Saturday, July 30, 2011

Italian Smoke and Mirrors

Oh, believe me. I make this stuff look easy, but it ain't. None of it. Dragging my kids up and down these dusty streets, stopping for gelato when I want to run wild, trying my best to put their needs first. Believe me, it ain't easy, but it's the best thing I could have done.
First day off, Kinu fell into the bidet. Well, I wouldn't really call it fell... more like she was standing there washing her hands in the spray.
Oh yeah, I freaked. Pretty much everybody in the little pension hotel heard me scream "YUCKY, Honey..... Ewwww!"
Kinu thought, of course, that it was hilarious, and tried it again before I thankfully got them all to bed. Oh yes, we sleep together, wrapped on top and in between and all curled up like little kittens.
And the next day when her fever spiked to 101 and I just held her while the other girls bounced off the walls... well, I can hear my Mom in my ear right now. "Brian, what were you thinking taking your young kids to Europe?"
But I came prepared: Sacks of medicine and vitamins and even a thermometer. I'm a well prepared father, for sure. And by the end of the day, Kinu was back on her feet, or at least, I was back on my feet enough to hoist her on my shoulders and carry her through the city again.
And I don't want to even talk about Rebekah puking on the pesto up on the table or Xian developing these weird 7 year old mood swings... where'd that come from? Is this like a sign of things to come raising daughters? Oh dear, am I in trouble, or what?
But let's face it, most of this parent stuff is done with smoke and mirrors, angel kisses before bandaids, a little conventional "rub dirt on it" and lots of little hugs, smiles and lolipops.
I know that if someone looks at these pictures they would think, "Wow, Hartenstein, how are you doing it?" And the answer is... years of practice and... these rest is the art of illusion.

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