Six

Dear Little Man,

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Since you’ve been reminding us of your forthcoming birthday several million times a day for the last ten months, I cannot say it came out of nowhere. You woke me up this morning reminding me, in case I had forgotten in my dream, that today was the day. You were ready for your presents now, Mama.

This is you. You are always in a position to celebrate. There is no milestone, no holy day of obligation, no bank holiday that you are not ready to fete. You are poised to party at all times. You carve up a dance floor something fierce and have yet to meet a birthday cake you won’t destroy.

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This past year you’ve gotten big into Mario Brothers and all games in analog, spanking the competition in Memory, When Pigs Fly, Monopoly, Connect Four. I can’t tell which way you’re going to go in school, what subjects you really gravitate toward, but you seem to like storytelling which you definitely come by honestly, Son.

You still cannot swim. This does not keep you from cannonballing off the high dive at the pool, lifejacket strapped on.

All of this paints a picture of you as a rambunctious punk, but I have to say that you are one of the more tenderhearted lads I’ve met. You wept when you discovered that your beloved Hot Chocolate the Stuffed Reindeer had gone missing in the wild. Fortunately, we bought a duplicate on e-bay and when it arrived, you held it and rolled on the floor clutching it, like it was a soldier come home from the battlefield. You have since carried him everywhere and even if I attempt to move Hot Choc, you are quick to grab the deer close once more.

You stopped saying “Lemolade” this past year which made me a little sad, but you were explaining the different ups in baseball yesterday, referring to them as when you’re “batting” and “glove-ing” and I told you about hitting versus fielding but I secretly hoped you would continue on with glove-ing.

Your favorite person of all time is still Big Sis. Your happiest place is wherever you can be playing with her, copying her move, which drives her up the wall. In other words, you are a fully-vested Little Brother.

I’m excited for this summer and the year of growth, which is a very boring grown-up thing to say on a little dude’s birthday. If we ask you what you’re excited about in your sixth year of life, you would likely say you are excited to see the Angry Birds movie, go to the beach this summer and work on becoming an eventual ninja. I mean, Duh.

We love you, Little Man x 6.

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Love, Mama

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5 positive parts about America that the citizenship swearing in ceremony will make you realize

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Loverpants got to pledge allegiance to the United States of ‘Merica last week, and the whole morning was just pretty keen. My hubs has his own immigration story to tell, but he and his family have endured a lot to call this place home. As for me, I just get to take the pictures and wave the star spangled banner. Here are a few things a swearing in ceremony will either highlight or reaffirm about this great nation:

1. The immigration process is still a careful one. From the biometrics to the interview to every piece of paperwork, the bureaucracy is boss. The process for letting the good guys and gals in is still pretty stinking thorough. I’m sure there are a hundred different ways to outsmart Uncle Sam, but his gates strive to be ironclad and the gatekeepers aim to be good flaggers of criminality.

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2. Your new neighbors bring a ton of wealth to this country. So maybe they’ve been here 5, 10 years. They speak Yoruba, Farsi, Spanish. They celebrate high Hindu holidays. They braid hair and weave baskets and practice law and medicine like bosses. Maybe they are bosses. We just don’t always see them gathered all at once on a happy occasion in one room. The swearing-in ceremony will remind you of the riches of language, culture, religion, and racial diversity that the wave of recent immigrants represents. Total jackpot.

3. The Daughters of the American Revolution are still a thing. They make cookies and wave flags and celebrate citizenship at swearing-in ceremonies. Civic engagement for the win.

4. Hamilton the Musical is sold out indefinitely for a reason. The convergence of hip-hop with the brilliance of Lin-Manuel Miranda and colonial petticoats is all pretty cool. But so is our history as a young nation of zealous freedom seekers. It still resonates. I have to believe this is why Judge Susan Lee got all verklempt swearing in these new citizens last week. She says it’s her favorite thing to do.

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5. There are now 50 more immigrants-turned-citizen in Chattanooga who will be eligible to vote in November, who likely are against building a wall along our border with Mexico, who don’t believe America needs to be made great again, since the best is surely yet to come 🙂

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Fieldtrip: What we found in the Sculpture Fields #CHA

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There’s a new sculpture field in Chattanooga, even though it advertises itself as plural. Maybe that means there might be more. I hear an amphitheater is coming, adjacent to the field o’ sculptures. Right on top of a landfill. Isn’t that great? We could be singing along to “Cheeseburger in Paradise” while Jimmy Buffett performs (wearing a parrot hat, obvi) all the while an actual cheeseburger is decomposing underneath our very feet? Living in the eco-kingdom is phenomenal.

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I don’t know if sculpture fields are the new cupcake shop, the new pop-up shop, the new record players for old vinyl albums. Are they the latest hipster movement or are they old news? Despite the fact that Chattanooga enjoys the fastest internet in the nation (so fast that it should be making me younger and lighter simply by the velocity at which I am downloading gigawhatevers), I’m really behind the times. I’ll have to watch some Portlandia tonight and see if they spoof the Sculpture Field Craze that is now so played out.

I think my favorite sculpture is this one. From one vantagepoint, it reminds me of a guy desperately trying to hail a cab (Uber wasn’t around when he was sculpted). From another angle, it looks like he’s waving to Lookout Mountain.

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When I made Little Man pose for this one, I thought, this would make a great bridal backdrop. Just hand me my megaphone because I became a minor prophet that day. I’m seeing it on the ‘gram like you would not believe.

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Parents in usual places: “Stay off that rusty rail. You’ll get diptheria or tetanus or something!”
Parents at Sculpture Fields: “Oh, you guys look cute. Let’s take a picture for the ‘gram.”

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If you go on a swelteringly hot day, you can pretend to be Bowe Bergdahl running from the Taliban in an arid wasteland. This is not, as it turns out, what our kids were playing here. They can’t get into Season 2 of Serial, I guess.

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This one is called Granite Windows. It spins. That’s way beyond my sculpture wheelhouse. Hahah. Wheelhouse.
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Daughter.
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Hubs.
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Little Man
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To go:
http://sculpturefields.org/

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