Twenty one years ago today, something went incredibly right

imageTwenty-one years ago today it was Friday the 13th. The reason I know this isn’t because I’m a savant, but because it was the day my oldest daughter was born — and everything seemed to be going wrong. The monitors were glitching, causing her vitals to disappear and the nurses’ faces to tighten into a fixed expression of forced calm. When I asked if things were ok, I was met with tight-lipped smiles of reassurance that made my stomach queasy. She wasn’t positioned right, with one arm extended above her head, as if caught in the middle of a backstroke swimming out of the womb. Eventually, her clavicle had to be broken in order to deliver her into the world.

When I held her for the first time and watched her tiny fingers wrapped around mine, I looked into her big brown eyes and saw an old soul looking back at me. It was a look that said, “I’ll make this as easy as I can for you, and I’ll forgive you when you screw up. Because we both know you will from time to time.”  Continue reading

Don’t do as I drink (and other lessons my father unintentionally taught me)

Yep, that's me, learning about the dangers of smoking .

Yep, that’s me, learning about the dangers of smoking .

I come from a long line of alcoholics. Truth be told, the roots of my family tree are probably located in a beer garden.

For this reason, I was determined to break the cycle and be the first member of my family to remember most of his 20s and 30s, not develop a beer gut and actually know who all of my kids are.

I was genuinely frightened of carrying a gene I assumed had its own alcohol content — which is why I didn’t crack open my first beer until I was 20; in a moment of weakness; working under the blistering Texas sun; because there was no water or soda; and I had just read about spontaneous human combustion. Continue reading

It’s Sunday, and I’m thinking about having flashbacks

We all have skeletons, right? Here's a promotional ad from The Post in Centre, Ala., in 2003.

We all have skeletons, right? Here’s a promotional ad from The Post in Centre, Ala., in 2003.

OK, so I’ve found myself in the office on a Sunday. For a priest, that’s pretty normal; for me, it’s a sign of the apocolypse. However, with my family away until late tonight, I figured it would be a good opportunity to work ahead and emerge into Monday morning knowing I — ha-HA! — have the upper hand.

And after talking with a good blogger friend at Polysyllabic Profundities, I came to my senses and realized:

Hey! It’s SUNDAY!

Good intentions should be good enough.

Not to say I don’t plan on getting anything accomplished. For example, I’ve made a pot of coffee.

I also came up with an idea I’d like to run by the rest of you. I’m calling it “Sunday Flashbacks,” and it would essentially be a regular Sunday posting of some of my earliest columns and blog entries, back when the only “likes” I had came from other people with the last name Hickson. Continue reading