Welcome to the final post on The Cutter Rambles. After over eight(!) years of sharing my thoughts on the world, I’ve decided that I’ve rambled enough. Heck, with over 700 published posts, I’ve rambled enough for several people.
It’s been some time since I felt truly inspired as a blogger, so rather than keep the blog around like a oft-neglected fourth child, I’m going to officially close it out. I’ve said most of what needed to be said (and then some) about both my family and the world. Sure, there are still a few unshared ideas left in my head, but I’m sure everyone will manage not knowing my thoughts on abortion or reading about more plot holes in the original Transformers cartoon.
Before I go, I do have a few more things I’d like to say. And I’ll shall say them with a little help from Alanis Morissette.
I’m broke but I’m happy. I’m poor, but I’m kind
There have been times when writing this blog has felt like a second job. Unfortunately, it remains an unpaid second job, and on more than one occasion I’ve questioned why I was spending so much time on it.
What was I hoping to accomplish? Did I just want a public diary? Did I feel that my thoughts and opinions were so profound that they simply had to be shared with the world? Was I hoping to educate and change people’s minds? Did I hope to gain public notice so that I could become a world-famous author?
I think the answer to all of those question has been yes at some point.
At the very least, my blogging work did help me to become a paid editor of a Philadelphia Phillies site for a short time. I wasn’t a great editor, but maybe I would have become one if the responsibilities of life hadn’t forced me to resign.
As my fellow bloggers can attest, blogging is generally not a path to fortune and fame. There are some success stories, but I don’t know if I would ever be capable of becoming one. It feels like the most successful bloggers aren’t necessarily the best writers, but the best at self-promotion and networking.
There’s also the possibility that maybe – just maybe – I’m not as good of a writer as I’d like to think I am.
I’m short but I’m healthy, yeah
In 2015, the Cutlass was repeatedly getting sick. While we’re thankful that her health seems to have stabilized, we still don’t have any real explanation for why she kept getting fevers. We’ve taken her to all sorts of specialists, and all of them have told us that she seems like an overall healthy child with a few “quirks.”
That’s surely better than hearing definitive news that something is wrong with her, but leaves you with a little bit of doubt. Then again, health is fleeting for all of us. A “perfectly healthy” person could drop dead of a heart attack, stroke, or spontaneous combustion at any point. If a few health quirks are the worst thing that ever happens to her, then the Cutlass has truly lived a charmed life.
I’m sane but I’m overwhelmed
Other parents have asked me what it’s like to raise twins and if it’s that much harder than just one child. My usual answer: What do you think?
I think back to two days after they were born. We were still in the hospital, and it had been a rough day. Mrs. Cutter was still mostly incapacitated, so I was largely responsible for helping her as well as caring for two newborns. It wasn’t easy, especially considering how little I had slept. I somehow had a few minutes to myself so I excused myself from our room and walked through the halls of the hospital. As I walked, I questioned a lot of things, not the least of which was whether I was actually capable of raising three children.
Eventually I came to the conclusion that it didn’t really matter if I was capable of doing it; it needed to be done, so I’d have to find a way. Obviously, raising twins is difficult, but as long as I don’t think about the enormity of the task, I manage fine. Raising just one child can seem like an impossible job if you think about it too much. If twins are what you have, twins becomes the new normal.
And they’re growing up so fast; They’re two years old and have already started preschool! People have asked me if it’s gotten easier now that they’re older, and in many ways it has. For instance, we can go to sleep at night feeling confident that we won’t get woken up by crying in the middle of the night. We also can allow them to play on their own more without constant supervision. But extra mobility and capability has drawbacks too, and their ability to tell us “no” is a mixed blessing.
What it all comes down to, is that everything’s gonna be fine, fine, fine
Last summer, as we prepared for our annual trip to the beach, Mrs. Cutter and I discussed how it wasn’t going to be an easy trip. We needed to bring a lot of equipment with us, and keeping track of the twins in a non-childproofed house was a difficult task.
