“The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.” - Robert M. Pirsig
| mom met dad in a criminal justice class at the local californian community college. dad was new in town and a little rough around the edges, but mom didn't care. she loved him despite what her firefighter father thought, and regardless what her stay-at-home mom told her: she would eventually marry that fitzgerald boy with his 'fire red hair' and his 'glowing spirit', but not before they had me, thaddeus jay fitzgerald. yeah. they might have done that to spite my mom's parents, too.
| i didn't lose the rings. everyone always acts like i lost the rings. they always say it was a miracle "we" found them, though there weren't that many people searching, just a lot
of talking and sorries.
but i didn't lose them. the ring-loss-of-'04 is my 'kids-will-be-kids' moment and it didn't even happen.
the truth is, i put mom's ring on the finger of the flower girl. she was my cousin and also the girl i thought i'd marry 'cause mom said boys grew up to marry girls and live happily ever after. so i thought we'd practice, but then she had to go see what those women in dresses wanted, leaving me at the alter. no one ever remembers that part, or that i had dad's ring held in my hand the whole time. they always just say i lost the rings and made mom cry.
let's set this all straight: the flower girl lost the one i let her borrow when she tried to put it around a bee, okay? like the ring was somehow going to magically create a force field to trap it or something. i don't know! how is it my fault she got stung or left the ring in the dirt near the flowers? who even let her go outside?
they always say i lost the rings, but i gave dad his when he asked.
| 'you're in real trouble, mister!' fyi, despite all those punishments i got for misbehaving as a child, all previous 'trouble' was fake. that includes that time i didn't
lose the ring, though grandma and grandpa on mom's side still think of me as the most careless grandchild ever born.
alright, alright, the spring of '06 isn't one I'm proud of. and i really did get into real
trouble. just imagine six-year-old thaddeus with a baseball bat, swinging- and connecting!- with a bully of a fourth grader, and you've got the general outline of how my day went. for the record, the girl i defended did kiss me for my heroics.
but mom and dad deweaponified my room after that and made me go visit that bully in the hospital, and i had to go sit in front of a judge- a real judge, my parents were both cops and called in a few favors- to have a sentence drawn up. yeah. i have official-looking court papers that mandate that i do double my chores for three months and
i was sentenced to my room in lieu of jail. back then, six-year-old-me thought i dodged a bullet getting out of the real slammer.
these 'mock' punishments that modeled the punishments real criminals received only got worse from then on. it was my parents' version of 'progressive' parenting, though i never did send anyone else to the hospital after that. mostly it was graffiti, curfew violations, and trespassing. hey! boys will be boys. besides, what else is there to do when you're born and raised in peachtree, california?