Author Archives: rich

Glass House

When Weston was young, his room had glass doors. He was so young that we didn’t think he would mind the lack of privacy. As he got older, he started to mind a little more. We later updated his room and got some new furniture. The only problem was that now his dresser was right by the window. We also never got around to getting new blinds for his window. So, he had glass doors, and the easiest place to change was right next to a window with no blinds. (I realize how bad this all looks now.)

Around this same time, Weston would often dream about being in the NBA. We were talking about how much fun it would be. I told him that Damian Lillard’s mom lived with him not too far from where we lived. I told him that his getting into the NBA was my retirement plan, and that Claire and I would come live with him when we were old. Weston got a mischievous grin on his face and described our room as having all glass walls and NO BLINDS. I told him that was fine. At that age, I think he’ll care more than I will.

Swimming

Harper: Papa, can we watch a movie?

Rich: Let’s go swimming.

Harper: OK, but swimming doesn’t mean just sitting in the hot tub, listening to Adele.

Rich: OK, let’s just watch something, then.

Carpet

Conrad was coming up with his own jokes. One of them involved a house and various people involved with the house. He told us about a gardener working in the garden, a cook in the kitchen, and…a carpenter installing carpet. I asked him why the carpenter was installing carpet. He said because that’s what they do. We then explained the difference between a carpenter and a carpeter. (I don’t remember the punchline to the joke.)

One Drop of Blood

When Conrad was about two, like a lot of kids, he always added voiceover as he was playing with his action figures. Unlike most kids, he would separate the story into chapters. I don’t know if he ever got beyond chapter one, but there was always a chapter one—and it was usually the same. In his most dramatic voice, he would say, “Chapter One: The Case of Batman Dies!” After that, the story would vary. One story line went as follows:

Chapter One: The Case of Batman Dies!

He had one drop of blood!

Then he fell, and the blood went back into his body.

Oh, the drama!

Disappointed

Conrad was having an exceptionally good basketball game and was nailing every shot. Literally every shot. I didn’t know the man sitting next to me, and he didn’t know I was Conrad’s dad. He noticed Conrad and muttered to himself, “Wow, that kid has a good arm.” By the end of the game, Conrad had made every shot except one free-throw.

At the end of the game, Conrad walked up to me and was excited to point out that he had made every shot. I congratulated him, but I did point out that he missed a free throw. (I always tell him that you don’t miss free throws or lay-ups.) The man sitting next to me, now realizing that I was Conrad’s dad, looked at me with wide eyes that seemed to say, “Wow, you are harsh.”

Merit Badge

The scouts are working on their architecture merit badge, and they asked me to give a presentation about Oma and Opa’s house. I think the presentation went well, but all of the ceremony before the presentation took me by surprise. I was never a scout, so I didn’t know any of the pledges or gang signs. I gave a peace sign for the first one, hang-loose for the second, and the heavy-metal horns for the third.

Drinking and Driving

I normally don’t drink soda. I just never really liked it. I also don’t drink alcohol.

Years ago, we were driving home after a family trip to the coast, and I suddenly felt really, really tired. In a rare move, I stopped at a tiny convenience store, in a tiny town, and bought a Coke. (I now realize that I should have just let Claire drive.) Apparently, the kids realized something unusual was happening because I heard Harper whisper to the others, “Papa’s drinking alcohol.”

Only Tile

We have a number of old Communist Russian Propaganda posters hanging in our house. People often see them and think they reflect our political views, but I just like the illustration style.

We had some tile work done by a father-and-son team from Russia. The father got really excited when he saw the posters and asked if he could take a photo. Russia and Trump were in the news a lot, so I asked what he thought about everything that was happening. He answered, “Clinton, Trump…to me, it makes no difference…I only do tile.”

 

The Opposite

We were playing a game of “Would You Rather,” and Weston came up with a real dilemma:

Would you rather be able to understand every language and not be able to speak them—or the opposite?

I think I would rather speak other languages and not know what I’m saying, but that’s me.

Happy Birthday

Weston: “What can I get you for your birthday?”

Claire: “Win the first game of the tournament, and that will be my present.”

Weston: “OK, and I’ll lose the second so you don’t have to stay for another game.”

(They won all three anyway.)