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13 September 2001

Your mom and I are trying to come to an agreement on your sister’s name.  Sydney Brooke?  What do you think?  Other names in the running:  Alyssa (mom doesn’t like it, sounds too much like your cousin Marisa) or Gwen (I dreamt the name once, mom didn’t like it either).  Honestly, I think those were the only names we mulled over.  Your grandparents wanted to name me Barbara if I were a girl–can’t stand that name!  I just need to keep saying Sydney Brooke repeatedly to make it flow easier.  Mom always liked Brooke, she said I came up with Sydney, I don’t remember that.

Ian!  At 23 months, your accomplishments to date include:

  1. When we write down numbers 1-9, you can recite them back to us.
  2. You’ve got this thing about wanting to brush your teeth.  It borders on obsessive compulsive!
  3. “Toy Story” & “Toy Story 2” are your favorite movies.  Your grandparents keep buying you the figures (you should hold on to them for future investment).
  4. N’Sync is your favorite band.  You recognize their music on the radio and when their video is on the television.  You can say their name, but you refer to them as “Bye Bye Bye.”
  5. You’ve got a fascination with Hot Wheels.  You’ve got about fifty right now.  I bought you a rolling suitcase carrier for them.  You can identify the differences between cars, trucks, busses and bikes
  6. Simply by seeing pictures of your uncle, you warmed up to him when he visited–you were about a year old the last time you saw him.
  7. You love the outdoors & playing in your room.
  8. McDonald’s happy meals are your comfort food.  You love the fries!

Without getting too sappy, it amazes me everyday what you pick-up.  Your smile makes me forget all my problems.  Your mom criticizes me of not spending too much time with you.  It’s hard working a night job and trying to be coherent when you’re awake.  You love the outdoors, most of my allergies are in the outdoors.  I try to be there for you.  Your mother does a great job raising you and it shows in the way you’re developing.

Here’s a funny one for you, even though it may sound gross:  I always have reading material when I use the bathroom, never fails.  Plus, I don’t shut the door.  You peek around the corner, announce “poo-poo” with a scrunchy-faced expression and shut the door for me.

Your mom said (while I was at work) that before you were going to get your bath, you sat naked on your potty seat with your legs propping up a magazine.  Okay, you don’t quite know how to use the potty yet, but you picked up on one of my quirky traits!  Wish I was home to have seen that . . .

A girl.  I still can’t believe you’re going to have a little sister!  Ian, let me say this:  by nature, men can be dogs.  Ask your mom, I was the guy your mom’s co-workers warned her about.  I dated a lot of women before your mom (that’s not a bad thing).  I just figured, if I ever had a daughter, I would be the most protective S.O.B. out there.  It’ll be funny seeing how that turns out many years from now.  You, my boy, will join me in the task of protecting your sister . . . hahahahaha!

*   *   *

Let’s talk about my job.  Since July, I’ve been working as a club manager for the House of Blues.  It’s a change of pace from my last gig as a restaurant manager, I don’t have to deal with food as much (for now).  I love music and this is a fun job for me.  I’ve met some celebrities in my short time there:  Ray Charles, Etta James and actor Russell Crowe for starters.  It’s fun!  Only downside:  it’s a night job.  I’m trying my best to spend time with you.  I’m also going to attempt to jot more stuff down in this notebook than I’ve done in the past two &  a half years!  I bottle too much stuff sometimes or I “write” things down in my mental notebook.  It’s actually quite theraputic to write stuff, I wonder how it will read years from now.

Here’s a funny topic:  your mom says I’m so predictable.  Why?  She says all I do is read, sit at the computer, sleep and eat.

  • Read:  I still collect comics to an extent and I read a lot of magazines (especially when I’m using the bathroom).  I’m reading the Harry Potter series right now and just recently read a great biography on Kurt Cobain.
  • Sit at the computer:  I’ll admit, I’m a computer junkie!  I never had one when I was younger and never really used ’em in college.  I’m hooked.  Chalk it up to making up for lost time.
  • Sleep:  I work nights.  My body is trained to staying up late.  It’s 2:12am right now.  You and your mom are asleep in the other room (I am fighting the urge to jump online right now).
  • Eat:  we all have to eat right?  Since working at the House of Blues, I’ve gained nearly ten pounds.  I suppose I can consider it sympathy gain since your mom’s pregnant.

I think your mom says I’m predictable to force me to get off my butt and play with you more.  She’s a homemaker and spends 24/7 with you while I work.  We’ve had discussions about this.  Don’t know if you could recall or comprehend some of our heated discussions. I’ll make no bones about it Ian, raising a child is one of the toughest challenges I’ve ever faced.  The sacrifices are great.  I give your mom a lot of credit for the job she’s done with you.  Being the sole income in this house however, is also very, very hard.

I would never try to find an easy way out.  I would never change anything I’ve done.  In the end, your smile erases all the struggle.  Everything I do, I do for you and your little sister.  Please don’t ever forget that . . .

5 responses to “Excerpt”

  1. Avatar Stephanie says:

    I think I just cried a little……….

  2. Avatar ironiciconic says:

    Happy belated to your little one!

  3. Avatar eileen says:

    oh yeah, miss ya bri

  4. Avatar The Tailor says:

    Your kids will appreciate things liked this when they're old enough to get it.

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Jumpstreet About Jumpstreet

Brian W. Castro's immediate needs are simple: his iPod, a good novel and a bottle of wine. He is a born-again New Yorker living in the Sunshine State whose self-deprecating viewpoint confuses even himself. Once a fan of "sex, drugs & rock and roll," he only revels in one of the three openly. When he's not looking for deep lyrical meanings in Duran Duran's discography, he can be found staring blankly at his laptop--hard at work on his great Filipino-American graphic novel. Incidentally, this stare doubles as an intimidation tool when his children are unruly. Brian prefers to write under pressure, acknowledging deadlines bring out his creativity. But he admits, "Like masturbation, procrastination only ends up with me screwing myself."

Read more by this author on 30POV .


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