Sunday, October 30, 2011


With only a few days left of being 26, my dad and I had a nice chat on the way to Mass.  It probably wasn't my first time hearing it, but hearing again that my Dad was 26 when he immigrated to the United States felt a whole lot different this time. 

That part of my dad's life always felt like a novel or something from a history book - there was never any personal empathy towards it.  This time, it made me shake my head.  Being the same age, it's completely unfathomable to me that I could just pick up my life right now and then move to another country (at the same time, with the way this country's going, we all might be immigrating to China at some point).  My dad also shook his head acknowledging that it's sort of unfathomable to him that I could be married, a home-owner, and a father at my age. 

With my own three week old daughter, I can't help but wonder what God has in store for her life and what decisions she will make when she grows up.  The decisions that my Dad made directly affected my life giving me opportunities and the way that I was able to make my own decisions.  Of course, then, my decisions will affect my children's opportunities and decisions.  I'm praying and hoping (not the secular definition of a blind flailing in uncertainty, but trust in God's Word) that the spiritual and family-oriented decisions I've made will pan out.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lyric of the Moment 8

"You don't get another chance, life is no Nintendo game /
But you lied again /
Now you get to watch her leave out the window /
Guess that's why they call it 'window pane'"

          ~ Eminem, Love the Way You Lie

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Crazy Talk

Sometimes, when I read something from the perspective of one of the Christian cults (or "New Religious Movements"), I can't help but react to the absurdity of it.  It's like, who would believe something like this?

Then I think about how there are plenty of people who feel the exact same way about Catholicism. 

So I guess instinct isn't always a great measure.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lyric of the Moment 7

"Some say the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice \
I say the darker the flesh then the deeper the roots \
. . .
Time to heal our women, be real to our women \
And if we don't we'll have a race of babies \
That will hate the ladies, that make the babies \
. . .
You know it's funny when it rains it pours \
They got money for wars, but can't feed the poor"

          ~ 2Pac, Keep Ya Head Up

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Well...birth happened.

I have a kid.  A beautiful daughter to be exact.

It's unbelievable, really.  In some ways, things don't feel all that different, but of course in every other way, my life will never be the same.

I expected to have overwhelming feelings of emotion and love, but honestly, things just felt very numb with a surge of emotional tears here and there.  Maybe that's just the way my psyche was trying to deal with it.  I went to Mass later that day after the birth and half expected the readings to absolutely floor me like God stepped forth from the tabernacle with a personal message (maybe this is always the case and I just miss it).  However, the readings felt like their normal, interesting if I really pay attention selves and not hand-delivered as if the Kingdom of God was business as usual - in its macro-ly awesome, but not always wish-granting-genie way. 

Then the whole sleep deprivation thing.  Going into this, one of the things I was most nervous about was the fragmented lack of sleep.  Though it's tough at times, I'm surprised at how much I don't feel like a zombie.  Maybe it's the adrenaline or maybe my body knows that this will be life for the foreseeable future and is just dealing with it.  It's only been five days so we'll see.

While we're talking about sleep, I've never spent the night at a hospital, let alone two nights.  It was quite a weird experience like a combination of luxury hotel and prison.  I could sort of come and go as I pleased per my wife, but she on the other hand, being hooked up to an IV, needed to be supervised even to go to the bathroom.  Walking around the hospital, there were all kinds of people around (great for a people watcher like myself).  While I was there experiencing one of the greatest days of my life, walking by the surgery unit, I could see people weeping over the death of a loved one.  How can one place be both a place of so much joy and simultaneously, so much sorrow?

But back to the more mundane, poopie diapers haven't felt that gross.  Sure, they're gross, I suppose, but changing them feels more like a mildly unpleasant act of love as opposed to say cleaning the vomit off the communal dorm bathroom floor after a weekend of partying (by other people) for my buddy Jesus.  It's funny, the thing that bugs me more is the inefficiency of wasting diapers.  I mean, do you wait a few minutes longer while your child sits in their own feces knowing that the motherlode is about to arrive?  Or do you change the diaper for hygiene's sake only to have to change it again a few minutes later when boom (goes the dynamite)!.  Of course, I do the latter, but gah....the inefficiency.

