Saturday, July 02, 2011

Paul's Birthday is the Fourth of July.

It's odd to realize that I've spent well over half of my life living with this guy. We met way back in 1980, in college at UC Davis. He was funny, he was witty and he made me laugh. He still does, fortunately, even when I want to whack him upside the head for annoying me about one thing or another.
I used this picture as reference for our wedding invite (a painting I did, which I have no pics of now, unfortunately). Riley says I look completely different now, but Dad still looks like Dad. I'm not sure I want to examine that comment too closely. He's always been pretty hairy, though maybe not so much when he was a baby:
Paul is on the left in the fashionable plastic pants.
Heh. Moms always have the best blackmail material. ;) So when I got together with him, he came with a whole big family who took me in as one of their own. Lucky for me, they're really cool people and I'm very fortunate to have them as part of my family for all these years.
I love the Kwinn Clan.
Where was I? He's really a homebody; he doesn't much care about travel just for the sake of travel; his idea of a vacation is to travel to where friends and family are and hang out with them. He could care less about all the other stuff; he wants to play games and gossip and play music with all of his buddies.
Puzzlebox in concert with Callie on flute.
He's made a lot of good friends all over the place, so it seems to mostly work out. Paul got more and more into playing music and keeps making more friends that way, and I did too. We've ended up going to music get-togethers, music conventions and whatnot over a lot of years and playing with the most amazing people. They've become dear friends, family really, that mostly live far away so we don't get to see them nearly often enough.
Allison makes the 'squinch' face.
And trips to Toronto or Winnipeg or Seattle or Germany or the East Coast or the Midwest aren't so easy these days. Not that they ever were, but you know, between having kids and the economy and all, it doesn't happen so much now. Thank goodness for the internet for staying connected.
Singing with Kathleen.
On stage: Maya, Taunya, Himself and Jeff.
At a Rock Jam at Consonance.
My own perspective on this guy is probably skewed by the fact that I've lived with him for all these years; he drives me crazy with some of his habits, like being messy, not putting anything away but piling things on every flat surface in precarious mile-high stacks of boxes and documents, magazines and mail, carrying around his stuff in crinkly plastic bags (what's up with that?). We have both been irresponsible with money in the past, and that has caused problems at times. Growing up financially took longer than it should have, perhaps, but it's getting better.
He always knows the rules to any game better than anyone else present. He used to sit for extended periods reading rule books for various games, so he became the resident rules encyclopedia amongst all of our friends. Not so much time for that anymore, though he has made his living making games of various sorts in all the years since college. And the Rules Master is carrying on his habits now with our next generation as well.
Consulting the Monster Manual during D&D.
Yeah, see, we did eventually manage to get around to having kids. Twins, even. Boys. Paul told me before they were born that he really hoped that someday they would want to play games with him. I think that one's come true pretty clearly; Riley has gifted his dad this time around with a Magic Deck of Riley's own devising. I've been listening to hours of secret discussion on this wonder deck and how to balance the kinds of cards in it to so it will become invincible. I just listen and nod a lot because frankly most of it is over my head. It's a bit scary to watch how much of the strategy and rules of all of the various games the boys have picked up.
It's the mindset, the gestalt, they they pick up on, and their sharp little minds quickly interpret and extract the essentials despite our various faults as parents and fallible people. God knows we have plenty of faults.

It makes me wonder what other traits and abilities they're picking up as well. Music, that one seems to be getting passed along pretty clearly. Sarcasm and a quick wit as well. Messiness is getting tempered with having to clean up after themselves, at least while they're in my house. Paul is a good dad, my boys are very lucky that way.
The other less tangible things that I hope get passed along from Paul are hard to be sure of yet, though. I wish for them these traits from him: Big, generous hearts, kind souls. Being good people, good men. Not being afraid to show true affection.

Courage to stand up for themselves and their friends and family, even against what's popular or commonly accepted. Morals that support and enhance the world and make it a better place rather than restricting and constricting it. Freedom and the determination to follow their bliss rather than being held back by what society tells them they should do or value.
Happy Birthday, Paul. Thanks for asking to me to ride along on your messy, musical roller coaster life. Plenty more thrills and fun to come!
 Love, me.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday, Paul!!

    /hugs, Jan