Monday, December 15, 2008


So they say as you go through this thing called parenthood and come up against challenges you find yourself repeating history - doing the things that were done for you when you were a child. Or at least you call your parents or siblings and say, what did you do when I kept eating the Christmas tree? How do I make him lie down? How do you keep him from putting mashed and partially eaten eggs in his hair? Sometimes the advice is good, sometimes not, and sometimes the precedent is set and serves as a guide.

On MY first birthday, I had this uncle named Ernest who was that uncle that always made you laugh. I mean he was always telling stories or jokes. This was my dad's mom's sister's husband. That was fun. Anyway, this was the aunt (Mog) and uncle that my dad lived with while he was in college and I suppose that gave him the right to give my dad's first born son the gift that all mother's dream of their son carrying around the house as they learn to walk. A real hatchet. In answer to your question, I don't know why. It may be one of those things where you say, "it seemed like a good idea at the time" sort of things. But I don't know. Some people want to go back in history and see a famous event like the signing of the Declaration of Independence or Christ's birth. Interesting as those would be, I would love to see my mom's face as the hatchet was opened on my first birthday. I am sure her face said, in the politest sort of way, "what kind of family gives a 12month old a hatchet?"

We have made it a tradition to use this hatchet to help cut the Christmas tree every year and soon Brown will have to hear this story every year. (oh, here goes dad again, telling how he was given a hatchet on his first birthday. Does he think we were deaf last year?) But it has been a fun tradition. So, since Brown is one year old, by virtue of family tradition and the power vested in me by no one in particular, it is time to wield the hatchet on the Christmas tree young man. So we placed his hand on the handle and we now have a cedar tree in our living room. I thought I would sort of have to hold his hand on the handle. But he took to it fairly vigorously. Next year, I will get him a chainsaw.

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