Sleeping before the storm

Last night an electrical storm ripped through with such ball-slapping ferocity, I though I was back in Missouri, the victim of high plains-fueled maelstrom’s. The lighting was long and bright enough to read by and the thunder shook my overstuffed couch.

It passed quickly enough and the only damage seems to be a minor roof leak. Now, the family that stayed up late to watch the fireworks is back in bed for a late morning nap. Dog, wife, kid. They’re all down for the count. The nap happened spontaneously in the middle of my hurried packing.

Last night as the remanants of the storm blew out, I laid in bed with the wife and muttered, “I am ill-prepared for this trip.”

“Ill-prepared?” I thought she was about to chide me for my usage of ill. I use it a lot these days, usually to refer to by “ill-equipedness.” That wasn’t, however, what she had in mind.

“You’re not ill-prepared. You’re not prepared.”

I grunted in acquienscence.

“You haven’t done jack shit,” she finished. She’s not afraid to be crude when it is warranted.

She was right, though. Not even had I not packed for a ten-day jaunt to London, but I hadn’t even pulled out my luggage. It was one in the morning and I hadn’t even considered packing for long trip.

A buddy of mine is a bit of an expert traveler and claims t be able to pack in thirty minutes for a trip of this magnitude. This morning, I thought I’d try to out-do him. I didn’t quite make it, but I came damned close.

Now, with a bit of time to kill before getting on a plane for 12 hours, I find myself again musing about what I’m leaving behind.

Yesterday was L’il Otis’ first official haircut. I say “official” because there was an unfortunate misunderstanding while I was on another trip in which my mother-in-law thought it would be just fine if she trimmed the kid’s hair without asking us, taking pictures, saving a lock or two, or even vaguely considering it might be something we’d like to be in on.

Breathe, Otis.

Now, I’m not a sappy guy when it comes to artificial, manufactured moments, but I’ll admit that having a kid has made me a little more sensitive to the fleeting moments that pass in a kid and parent’s life. There are things you jut don’t get back, you know. Things change like Missouri weather. Being gone for ten days ensures that L’il Otis will be driving and picking up trashy girls by the time I get back.

So, we took him for his first “official” haircut. And it was nice. In the blink of an eye and the flick of the scissors from a young highlight-hair girlie, L’il Otis looked less like Johnny Damon and more like Joe Everyboy. Frankly, I like the Johnny Damon look, but there are social conventions to which I’m trying to acclimate myself.

I took a lot of pictures, but I’ll spare you the slideshow. I’m going to post these two because while I’m on the road it will be nice to pull up RER and see my kid’s eyes on the screen.


Getting ready: A wet-haired kid and his distraction device


This look will get me all the trashy girls I’d ever want

That’s the kind of thing that will keep me going through 50-degree rainy days in London.

When I get back he’ll be here. Maybe I’ll ask him to give me a ride to the liquor store or if I can take his trashy girlfriend to the movies.

I’ll take pictures of that, too.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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1 Response

  1. gosh darn it.

    I let the wifey read your post and now NOW she wants a kid as cute as yours.

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