Men of the world, you can rest again…The Bachelor is getting married. Seven minutes to 4:00am two days into daylight savings in a Hippy Tree Trapper Jacket and a handknit beanie, haven’t shaved in two, no, maybe three days and I’m pretty sure the kitchen counter is there somewhere under the dirty dishes waiting for the clean ones to be used up out of the dishwasher. I missed Hockey Night in Canada (my team lost anyways…that was Saturday), it didn’t snow last night for the first time I can remember in weeks (rained instead) and I woke up next to my son thinking I was in my own bed. Please, tell me The Bachelor picked one of those girls and we don’t have to go through this again.
I honestly don’t know if the final episode was two hours or three hours, or who he picked for that matter, but I know I didn’t shower last night when I was sitting on my son’s bed while he ate Cheerios and milk at the Lego table…the final peace offerring before bedtime. That was sometime after 9:30pm. He is six. I can rationalize the late night amid daylight savings, pizza lunch with the principal (that’s a good thing) and The Bachelor chaos, especially in light of the fact his near 2 year old sister stayed up watching TV with her mother. “(S)he will grow up all wrong”, I think in my best ‘Kundun’ Tibetan accent…and after a few harsh words (from the six year old), a short wrestle back to the kids room and enough of a timeout for Dad to cave on the bowl of cereal and milk before bed I say to my son, “you know who loves you no matter what?” He looks up, spoon in mouth, does the double point in my general direction and replies, “I guess I really was hungry”, tipping the empty bowl into view.
Rewind to dinner…”Maybe your sister will marry him.” “No, she won’t;” I reply to my wife before the idea has any time to sink in at the dinner table. Day one of my three with the little girl in question and a three and a half hour ‘play date’ with the unmentionable smart a–, er, smart mouth little buddy I unwittingly picked up with my son after school was wrapping up with McCain Mini Pizza’s and ice cream. (Meanwhile, I reached over and sampled the pile of nuked frozen peas and carrots still on my son’s plate and this time they really did taste funny??) My wife says something about India and match-makers after I not so subtlely mention to my son, “you know who gets to pick who marries your sister?”, as he mimics my fist in palm gesture, that is until the moral debate my baby girl is oblivious to is crushed by mom’s clock check and pronouncement that, “It’s seven minutes until The Bachelor” and we’re all watching…I don’t think so. I offer my son a ‘Megamind’ game search on the big screen computer if he showers and gets into his PJ’s first and he is off down the hall.
My son started showering last week BTW. You women watching The Bachelor may not see the significance in this, but showering is the first sign. A shower at the gym after swim lessons on Sunday is one thing but trading the floating Hot Wheels island and Color Changers cars for a shower at home is the first step to manhood. This I can handle…but my little baby girl, my girl, daddy’s girl, aka, “you are my little girl”…to which she replies, “No, a doggie.”thank god…oh lord. If you think I am even going to begin to explain, even as the father of one who grew up with 6 sisters in my extended family, think again. The Bachelor is getting married and all I know is that is one less man in the world I need to worry about…thanks to his new fiance.
I look up at the clock, 4:44am, and wonder if Fish is awake over there in the corner…and what my life might have been like, what kind of man I might have become, had my father sat with me at bedtime and told me the story of Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar’…March 15, “beware the ides of March”…how Brutus betrayed his friend and king and fell upon his own sword in shame while Casius taught us all that we can, “be in charge of our own bodies and not listen to those other guys,” (in six year old talk). Not that I am not a good man, but could our silent fathers have spared this generation a few lessons learned along the way? What kind of men would we be if our fathers had stayed home half the time telling us stories instead of punching keypads in offices or pounding nails creating generation-i? What kind of men can our sons be if we give them knowledge and choices instead of iPads and Angry Birds Seasons?
Meanwhile….an ocean away thousands of people have no homes, no food, no schools, no grocery stores, no TV’s or computers and while the ground beneath their feet has literally floated away burning without the time or luxury to contemplate the pure nuclear potential for complete disaster and how twisted the irony is that the destruction our grandfathers dropped on them has in turn become an unfathomable disaster in the wake of Mother Nature the power of all powersources on Tweetdeck, millions of people tuned in to see if The Bachelor is man enough to choose the woman with a child. My wife said ‘no man wants that…’, but I think she’s wrong. I think a good man wants to make the world a better place for the people he loves…and for their sake, for everyone else. “Every father has a dream for his family”.
Aside; “Why is that man there?”, my son asked walking into the mall visiting downtown Vancouver once upon a time, and I stopped with him under the glassy canopy of shops and food-courts and said simply, “because he’s hungry”…and before you think of the mental problems and the drugs and the clean needle centre that closed in the old wing of St. Paul’s below the maternity ward (where both my children were born BTW) and all the other reasons, stop, just stop. I pulled the Science World snacks out of my pack and said to my little boy, “Do you think he would like a bar or a juice box?” “Maybe a bar.” He said…