She has taken to spraying the minions with Mrs. Narrator's perfume. I got a whiff of it downstairs and called her on it.
Daddy: "Izzy, stop spraying perfume."
Izzy: "I didn't spray any."
Daddy: ":I could smell it downstairs because you sprayed so much of it. Holy gods it stinks up here."
Izzy: "That's because I farted."
Daddy: "You fart perfume? Stop spraying it and stop lying about it."
Izzy: "I have the hiccups."
Daddy: "That's because you lied to me. Baby Jesus is punishing you now."
Izzy: "My hiccups are making me fart more."
Daddy: "You are an exceptionally weird little girl."
Izzy: "What does exceptionally mean?"
Daddy: "It means you might be the weirdest kid I ever knew."
Izzy: "I'm not weird, I'm odd and different."
See that picture over there? That's me in New York about a million and three quarter years ago. I used to be that guy. I was single for the most part and carefree and young and wild and everything that a budding rock god should be. I smoked, snorted, screwed or drank anything that was in front of me more than a couple of minutes and I loved every minute of it.
I can honestly say I didn't give a shit about anything but me and where my next dose of pleasure was coming from...regardless of what it was or who I had to bowl over to get it. I was a selfish bastard...I was a Rock and Roll star. I don't know if I was particularly good at it but I felt like I was. I felt like I was the cat's ass and the best bass player you've ever seen. Self confidence can get you a whole pile of stuff in the music game. And it did.
We toured a pile and had no small amount of success. (Alas, very little of it financial) There were always the freebies. When you're on the top of your game, everybody wants to be your friend and they will pay for the privilege of doing so. Booze, drugs, women, farm animals, tutu wearing auto parts salesmen from Boise, whatever your particular bent was, people would bend over backwards to get it for you if they thought it would get them even an inch closer to your inner circle.
But there were the downsides of it all too. I guess I wasn't a calloused as I let on I was. I ruined a handful of relationships and felt crappy about all of them and I wrote several letters to hotels and motels and people we stayed with, apologizing for my downright rockstarness. Maybe that was the soil into which the seeds of this week's column were sown.
What is the point of all this? Yes Sid, what is the point to all this?
So there I was, sitting in the pissing down rain, watching Isobel play soccer, thinking how right it all felt. To be sitting there getting soaked watching her getting soaked and waving at me every time she caught my eye. I thought how good it was to see my kid enjoy something so much. And I also thought about how far away I was from that guy in the picture. (I couldn't fit into those pants again at gun point.)
I don't know why I didn't get into it as much when The Boy played soccer but I didn't. Maybe it was because I was new to the whole parenting thing and I didn't have much of an emotional investment in any of them at that point. What the hell did I know or care about somebody playing soccer. I don't recall my parents coming to see me play hockey as a kid so I guess I maintained a healthy emotional distance from all of The Boy's activities. I think if he were doing something now, things would be different. It's a little difficult to cheer at wins on a computer game.
But I sat there in the rain and I cheered and hollered and willed her to do the right thing along with a bunch of other sopping parents who were doing the very same and I was loving it...getting into it. It was a nail biter of a game. I remember watching Rangers vs Invercali and not getting this excited.
I promised her another treat if she scored another goal but alas there were no trips to the concession stand for her. Her team lost a hard fought battle one-nil and so we packed up and headed for home but not before getting a jumbo freezie from one of the mothers and a photo form from her coach.
I told her how proud I was of her, even though she didn't score and her team lost. I tucked her in and kissed her forehead and went back downstairs to surf the Internet. I reveled in the warm glow of a pretty cool father daughter kind of bonding moment and smiled to myself.
I was reading an interesting article on NSA whistle blowers who use asparagus root to ward off cancer in lab rats (or something to that effect)when it finally hit me like a kick in the stones from a size four suede slipper.
That guy in the leather trousers with the smarmy look died that day. Out there in the rain, huddled on a ratty folding chair with an umbrella bent against the wind, he turned into this guy.
Maybe all that cool got washed away somewhere on that field, watching the weirdest girl in the world chase a ball across a muddy field.
"Aww fuck." I said quietly to myself. "I'm a soccer mom."
All that is missing now is a bad sub-urban haircut and pleated jeans...OK, pleated jeans anyway.
I was dropping her off at school and we both noticed somebody had spray painted something on the electrical shed for the school.
"Daddy," she said. "Somebody painted something on that building."
"I just noticed that." I agreed.
"What does it say?"
"It says Question Authority." I said.
I'm all for lashing out at 'The Man' but I'm thinking the power shed of the local primary school might be shouting on deaf ears just a tad.
"Who would do that?' she asked.
"Probably stupid teenagers." I answered.
"I'm never going to do stupid things like that, I hate teenagers."
"Well Pick," I began. "You don't have much choice about being a teenager and you probably will do stupid things. Most teenagers do."
"I won't, I'll be too busy vomiting to do stupid things."
"Wait, what?" I asked.
"I'll be busy vomiting. I vomit you know."
"And you think you'll be vomiting through your teenage years?" I asked
"Most of them. " she said matter of factly.
"I guess I don't have to worry about boys kissing you, then?"
"Eww, nobody wants to kiss vomit breath. Not even boys."