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Shifting Emphasis

It only happens extraordinarily rarely -- say, once every couple of years or so -- that I happen to notice a member of the opposite sex who is not my wife who is also attractive. Such notices are fleeting indeed, then I lapse back into the reverie that is my meditation on my wife's eternal beauty.

So that rare event happened at Applebee's this afternoon, while my co-workers and I waited for fifteen hours for our orders -- I filled out my customer comment card with bloody runes -- when I noticed across the restaurant a blonde woman wearing one of those summer skirt outfit thingees. "Ah," I said. "She is aesthetically pleasing."

Then I looked at her lunchtime companion. He was dark-haired and about two feet tall. He was holding onto her hand, walking with a slightly inexperienced stumble. He led her to the step between the bar section and the raised dining area, and plopped down to sit just like Will does on the step to the den.

For the next few minutes all I could do was sneak looks -- at the toddler. And think about my son. And about how both these kids are experiencing the rapid-firing of neurons and the first inclinations of "cause and effect."

As I titled my last entry, "I'm a Sucker." I'm surprised how enchanted I've become with childhood and children since Will was born. I've always liked children, but impending-fatherhood panic made me forget it. I relearned it real quick after January 21, 2002.

But for me to miss a prime scoping opportunity because I was too busy appreciating childhood?

Sucker about covers it.


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