Thursday, February 28, 2008

Today Is My Son's First Birthday

Before he was born, I wondered how I could love another child as much as I loved my daughter, who was three at the time. I worried because I knew I would not be able to give him every ounce of attention as I had been to my daughter the last several years. She is all girl, but definitely a Daddy's Girl as well. There was also something different about having a son that I didn't fear when I had my daughter. I feared he would be like me. I wasn't the strongest kid on the playground or the smartest kid in the classroom, was shy and timid at times, and my feelings got hurt easily. Of course, I feel I have overcome these hang-ups (and then some) as an adult, but I can't quite shake the concern that one day he's going to find out how much he may be like me, and hate me for it.

I will say that raising two children is not twice as hard as raising one, but exponentially more difficult. The feeding, changing, bathing wasn't new and as welcomed as when we just had our daughter to care for. Even after my son was born, I felt like he didn't much care for me at first. I can't remember exactly when that changed, but I can remember a couple of months ago setting a ball cap on his head that I was wearing, and playing Peekaboo with him. He pulled the brim of the cap down over his eyes and pushed them back up and just giggled. He got such a kick out of that. He looked so much like me in that ball cap that I just wanted to say "That's my boy!"

I'm proud of both my children, of course. My daughter is in Pre-K now and is writing her ABCs and talking to me about what she did at school each day. I'm especially proud of my son, though, because he's my son. I've come to the realization that I will always love him no matter how much or how little he turns out to be like me, or how much he wishes he weren't like me. He is a Hampton, and from a long line of hard-headed, hard-working, soft-hearted men.

Happy Birthday, my son. I love you.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Under the Couch

A Barbie shoe, eleven cents for the offering,
half a Nilla wafer and three bobby pins.
A giant cockroach, belly up
to preaching the evils of Black Jack.
Two squares of Cap'n Crunch,
a subscription card to Good Housekeeping, "Uh-huh!"

A gingerbread man from Candyland,
balled-up foil wrappers of Hershey Kisses.
A broken crayon, Hot Magenta,
a tube of Chapstick I'd been missing.
Beer bottle caps, a toe nail clipping,
and the dust-bunny choir sang a soft, "Amen."

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I'd Like to Blow the Top off Their Mountain

For those who, like me, are advocates against Mountaintop Removal, I wanted to share the following cartoon from the New Yorker. From what I have viewed of Hamilton's work (I admit I have a subscription), this is typical of his cartoons, portraying the smugness and complacency of the white-collar, upper class social elite. I'm not sure if this particular cartoon is making fun of the heartlessness and flippancy of the Big Coal grandfather, or comparing those who are against Mountaintop Removal to little granddaughters with trifling and childish requests, little kids that don't understand how the grown-up world works. Either way, It's not a laughing matter.
(from The New Yorker, Nov. 19, 2007, p78)