Today has been an unusually great day. I don't know why nor how to explain it. It's just...a great day. I dropped our kids off at school and much to my surprise, there was not one argument between them! Glory! I am mostly a happy go lucky kind of guy. Even when life seems the darkest, it does not last too long before I find something to get happy about; God's mercy towards me, my beautiful wife, our 4 precious kids, my love for Jesus, my close friends. Today is just unusually exciting. And I don't know why.
So...when I get this happy I always reminisce about my childhood, because there are just so many awesome things about it. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have an absurdly (is that a word?) above normal love of Christmas that my parents instilled in my sister and I. In fact, I recall receiving some crazy award not long ago for being the number 1 most ridiculous Christmas fanatic, but that is another story. I don't believe another family did Christmas as awesome as my family growing up. It was such a huge deal. I even find myself correcting people when they share how they do Christmas. So this morning I have my Christmas music playing in my office (which usually doesn't begin for my family until October 1st - tradition I created when they were young) and am thinking of story after story from my childhood.
And the biggest story I am remembering this very happy morning, is one involving my cousin Dennis. You see, Dennis was more of a brother to me than a cousin growing up (and still is). He was also incredibly huge. When Dennis would come to our house in Baton Rouge, his first words after greeting me would be something along the lines of; "So any punks been messing with you around here? Take me to 'em." And well, I would take him to them. And he would beat them up. Simple as that!
But then one day Dennis, after he had beat up all of the bullies in my neighborhood, took me to the front yard and wanted to play 'super-heroes'. Now if you did not grow up as a child in the 70's/80's, you may think that today is the greatest era of super-heroes. And if you think that you are gravely mistaken. Oh sure, Marvel and DC are putting out movies one after another today. Man of Steel, X-Men, Spiderman, Avengers, Batman, and the list goes on and on. But I feel sad for those of you who do not know the names Lou Ferrigno and Christopher Reeve. These 2 men are also known as The Incredible Hulk and Superman. Dennis quickly chose to be Superman, and that made me very happy. Why? Because I was crazy about The Incredible Hulk. EVERY WEEK without fail I would watch each and every episode of The Incredible Hulk, sitting 5 feet from the television screen. Watching with anticipation, waiting ever so patiently for the moment someone would make Dr. Banner angry, because when he got angry...well, you just shouldn't make him angry. You wouldn't like him when he was angry. But I LOVED it when he got angry! Why? Because everything would slooooow doooooown, as those eyes turned green and then that wonderful noise - dooooooooooooooooo (if you are from my era you know the noise I'm talking about). Then I would sit in wonder as Bill Bixby would slowly turn into Lou Ferrigno...er...I mean Dr. Banner would turn into The Incredible Hulk!
One important thing about The Incredible Hulk though; almost everything he did was in slow-motion. EVERYTHING. He ran in slow motion, picked up cars in slow-motion, threw rocks in slow-motion, and beat people up in slow-motion. So, once Dennis said 'GO!' he smiled and waited for it. I immediately fell to the ground and brought my eyes to a rare intensity as I made the noise; dooooooooooooooooo. Then I sloooowly stood to my feet as I growled a couple of times and did the original Lou Ferrigno/Incredible Hulk trademark slo-motion FLEX. Then I QUICKLY ran towards Superman/Dennis, to which he immediately stopped me in my tracks. "Oh no! The Incredible Hulk doesn't move fast! He moves in slow-motion!" Oh dear. This was not good. He was right! So here my cousin Dennis, this beast of a kid, a year and a half older than me and much bigger, and apparently much smarter, had out-witted me. We all know that Superman moves in lightning speed. And here was my cousin, as close as you could get to The Incredible Hulk in size for an 11 year old, yet moving like Superman. And here was Randy, a teeny-tiny 10 year old being duped by his older cousin. You ever had that dream/nightmare where you're running from the bad guy and he's coming at you full-blast and you can only move in slow-motion (and keep tripping!)? Well this became my reality! I don't want to go into the details of the pouncing that occurred, or the outcome. It all seems kind of blurry now (cough, cough).
Well, I'd love to find a way to pull out of this blog post some kind of encouraging nugget for you today, but after re-reading the story, I am finding myself becoming vengeful towards my cousin, and it is hard to stay vengeful while listening to Elvis singing 'Blue Christmas' on my iPad, and it is also hard to stay vengeful when he could still pound me into the ground! So, I'll just close out now! Have a happy day everybody!