Kids, No Chaser


Tuesday, September 26, 2006 posted by Henri

Having a child makes you face mortality. More than a near death experience, more than religion, more than peyote, more than eating 50 hardboiled eggs. We are faced with an unyielding truth that the one thing that we love more than life itself will one day pass on. And for most people, this truth will never be accepted. Similar to the stages of grief, denial will always be the hardest to overcome. The moment I laid eyes on my son I felt the crushing weight of this understanding. By having a child, I open myself up to the possibility of grief all encompassing. It is incomprehensible and tragically unfair that my child could ever possibly pass away. I can accept the death of every other person on this planet, but I cannot accept the thought of my son not being here. Each passing day is a lesson in this acceptance and in a way each passing day is actually a gift. We are not entitled to the time that we spend with our loved ones, we are gifted by them. And in the end the question that helps me deal with the grief of knowing that my days with my cherished son are limited is a simple one. What is a life worth living? What are the moments in life that on their own are enough to have made everything worthwhile and beautiful?

The day I saw my wife waiting for a bus and walking up to her to ask her to dinner.

Being drunk on Sunset Blvd with a busted heart and having that girl smile as she walked by.

Eating carne asada tacos at twilight on a picnic table with my boys about to get into a fistfight.

Being a teenager watching Jane's Addiction at the John Ansen Ford theater.

Racing on the 110 freeway when your 16.

Reading Bukowski on a Greyhound Bus in the middle of the night.

The smell of fireworks in the air when you're 9 years old.

Walking through downtown LA 2am on a date with an entourage of 7 bums and growing as I hire each panhandler one at a time to be our bodyguards.

Sitting on the beach in Santa Monica late at night, watching the Ferris wheel on the pier with a girl you're saying goodbye to.

Catching minnows.

The very existence of Pillbugs.

And finally my son. Just one day, that first day I spent with you, that was enough to make any amount of grief worthwhile. I will trade it all for just that one moment when I first saw you. This is a life worth living and I'll try to stop being so greedy. Every moment since has been a gift and every moment forward will be a blessing.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

aww, that entry put a lump in my throat...who knew irish ninjas could be such softies?! loved that photo collage at the end...conor is way too cute!

11:21 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 more thing...i guess this officially makes you an EMO irish ninja! heh heh

11:29 PM

Blogger honglien123 said...

:sniffle: I can totally relate to what you're talking about, but unlike you, I didn't have that feeling when my kids were born, it was when one of my friends lost his 18 month old son. Nothing like someone else's misery to make you thank your lucky stars.

Very cute baby btw. Love the emo hat, though what the heck is eso?

12:20 AM

Blogger daddy in a strange land said...

Dude, I guess under all the layers of crass language and overindulgent drinking, you're really a soft, new-age-dad- romantic. ;) Who knew you had it in you? Nice work...

4:55 PM

Blogger stacie said...

I ALMOST had a tear in my eye from this piece... but then I saw "looking eso" and couldn't help but crack up! :0)

10:33 PM

Blogger Henri said...

Sappy? New-age? Pansy? What the hell post were you guys reading? My post was about:

Abusing God's creatures
Being drunk on the streets of Hollywood
Dumping chicks
Hiring the homeless for personal amusement
and picking up hot vulnerable girls at the bus stop

I not going to ask what any of you got on your reading comprehension on the SATs, but what we got here is a failure to communicate (oh I forgot I also referenced Cool Hand Luke and I mentioned Peyote). You guys are simply projecting.

Oh and ESO is short for esotropia which is an eyeball term for an eye which points inwards.

Thankyouverymuch for visiting, come again.

10:24 AM

Blogger MrsFortune said...


I found you through Metro Dad. Holy crap. This is one of the best blog posts I've ever read. I'm totally choked up. You captured a sentiment so perfectly, one that's been floating around my own brain since the birth of my son but I have as yet been unable to put it into words. Thank you for this, it's so honest!

9:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I try and tell my wife all the time. Seeing Jane's live as a teenager, especially those shows at the Palladium, made me who I am today. Steven Perkins playing an igloo cooler for a drum. Amazing!

11:51 AM

Blogger Kristen said...

That was beautiful. A great reminder, especially after a night of a screaming three-year-old that ended with me telling my husband it was time to sell him. ;-)

I needed that.

7:21 PM


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