Funland

July 25th, 2011

resizedTwenty-two years ago this weekend, I left Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with two grand in my pocket, a hot bike lashed to my VW Rabbit, and a tiny bit of blow in my nose.

Back then, we mocked the families we served at Funland, checking out the young, hot, sunburned moms as we strapped their panicky toddlers into kiddie rides, and tearing down the straight-laced, khakied dads as we fleeced them for plush.

This week, I was that guy, navigating the boardwalk with a stroller and an armload of supplies. This week, I was in the backseat, nursing ...

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Baby Brain

May 31st, 2011

resizedI'm 38,000 feet over Albuquerque, New Mexico, when the newborn in 8B begins crying. I can hear it all -- including the woman behind me whining and sighing to her husband -- despite my noise canceling headphones.

A baby's shriek is a difficult sound, to be sure. Still, all I can think is, 'Lighten up lady; you were a baby once too.'

Shriek or not, the sight (and sound) of a baby is enough to tear at my heartstrings.

I left Maggie and Abbi at 7:06 am. I won't return until roughly the same time next Tuesday, June 7th -- Maggie's first ...

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Tuesday In The Park With Maggie

May 11th, 2011

resizedIt was a cinematic, spring afternoon.  

The sky was unwaveringly blue, shot through with bleached-lemon sunlight, all framed by the piercing, green canopy of a long-slumbering Central Park.  A cool breeze blew from the northwest, scattering pollen like snowflakes on a blanket of fresh grass.

In the middle of it all, my eleven-month-old daughter walked, twirled, stumbled, collapsed, sat and giggled. She studied each blade of grass, each fallen leaf like it was her first.

Because it was.

Abbi and I'd returned from our first, brief ...

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The Cruelty Of The Curbside Cab Line

April 27th, 2011

resizedFew things bring out New Yorkers' lesser selves than the Penn Station taxi line during an Easter downpour.

It's also one of just a few scenarios capable of adding insult the injury of a late train and an exhausted ten-month-old.

We were nearly three-hours behind on a one-hour trip by the time we stepped off Acela #2256 at 8pm Sunday night.

Maggie was strapped to my chest, her sweet, slightly-sweaty hair matted to her forehead just a few inches from my lips. She was well-past her bedtime, and shy one crucial afternoon nap, alternating ...

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Learning To Walk Again

April 22nd, 2011

resizedMaggie took her first, tentative steps last week, slowly, deliberately and clumsily wobbling across the bedroom from her startled mother to her amazed father.

She waved like a homecoming queen to steady herself, then collapsed on her bottom.

Abbi and I were flabbergasted. Maggie was nonplussed. Still, it was a colossal milestone for all of us.

Henry David Thoreau wrote, "I seek to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future... is precisely the present moment." The passage rocked my world when I read it in college. ...

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Bears Have Thick Fur

April 5th, 2011

resizedWhen I woke up, the sheets were peeled back, my wife was gone, and in her place a small, toy bear was blurting out to the blurry, inky night, "I'm a bear!"

Abbi burst into the room.

"It just turned itself on," she said in a whispered-frenzy. "And it won't turn off! Maggie's wide awake in her crib."

It was nearly four o'clock in the morning.

The bear was a Christmas present from the grandparents. It was slightly larger then my clinched fist. It's body was hard, red plastic with flashing numbers on it's distended midsection. It's ...

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My Sunshine

February 21st, 2011

resizedDifficult to tell for sure, but I think today's the day it clicked for Maggie.

"Oh, that sound I keep hearing from the speakers is Daddy."

Maggie's a handfull. I mean, she's actually quite fun: short on tears, long on giggles and squeals. But she's super-curious and uber-wobbly. Maggie's primary passtime is unloading her bookshelf one-by-one, then moving on to her toy basket. There are a thousand potential bumps and bruises in-between. So if she's awake, she needs a spotter.

I was designated spotter all day; Abs was at work. Mags ...

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Nothing Is Cool

February 10th, 2011

resized"Are you cool?"

The year is 1996, and -- while I've finally ditched my pleather pants, green lame shirt and blue fingernail polish -- I most definitely am not.

Nightengale Bar is sparsely-populated. My band, Benjamin Wagner Deluxe, is set up in front of a mirrored wall and killing time before our enviable set time (Monday at midnight). We mill between the pool table and bar, swilling free Bud Light (our sole compensation) and joking awkwardly.

Jeffs Leadweight and Roberts (names changed to protect the innocent) and I are an odd ...

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What We Talk About

January 17th, 2011

resizedMy buddy Rick recently hipped me to his blog, Past His Prime In NYC. Like me, Rick moved to Manhattan in his early twenties. And like me, Rick is married, and a dad. And like me, his blog often explores the discrepancy between what was and what is.

His most recent post, "You Won't Believe This Story," recalls his Barry Levinson-hued, "Diner"-like youth. "Those were great days," he writes, "full of laughter and excitement. Each of us hoping to live out and then share a truly classic tale. Any yarn that began with "You won’t believe ...

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Lessons Learned From Rocky I – Rocky III*

January 4th, 2011

resizedIt's clear to me now that my expectations were wildly outsized.

Abbi, Maggie and I had ten days at The Kellers' Brays Island home with all the trimmings: running, swimming, golf, fishing, big screen HD movies, and a fridge full of special-ordered Cisco Brewers Wales Tale Pale Ale.

Our Christmas Eve flight from LaGuardia to Charleston unspooled mostly-unceremoniously. When Maggie wasn't sleeping, she was gazing out the window awestruck. It was actually pretty cool.

And when we landed, The Kellers we're waiting, car seat at the ready. ...

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