So today, Monday January 24, 2011, started just like any other workday. The alarm rifled us out of our peaceful slumber at 5:20 AM and shot us out into the world, sawed off style this morning. The temperature outside was a mind numbing, let alone bone chilling, 5 degrees Farenheit and our apartment, usually hot enough to roast a medium sized bird, was alarmingly chilly. I figured it was just that cold. Until I tried to wash my face. No hot water. That also meant, no heat. Great. I texted my super, who thankfully was on it like a bat out of hell, and before it was time for my 6:30 shower, we were up and running again. All that to spite the effort I put in to heating two large spaghetti pots filled with water, which on occasion I have had to use to bathe on cold winter mornings when our eighty year old apartment building's boilers failed us.
So, what to wear on such a day? Well, lately the Mrs. and I have been keeping the car out front and making the mile and a quarter walk to work each morning, while on colder days, we drop off the kids at their day care, and then walk a block and a half to the R Train for the three stop train ride. So I figured warm was the best way to go. I started off with, guess what? Underwear. But not mere mortal underwear, undersilk long underwear. Picked up at Century 21 last winter, these incredibly light garments keep you so warm when its cold out, yet their so light that when you're in an overheated building all day like I am, they don't make you sweat. Just great, and at $10 a piece, i highly recommend them. On top of those I threw my Billy Reid Levi's 501 jeans with a nice thick two inch rolled cuff accessorized with an old Abercrombie & Fitch brown belt I got from the bastardized mall store in Roosevelt Field when I was in college. Just beneath the cuff, were my newly polished Red Wing Indy Boots. The glow coming off of these from the $8 polish they got at the Dry Cleaner/Shoe Repair on 78th and 3rd are a sight to behold!
Throwing my top half together, planning for the mile plus trek, I decided I should grab my vintage Abercrombie & Fitch (before the malls of America grabbed them and bastardized them) plaid grey/blue flannel top, a herringbone JCrew vest, a vintage ($2.50 I think at Salvation Army) Austin Reed wool tie, and my Ercole's bespoke Harris Tweed sport coat.
Over that I wrapped my neck in a Merino Wool Blue Fair Isle Drakes of London wool scarf, leather Polo Ralph Lauren Brown Gloves, and my thrifted Harris Tweed Double Breasted Brown Overcoat. topping it all off, was my new go to cold weather head gear, my Made in Winnipeg (those folks know what winter is really about) rabbit fur hat.
But all that, was for naught, thankfully, as one of our colleagues who also has her daughter in day care with our two angels, was just about ready to leave when I rounded the corner to head up to the train. "Hop in guys!" she cheerfully exclaimed to my wife and I as the clock ticked 7:15. Awesome, a ride to work!
The work day came and went, and as it was my first since last Wednesday, when I left work early feeling dizzy from the congestion in my sinuses (yup, you guessed it, another infection). Thursday I spent the day in bed, and Friday, i spent the day with my daughter, who was next in line after my wife to catch the wicked cold that infected said sinuses. On our way out, another friendly colleague saw us standing, ready to bear the brunt of the now 20 degree cold, and asked, "You wanna ride?" Hot damn, the day can't get much better! But when my wife picked up our kids from day care, she was concerned with my daughter's "swollen" eyes. So, we thought we'd take her to the doctor, and I'd skip my workout at the gym. I was pretty tired, as I'm still being antibiotic-ed, and it was my first full day at work in almost a week, so i wasn't too upset. When I saw my little girl, I wasn't concerned much at all with the swelling, as it simply looked like allergies, and rather than rush her down to a different doctor, we would wait until her pediatrician was back in his office tomorrow. So, I would hit the gym after all. Back, shoulders and a little bit of bi were the added prescription for me. I lifting things up and put them down many times while listening to the glorious new Decemberists album, The King Is Dead, yet another item I highly recommend.
So I got home, had a great dinner, prepared by the Mrs., of spaghetti with peas and grilled pork chops stuffed with plenty of garlic, and sat down to enjoy the Ranger game. This blog, was the last thing on my mind. My daughter, my wife, and I were simply hanging out after dinner as my boy fell asleep while watching cartoons about an hour earlier. All of a sudden, blood curdling screams were coming from the bedroom. My boy was pissed, and he wasn't having it! He sat in my wife's arms (where he usually is when he's not roaming the apartment looking to slam things into out TV) for a good 20 minutes, and the screams became more piercing, and the tears flowed like money into a Congressman's off shore bank account. We decided to try and let him cry it out, cry himself to sleep. Not having it. After about 15 minutes, I went in, knowing that we'd have to go and put my daughter to sleep soon anyway, and I picked him up, and I held him. I whispered in his ear lots of things that I'll never forget and he'll never remember. I professed my love, and gave him all of my heart, the little guy was really upset. But slowly, he stopped crying. His deep, I just got finished crying breaths, became fewer and farther between, until it was just me and him sitting there, staring nto each other's eyes. My wife had already put my daughter in bed, and while my son and I were having our moment, she was being obsessive compulsive like me, lining up all of her sleep buddies and counting them. One, two, three four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. And then all over again, and again, and again. I swear, I DO NOT DO THIS WITH MY SPORT COATS, SHOES AND TROUSERS, really I don't. I only do it weekly, to assess where the gaps are, and what I "need" next. She was waiting for him to go to sleep. She needed to be with her brother. And I was hoping he wouldn't, so we could keep looking at each other, and I could keep feeling my eyes soothe him. Thats what I really needed. Then it hit me.
HOLY SHIT. I am one lucky mother fucker. I have a wife, who takes care of me and is the best mom I could have asked for for my kids. I have a daughter who shares the same annoying characteristics (they're not flaws) as her old man. And I have a son, who I can sooth with a whisper and a glare and who can teach me what it means to live life. We have food on our table, a roof over our heads, and while we may bitch and moan about allergies, we are all, thankfully, generally healthy people. And we have LOVE. I know that soon enough, I'll succumb to the things I want, and I'll "need" another bespoke sport coat, or tweed suit, or overcoat, or pair of shell cordovan boots, and I'll really believe I need it. But just in that moment, in the night light of the hallway in their bedroom, in the glare of my son's eyes and in the compulsion of my daughters mind, I knew I've already EVERYTHING I'll ever need.
I'll never forget tonight, though I'm sure I'll forget that I now know I have everything I need. So in case I do, I know its right here, in print, on the internet. I know I am a lucky man. Now if only I could remember that.