And on a final note, though life feels both normal and crazy at the same time, one thing I am enjoying beside my SUPER cute daughter is that life is so much simpler right now.  My days used to be filled with commitment after commitment with complex first world problems with either too many or too few options, but these days, I just lounge around waiting for the next need that I can meet for my wife or my daughter.  It's pretty dope.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lyric of the Moment 6

"Doubt starting to creep in, everyday it's just so gray and black \
Hope, I just need a ray of that \
'Cause no one see's my vision when I play it for 'em, they just say it's whack."

          - Eminem, I Need a Doctor

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lyric of the Moment 5

"She got that good, good \
she Michael Jackson Bad \
I'm attracted to her \
For her attractive ass \
And now we murderers \
Because we kill time \
I knock her lights out \
And she still shine"

          ~ Lil' Wayne, Bedrock

Saturday, October 1, 2011

On Fatherhood

I'm no expert on fatherhood, but I do know that more of it is sorely needed in this world today.  Whatever it is, its role in true masculinity has always been something I've been drawn to which might also explain my longtime enjoyment of Daddy blogs.  It probably also explains my excitement to be a first time dad.

I have no idea what kind of father I'll be, but off the top, I hope that I'll strike a good balance between discipline and extravagance.  I probably fall more to the disciplinarian side, but I definitely have an aversion to the Chinese style of always pushing your children to be better, to improve, and rarely, if ever, telling them you love them and are proud of them (oh, and hugging them too).  I definitely have some ideas about what was amazing about my own father, but also some where I felt like he came up short. The crazy thing is that no matter what, I'm gonna come up short as well, we all do, and that terrifies the heck out of me.  Because of my desire to be perfect.  So I can win the admiration of those around me. At the root, it's probably that of my parents.  There's some recursion for you.

At a recent doctor's appointment, the nurse practitioner greeted my wife in a way that really stuck with me.  She asked,

"Are you ready to fall in love?"

My wife and I have been busy preparing the nursery, reading up on birthing and baby theories, getting excited and freaked out at the same time wondering how our lives are going to change.  I totally hadn't considered this hormonal and emotional change that is imminent (probably days away).  Hm...that's right because I know that as soon as I see my baby girl, my heart is going to melt in a way that will blow my mind.  It's weird living my life knowing that "love at first sight" is going to happen at any time now.  Imagine being single with that kind of expectation.  Sheesh.

But what's even more crazy is that no matter what our baby looks like (wrinkled, God-forbid nine toes, conehead, etc), I don't think I'm even going to notice with all the love that will be surging through me.  My spiritual director used a better word - I will "delight" in her.  Unbelievably, that's the way that God sees me too.  Why I tend to be more fearful of a withering glance from Him is the struggle of my life, and it's hard to wrap my mind around how God can see past the sin.

I haven't really paid attention to which Person of the Trinity I tend to pray to, but, at my spiritual director's nudge, God, the Father, is all of a sudden, a lot more relatable.  He told me a light-hearted story of a fellow older Jesuit who joked how recently, he's prayed less to Jesus and more to God because frankly, Jesus, in his human nature, was just too young.  I haven't been as voracious of a reader as I thought I would be about childbirth and child-rearing and I think a big part of that is because of how many theories and ideas that are out there and an inherent distrust in the wisdom behind it.  Now it's like, oh yeah, I've been asking for wisdom my whole life, so Father and Wisdom, teach me.

St. Joseph is also my new homie having likely coached Mary through the birth of Jesus - the innkeeper's wife was probably not very helpful.  I'm not terribly excited about the helpless feeling I'll have of not being able to take away my wife's labor pangs and so I could definitely use some guidance in the redemptive quality of suffering and empathy.  Here's to hoping that my male empathy goes further than just feeling it too when some other dude gets hit in the nuts.