The Boss and I celebrated our 24th anniversary yesterday, so we left the kids with the grandparents while we went out to play. We have now been married for longer than we were alive before getting married and for twice as long as we’ve been parents. If The Boss continues to tolerate me and my myriad flaws, I’ll continue to count myself the luckiest man alive.
We ate a delicious lunch at Tenn Sixteen Food & Drink Co. in Nashville’s trendy, toney, hipster paradise and foodie mecca Five Points neighborhood. I enjoyed the Crawfish Carbonara and washed it down with a draft Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale and an Oatmeal Milk Stout, and The Boss loved her Creole Pasta. Best of all were the large portions. My leftovers were enough to feed me at least 3 more lunches, 2 for The Boss!
After lunch, we went to see the joyfully exuberant Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, and it was delightful. A bit cheesy and over the top at first, especially considering the high bar that the original set, but by the time the cast started in on its third number, I had surrendered to the ecstatic nostalgia that is Abba’s music and allowed myself to be carried away on soaring wings of sheer musical bliss. The Boss promises she’s not embarrassed to be married to a man who can be so easily reduced to a blubbering jellyfish in public. And yes, I brought my own facial tissues.
Yesterday was also the last day of summer break, so upon returning to Mom & Dad’s, we spent a couple of hours playing in the pool with the kids. Today was their first day back to school. The Girl is a 7th-grader, and The Boy is in 2nd now. I’m sharing a few pics of my amazing, beautiful, intelligent, and talented sweethearts here. And in solidarity with returning schoolkids everywhere, I’m sharing a poem I wrote many many years ago, when I was a student myself.
If ever a little brother adored a big sister…
…it’s that kid right there!
I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve them, but I’ll forever be grateful!
Just when it seems summer,
her humid humors, her scorching
dry spells, long days and lazy nights,
is prepared to precede autumn,
his mid-season moist mornings, latter-
months’ early sunsets blown on cool breezes,
to the Hall of Changing Seasons
to await another year,
This year you forgot, thought that
last summer month would mean welcome
cooler weather, respite from wet heat,
sweat-stained armpits, rolled-up windows,
artificial air conditioning every melting morning.
But August blunders slowly by under
bleached, pale blue skies. Summer heat
drags on, intensified by desiccated wisps
of rainless clouds stubbornly refusing
to offer even small hope of replenishing rain.
To beat the heat that has, in truth,
overstayed its welcome, you take to
leaving earlier in the morning
while silver moon and golden sun hang
opposed in the heavens, marshaling
night-black and morning-blue to battle for the sky.
You roll before the lumbering yellow buses
and notice children scattered at stops along
your route, on every other corner it seems,
some solitary, others in clusters of three or four,
dark dots on a line dying to be connected.
Then two on a green bench catch your eye,
boy and girl drawn close, knees touching and face
to face, cheeks painted with adolescent warmth,
the kind that makes the dry morning steamy
and drenches your parched heart with dreams again.
Via Fandango’s One-Word Challenge for 8/7/18, “Setting”
Via Ragtag Community’s Ragtag Daily Prompt #68, “Play”