The Boy.
- Daddy?
he asked, laying in bed.
- Do you want to play Twenty Questions?

- No.
I said.
- Absolutely not. It's bedtime.

He accepted this without complaint, because that's what really good dads do: they raise children to not complain.
- Okay,
he said.
- I got it. You can guess now.

Instinctively, I went with my gut.
- Is it a giraffe?
I asked.

- No.
he said.
It's a graham cracker.

- Wait a second,
I said.
- That was a good one. Now it's my turn. It's an animal but not a mammal.

The Girl.
- It's bedtime.
I said. 
- Lights out!

- Daddy?
she asked, in root beer-ish tone.
- Would you like to come read with me in my bunk bed? You can bring your own book, and I'll read mine.

- That's actually kind of a good idea.
I said, 
and climbed up with Allegiant. Remembered twenty minutes later that it was bedtime, so no no nope, not gonna pull over anything on me. 
- Lights out!
I growled.

When I say bedtime, it means NOW.
Almost got me.



Well, I can see from a quick perusal of Facebook that I'm definitely not the best dad ever, as that spot seems to be occupied by a thousand people, but my family seemed to think I do a passable enough job to sing Happy Birthday* and bring me breakfast in bed and a Divergent book to enjoy peacefully, which I did so for thirty seconds until some of them joined me with their own food; meaning we will be sleeping in hash browns for the next week, which also reminds me that I am married to the coolest dame in the world: a label I have not seen thrown around this morning, and which basically means that it's wonderful to be with someone who cares more about great experiences than, oh, food getting smashed into our hundred-count Chinese sheets. Mazel tov, dudes, you've made it fun, and now Mates of State is cranked doing their best Tom Waits and we're gonna play a round of Charley Harper memory game, where I will annihilate the competition, or at least try not to end up in what has become my customary last place finish.

SEE BELOW. ...in honor of my dad, whose bravery and courage is so mighty that there is no technology, fashion trend, or generational meme he is afraid to tackle head on. Loudly in coffee shop to his grand kids: "Come here so I can take a selfie with you." Run at life without glancing to worry about what the person next to you is wearing, thinking, or doing. Just do it, be yourself, laugh really loud, and make sure the world doesn't mistake you for being anyone else but you. This is my dad. He is rather legend. Also, the gentleman in the corner getting a kick out of us is Jim. He is a pleasant fellow and is a fan of James Patterson and Clive Cussler. He is going to see Monument Men tonight with his wife, who is knitting next to him and also reads a lot.

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