Wednesday, March 15, 2023

One last hurrah

Funny thing about being a parent.  It's unlikely you will ever love any person in the world more than your children.  Yet you spend all your time preparing them to leave you.  

With our sons, they received a couple dispensations from moving out.  First, owing to the catastrophic levels of college tuitions, we let them stay home and commute to school if that would help mitigate expenses. Then when Covid hit, just as they were preparing to move out, we told them they could wait until they needed to move out, whether they were in school or not.  Given the floundering economy, skyrocketing inflation and cost of living, we said they could work and accumulate what money they could. 

Nonetheless it's inevitable that the itch to step out on their own would begin to override financial worries.  For our second son, his meeting of a wonderful young woman and becoming engaged made it official.  By the end of May this year, he will have moved on.  As it should be. 

Now our sons, and family, have a reputation for being close.  That comes from my wife and me.  From the start, we broke from a lot of our peers and didn't take off on trips and vacations while the kids stayed with family.  This was partly the result of seldom having family nearby.  But when we did have loved ones nearby, we still did things around the kids.  We worked hard to have family meals, and made sure at least once a week we had a family night (called 'pizza night', but menus varied).  When one of the kids did something in school, we would make sure as many as possible were there to support him. In later years they would break off and have what they called their 'bro-nights' (and give my wife and me a chance for some time to ourselves).  

It was something people who knew us identified with us.  'Here come the Griffeys' was a common response to our arrival.  Someone once said we're like this flock that is always together.  As soon as one walks through the door, you can bet the other five are following.  

Yet it is the way it should be that they will be moving out, and sooner than later, save for our youngest.  With this May coming around the corner and the wedding, the brothers asked our second son what type of bachelor party he would like.  The sky was the limit, boasted our third oldest who makes the best money right now. Whatever he wanted and whoever he wanted to invite, it would be done.  

In the end, he said he would just like to spend time with the bros.  That's all.  Get a hotel room, and do some city searching for what each of the sons likes.  Record stores and video game stores, electronics stores and Catholic book stores, and board game stores were among the destinations.  My oldest wrote up an itinerary, and we followed it pretty well.  Most were hits, a couple misses.  

I ended up coming along due to request, plus I provided the driving in a suddenly snowy Ohio.  We went to the famous Book Loft in German Village, a store known far and wide around the country.  A bit crowded for my taste.  We attended Mass at our cathedral.  Then it was driving all over from one point to another and just hanging together.  After day one we went to our hotel suite, ordered pizza, watched movies and played games.  Before bed (and a freakishly annoying regional power outage) we toasted our son's upcoming marriage, along with an addition from me: No matter who they are with and what friends they have, they will always have each other. 

Of course the four may get together again in the future when the others make plans to walk down the aisle, or similar events.  And with the newlyweds living in town, I'm sure we'll be seeing them.  But as we all know, it will be different once he steps out the door for his new chapter in life.  You can't help feel a little melancholy.  Still, they have made us proud each one, and if God gave us nothing else but them, I'd consider myself more than blessed. 

A shout out to our beautiful Cathedral

Walking around Columbus, we liked that this was next to a dumpster

A first stop at a gaming store - expensive games!

And there was the claustrophobic Book Loft

The boys

They seemed quick to get away from the confines of the Loft

One of the games for a round at the hotel

A toast: They may bicker, but they are very close and protective of each other


  1. Clippers. Setting number 2. And they shouldn't be out and about without a proper hat. One for summer, one for fall and spring, one for winter. A fedora, a trilby. Tweed cap for your youngest. Leave the ski toques for Canadians.

    1. You must really go bonkers when you see a crucifix, what with the disheveled hair and all. :)

    2. Dude, what is with you and hair? Are you married to any of them? Do you see them every day? Are you a barber trying to scrounge up business? If all of the above is no, then shut up about it - nobody cares about your input on hair.

    3. Barbers have a median cash income of about $30,000 a year. Not enough for me to travel to Delaware County, Ohio even if I had an Ohio license.
      You don't care, but you took time to offer a belligerent comment. Got it.

    4. Deco, it's time for you to grow up and "...9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people..."
      And now you know the rest of the story.

    5. Art, I think the gist is that you've made your point. The first couple times it was humorous, since I've long said haircuts was not a battle I would fight. When it's time, they'll cut their hair. But if every time I post something about my boys, you swing in and say 'but the hair', it is sort of a buzzkill. After all, this was a post about my boys moving on as much as anything. When contemplating where they are in life, the devotion to church, to each other, their hard work and generally being young men who make us proud, I'll admit the hair doesn't even make it near the radar.

    6. Deco, it's time for you to grow up and "

      Somehow neither you nor Winchester strike me as the most perspicacious producers of advice.

    7. Somehow neither you nor Winchester strike me as the most perspicacious producers of advice.

      Given that the blog host himself told you to knock it off, looks like my advice was quite perspicacious. More folks would probably enjoy your company if you tried being less of a web blanket or jerk.

    8. "Somehow neither you nor Winchester strike me as the most perspicacious producers of advice."

      It wasn't advice. And the next time you use your favorite word for someone else look in the mirror...poseur.

  2. That is a well stocked gaming store! I see the Loft has a few games too. I think I spotted some I need for my collection there, if I give you a list can you pick them up for me? ;)

    Now for the challenge... can I identify the game played... *squints*
    Tiny Epic Kingdoms!

    You all played much of the Tiny Epic series? my board game buddy and I have been on a kick of them lately. I appreciate the creativity of their games (and how little space the boxes take up).

    Good luck to the newlyweds! Been seeing some videos on modern day relationships and I envy no kid trying to make their way through it all nowadays (I bowed out of the game awhile back). Your son looks like he found a quality girl so here's hoping it's not the end of the bros, but an expansion of it and soon there will be nephews and cousins and in-laws and more all joining in game nights to come!

    1. Yes, it was the Tiny Epic. That was the first one he has seen. He bought it right away and that was one we played. It was actually enjoyable, quite a lot of game in a small package. That sort of thing makes his day.

      And yes, I've told them in the years to come their kids will have plenty of cousins (something they never really had around them) and of course siblings as built in best friends (something neither my wife nor I had in any measurable way due to distances and age gaps). So if they play their cards right, they should be set.

    2. Tiny Epic Galaxies is considered the best and it is REALLY good. Definitely worth a buy if you find it. TE Dinos is kind of fun if you like worker placement. TE Quest is probably the second favorite I've played. I hope to try TE Defenders (a co op) tonight.

      But then I've never regretted playing a Tiny Epic game. I do respect how diverse they all are and how each one will feel VERY different from the others.

  3. This is delightful! I know a family that is so similar in interests and familial characteristics. I'm trying to resist the urge to set up a meeting with your families because my husband tells me not to meddle in peoples' lives so, but you could all connect over board games and books!! They have girls!!! ;P

    1. As for the other boys, I think the 'they have girls!' part would be the selling point! After all, there is never enough people to get together over the finer things in life.


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