The Hess Report

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

I had a superior Father's Day on Sunday. Maybe the best Father's Day ever.

The summary, for those not inclined to stories of domestic happiness: kid-made cinnamon toast, three kinds of cereal, sock-horse, restored stuffed animal, semi-free money, purchasing computer equipment, sandwiches, cookies, relaxation after an easy kids' bed time.

The long version: Maddie woke us up at 7 AM, which is sleeping in to me, and said the requisite HFD stuff. Then she ran out to the kitchen, and there was much rattling and crinkling. I asked Joy if she knew what was going on, which she didn't. Several minutes later, Maddie comes back with a cup and a plate that holds a single slice of cinnamon toast. She had used one of the bar stools to get butter from the fridge and a cup from the upper cupboards. She'd toasted the bread, applied both butter and cinnamon-sugar in something approaching the correct proportions. And she'd filled the cup with tap water.

"I know you like cold water from the faucet," she said. I wouldn't say that I prefer it to good filtered or bottled water, but I do drink enough of it to give that impression.

So that was a cool way to start. Lots of little presents followed, some artwork from the kids that will make its way into the growing portfolios for them to gawk at twenty years from now. My parents saved a decent amount of my creative paperwork from my tiny days and recently bestowed the lot on me. It's fun to look at. I can actually remember making some of the stuff. Hopefully it'll be fun for the Hess girls when they're older, too.

Anyway, we lazed around, and I denied all further offerings of hand-prepared breakfast food. I don't usually eat breakfast (Bill Cosby would be sooo disappointed), and I love breafast cereal. So I had three different kinds of cereal for my Father's Day breakfast. No need for omlets when S'mores cereal is close at hand.

Church is now on the summer schedule, which means no Christian education classes (which we still call Sunday School) and service starts at 10:30. This is the absolute perfect time. It should be like this all year round, just like Daylight Savings Time. So we finally get dressed and van our way to church. A lot of people go to the 9 AM outdoor service, so it wasn't a full house today. Incidentally, I was responsible for the childrens' "sermon", which included treats like me juggling stuffed animals and asking the kids if they thought that Jesus could juggle. (Could he? The Talmud mentions several Rabbi's who juggled, so I say, Why not? It should would have pleased the kids, and they really seemed to have liked him.)

So way make our way home and grab and growl for lunch. Then it's a couple more FD presents. Present!Joy sort of went crazy this year, but in a nice, unstated way. (Disclosure: I can't remember if we did the rest of the presents before church or after. Time itself can feel free to sue me.) Cool and very thoughtful presents included: an old tin I've had since college, lost to some storage closet and full of change - found change collected, counted, turned into nice paper cash in an envelope; a sock-monkey-style stick horse, hand made by domestic!Joy and Maddie so that "you can be the King when we play stick horses" (said by Maddie, not Joy you perverts); and best of all, my favorite stuffed animal from when I was a kid, Moony the monkey, whose bell-filled ears had rusted through and whose seams had split and whose ratty filling was pouring from the three inch gash in his throat that made him look like he had double-crossed a West Philly crime boss. She dug him up and had restuffed and restitched him. I think that seeing Mooney all in one piece again added at least two years to my life span.

So, a pretty good Father's Day? It's not over yet. I had some money to spend, and a couple of things that I needed, so it was over to Best Buy. I bought some DVD-R's for my new DVD burner and a USB hub, because I'm sick of crawling behind the computer every time I want to stitch between digital camera and MP3 player. I bought some nice t-shirts at Kohl's, but that's girly stuff, so we can all just pretend that it happened on some day other than Father's Day.

We grabbed Subway on the way home. We ate our sandwiches while Joy pondered her baking options. You see, she had been planning all week to make me this awesome chocolate-orange torte that we had seen in an oh-so-fine cuisine magazine while on vacation several weeks ago. It was a ton of work, though, as in several hours over a couple of days, and life had intervened, so I said that she should scrap it. In case you have never tried it, chocolate and orange is an exceptional combination. And in case you've ever seen Joy when she won't be able to do something that she had planned and prepared for... well, it isn't pretty. Disappointed, cooking!Joy had to come up with something, so she invented a new recipe for big (5" diameter) chocolate-orange cookies with chocolate chunks, topped with what I think was candied grated orange peel. They were fincredible. Unbelievably good. They were easily the best cookies I've ever eaten. Wow.

So, to make the rest of the day short, the kids played on the Slip'N'Slide until bedtime, which went easily. The only thing that could have made the day better would have been to drink a good home-brew beer, or a little bit of whiskey, or even a glass of wine, but alas! According to the MD's, my stomach is still healing from being violently ill several months ago, and alcohol isn't the best thing for it right now. So I settled for a sip of boozer!Joy's wine and called it a day. As I said, superb.

The summary again: kid-made cinnamon toast, three kinds of cereal, sock-horse, restored stuffed animal, semi-free money, purchasing computer equipment, sandwiches, cookies, relaxation after an easy kids' bed time. Perfect.

Now, one could argue that the inclusion of motorcycles or something to do with The Matrix or seeing the apartment buildings down the street from us swallowed by an extremely localized earthquake would have made the day better, but that kind of goes without saying.

Sorry for all of the sweetness, but it's going to hard to write a pissed off Hess Report entry for at least a couple of days, when the happiness from my great Father's Day has a chance to wear off. But I promise that as soon as it does, I'll write something funny.