Make sure that before you deliver a joke, you know the entire story and detail of the joke very well. One forgotten detail could turn you from humorist into the most controversial man in town. A preacher who failed to remember the other half of a joke he copied experienced such.
One such boldly approached the pulpit and, gathering the entire crowd’s attention, said, “The best years of my life were spent in the arms of a woman that wasn’t my wife!” The crowd was shocked! He followed up by saying, “And that woman was my mother!” – The crowd burst into laughter and delivered the rest of his talk, which went over quite well.
The next week, the pastor decided he’d give this humor thing a try, and use that joke in his sermon. As he surely approached the pulpit that sunny Sunday, he tried to rehearse the joke in his head. It suddenly seemed a bit foggy to him.
Getting to the microphone he said loudly, “The greatest years of my life were spent in the arms of another woman that was not my wife!” The congregation inhaled half the air in the room. After standing there for almost 10 seconds in the stunned silence, trying to recall the second half of the joke, the pastor finally blurted out, “…and I can’t remember who she was!”
To say that a lot has changed since Chelsey came along is a gross understatement. I can’t even believe myself how both me and my wife have been taking things very differently than we did 15 days ago. But nonetheless, I’m enjoying each and every new thing I encounter as a dad.
Just the other day, I was killing mosquitoes at will both inside and outside our home. I found myself suddenly become a dead-shot mosquito killer. Maybe that’s what the old folks would say “hindi padadapuan ang anak sa lamok.” Hopefully, I won’t encounter one that will escape my eye and my hand and inflict a deadly bite on my daughter.
And just very recently, Chelsey went back to her uncooperative mode by staying up again during wee hours in the morning. Clueless as I have been since day one, I find myself having enough energy to wake up in the unusual part of the wee hours of the morning just to assist Cess in getting Chelsey back to sleep. Cess is more sleepless than I am, and yet she enjoys every waking moment she has with our daughter. I can’t even begin to describe how she does it.
I’ve been frequently carrying my daughter in my arms this past week. I’ve finally overcome the nervous feeling of carrying something that’s both fragile and beautiful. And since Chelsey has been quiet every time I carry her, I guess she has no complains about how I handle her. I sometimes catch her draw a smile in her face everytime I’m holding her. Priceless.
As for Cess, she has really taken the role of mom, and has been performing it relatively well as a first-time mother. I’ve been calling her now “mommy,” as if it had just naturally occurred to me. And indeed she’s been handling her role very, very well.
Every night, as my daughter sleeps sweetly, I would lean close to her and pray for her–that God would give her good health, and that she would later on come to know the Lord as her Savior, and serve Him. That prayer has been the same since ninth months ago, when she was still a minute living being in my wife’s womb. That prayer will never change.
As of this writing, I am watching Cess lulling my baby to sleep. Somehow, her tune lulls me as well…
One player’s eye is fixed on the scoreboard one minute, and then drops it heavily on the next one, as the clock winds down. Three other players run across the court, pretending they’re about to do a play that’s worth the lead of the opponent, while the player bringing the ball inbound takes a deep breath, launches the ball with half his body tired, and half his mind despairing.
The bench looks just as much distraught as the five on the floor. Some are just emptying the last cup of Gatorade, as if that was the only thing worth coming to a losing game like that one. The others have their towels draped over their heads, either to dry the sweat or to cover their shame. And the coach is putting the cap of his marker back on, after drawing so many plays he hoped could salvage the team. In the end, he feels like he wasted one-fourth of the pen’s ink to yet another loss.
An on-court scene and a courtside scene all too familiar for the “other LA team.”
Before we get ahead of ourselves, imagine and consider with me the following: the Los Angeles Clippers were blessed last year of the chance to take the 1st pick of the first round. And true enough, they got the trump card with Blake Griffin. They were able to keep Baron Davis, DeAndre Jordan, and Chris Kaman, keeping the core of the Clippers team intact, as far as experience and gelling on the court is concerned. Eric Gordon added to the offensive fire power of the team. They had a pretty decent performance during pre-season games, and with Griffin in full condition, after missing most of his rookie season due to a kneecap injury, the Clippers were the promising team expected to rise this year.
