My daughter, you won’t read this. You have no Facebook nor blog nor whatever-I’m-supposed-to-be-aware-of social network, because, you know, you’re like turning eight today and stuff. Don’t take that the wrong way…you’re a hell of a reader, just not of this post. Totes McGoats.
I’m not sure how much of this I want you to see at this age, anyway. This wonderful age where Santa is real and the bad guy always loses, and hugs are awesome and sitting on Daddy’s lap is still okay and Daddy isn’t an asshole yet. Yet. (Talk to your mom about the last one…she may disagree.)
I’ll be honest, Morgan. I wanted a boy. I already had a boy. I knew how to get a boy to kindergarten, and when you were born, that was still an accomplishment for me. I hadn’t broken your brother (to follow the theme, yet). He was healthy and happy.
And I knew what it was like to be a boy. Girls? Well, girls, you guys are just…you’re just… Well, face it. You’re weird. And difficult. So very, very difficult.
When you were born, you had to stay in the hospital a few extra days because of jaundice. You entered this world with an umbilical cord about your neck and eyes bugging and skin as white as mine! (Except for the jaundice part.)
(Aside – when your brother was born and I was numb from forty something hours of no sleep, the doctor gave me a sneak peak as the boy’s head crowned…something I’d have never agreed to if I wasn’t loopy. A broad smile grew across the OBGyn’s face, and he said “Those black genes kind of dominate, huh?” Yeah, he was black – I imagine still is. Six years later, when I saw you come out as pale as moonlight - same doctor - I wanted to smack him upside the head and yell: “In your face!”)
Anyway, back to you being difficult. While you still were in the hospital, I’d received a call from your mom at three a.m., hysterical that something had gone wrong. There’d been nothing really wrong. She’d misunderstood a nurse, and apparently there’s like a bunch of hormonal and emotional crap brewing after pushing out a seven pound, seven ounce child and having hardly slept for a couple of days. That’s when I knew you were different. Your brother, my only experience with a baby before, had never been the problem you’d already shown you were going to be. Still, I was treated to a three a.m. drive to the hospital in snow on New Year’s Eve. Like I said, difficult.
And, Morgan, while I’m being honest, over the next few months, my concerns only grew. I didn’t feel the bond with you that I’d expected. I kept hearing how you’d have me “wrapped around your finger,” an exact quote from far too many people. Perhaps my contrarian intuition kicked in and I’d put up a wall, but honestly, when you were six months, I truly worried I’d have a favorite child and it wouldn’t be you.
(Spoiler alert – I don’t have a favorite child, although sometimes I’d take the dog over both of you.)
The one bonding experience we’d shared, me sitting over you and you laughing causing me to laugh causing you to laugh more, causing me to laugh more, and so on…until you started wailing. For the first few months of your life, I worried that’s how we’d be.
Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this if it turned out that way. Well, maybe, but I don’t write this out of regret or to depress the crap out of myself.
You are different in every way from me. Except for being ornery – we share that one characteristic that our family seems to love so much. But, you’re gregarious. You’re a “big” personality. You’re in every possible manner a princess when I’d vowed I wouldn’t let that happen because I’d read all the things it did about body image and self-esteem. However, you’re a princess because of that self-esteem. You know you can do anything. You don’t believe in obstacles.
In kindergarten, you were the only brave one from your age group to perform in the school talent show. Not only that, you were the only brave one who performed with nobody else on stage with them. You owned the place, despite your nerves, tap-dancing like a motherfucker. I’ll have that “Top Hat, Bow Tie & Tails” song about the alligator on my playlist for life – or whatever replaces a playlist in five years.
So now you turn eight, and the days of sitting on my lap and asking for hugs are surely coming to an end far too soon. You’ll be in third grade next year, the grade when I told your brother the truth about Santa. I don’t know that I’ll be able to tell you. I don’t want my little girl to grow up. I don’t want you to not need me anymore, because I will always, always need you. The joy you’ve brought to me, to our family, has put many things in my old-ass crotchety world in perspective. That fear that I’d had about us not bonding seems so freaking silly, but again, in my old-ass crotchety world, I still worry. I worry about the day where it’s you that it’s you who doesn’t feel that bond, at least as close as it’s become at this age. I worry that, when that time comes for you to not need me as much, I’ll know you’ll be right, and I won’t handle it as well as I should, but you’ll handle it with grace and a wisdom you shouldn’t possess, because that’s who you are.
