Tuesday, October 27, 2009

what's in a name...

i have no idea why, but i've been thinking about names lately, and their meanings. every name has meaning - some denote nobility, while others pay homage to the Almighty, and still others reflect natural and supernatural characteristics. the name Charles is simply a statement of fact, as Charles means 'man'. the ever-matronly Gertrude means 'spear of strength' after Saint Gertrude the Great. that 'ol Gert, she's great! growing up i knew some folks with...unusual names - April May June, Anna Rucksick, Zack Zack. i delivered furniture once to a Eugene Nimrod - really? what's the meaning behind those names? furthermore, how would one live up, or down, as it were, to any of those names? how does anyone live up to their name? my father was Ray John III. i came within a flea's fart of being Ray John IV. since #3 buckled so completely under the standard set by his forebears, i am relieved to be named anything else. but i like my name. i was named after Brian Boru, high king of Ireland. Brian, or in my case Bryan, means 'noble'. N laughs at that and she should. i fall far short - rather ignoble really. (maybe that's my purpose: to find my (inner?) nobility? but shouldn't that be the case for each of us?) N's name is more spot-on - hers means 'Christmas Day', and is doubly appropriate due to her faithfulness, and her love for the holiday. K1's name means 'little, fiery', like the ball of energy he is, and K2's means whatever she wants it to. sometimes a name takes us down memory lane, or possibly elm street, depending on what a particular person has meant to us. i have never met a Dan that i haven't disliked. and Ashley, as far as i'm concerned, may as well just call herself stripper. and maybe that's what i've been chewing on here - regardless of what my name means, or who held it before, i am hopeful that Bryan does not become someone else's Dan or Ashley.

Monday, August 24, 2009

loud mouth soup

My 4 year-old ratted me out yesterday. While getting ready for church N and I had a conversation that escalated into an argument involving some loud talking and perhaps some emphatic door closing. (We yelled. We slammed a couple of doors. (I won.)) Anyhow, when we arrived at church K-2 promptly informed Gramma that we had a fight. We're yellers. I yell at the TV when the Yankees are killing or being killed. N yells at traffic, as do Thing 1 and Thing 2. I yell at myself when I whack my finger with a hammer (rare occurrence). K-1 yells at K-2 to stop singing, which she is always doing. "STOP SINGING BK - STOOOOOOP!!!" She never stops. She doesn't even hear him, which leads to, what?, more yelling. K-2 doesn't yell so much as shriek or squeal, depending on her mood, hairstyle, whether N has selected shorts or a skirt, she can't button her shorts or skirt, or whether she's hungry.
We're passionate people. There is no line of which we are not firmly planted on one side or the other. Choose a side. Take a stand. Stand up and be counted. The irony here is that we are intensely private people, and are loathe to ask for help (or permission), seek council, or just talk (unless we're giving a talk, in which case we open up like a cheap pinata).
The thing is, mostly, I'm ok with this. No one in this house goes along to get along, and as the kids get older I want them to be more like this; to follow their own intuition and not some other loud mouth with mommy (or daddy) issues, or a lecherous uncle, or no common sense. I'll admit we can do a better job of picking our battles, but I'm proud we put up a fight. And hopefully when K-1 and K-2 are in the lone and dreary world they'll know there is a line, and that they have to take a stand.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


so a funny thing happened on the way home today. i got in my car and hooked my ipod (christmas gift - awesome!) and if you know how these things work then you understand that you can play them through your car radio. the station that i play mine through has always been clear - nothing playing on it. nada. zip. zero .zilch. unitl today. my ipod didn't play. instead there was a song playing on this particular station, and instead of getting annoyed (my typical response) and looking for another station i just went with it. i listened to the song and as soon as it was over the station was clear again. i don't make much out of these things typically but as being a better person in general and a better father in particular has been on my mind lately it struck me as a sign. what i'll do with it remains to be seen but i saw it at least and i'm thinking about it. so here are the lyrics and after reading them you tell me what to make of this whole thing...

Be careful little eyes what you see
It's the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you're thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It's a slow fade when you give yourself away
It's a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

...message received