Monday, December 6, 2010

Keep your Guard up!

when I was younger (i dare not say 'growing up'), my Dad was in the VT Army Nat'l Guard. whenever we were going some where and saw a convoy of military vehicles (not trucks, vehicles) or saw an aircraft in the sky, he would say, "Keep your Guard up!" Now I say it, too, but not always out loud. Folks around me might think i'm a bit of a lunatic. My Dad? we knew he was a bit off, so it didn't really matter. "I have a rep to protect....." (bonus points if you know the movie).
This past Saturday I was fortunate enough to play Santa for my sister's National Guard Christmas Party. Her troops and their spouses and kids were treated to a wonderful turkey or ham lunch complete with fresh pies, coffee, juice, all the trimmings. I remember parties like that when I was in the Guard, too. Great times to kick back and relax. As a kid, I always loved it. I got to be with my Dad and the other soldiers. So cool.
Tracey thought that it would be fun to bring Bryce along, too, so we coordinated me getting there before her so that Bryce wouldn't see me. when B asked why i wasn't going, I had to lie and say that I had a meeting at the hospital first, but that i would try to make it in time to see Santa. you can see, not ALL kids were happy to see me..i mean HIM....Santa...
pull my finger. i mean, here, kid, have a puzzle and a truck.
I have played the big guy a few times. Mostly for my wife's day care. That's always a hoot. Never sure how to get there, wondering if my kid will recognize me, hoping that i don't lose my costume (almost did the first year. belt came right off. yea. good times. hey Mom's, Santa has a present for you! Booya! thankfully, my wife was quick to action and helped me keep my pants on...) One year (last year) i also played the jolly elf for an Easter Seals party. That was awesome. Seeing the kids light up when they saw me was special. (don't PANIC, i am NOT turning into a softie. i'll be back to myself by the end of this posting....whew.....)

click to see his face. sheer terror!
Even my nephew, who's just coming into his own, wanted nothing to do with Uncle Gene.

I could see Bryce eyeing me. It was pretty cute. He was shy at first, hiding behind his Mom, then he came out in front of her. She later said that at first he wanted her to go up with him, but then later said that, "I'll just go by myself, Mom. I got this." I wish that I had a beard cam or somthing like that. His face was precious. So is his butt.....
i couldn't look him in the eye, for fear he'd recognize me!
 playing Santa is a bittersweet time. i look forward to it every year, now, but know that at some time in the not so distant future i won't be able to hold the same magic that i do now. such is life.....

so let's get out there and enjoy the magic that we have TODAY. there are many, MANY tomorrow's, but only ONE today.
live it to the fullest. feel the magic in each day. share it when you can. hold it when you can't.

I hope your Monday was happy. Hey, it's a brand new week!!!


  1. Ahhhhh sweet. I love being a dad. You're my kind of dad Gene!

  2. Santa, I needs you to send me a Vegetarian Chef. As in, he cooks veggie meals. I don't really give a damn if he eats meat or not.

  3. I just don't know why people think children will enjoy meeting a big, strange man in a red suit and an enormous fake beard. I won't be putting Hector through that, he'd never forgive me!