My Wife Is So Awesome
"Well, I should let you get to work."
"First I have to decide what to write about."
"You really don't know?"
"I have no idea."
"You should write about me and how awesome I am."
"OK. Um, do you think that would have broad appeal?"
"Of course! What kind of a question is that?"
"A stupid one, I guess."
Consider This My Victory Dance
"Your grandma gave us those bowls?"
"Yeah. I remember because she didn't usually like to buy new things to give as gifts."
"Huh. Yeah, they don't seem like her style. It's a good thing I have you around, otherwise I'd never remember anything. The only thing I can remember your grandma giving us is that blue pitcher/vase thing from Pinecroft."
"What are you talking about? You mean the one that says 'Sandam' on it?"
"No that one is gray. You know, the blue pitcher. It has a handle, and it's from Pinecroft."
"We don't have a blue pitcher from Pinecroft."
"Yes, we do. I know we do."
"I think you're remembering a bunch of other things and putting it all together in your head."
"No, I have a really specific memory of this pitcher."
"We have a blue pitcher that we got for our wedding, but it's not from Pinecroft. And we have the 'Sandam' vase that my grandma got us, and that's from Pinecroft, but it's not blue."
"Let me look for it. Is it down here? No..."
"Is this the one you're talking about?"
"No, I know that's the one we got for our wedding. No, it's like the 'Sandam' one, but blue. And with a handle. Where is it?"
"You're remembering wrong again."
"No, it's here somewhere. Aha! This one!"
"See? It's blue and it has a handle."
"And it's from Pinecroft."
"And your grandma gave it to us."
"'Oh, Mike never remembers anything. You're just remembering a bunch of other things and making it up in your head.' Ha ha! I feel like I could do a little dance."
"OK, fine, sometimes you're right."
I didn't actually do a dance, mind you. This is way more obnoxious.
I love you, honey!
Sunday Concert in the Park
"You didn't bring your camera? I'm shocked! Why not?"
"Well, I didn't want to be obnoxious."
"Then why are you taking so many pictures?"
"Because you gave me a camera."
The band kicks off an uptempo, swinging number. Juliette and I admire a couple of Lindy Hoppers from our picnic blanket.
"Up, up!" demands Jason. I scoop him up, both of us laughing, and we bop along to the rhythm. I get a twinkle in my eye, and toss him in the air; he shrieks with joy. Here's someone I can do all of those cool swing lifts and tosses with, where my wimpy arms fail me with someone my own age. Jason loves it.
The song ends. Jason claps. "Yay!"
"What do you think about me singing in a swing band for my next hobby?"
"I think you should do it! Ha!"
"I don't know, I think maybe you should stick with this photography thing a little longer."
Stopped at a light on the way home, waiting to turn onto the on-ramp:
"The thing I don't get about these photographers I follow is that they all seem to be married, and yet they never seem to be home, and certainly never around dinnerti... Whoa. Now that would make a good picture."
"It's definitely a picture. Wow."
Ahead of us is a steel blue Cadillac convertible with fuzzy dice hanging from the mirror. The driver and passenger have leaned toward each other for a passionate kiss, their sun-kissed blond hair fluttering as a slight breeze picks up. The sun is just about to duck behind the hill behind us, the last golden light of the day making the two of them glow.
Pulling onto the freeway, the sunlight smacks Jason in the face. He yelps and claps his hands over his eyes. A few seconds pass before he lifts his hand slightly, peeking out from underneath. The sun is still there, still bright; back goes the hand. But he keeps peeking, his features taking on an expression that almost dares the sun to still be there. The sun gives up and hides behind a hill.
"What's your name?"
"What's my name?"
"What's Daddy's name?"
"Do you know your last name?"
"Can you say 'Sakasegawa'?"
"Good! Jason Sakasegawa!"
"Jason Sakagawa! Jason Sakagawa!"
"Your middle name is Michael. Can you say your whole name? Jason Michael Sakasegawa."
"Jason Michael Daddy!"
Me: Come on, Jay! Time to put your shoes on.
Jason: No! (laughs, runs into the kitchen and starts spinning in circles)
Me: Come on, it's better to have shoes on if you're going to spin. (Jason's sock-clad foot slips on the tile.) See? Shoes on.
Cooper: (sees the shoes in my hand and runs into the kitchen, jumping in circles)
Juliette: (laughing) It's like the orcas from yesterday. I bet if Jason worked at SeaWorld he could get the orcas to spin after he did that.
Jason: Orcas, orcas! (stops spinning) See Shamu?
Me: Oh, brother...