Thank the fates you weren’t a boy. Thank them that you are who you are because I’d choose you to be in my life over and over again. Unless I had the choice of somebody who won the Powerball, but other than several million dollars, I’ll take you. (While I kid, seriously, could you win us the Powerball?)
You’ll always be my little girl, Morgan. You’ve wrapped me around your little fingers, and I don’t want to be anywhere else. I want to be with that cackling laugh and that impossible hair and with the girl who needs to double-check everything I say with your mom because I’m full of shit, apparently. You are awesome.
No matter where you go, what path you take, I’ll always hold dear the stories I told while you sat in my lap, the movies we watched with your head resting on my arm, the times you needed to cheat to defeat me at “Just Dance,” the meals where you insisted on helping even if you weren’t strong enough to hold the bowls with the ingredients.
Happy birthday, my little princess – although wouldn’t you rather be a CEO? Happy birthday, my daughter. Happy birthday to the most amazing eight-year old you could possibly be.
Guess what? I'm angry - there's something new. And you might have been able to tell by the title of the blog. Still, I'm realllllly fucking angry.
I've been a sports dude all my life. I went to college to be a sports writer (yeah, that worked out). I played baseball, football and basketball from a young age. I had season tickets to the Nuggets, the Broncos and the Rockies and watched the CSU Rams football team when they didn't even require a ticket. I love sports.
And here's why - Sports are true drama. Fuck The Voice. Fuck Survivor. Fuck Cameron's Titanic or SVU or CSI - sports are real life. People whose lives depend upon how they perform week after week - if you mess up at your work, is the nation talking about it tomorrow? There's always a chance to be remembered for greatness even if you've been a marginal player - David Terrell or Larry Brown or Bucky fuckin Dent. Or there's chances for great players to go down as goats...and not the Greatest of All Time. Bill Buckner. Jackie Smith.
However, what's wrong with our country today is what's wrong with sport. The rich run everything. Not the smart, because if it just took being smart to be rich, then the bitches that have money wouldn't. It's our corporate culture. And it's wrong.
I took a class in college about the sociology of sports. The theme was sports are a microcosm of society, and it proved true in study after study after study. From racial prejudice to authority figures to pay scale, it's true.
Look at today's scene. Gays are more accepted than ever. Gays are coming out in sports. Minorities are finding more and more success in the top careers in our society. Minorities are getting more and more jobs as coaches and qbs and even GMs - which is the imputus for this blog.
And brings me back to why I'm so pissed off.
Sports are corporations that want it both ways. They want you to be passionate as a fan (customer), but they want you to understand they have to make business decisions. How about this? I don't care about your fucking business. You want me to shovel out a half a week's salary to go to a game, how about you care about what happens on the field/ice/court? How about the Spurs don't sit their stars on the second of a back-to-back to rest them? Why don't we get a discount if the players don't play based on a coach's decision? You still took my fucking money. Tim Duncan can get off his old ass and earn it.
I've put up with a lot of things as a long-time Nuggets fan. To the point that at work, that's kind of how I'm identified. But no more. Fuck you Kroenke. You've exploited workers at Wal-Mart to become one of the 400 richest people in America. Then you got into sports - and every team you own (outside of the Nuggets thanks to the GM you wouldn't pay) sucks. The Avalanche? The Rapids? The Mammoth? The Rams? Man U? They all suck...cuz you think you are entitled to people's money for just showing up.
Today, the Nuggets let the executive of the year go for a salary that equates to about average for what GMs make. He won the three biggest trades in the NBA over the last three years - Melo, Nene and Howard. He drafted Faried and Fournier late in the first round when most players never make a team. It's possible both those guys will start next year. And you told him, the GM who I will not name, he was too expensive.
You also made it clear why I'm done with pro sports (and college isn't far behind, because it's a big-ass corporation, too). I won't give my money to you fuckers anymore.
Fuck you and the really expensive horse you rode in on and then turned into glue when it didn't when the race you wanted. Fuck fucking you.