On the other hand, I recognized that the distance between “high maintenance” and “too old to want to go on family vacations to the beach” isn’t all that large. There will likely be a day when I find myself wistful for the years when we needed to put up baby gates.
Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is giving a high five
I have no doubt that Cujo is going to play sports. Like many small boys, he seems to have endless energy. He’ll run around a room, grabbing everything he can get his hands on, and when he gets tired of that, he’ll see how fast he can run into a wall.
But what happens if he decides that sports aren’t for him? The Cutlet’s soccer career didn’t last long, but that wasn’t especially surprising. She’s always leaned towards more traditionally “girly” activities, and despite my efforts, she’s never shown much of an interest in sports.
I don’t think I’ll allow Cujo to give up quite so easily. Consciously or not, I’m going to pressure him to keep playing sports, even if he doesn’t take to them immediately, or even seem to like it. Based on the limited athletic ability of his parents, there’s a decent chance he won’t be a star. How long do I make him keep doing something he doesn’t want to do?
As for the Cutlass, I predict a future in mixed martial arts. When the twins have a physical confrontation, she usually takes the brunt of it, but I have a feeling that’s going to change. I’ve seen the way she runs around. She’s going to be athletic, and there’s going to be a day that she gets tired of her brother’s crap and just wails on him. It’s going to be amazing to behold.
I feel drunk but I’m sober
Sometimes my single friends will ask me what marriage is like. Specifically, they wonder if I get tired of being with the same person?
A large reason we marry someone is because we think we can tolerate them enough to get through the monotony of life. It’s important to go through the “Wake up, go to work, come home, eat dinner, go to bed” routine, and not openly loathe the person you’re doing it with. But that monotony can be dangerous, and I think some marriages fail because the couples get too caught up in it. I can understand how a spouse could become a partner in monotony, and stop being someone who you love or even care about.
Thankfully, Mrs. Cutter and I have managed to stave that off. We still make sure to have periodic date nights, and these nights usually remind me that marriage should be more than just surviving monotony. To me, true love is being married for nine years, having three kids, and still wanting to make out by the dumpsters behind Senor Tequilas. (Don’t ask.)
Maybe those nights don’t happen all the time, but that’s not a realistic expectation. You think every night for Cinderella and the Prince was like when they first met at the ball? Most of their evenings were probably spent lazily hanging around the castle or dealing with minutiae of the kingdom. But as long as they could occasionally recapture that “first night feeling,” I have confidence that Cinderella and the Prince did indeed live happily ever after.
I’m young and I’m underpaid
The new au pair is thankfully working out well, but I still find myself missing the original at times. (I realize I probably should have given her a nickname rather than just referring to her as “au pair.” So, I’ll retroactively name her “Pebbles” after her favorite breakfast cereal.) She still comes to visit, but it’s tough when someone who was essentially a member of your family for two years leaves home.
We we worried how the Cutlet was going to take the transition, but she dealt with it pretty well. It’s possible that she was too distracted by being sick to truly process what was happening. She might have handled it better than I did, and I’ve come to accept that I’m going to have a rough time of it when she eventually goes to college.
I know I still have a few years before then, but life can move pretty quick. For example, Pebbles recently announced that she is pregnant. Mrs. Cutter and I have remarked that we couldn’t imagine having a child at age 22. Then again, I couldn’t imagine leaving my home at age 20 to move to a different continent and take care of infant twins.
Her child is going to fare well. She’s now a Navy wife, so there’s a built-in support system, and if she can handle taking care of twins (with an older child around as well), dealing with a lone baby shouldn’t prove much of a challenge.
And what it all comes down to, is that I haven’t got it all figured out just yet
Earlier this year, I became somewhat sad. I was worried that I had already lived the best day of my life, while it was likely that the worst day of my life was still ahead of me. But then I realized that was ridiculous, because this day hadn’t happened yet:
“Fly, Eagles, fly – on the road to victory! E-A-G-L-E-S–EAGLES!!!”
