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The Hawk's Nest

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The Hawk's Nest

Too much, or how much?

I know that contradicting one’s stepdaughter means walking out on some very wobbly ground. Nonetheless, I find myself wondering if my stepdaughter Ana isn’t operating with a double standard.

You see, while chatting with her on Facebook, I asked for some input on a topic for my column, as I seemed to be stuck. She suggested I write about the perpetual adolescence of men. Seems her husband Noah and a couple of his buddies were having a Nerf war in the living room after dinner.  Noah held his new daughter, Alice, so no one would shoot him. That left two to do battle with each other. I know those guys, and they refrained from going after the new dad out of respect for the baby, not respect for Noah. No doubt, fear of Ana and their own wives played into the scheme also.

I did point out that I think using a human shield is against the Geneva Convention, but otherwise, I couldn’t find any fault in what was going on. In fact, to admit there is such a syndrome of “male perpetual adolescence” would be treasonous.  

Let me give you an example: if little Alice grabbed a toy and bounced it off her mom it would be cute. But if a Nerf ball, from Noah’s gun, happened to bounce off Alice’s mother, Noah would be considered a perpetual adolescent, and not so cute. 

If Alice fell asleep while holding onto a bottle, she would be adorable and pictures would be posted on the Internet. If Noah came home exhausted, after a hard day’s work, and fell asleep in his chair holding a beer bottle, chances are, he would be (tisk, tisk) a perpetual adolescent, and pictures would be posted on the Internet.

To keep peace in the family, that’s probably enough about that. I decided to look to my usual inspiration and wandered outside to wonder. There is all that mud; the snow piles left looking like the dirty toe of a receding glacier. There are blossoms and sprouts taking us from winter into spring. 

I think about the time we spent with the kids last week and how much fun that was. My heart blossoms when I look at pictures of Alice and her family. 

Another source of inspiration is my brother.  After a serious bicycle accident, he is doing very well. As a boy he had a degenerative bone disease that put him on crutches for several months and at ten he was diagnosed with diabetes. Now, due to years of diligent healthy living, he is one of the strongest, healthiest sixty -year- old men in Los Angeles. He is also a terrific piano player. I could write reams about him but he is rather shy about it all.

Alice Lindy, my new granddaughter, could easily inspire several thousands of words from my computer. However, everyone but her grandma, her parents, and me would be bored to tears. I don’t really understand why everyone else’s grandkid stories are rather ordinary while mine are so charming. 

I could write about mud. The other day I came upon a car sitting a little sideways on the road. The driver was stuck. As I walked over to him, I thought to myself, “There is just too much mud this year.” Silently, I was praising my driving skills for keeping me from being in the same shape as this poor chap when really, I’ve just been lucky.

Then I have a granddad thought, but you have to promise not to tell Alice’s mom. I was standing next to our soft rutted spring road and contemplating the time when I’ll be able to show that curious little girl the wonders of soupy, sloppy, gooey mud. I’m sure it will be all right, because both her parents love to have fun and playing in the mud is, after all, playing - just having fun, right? Maybe we will even get stuck in the mud.

I guess stuck isn’t so bad, and maybe I shouldn’t talk about “too much” but “how much.” Saying it that way sounds abundant. I feel how much love our family shares. My brother experiences amazingly good health. It isn’t possible to get too much or even enough of Alice. Experiencing all the joyfulness around us, I feel this is a pretty good way to be stuck. 

And, I think I can almost hear one of Noah’s buddy’s saying (with camera ready) “Hey guy, you look real tired. Why don’t you sit down there and I’ll set a beer on that table beside you. Maybe you can even catch some Z’s. Don’t worry about a thing; I’ll just be here cleaning my Nerf gun.” 

I hope they video it so I can watch. And I saw a Nerf sword that I just may buy for their next visit.

What’s wrong with perpetual adolescence anyway?

That’s Alice, of course, in the photo. The picture really doesn’t have anything to do with this column, but isn’t she cute? 

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Author info

Ernie Hawks Ernie Hawks is a former theater director who has branched into the creative fields of writing and photography. He lives in a cabin in Athol with his lovely wife Linda, and feeds the birds in his spare time.

Tagged as:

Family, childishness, Alice, adolescence, inspiration

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