumps on your head. If it's any consolation, I went on to learn much more peaceful methods of problem solving.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

365 # 69: Mr. Kessler

2:32. That's what time school let out, the time at which your sixth period biology class adjourned each day, the time that the clock on your wall ever so slowly wound its way around to no matter how strongly I willed it to move faster. It's not that I didn't find the subject matter interesting, because I really did. Especially when we got to dissect shit. It's simply that teenagers are impatient and your class happened to fall at the end of the day. You had little patience for gum chewing or people sleeping in class, but you had a cheerful and mild-mannered way of dealing with offenses. Except in one particular case, you chose to be a bit more passive. I once awoke at my desk to find myself completely alone in your classroom, all the lights off, no idea how long I'd been out. I raced down the nearly empty hallway and ran outside, but it was all in vain: I'd missed my bus. Would that qualify as passive-aggressive on your part?

Monday, September 08, 2008

365 # 68: Joy

Cliche though it may sound, you usually seemed to live up to your name, at least during business hours when I was around you. One day I was in a godawfully grouchy mood. As I walked my storm cloud past your desk, you said "Buddha loves you, Travis." I grumbled a "whatever" or a "hush" or maybe I was even rude enough to say "shut up." But as I walked off, it did make me smile.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

365 # 67: Sean L.

I am so very filled with remorse that we missed your birthday party, for of course there was to be beer, and you are one of my favorite people to drink beer with. When I first met you back in college, I knew you only as "Anna's boyfriend from out of town." We bonded one night when we teamed up to pee on that motorcycle to express our distaste for its atrociously rude parking job. You don't just pee on a motorcycle together and walk away from it unchanged. This is how alliances are formed.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

365 # 66: Ismael G.

It was my first semester back to school, my very first class on the long arduous road leading towards my master's degree, and you were to be the instructor. I had the date of the first day of class burned into my brain. As the day came close, I happened to look at a class scheduled and realized *GASP* the date I had in mind wasn't right at all. In fact, I had missed the first two class sessions already! Way to kick off your graduate career, smart guy!

I went through a brief moment of panic, but then quickly moved on to acceptance as it dawned on me that there was really nothing I could do other than suck it up and take the hit. Either that or drop the class, which I've never been fond of doing. I suspected I had an assload of reading to catch up on, and thought that perhaps I could email you to see about getting a copy of the syllabus, and maybe sneak in a weak little apology for missing class. Except when I pulled up my email, there was one in my inbox from the director of my program informing everyone that the first weekend of your class had been cancelled due to the sudden death of your mother. My emotions went something like "YEAH!!--ooooohh......shit." It wasn't in any way my fault, but I felt awful that I had somehow benefited from your loss.

Class resumed a couple of weeks later, and you led us masterfully through the finer points of ethics as it relates to the helping professions. Thanks for a good class.

Friday, September 05, 2008

365 # 65: The Happy Chappy

My life as a camp counselor was such that Sunday was the only day in which one could sleep late. Thus, I never made it to any of your morning services. Plus, you know, church has never been my strong suit. But I did get to hear you tell ghost stories on a number of occasions, and you were an amazingly gifted yarn-spinner, which of course is a great skill for any preacher to have. You had the cheerful chubby red-cheeked face of a garden gnome, but by the light of a campfire, you took on a much darker persona. I remember we asked you to tell a tale for some of the kids one night, and you did such a great job that several of them were left in tears. It was like we asked for Scooby-Doo and you delivered "The Exorcist."

Thursday, September 04, 2008

And speaking of Rage...

Via the good people at Boing Boing, there's this little bit of drama from the protests at the Republican National Convention. In short:
"When the police shut down the PA on Rage Against the Machine at an anti-RNC concert, the band took to the turf with a megaphone and performed a capella, delivering inspiring commentary between songs."
Now Rage is, has been, and always will be one of my favorite bands of all time. But the fact of the matter is that they're a semi-broken-up band that hasn't put out an album in going on a decade. I'm not saying that they've nothing relevant to offer, but when a band is doing reunion shows, I think it's safe to say that the heyday is past.* And yet here you have this little side-story of censorship wherein whichever powers-that-be decided that this music was somehow too dangerous, too incendiary to allow it to take voice. Censorship is nothing new in our country, but it never ceases to amaze me. What is so fucking frightening about words, ideas, thoughts given expression, that they have to be shut down before they get out into the open? Any institution, be it a political party or a religion or an ideology or whatever, if it is so weak as to be damaged by an idea, then it needs to get damaged.