My family happily joined in the singing as the Eagles scored their fifth touchdown of the day. With only minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Eagles’ 28 point lead seemed secure, and it wouldn’t be long until I would finally celebrate a Super Bowl victory.
Less than an hour earlier, we had watched Guns N’ Roses perform the halftime show. I told the kids how most people had lost hope that the Appetite for Destruction lineup would ever get back together, but there they were, belting out “Paradise City” in front of millions of viewers.
My elation was interrupted when Mrs. Cutter looked up from her phone and asked, “Hey, did you see this?”
“It seems that NASA has uncovered some new data on Pluto. They’re saying that it was likely a mistake to call it a dwarf planet. They’re not certain, but it looks like they may attempt to re-classify it as a full planet.”
I’m sad but I’m laughing
The Cutlet is now a first grader. I thought (hoped?) that grade school would be a seamless transition for her, but there have been some difficulties. She was a “queen bee” at her preschool – everyone knew her, and for the most part loved her. She had to adjust to being one of the smallest and youngest kids in a much larger school.
That’s not to say she has struggled. Her reading and writing are impressive, and seems to get along with most of her classmates, even if they don’t want to play Harry Potter with her at recess. (Mrs. Cutter has been reading the books with her, and she loves them. Unfortunately, they’re probably a little too advanced for most of her classmates. It’s just one of the drawbacks to being such a smart child.)
There have been times when she has been unhappy. For a while, I tried to “fix” this problem, but I’ve come to realize that there’s nothing to fix. Children are allowed to have bad days just like the rest of us. It’s sometimes tough to remember that she’s a person too, complete with moods and feelings.
And what it all boils down to, is that no one’s really got it figured out just yet
I just hope the Cutlet realizes that she truly is capable of anything she wants to do. If she wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and work a 9-5 job with a wonderful family, she can do so. If she wants to become president of the United States…that might be a little more difficult, but the possibility exists.
And what it all comes down to my friends is that everything’s just fine, fine, fine
Is my life perfect? No. Are there things I would change? Of course. Who wouldn’t?
Sometimes I look back at times in my life with regret, and think maybe I should have done things differently. But then I realize that had I done so, I probably wouldn’t be here with my family. There might be a different Mrs. Cutter, and the Cutlet, Cujo, and the Cutlass wouldn’t exist.
When I look at it that way, I realize I wouldn’t change a thing, because everything I’ve done, both good and bad, has led me here, and here is pretty good.
Like Cinderella, I feel I’ve reached the “happily ever after” phase of my story. I’m sure there will be challenges and tough times ahead, because that’s what happens in even the happiest of stories. But for the most part, I can’t complain.
Cause I’ve got one hand in my pocket, and the other one is hailing a taxi cab
I’d like to thank everyone for reading this blog over the past eight years. Perhaps I haven’t enlightened people’s thinking as much as I hoped, but at the very least, I’d like to think I provided a mildly amusing way to kill some time on the interwebs.
So what’s next for the Cutter?
I’m not planning on giving up writing. In fact, that’s one of the reasons I’m not going to update this site any more. Being my “home,” I always felt obligated to write something here on a semi-regular basis. But I only have so much time and energy to spend writing, and I think that it would be better to spend that time and energy elsewhere.
I may attempt to work on some other blog-like projects, and I’ve come to realize that I ever want to write a novel, I actually have to make an effort to do so. If you’re curious as to what I’ll get up to, or simply can’t go without reading my thoughts, please follow me on Twitter: @CutterRambles.
I also reserve the right to resurrect this blog in the future. It’s possible that one day an important (at least in my mind) thought will come to me, and I’ll simply have to express my opinion in blog form.
Until that day comes, I just want to say thanks for reading!