They’re 1-13 in the win-loss standings so far.
The 13 straight losses obviously more than eclipses the opening night victory they had. Everybody was expecting this season to be the official coming-out party for Griffin, who missed the season on a major injury. But it seems the Clippers are once again stuck in that same ‘ole dusty, cellar spot in the standings, and if they don’t jumpstart something of a winning fashion, they’ll be doomed even before all-star break commences.
It’s as puzzling, the pile-up of defeats one by one, as is the seemingly solid core they brag about. But paper facts on what the team has, and whatever output is logged on the floor are two very different things to consider. Unfortunately, the Clippers cannot reconcile these two disparate sides of their performances every night, and so far, they’ve been on the losing end of things thirteen straight times.
An all too familiar scene, indeed.
Alam mo ba na pwede tayong mag-usap na puro tanong lang ang gagawin natin? Nasubukan mo na bang makipag-usap sa isang tao na patanong? At naranasan mo na bang sagutin ang tanong mo ng isa pang tanong? Hindi ba’t nakakatawang isipin na pwede nga yun?
Nakakatawa, hindi ba? Pwede pala na puro tanong lang tayo, no? Pero, hindi ba parang nakakainis? Na yung tanong mo eh sinagot din ng isa pang tanong? Pero alam mo bang may mas nakakainis sa isang taong sumasagot ng tanong ng isa pang tanong? Hindi ba’t mas nakakainis sa sarili kung sasagutin mo din ng tanong yung taong sumagot ng tanong sa unang tanong mo?
Hindi ka pa ba nalilito? O kaya naiinis? May magagawa ba ko kung totoo tong sinasabi ko? At may magagawa ka ba kung totoo tong mga sinasabi ko?
May magagawa ba ko kung ayaw mo maniwala sa akin? Eh, ano ba mapapala ko kung ayaw mo sa ‘kin maniwala? Wala, di ba? Kaya, kung pwede ba, tahimik ka na lang at makinig? Huwag ka na ring mangatwiran, pwede? Para hindi na magulo, di ba?
Pwede na ba ko tumigil sa katatanong?
I was supposed to do a twenty-day countdown from November 12 to December 2, the latest date the doctors predicted Chelsey would come out. Apparently, I spoke too soon.
19 days too soon.
Yesterday, Chelsey Grace turned a week old, pretty much an achievement for a baby who came out nineteen days ahead of her due date. The scenes of that Saturday afternoon a week ago is still very fresh in my head. In fact, I kind of memorized the story’s script already, thanks to the multiple number of times I’ve been asked by everybody about how it went. Luckily, I haven’t grown tired or sick retelling the happenings n times over and over.
And maybe I won’t.
People have been telling me how pretty my daughter is, both now and later when she’s all grown up.
I looked at the mirror and I figured out why. But what I saw was just one half of the equation.
The other half was inside the room with my daughter… my Princess, of course.
Truth is, I’ve been the one taking all the pictures. But Princess is the one taking more time with Chelsey. I’m out of the house almost the entire day, and the only few times I get to spend time with Chelsey are the moments when she’s either sleeping or feeding. My wife, on the other hand, has been in constant bonding with her baby girl day in and day out. She can stay up late in the wee hours of the morning, just to check my daughter’s diapers, sleeping position, and every minute details that half-asleep, half-unconscious dads miss.
In just seven days, Chelsey has already transformed our lives, both me and Cess, beyond what we ever imagined in the last nine months we waited for this bundle of joy to come.
And I’m pretty sure she’s bound top surprise us even more in the days, weeks, and months to come.
The San Antonio Spurs are off to their best start ever at 9 and 1, after defeating the Chicago Bulls, 103-94 last Wednesday.
And it had to be on the same night that the top scorer Tony Parker was divorced by his wife of three years, actress Eva Longoria.
The French point guard who notched 21 points and seven assists to lead San Antonio in stopping Chicago’s four-game winning streak, was calm and civil as he answered questions from the press just hours after the news broke that the Desperate Housewives actress had filed a divorce from the three-time NBA champion. Parker only accommodated three questions about the divorce, before finally finishing his presscon appearance for only a couple of minutes. A Spurs official threatened the press to cut off access from Parker if they ever attempt to ask him personal questions.