And yes, I know, there may well have been some violence at an RATM protest concert, but fuck it. We've had eight years of this Republican bullshit. I'm embarrassed we haven't had more riots.

*Which is not to say that I wouldn't totally go see them if they came to Austin. Hey guys, come to Austin! We'll fuck shit up! It'll be great!

365 # 64: Nick the French Exchange Student

NICK: You, eh, like zees band? Zees Rage Against the Machine?

HOLMES: Yeah man. You?

NICK: Oh yes, I like zees band very very much.

Or something like that. So it was that we became sort of like friends, and that my partner for my second dose of live RATM goodness was an aloof Frenchman who never stopped smoking. I remember running into you in the mosh pit, and all that relaxed cool had vanished. "Zees ees great!" Then you disappeared back into the roiling sea of humanity.

I hate to tell you this man, but you know that great big open field where we saw that show? Not so open anymore. It's now covered over with acres of shopping convenience. I keep thinking that the voices of all those concerts past will have some kind of Poltergeist affect on the place, but the power of consumerism must be keeping the voices at bay.

My apologies if I exaggerated your accent in the dialogue above. Your English was a billion times better than my French.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

365 # 63: James of the J's

You were one of the oldest of about seven or eight siblings, all of whom had names that started with "J." This naming scheme was presumably some sort of bizarre homage to Jesus. You know, of Christ fame? I seem to recall that everybody thought you were kind of a freak, myself included, but I guess being a member of an alliteratively named brood will do that to a person. But really, some of your weirdness was actually kind of cool in retrospect. Like that time that you showed up to the church Halloween party wearing a skirt. You spent the whole night having to explain to everybody that you were dressed like the guys from Erasure. Sure, they were hardly my favorite band, but nobody else our age had the balls to wear a skirt. You didn't seem to care what anybody thought, a quality that many people don't develop until much later in life, if ever. I also recall that joke you told to the youth minister, whose wife happened to be a cute little blonde:

JAMES: Why do blonde women, er, wives, have big bellybuttons?

YM: (looking nervously at his wife) Uh, why?

JAMES: Because they have blonde boyf, er, husbands!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

365 # 62: Ryan M.

Never have I met anyone who so relished his status as a fat guy with a tiny dick. These were two of your favorite things to point out about yourself, and somehow they never quite lost their humorous quality. Except you weren't particularly fat at all, which leads me to think that you may well have been packing an anaconda in those not-fat-guy pants. But it was a running joke, so run it did.

It was the first year of college for you and I and most everybody else that we ran with. But you had gotten a lot of your drinking and assorted other substance use out of the way in your younger years. Not that you didn't get hammered occasionally, but more often than not, you were the guy that came along to provide entertainment for we foolish freshman fucked-up types. Lucky for us, you were one entertaining fat guy.

As likable as you were, you managed to piss your friends off time and again by being the smartest fuck-up that any of us knew. We all knew you were carrying a brilliant mind up in that head of yours, but you couldn't quite seem to pull it out when it came to school. You must have finally fallen into your groove because last I heard you were headed off to grad school. Good for you, you fat fuck.

Monday, September 01, 2008

365 # 61: April B.

It's Labor Day, so what better person to remember than one of the fantastic women who helped my wife get through one of her own labors? The Ash and I were both struck by how young you seemed when we first met you, seeing as how you were the owner and head midwife of your own practice. Still, you inspired calm and confidence, and we really liked you and your staff, as well as the facilities, so we chose you for the birth of our second son. You had your own newborn baby with you at our first meeting. This might be considered unorthodox in some circles, but I thought it was cool, like we were getting a glimpse of your mom and midwife sides at once.

We arrived at the birth cottage on the morning of the birth day, labor several hours along. I remember feeling that sense, once again, of profound calm that you inspired. All would be well, all would happen exactly as intended, and all in its own time. For the next eight hours, you and your staff carried us through one of the gentlest and most beautiful birth experiences imaginable. Thank you.