4:12 PM, Sunday, June 19th, 2016:
Strange couple of days. I've spent the past 48 hours shaming my friends for not being willing to spend $1000 on a ticket to Game 7 of the NBA Finals in less than an hour.
Who am I again?
All of this is tongue-in-cheek because I know this is an outrageous amount of money... but goddamnit, Game 7s in the finals are RARE. Very rare. This is the 5th in the past 28 years? It just doesn't happen much. And it's Lebron attempting to bring a championship to OHIO and it's RIGHT HERE in California... AHHHHHH. Don almost jumped with me, but in the end he figured Oakland would riot if Cleveland wins (Cleveland will riot, Don) but yeah, Oakland... I guess I get it... kinda. Ugh. I'm not going by myself. If we could get someone to watch the kids me and Talya would TOTALLY go, but her mom is out of town... so... it just didn't happen. I was there man. I had the credit cards out on stubhub I had them IN the basket, ready to go... but just couldn't get anyone to jump.
Oh well.
Now, the reason I'm starting this entry with that story is that it's also a sign of the times. Much of my single life was like this: totally random spontaneous trips doing incredible things and shit just working out. I adored that life and will be dragging my family along with my spontanaity soon enough... but it's not time, yet. 2 and 3 are not the ages you pick up and go camping in the woods on no notice. Ya gotta get them a bit more prepared for the insanity... but the rewards of doing those things are incredible. I saw Obama's inauguration, with my own eyes. I was in Africa on a whim. They are the memories that fill my life with such richness that I don't mind getting older. So, I do lament the fact that I'm not living one of those insane moments right now in Oakland for which I truly believe LeBron is going to do the unthinkable and bring the Cavs back from down 3-1 and win a Game 7 on the road. The trade-off however is an embarassment of riches. It's this video...
The love I feel for my daughter is growing in a way I didn't expect so soon. Then again, I guess I just didn't think much about it, but for whatever reason... this was the day our relationship kind of shifted. I was now a kid having fun like a kid. It had been 30 years since I was on a slip and slide and I wasn't her dad right then: I was just a kid. Giggling with her and connecting on a different level. We made the video and I edited it with her next to me and she laughed and laughed. She stopped me once to turn my head and look at my face and smile AT me. No words, just this knowing smile like even she felt different now. She's now a little kid, not a toddler and as she grows up your connection becomes more complex. I knew that was coming, just as I know at some point she will HATE me. Maybe not, who knows, but I kind of feel like it's part of being a good parent: you're not always their friend and have to make choices that will piss them off. She's certainly strong-willed now, 14? Fuckouttahere. She will not like me.
Right now however, she thinks I'm the funniest person in the world and is legitimately excited when she gets time to play with me one on one. Oh and Cam was just in an awful mood today and had to take a nap. Wasn't purposely excluding him, he just wasn't into the water slide. But that's the OTHER part of all this: when you have two kids you're in this "BALANCE WAR" that makes it difficult to have those one-on-one moments and that is indeed what made this such a special moment for us. I could focus 100% of my attention on her and just play. It wasn't lost on me that this was Father's Day at all. I remembered my first Father's Day building that wall in 2013 around the front yard so we could even have a moment like this. And suddenly you're here and your baby isn't a baby. It's one of the greatest feelings ever and it's why The Journey will continue to be so special to me: I am FORCED to document these moments, make the video, write the entry and remember this little girl who will grow up in a few clicks of this website.
Alright, it's almost game time, I think Cam will enjoy watching me freak out even if he doesn't understand why. Talya is completely into it now as well, which is fun. And not just a "being nice" into it, I think through me she's seeing the human side of sports that most people don't get. We watched Golden State with awe this year even though I'm rooting for LeBron and Cleveland. She knows the history of 73-9, she knows what LeBron has been through (made her watch 30-for-30 Believeland last night so she gets the whole Cleveland thing)... and she's as nervous as I am. THANK GOD. It makes it 100 times more fun when those around you actually get it. And man did she pick a good time to marry someone from Ohio. OSU has been amazing, now Cleveland might get one? Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit.

Alright, LeBron's will COMING AT YA...