My daughter Kalypso is in the 9th grade, her first year of high school. She's doing well in school. She's much more intelligent than I was at that age. Her ability to speak French is remarkable, and she's talented at piano, violin, and cross country running. We want to make sure she keeps her GPA above 3.0 to qualify for college financing offers such as TOPS, which if her ACT/SAT scores are good, which I'm sure they will be, it would pay for tuition and fees for a Louisiana university. Kalypso doesn't think she wants to go to a university in state, but she'll need a scholarship to pull that off, as it would be impossible for us to pay for a university's out-of-state tuition or a private school. She isn't sure what she wants to do for a living, so she isn't sure what to study. How on earth could a 14 year old know what she wanted to study, let alone where? At her age I wanted to be a brain surgeon/punk rocker. But I'm a big fan of liberal arts broad-based education, so perhaps a smaller school might suit her well. I think she could go to Xavier for free, but Kalypso wants to go to school outside of New Orleans. I hope it's within a days drive of New Orleans. I'll miss her when she's gone. She might thrive on either coast though. We're waiting to see how this plays out.
Gilgamesh is 9 and in the third grade. He's a huge fan of skateboarding, handstands, and he is always moving. People say I was like that when I was young. Now, I don't move that much, except to look for the remote control or to get beer. We've been working hard on his multiplication tables. I am very much looking forward to going with Gilgamesh to Jordan this summer. He hasn't been back to his birthplace in Jerusalem since he was 9 months old. Therese is trying to talk me into taking Gilgamesh to Cairo so he can see the pyramids and the Egyptian museum. I'm thinking about it. Gilgamesh is taking drum lessons and he's getting to be pretty good. He's such a nice kid. I very much enjoy throwing dog squeeky toys into the shower when he's there. Someday soon he'll be able to beat me in wrestling, but for now, I remain the alpha male. For Christmas Gilgamesh got a Tony Hawk bike. Gil's very good at soccer. He says he wants to play football next Fall.
Raising two kids has been a lot of work. But I'm so proud of both of them, and it is impossible for me to envision what life would have been like without them. A father's love for his children is a powerful thing.