The SuperInferior Blog

What's your excuse?

Category: family

I don’t have a daughter, so here is my beautiful niece…

My brother lives just outside of Paris, France. He met a wonderful girl during his travels following undergraduate school at McGill University in Montreal. They married and now have a beautiful and very active daughter…our niece!  You might hear more about her on this blog because…well, look….she’s so adorable! While little Magda speaks only French at the moment, her parents speak to her often in English and she is now being coached in speaking English herself. I think bilingualism is a very special and imporant skill these days. So proud.


I miss the in-laws

My wife and I met in college. We both attended a large state university in the Southeast and began dating in the Spring of my freshman year.  She was a junior.  Before long, it was time to make the four hour trek across the state to meet her family.

I was given a pretty good rundown on everyone in the family that I was to meet.  So despite being a little nervous, I was looking forward to it.  I knew it would be a cultural experience, too, as her folks lived in a rural area.  Their town was very sparsely populated.  This was the deep South, too.  I enjoy those kinds of cultural adventures.

Suffice to say, her folks were awesome to me.  They were very welcoming to this boy from the Northeast suburbs who was dating their youngest daughter.  Her mom was warm and loving from the get-go.  Her dad, despite having an impressive gun collection hanging on the living room wall, seemed to be comfortable with me off the bat, too.  And from there our relationship just grew, and I enjoyed developing the close bond with her family.

Now, her dad was a musician in his younger years.  He played in country/western bands throughout the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  And me being a guitar player helped us to speak a similar language of sorts I guess.  I loved hanging out with her mom.  We often would play cards together on those trips to her parents’ house.  I remember one particular time when I caught a flu bug while we stayed at their house.  I was supposed to be back at school the next day, but I was vomiting so much and had a fever…there was no way.  Her mom took care of me like she were my mom.  I’ll never forget it.

We eventually got married in her parents’ home town.  The ceremony was held at a very small Baptist chapel, even though most of my family are Catholic.  It didn’t matter to anyone.  Everyone that attended had a blast meeting my new in-laws.

My wife and I eventually had to move away from that state for work, and so we saw her folks only once a year, tops, on Summer visits and such.  Everytime we got together, though, it was like no time had passed.  They were so easy to get along with and they knew how to have fun.

My wife’s father passed away about six years ago.  Her mother has alzheimer’s disease with severe dimentia, and she resides in a specialty nursing home in the city where we now live.  My wife goes to see her mom as often as she can.  I have been to see her a handful of times.  She is a ghost of the person she used to be.  It’s difficult to see her.  She was a gorgeous, statuesque woman full of life.  Now she is hunched over in a wheelchair, has cataracts, and mumbles once in awhile.  She recognizes nobody from her past.  My wife’s dad is buried at a military cemetary near us as well, so we can once in awhile go visit his gravesite.

They were awesome people from a different part of the country from where I grew up.  I feel like I’m a better person for having had the fortune to meet them.  They were both truly unique and fun individuals.  I really miss them.

What Do Your Kids Think Of You?

I think about this one a lot.

I know my two sons love me as much as I love them.  But they are getting to the age (11 and 14) where they are old enough to pick up on nuances and patterns in life.  For instance, they know their father does not wear a suit and tie to work.  They know that their father creates videos and local TV commercials.  I often wonder how much they compare me and my wife to other adults they have come into contact with, whether it’s through friends or relatives.

I grew up in a nice suburban area on the East Coast.  Our house was pretty nice and roomy (family of 6), although I thought of it as just a plain old home.  It wasn’t until I got to high school that I realized people take notice of where you’re from.  I went to a Catholic high school that took their enrollment from feeder schools throughout the region.  I knew some of the kids came from inner city areas, and more than a few times when they found out that I lived in an area called “Old Orchard” I inevitably got the cursory, “Ohhhhh….you live there.  Must be nice.  Your folks must be rich.”  Which, of course, couldn’t be further from what the truth was, but I just learned to deal with it.

Fast forward to now:  We live in a residential area of a small Midwestern city.  I would describe our neighborhood as very working class.  It’s sort of like the Levittowns on the East Coast.  All the homes are generally the same floor plan, size, etc.   You can easily get lost in this neighborhood because all the houses look the same.  Some of the homes are rentals.  We own our home.  It’s a pretty small house with one bathroom.  Without going into detail, let me just tell you it’s a far cry from the house I grew up in.  And that was okay with me at the beginning, because I viewed this as a starter home.  Eighteen years later and one foreclosure episode later, we are still here.

I’m not sure about my younger son, but I know the 14 year old was aware of the foreclosure a few years ago and it spooked him.  I imagine his thought pattern sometimes: “Why doesn’t dad have a better job?….why don’t we have a bigger house?….why is he driving such an old car?….will he be able to pay for my college?” On and on.  I am probably imagining something that either isn’t happening, or doesn’t matter in the long run.  Just writing this out makes me realize a basic flaw in society – one that places so much value on the material.

My peers from high school have very nice jobs and quite a few of them travel.  I can travel when my parents fly us back to the East Coast for visits with their grandkids.

I play guitar in a few bands on the weekends around here.  I wonder what my kids think of that.  They probably think it’s pretty cool.  They might also think when will I grow up?

Most parents wish their children to think the most of them.  As an adult, I am totally in awe of both my parents.  That  is how I hope this turns out one day, and maybe it will.  Despite missing out on some material things, I hope my kids can one day look back on their childhood and smile like I do.  There is a lot of love in our house.  The boys never get in trouble and get straight A’s in the honors track at school.  I’m totally in awe of them.

Why do I worry what my kids think of me?

Smarter than his old man

My 14 year old son has severe acne.  He’s been receiving treatments recently from a skin specialist at a plastic surgery practice (she’s not an MD).  Typically his appointments consist of receiving a cleansing cream (sometimes but not always) and spending about 20 minutes sitting under a “blue” or “red” light.  The light treatments help attack surface infection (red) and deeper, under the skin bacteria (blue).

There has been some noticeable improvement and it seems to be picking his spirits up lately.

He’s a smart one, by the way. Way smarter than his old man.  As we were checking out at his appointment, he took the initiative to ask the specialist about the idea of him taking either nutritional supplements or “pro-biotics” of some sort.  So on the way home I had to ask him where he got the idea for those.  He said in science class they have been studying the role of antibiotics and how they not only kill the “bad” bacteria in an organism, but they can also kill “good” bacteria. He mentioned eating more yogurt as an example of something he could add to his diet. Son of a bitch, I’m learning science and nutrition from my teenager.  Awesome. I tried to hide my smile the rest of the ride home.