Thursday, February 25, 2016

Pre-Started Family

If you were mid pause in your day, trying to identify when you ended up in a responsibility quagmire, I'm going to guess that parenting offspring may have been the tipping point. 

While I dare anyone to find a more heart-melty circumstance than a toddler hug . . .  

parenting is still ridiculous difficult. 

I would wager that even during the idyllic post-war era of middle-class-expansion, single-income, high-heel-clean-the-house-wearing, baby-boom-birthing . . . 

parenting crossed into the ridiculous difficult and virtually thankless. 

Furthermore, if you are trying to blend families, life goes to a whole new level of crazy. 

So here are two families that are making it work. 

When you look at your life, 
the greatest happinesses are family happinesses. 
- Joyce Brothers

Other things may change us, 
but we start and end with the family. 
- Anthony Brandt

Gabriel Iglesias, the self-described "Fluffy" comic, has several stories about growing up without a dad. The quick version is his mom hooked up with a Mariachi for a short time. 

When he would asked what his dad looked like, his mom would point to the Tapatio Hot Sauce.  

He looks like this: 

During one tour, Gabriel announced that he was a new dad. He had a kid named Frankie . . . 
who was 7. 

I hooked up with a beautiful woman who had a pre-started family . . . 
Basically, I took over a lease.

 There are Five Levels of Fatness: 
Big, Healthy, Husky, Fluffy, and DAMN! 

I drink diet coke so I can eat regular cake. 

The last half of Gabriel's The Fluffy Movie is about dads. Occasionally people would ask him about his dad and what he would do if his dad wanted to see him.

It's been over 30 years, and so I'd always say the same thing. "I'd tell him he has to buy a ticket."
Well guess who bought a ticket.

He talks about how hard it was to meet his dad but eventually Gabriel ended up with an agreement to take a photo with him, his mom and his dad.

Unfortunately his mom died unexpectedly before he could get a photo taken.

Around the same time, Frankie's dad came back into the picture. 

After being in a family with Gabriel for 11 years, Frankie had his phone stolen at school. 

"What's gonna happen if I don't get my phone back?"
"That's a good question, Frankie. I don't know." 
"You're not going to get me a new one?" 
"No, dude. I already got you a phone. It was your responsibility to take care of that phone." 
"You should get me a phone."
"Dude, seriously?"
"You should get me a phone. It's nothing for you to get me a new phone." 

"What if there's an emergency?" 
"Like what? Someone taking your phone?"

"What if someone tries to kidnap me?" 
"You weigh 225. Good luck. They are not kidnapping your ass without an iPhone and a box of Oreos."

Frankie's dad sent Gabriel an email saying he wants to be part of Frankie's life.

I'm getting pissed. "Really? Now you want to get involved? "I just got him to take out the trash."

Frankie hears his mom getting hysterical, and then he walks into the office, and he's like, "Who died?" . . . .

I got these office chairs with the little wheels, right? And so I sit down. He sits in front of me, and I sit his mom down next to me, and I grab his chair, and I pull it right up to mine.

"Listen, Frankie, your dad wants to see you." And he looks at me, and he goes... "I'm right here."

"Frankie, I love you so much, but that's not what I mean. 
Your biological father, Frankie. Your dad."

And he went from having this look of confusion to, like, a straight-up desperation. He starts telling me his memory, his last memory of his dad. It's one thing to hear a messed-up story involving a kid seeing something he shouldn't have seen from an adult. It's another when you hear it from the kid themselves. I'm just like, "Why am I putting him through this?"

My girl is just bawling. I'm getting choked up. I go, "Look, Frankie, whatever you want to do, we support it. If you want to see your dad, your mom and I will make it happen. 

"If you don't want to see him, you don't have to see him, but you're old enough now, and it has to come from you."
"What do you think I should do?"
"Frankie, I wish I could tell you. I wish I could tell you, but you saw what I just went through."

"What did you do?"
"Well, Frankie, in my case, it was different, because my dad waited 30 years, and so I had to wait 30 years, and fortunately for me, I was more mature, and I was able to handle it a little bit better."

He looks at the ground, and it felt like it took forever. "You know what?

"I'm gonna wait 30 years, too."

I started crying, and then he puts his hand on my shoulder, and I started bawling. And then he hugs me, And we're hugging, and I'm crying, and his mom's crying, and then she looks at me.

"Now what are you gonna do?" 
"What do you think I'm gonna do? I'm going to get him an iPhone."


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