Lots of milestones since I posted last year. I mentioned that my oldest daughter was starting College and my son was entering his last year of high school. Well. Olivia is now in her Sophomore year at Reno and my son decided to stay in town and is attending CCSN. We are very proud of their accomplishments while the triplets will be turning 7 next week. They are of course in first grade and looking forward to celebrate their birthday in Disneyland. A tradition going back to when they were 2.
Work is keeping both Melissa and I busy.
My brother in law will be fighting in a boxing/MMA event next week too. Something he embarked on about a year ago when he decided to join a specialty Gym to just get back in shape. I wish him well.
Today we woke up to very bad news. Not personal but for our city. As usual I woke up about 5:30 in the morning on Monday. First part of the day involves opening phone to look at time and the News app. Maybe I'm still dreaming of something awful but my dog scratching at the door to be let back in tells me that it is Monday morning and Social media and news are exploding about 50 people being shot by someone from a high floor at The Mandalay Bay Casino.
This individual shot at a crowd attending a country music concert so he pretty much discharged his weapon at will into the crowd while people were huddled and hiding since none wear sure were bullets we're coming from. Outdoor concerts tend to set up glaring lights shining onto the crowd and some others onto the opposite side of the stage, so it's hard to make anything out past the lights. I saw a video on Facebook and all I could see was people huddled on ground. I wondered why they were just there instead of running or getting to a safe place. This was outdoors so there was nowhere to run. Surrounded by fencing and with only the stage to offer some form of protection, people were at the Merck of the shooter.
First thing you wonder is, Do I know anyone there? The only way to find out of course was through social media. I used to work at Mandalay Bay, MGM and Tropicana, so a lot of my contacts were posting the previous night as shooting was happening.
It started with establishments being locked down where no one could leave or enter. Staff and people didn't know what was going on other than by whatever was being shared on social media. Eventually the whole picture emerged.
Our people responded with open arms to all those hurt and everyone united for a common cause. These episodes of unity only happen after this kind of tragedy and this time it was our turn.
I have heard of some acquaintances who knew someone who died in this incident. Only one of my fellow coworkers suffered some fractures, probably while people were rushing to escape. H is alright and checked out of hospital on same day.
All of us who were not affected by it are grateful of course. As we all get back to our routine we notice that tragedies will continue to happen, particularly in our second amendment loving country. Rare to see this in other countries as often or in these numbers.
Hopefully Some form of legislation will pass to curtail these type of incidents. Who knows, it's happened before without much change.
I mentioned before that my oldest daughter started college this week. My son begins his senior year of high school and the triplets started kindergarten as well. Even though we've experienced the same with the older kids, it's new again with the girls starting school. It's emotional it's exciting particularly when they are just as excited and eager to be in a new place with new faces. I am quite sure that they are also sick of looking at us everyday; with our barking as to what they can't do, pick up toys, put away their clothes, get in the shower and on and on.
Another thing that never changes is the rude parents who park their cars wherever they feel like, even when they are blocking traffic or when there is a spot available in parking lot. They must park the behemoths right at the gate and wait and wait. I'm a 100% sure I'm not the only parent that feels this way.
I don't sweat it much though, it's like brown spots on bananas, they will happen.
Besides school today for the girls, they also have extra curricular activities, ballet and gymnastics. So Mondays are going to be very hectic.
The rest of the week goes back to normal with my wife back to work (she took a few days off from work). We are also going camping this weekend. It will be the first time for the girls to "sleep" outdoors. This should be a good trip since the weather is quickly changing and is cooler in monies and at nights. Thank goodness this heat is over.
I took the black and white picture at PCC - Pasadena City College sometime back in 1990 while taking a photography class. This was a picture amongst many others I took during that course. At this time in my life I was living in South Pasadena, CA. The girl in picture just happened to be at what I considered to be a great spot with the sun at her back and side on the West and the metal school sign. I asked her permission to take her picture while she was reading just as she was when I approached her.
26 years later while driving around Southern California with my daughter Olivia; I decided to give her a tour of my old school where I obtained an Associate of Arts degree prior to moving on to college. Of course the school is much more modern all around with many new buildings. The old buildings are still there though and will be there many years after.
As we were walking by this building, I remembered the picture I snapped many years before so I asked my daughter to sit and tried to recreate the same shot.