Derrick Rose was the game’s leading scorer with 33, but not even his heroics were enough to counter the one-two-three punch of Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili, who combined for 57 points, a little over half of the team’s total score. The other starter Richard Jefferson, was equally crucial with 12 points in securing the eighth straight win for the Spurs, who are now tied with the New Orleans Hornets at first spot in the Western Conference.
The Spurs are set to take on the Utah Jazz this week.
There are some things fathers would have wished their new born kids would know immediately after getting out of their mom’s wombs.
Like sleeping when it’s evening, and waking up when it’s morning.
Apparently, babies have yet to learn and adjust to the clock of the world they were born into. Such knowledge doesn’t come by talking to them as if they could make sense to your lectures on body clocks. And that means they’re nowhere near to understanding the implications of their defiance of the norms of when to sleep and when to wake up–sleepless nights for the parents.
It’s been five days now since Chelsey arrived, and I haven’t slept well enough in as much days. No, I wouldn’t call this complaining. I’d probably call this “diplomatic vent-out,” for lack of a better term. It’s more or less a bittersweet acceptance of the fact that along with the joys of having a baby, comes the necessary endurance for either shortened or shallow sleep. In fact, I consider my situation bearable–it’s my wife’s role, and the joyful performance of it, that simply amazes me. Someday, perhaps, I will go back to this blog entry to remind myself how wonderful my wife was, not only for the 9 months she carried my daughter, but for every day that she lovingly took care of me and my Chelsey.
Don’t get me wrong, though. The sleepless nights that I have been having for five days now, have yet to quash the joy and thrill of my new found role as dad. All the tiredness and exhaustion of the day just dissipates when I lay my eyes on my daughter sleeping sweetly. And in the morning, when she would open her eyes, I put her in my arms, and hum to her some gospel hymn. This is the only time in the day that I get to hug her and enjoy her presence in my arms. A few more minutes of that, I’m off to the day’s challenges, armed with prayer, God’s word, and the expectation that at the end of the day, I’ll get to see her again.
And for that, sleepless nights don’t matter at all.
I’m fond of imagining the future. That’s probably because I’m also fond of looking back to the past. And the past is best served in indelible images.
Someday, when I’m all worn out, wearied and weak as an old man, I’ll get the chance to look back to this one particular moment–the birth of Chelsey–and reminisce how God has been gracious and kind to me for lending me the heritage of life.
As always the detail checker, I profiled my daughter’s features already, and I found out that Chelsey got my eyes, ears, and nose. As for the part that Cess shared, Chelsey got her mom’s lips and hairy features. Since the parents are both fairskinned, Chelsey’s skin has that pinkish glow.
As a new dad, I’m slowly learning the tricks, and in some ways the travails, of fatherhood (the work of the mom is a given, and for that I appreciate my Princess for gladly embracing and performing her new found role as a nursing mother). A lot of dads in the church gave me a heads-up about becoming part of the “sleepless nights club,” and my baptism of fire came exactly on the first night that we were out of the hospital and staying at our house. I would wake up every 20 minutes, mostly because of Chelsey’s baby cries, but at other times just to watch my precious child sleep peacefully. It’s been three days now since I became an official father, and I haven’t had a decent sleep in as much days. Fret not, my friends. I can live with that.
I still get paranoid at times–when Chelsey cries and I don’t have a single clue why, or whenever I would hold her in my arms, or just about every time I’m near her. I often find myself calling Cess to see if I’m doing things right. My wife will always dismiss my paranoia with a kiss to cheek, and the ever-assuring statement “Yes ga, tama yan!”
I’m right now blogging at the bus, going to Subic for a staff outing and meeting. Cess was supposed to be in this trip, had she not given birth 17 days ahead. But 34 days from now, the church will be having its family camp, and by then Cess and Chelsey will be fit enough to join the camp.
By then, I’ll have more indelible images to keep, share, and treasure for the rest of my life.