The best thing I got today was a satisfied smile.
It came answering the question, "So, did you have a good day?"
It was fucking icing. Not the cloying, overwhelming shit you get with pompous cakes or overpriced cinnamon rolls. The kind you take in by the finger-full, savor it, and know you've had enough to hold you. The kind you'll become a junkie for if you didn't watch it.
Our youngest daughter turned 6 on Wednesday. Our dirty-blond-haired moppet with a chatterbox mouth and a rebellious mind. I took that day off to spend it with her and with her sister's help make her cupcakes, and make her my spaghetti and meatballs like she wanted and fucking well just BE THERE.
I was stressed, mind. This country's bullshit had taken it's toll on me right along with the day job, the chase for green pieces of paper, and making sure my heart still worked. My Givafuckatron Brand Batteries were about dead.
The current travesty riding the desk of the American Dream, AND his spoilt family, AND the others willing to take a knee just to kiss his Krylon Orange ass, AND the media flogging the reports of mass tantrums followed by mass hysteria showcasing mass stupidity on all sides caused enough of a ripple in my psyche to wear me down. The ripples in these here waters aren't perfect, and won't be. I'm getting mighty tired of letting the lot agitate the pond.
I didn't have enough of an outlet to plug into. I can't afford to drink myself into oblivion or smoke enough green not to care or hammer a word board to say enough meaningful drivel to make me feel better. The influx is too much to sum up in the tippy-tap of calloused fingers slapping a keyboard into submission to say my piece and be done with it. The world sucked apart from my close-quartered life of Nuclear Family Bliss. I was getting quite tired.
Daddy, however, had Things To Do. So we go to the park on a sunny day where the right frame of mind can be found. Whilst my little brother-in-law was down in Boston telling off supremacists hiding behind their supposed "Free Speech" and hiding in a gazebo with only a few policemen between them and a city-sized mob of "Go Fuck Yourself"; here I was hoping nothing like that would turn up in my backyard whilst I took to some controlled arson.
The Family was getting together to say hi and be happy and potluck my little girl into her 6th year properly. The space was very limited even for a large park that spanned both sides of a popular through-way for several acres. We found a spot, and we made do.
I got a chance to really look around as I put a burn on marinated bird products and veggie pucks and all manner of tube-cased meat products. The park hosted an Art In The Park event along Latino Musicians, churro stalls, hot dog carts, and ice cream trucks.
Our neighbors around the tree line were several shades of ethnicity. Even some of the local Live Action Role Play members of Amptguard were putting the coals to food.
Nobody gave a shit about who was supreme. They just wanted a place to cook. Space was at a premium, but everyone managed without bitching.
As I watched the Amptguarders beat on each other with plumbing supplies for fun, my gaze shifted to the food (nobody likes a burnt chickenburger asshole- flip them bitches!), then to my family. I watched my daughters play hide-and-seek, and dig in the soil, and be kids. I watched my daughters run around with their little friends using trees for hiding places or worlds of discovery. No concern for rah-rah, we're-better-than-you bullshit. They were too young to have to deal with that anyway. All they knew was "play where we can see you," and, "don't play so close to other cars!"
We finished up near evening and did our best to leave no trace. We packed in to the van tired and happy. There might've been a shortage of picnic tables Boo-Boo, but we were glad to be fresh out of Nazi-lovin' fucksticks.
Time came to wash off the nature they brought home and climb into bed. As I said my good-nights and looked my youngest in the eyes I asked if she had a good day. No hesitation; no need to think about it. Her face lit up like the sun. She was brought to a place that was safer than any safe space cried for by the undeserving. She could put the world aside and be what she was in her Batgirl outfit from last Halloween and eat hot dogs and cookie cake and grow a smile.
"Yeah," she beamed.
Then in her little way proceeded to tell me how she was ready for the playdate tomorrow with "her boyfriend" we never even arraigned yet, but she figured she could just slip in there and it would somehow happen (rebellious mind, natch).
Battery Recharged. Purpose Affirmed once again.
Mission Accomplished, Daddy.