The results this time were immediate with a smartphone. I could retak the shot until I was happy with result. 26 years before I had to shoot entire film, develop it and wait for results. I made two prints of the original shot one on black and white and a sepia.
Here is the shot with my daughter.
Since the original focus of the shot was the girl with the sign next to her, as I remember it, I got closer to Olivia and snapped a second picture.
Since my intent is to show the Past and Present, I put the two pictures together for comparison.
It happens to every family with children and some are lucky that their children don't move away too far just to keep an eye on them from time to time. But, when your child goes away to college, it hurts. My oldest daughter left yesterday morning to begin her New Life away from the only home she known for the last 18 years and nothing will ever be the same. Not for my wife, for my son, who will also start college next year and not for my youngest children (Triplets) who will also start kinder in a couple of days.
Our last life changing event was when the Triplets were born. Prior to that it was just coasting with two teenagers who were very independent and that gave my wife and I more time to each other. Then the Triplets came.
I am of the belief that we all live different lives during our mortal lives and that through each stage we come to meet different people and as we transition from each one, we have to learn to let go of the previous one, though there is always a constant and that's our immediate family circle. This stage will stay with you 'till death. That gives me hope that even though my daughter is now gone to discover herself and branch out into her own life, that I will remain a constant in hers. I am hopeful but also realize that to every rule there is an exception.
Her leaving also prepares us for my son's departure next year, even though he says, he'll never leave. (We're in trouble) At the same time, it gives us a glimpse into our future with the Triplets, triple the love and the drama.
Last week, I had an opportunity to take my daughter to Los Angeles for a trip down memory lane (details will be in a different post). This trip was intended to give her a closer look as to where her dad came from and how his life in the United States began, as if given birth to, stepping out of the trunk of a car and into his new life. The intent of the trip was to show her that our lives evolve in ways that we control up to a certain point, then whether your life is already written in a book by a mighty being or left to chance, you have to make the best with each situation that you find yourself in.
I can't deny that I'm happy about her choice to leave town for a college experience but also sad that she won't be in the house, or her bedroom when I get home from work.
Just like that, she's gone, and we will get used to our new lives.
The girls started "playing" soccer last year. Not sure whether they were going to like it or hate it, we went at it like every parent sticking their kid(s) into a sport or activity not of their choosing.
I believe our expectations were much higher that theirs so it was very frustrating to Melissa and I when the girls would just stand around on the field while everyone else attempted to chase the ball. There were other kids who acted the same way while their parents also yelled and pulled their hair in exasperation.
Joining the team was not cheap, so yanking them out after the first two or three sessions was not an option. With encouragement from their coach and after much consideration, we signed
them up for the second season hoping they would take to it and have fun. Of course they were having fun, it was us parents who were not.
Season two was at beginning of Fall last year.
They were a little more willing to participate this time around though every now and then, they would still act up and revert to playing with grass while their teammates either ran around them or joined them at staring at flowers.
We still were not 100 percent convinced that they were into it and with Melissa being the only one dealing with practice nights while I was at work, we still debated whether they would com back for Spring.
Spring is but two weeks away and their third season began today. The difference in their level of participation and understanding of the game is, as Kitty would say, "fantastic".
I've had the chance to be at some of their practices now that I'm not working nights anymore and I can see a huge difference from last year to this one and I'm looking forward to not just their practices but their games as well. Even if they just stand in the middle for the field while Melissa and I yank our hair out.
What a day 16 years ago. You came into the world a happy baby with a mop of black hair on your head and blond streaks. You didn't come out crying and even after cleaning you up, the doctors were concerned with your breathing or low oxygen level and then you surprised them with a loud cry.
That's been the story of your life; quiet demeanor but with a rage of emotions right underneath.
And now you are 16.
This is your day to enjoy and be
To enjoy the company of those who love you
To enjoy a great milestone in your life.
To be 16.
Soon the world will be yours, every path and road will be open to your choosing.
Soon you will be your own person.
A woman who will be forged by a combination of love, tears, pain, sadness, happiness, tenderness.
A woman who will love unconditionally
A woman who will dream and cast away sadness and pain to emerge behind clouds and mountains like a new sunrise.
A woman who will stand on the love of those left behind.