NEW CASTLE —
What agony is this?
What evil villain has prepared this dastardly event and entrapped me in its bitter grasp?
The scene: An elementary school gym on perhaps one of the hottest and most humid days of the year. The mercury is pushing the 90-degree mark and the humidity has made the air heavy and thick. Clothing is drenched with sweat as hundreds of parents are packed into the sweatbox that doubles as a gymnasium. Beads of sweat cover my forehead and I a feel a trickle of perspiration run down my back. There is no air circulation, only the oppressive heat that is amplified by the excessive amount of human bodies cramped into this one small space like cattle.
We are here to observe our first-graders perform a series of patriotic songs. We are packed shoulder-to-shoulder on the rickety bleachers in the gym. A less than adequate sound system crackles to life and squeaks out an over-synthesized, karaoke version of “We Are the Kids of America” and “America the Beautiful.”
Why am I here torturing myself and embracing this glorification of mediocrity and acceptance of the fitting-in mentality? Well, allow me to explain.
A few nights ago, I was preparing for bed and my daughter came bouncing down the hallway and hopped up onto the bed beside me. She looked up at me and directly into my eyes then asked, “Daddy, do you have to work Wednesday night?”
A bit perplexed I responded, “No baby, I work day shift on Wednesday. Why?”
She continued to look at me, intent on delivering her message and said, “Because I want you to come to see me sing at my school.”
My jaw half dropped and my eyes turned glassy as I realized what had just transpired.
“Of course I will come see you, baby,” I replied with a stammer.
She said, “Good!” as she hopped off the bed and skipped down the hall, oblivious to how big she had just made my heart feel. Her innocent request had slapped me between the eyes and made me realize how important a little thing like this was to a first-grader.
Turns out, my daughter and her class had been practicing the songs for several weeks and they all made special sparkly shirts with stars on them to wear for their performance. They each had a “solo” sentence about America and the flag.
She did a wonderful job and knew all the words to every song. She also spoke strongly and poignantly when it was her turn to deliver her line. She made me proud, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
Besides, how could I refuse an invitation like that?
NEW CASTLE —
What agony is this?
- Josh Drespling
Josh Drespling: When the family’s away, this bachelor will ... work?
It was inevitable. I knew it was coming and the situation was unavoidable. Over the course of the last few weeks I have been preparing myself for this moment and it has finally come.
Josh Drespling: Ever have the feeling of déjà vu — all over again?
There is a French word that, when literately translated to English, means “already seen.” You may be familiar with this word and most likely have experienced some measure of this phenomenon throughout your lifetime.
Josh Drespling: Baby talk? Don’t even goo-goo-ga-ga go there!
Baby, baby, baby, oooh. Like baby, baby, baby, NO! No, I'm not singing a Justin Beiber song. I have just been bombarded with babies. At every turn, there is a woman with child or a glowing new father.
Josh Drespling: Now here’s a dry idea — no rain, my gain
Rain, rain, go away. Come again some other day. Preferably someday when I’m stuck at work and have no need or desire to go outside. A day when I am shackled to my desk, my computer, and office equipment.
Josh Drespling: I’m driven to know this guy — but it’s going slowly
In our day-to-day lives we encounter many people. During our bustle from one point to another, we cross the paths of some interesting folks — some funny, some weird, and some we would much rather keep our distance from.
Josh Drespling: Another holiday? I need a vacation!
Happy Father's Day to all the proud and deserving dads around the country. My hat is off to you and all that you do to support and maintain your families. It's your special day, so sit back, relax, and soak it all in.
Josh Drespling: Mid-life crisis? I better just suck it up
Have you ever just felt kinda blah? You're in a place where nothing could excite you and, likewise, nothing could bother you. Sensations and perceptions have become secondary, and the only sounds you can comprehend are your own breathing and the rhythmic beating of your heart in your chest.
Josh Drespling: The eyes have it
It has been said that the eyes are the doorway to the soul. I'm not sure if I believe that, but for what it's worth, my eyes have done their part to make me into the person I am today.
Josh Drespling: Yes, my dad is in Iraq — and here’s why
I've uttered a phrase the past couple weeks that I never thought I would verbalize. Something that I assumed only befell military families, top ranking politicians, and international businessmen.
Josh Drespling: Maybe the grass isn’t always greener under the hood — or the hoodie
I toiled in my yard as the hot sun beat down on me. I completed a list of chores and turned my attention to mowing the lawn. This would be the maiden trimming for the summer, and I hoped that my mower and weed whacker would be in good operating condition.
- More Josh Drespling Headlines
- Josh Drespling: When the family’s away, this bachelor will ... work?