Sunday, December 16, 2007

It's a Wonderful Life

There is a strong, vocal minority of people who disdain the movie that shares its title with this post. Disdain it with every fiber of their being. Believe it or not, two of my favorite people of all time, my wife and my father, are among them. Please don't judge them, they know not what they do.

In watching that Christmas classic this and every year I can't help but reminisce to my childhood. I recall how excited my mother and I would get that it was on, only to be thwarted by the Grinch in the LazyBoy who would rant about how George Bailey was a "miserable f*ck who complained all the time. What the hell does that have to do with Christmas?"

Ah, holiday memories to be cherished for a lifetime. My father was a crazy person, God rest his nutty soul.

The point of that movie, Megan, is that sometimes you don't realize how much you have until it's gone. The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence. And whatever other cliche' you wish to apply.

But my daughter does realize what she has, and she's very happy with it. She thinks the grass is just fine, even though the dog pees in it. She carpe's every diem of her life, and I love that about her. I'm going to drop another cliche' on you now: You learn something new every day. Well, my daughter does in fact learn something new every day, and she's damn proud of herself.

Penelope just figured out how to clap her hands, and now she does it all of the time. Even when she's sad. There's nothing more comical and at the same time heartbreaking than a crying baby sitting there applauding her own misery. She learned because we taught her, because at her most recent doctor's visit this week they asked if she could clap her hands, and my wife lied and said "yes." So we worked all week to make it the truth. "I knew she could do it, she just hadn't done it yet" was my wife's justification.

Now everything she does is followed by applause. From her. From us. Then from her again. Everything that happens is followed by appluase. The dog walks into the room, and Penelope claps. I come out of the bathroom, and Penelope claps. It's about time that someone recognizes me for my efforts on the toilet.

But every clap of the hands comes with a smile. And you can't help but smile yourself. We're a threesome of clapping fools. Wouldn't you like to be that proud of your accomplishments? To achieve something for the first time, and not second guess how you got there, or how you could have done it better? A wonderful life indeed.

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