Jason: See Shamu? That way! (points)
Me: Not right now, buddy. But you can see your friends at school. After you put your shoes on.
Jason: Yeah! (runs to the garage door)
Shortly thereafter Jason had his shoes on and we were in the car. The garbage truck drove by and picked up our can just as we were leaving.
Jason: What that?
Me: That was the garbage truck.
Jason: See garbage truck again?
Me: OK, let's follow it.
Jason: Garbage truck! Garbage truck, garbage truck, garbage truck! (We pass the truck as it stops at a neighbor's house.) All done, garbage truck!
Me: Yeah, all done. Bye bye, garbage truck.
Jason: Bye bye! (pause) See Shamu? That way!
Next Stop, Vaudeville
Yesterday morning, Jason and I were sitting at the table, as usual, eating our breakfast. I was just finishing my English muffin, pondering the improbability of the silence of the last several minutes, when Jason came up with a request.
Me: Yeah, buddy?
Me: You want water?
Jason: (points) Doggy water!
Me: That's right, the dog has water. Do you want water, too?
Me: OK, I'll get you some water, but you have to say please, first.
Jason: Please. First.
One of my favorite parts of fatherhood is hearing Jason laugh. Fortunately for me, he laughs a lot. He laughs in the bath, he laughs in the car, he laughs at the dinner table. It's not all laughs, of course, he talks and whines and yells and cries, too. But the great thing is that no matter how worked up he might get, he's never too far from laughing again.
Interestingly, Jason seems to have started developing a real sense of humor lately as well. He learned the word "funny" a week or two ago and since then whenever he finds something amusing he not only laughs but also announces loudly that it's funny. More than that, he also understands "not funny." And when you stop and think about it, it's kind of amazing that a person so young and inexperienced with the world can grasp such a slippery concept. Or maybe it's not. After all, most people can discern whether or not something is funny, even if we can't explain why.
As much as I'm fascinated by Jason's continued development, there is one small down side. An example from a car ride this past weekend is illustrative:
Jason: (laughs) Mommy funny!
Juliette: (laughs) Is Mommy funny?
Me: Is Daddy funny?
Story of my life...
This is the conversation Jason and I had just now, coming back from lunch:
[This continues for another 4 minutes or so.]
J: "Hot dog."
Nana and Aba
Jason stayed with Juliette's parents this past weekend while we were in Las Vegas for her birthday. They were kind enough to drive the 400 miles from Big Sur to San Diego so that Jason could be home, for which I can't thank them enough. I've been really glad that they've been able to be present in his life so much, and that he's gotten to know and love them so well. This time, as always, Jason had a great time, which if I hadn't already known would have been evident from the conversation I had with him tonight.
Jason: (pointing toward the kitchen) Aba?
Me: Oh, Aba? No, sweetie, Nana and Aba aren't here right now.
Jason: (pointing to the front window) Aba?
Me: Nana and Aba went home, honey. They went to their home in Big Sur. Do you remember Big Sur?
Me: That's right, they went home.
Me: Yep, they went home in a car. In their car. Do you remember Nana and Aba's car?
Jason: (runs to the window and points) Ga. Mo ga. Ga!
Me: Their car isn't here anymore, Jason. They drove it away when they went home.
Jason: Dada, Nana. Aba.
Me: I know you want to see them, Jason, but they went to their home. You know, their home? Mommy and Daddy and Jason and Cooper live in this home, our home, and Nana and Aba live in their home in Big Sur. Different people live in different homes. Elliott and Margo live at their home, and Caleb lives at his home, and Allie lives at her home. They all have their own homes, just like us. Do you understand?
Me: Yeah, I didn't think so.
A Typical Conversation
This is the conversation Jason and I had Monday evening on the drive home from day care:
Me: Did you have a good day, buddy?
Me: Yes you did.
Jason: (pause) Dada.
Me: What's up?
Me: I'm right here, buddy.
Me: That's right, I'm Dada.
Me: Mommy's at home.
Me: Do you know where we're going, Jason?
Jason: (pause) Um.
Me: That's right, we're going home.
Me: Yeah, Mommy's at home. Where's Mommy?
Jason: (pause) Wuck.
Me: No, she's not at work, Mommy's at home.
Me: Right, home.
Me: No, home.
Jason: Dada. Mommy mommy mommy. Dada. Dock.
Me: The dog's right here.
Me: Right, we're in the car.
Me: I don't have any water. Maybe when we get home.
Jason: Dada! Dada Dada Dada. Mommy. Um. Wawa. Dock.
Me: OK, buddy.
Jason: Yay! (claps as the song on the radio ends)