- 7:38 "Dah!" comes the call over the baby monitor. I roll out of bed, head into the nursery and Lyla is sitting up in her crib, smiling. Seriously, this girl smiles all...the...time.
- 7:42 I read the paper and have coffee. Lyla eats Cheerios and plays while The Today Show runs through a story on why there's a double standard about male body type (hint: men are fat slobs, but nobody cares!). Al gives the weather: it's cold.
- 8:22 Lyla cashes a stage three oatmeal and bananas and takes down an apple wheel. I have a bagel and we commence the daily cleansing, a little Phil Collins on the box.
- 9:24 House clean, we head to the YMCA. I get some exercise while Lyla socializes with age-mates. No hitting involved (I mean the kids, of course)!
- 10:27 We go to the bank. Lyla falls asleep in the truck and it's back to the house. Chili for Dad; Nine ounces of milk for Lyla.
- 12:34 Lyla checks in at daycare.
- 12:41 I'm back home and (yes, our daycare is that close) I hit the word processor.
- 3:26 I type the words "The End" on draft zero of the novel I've been working on since last January. That's what makes this a rare day. 80,754 words and 291 pages (Microsoft Word, TNR). I send it along to my agent and dance around the house for awhile.
- 3:48 I arrive at the Spanish Pond and run as fast as I can, up and down dunes, until arriving at the birding platform at the Round Marsh. I take a few moments of quiet in Florida's beauty and reflect on all I have to be thankful for.
- 4:26 I arrive at Ed Austin Park to meet my wife and daughter for a walk and a trip to the playground. They are nowhere to be found and I lost my cell phone, so I drive home.
- 4: 32 I see Jeanne driving toward the park. The love of my life gives me a wave and a smile and I flip a bitch (that's a "u-turn" folks) at the next intersection.
- 4:40 We walk the park and take Lyla to the swings, where we witness the full and unbridled glee and love of a ten-month-old human and the beautiful laws of motion. She swings back and forth and cackles like only a person who doesn't know a single Earthly word can. It's lovely.
- 5:10 Off to Publix to grab some groceries.
- 6: 15 Lyla eats squash, chicken and veggies. Jeanne and I take down some steak fajitas.
- 7:50 After bath time and about thirty minutes of independent play, it's time to say goodnight. Lyla waves (a new skill) and goes down without a fight. She's sleeping through the night pretty regularly now.
- 8:42 I'm enjoying a cold beer and watching the BCS National Championship game, after another fine episode of Community.
I'm thankful. I'm thankful for Jeanne and for Lyla and for all of my family, friends, colleagues and students who inspire and cajole and encourage and help me through everything. Life is filled with tough days, but it's also filled with great ones.
Today was one of those...