“My kids are starting to notice Im a little different from the other dads. Why dont you have a straight job like everyone else? they asked me the other day. I told them this story: In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree. Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, Look at me…Im tall, and Im straight, and Im handsome. Look at you…youre all crooked and bent over. No one wants to look at you. And they grew up in that forest together. And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest. So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper. And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.” ― Tom Waits
My house. Sometime over the summer:
Me: You know, I think Im go to turn my Utah wedding trip into a longer trip and go see Spiral Jetty or the salt flats or something.
Delanie (Noelle): Can I come too?
Me: Its during the school year.
Delanie (Noelle): Thats ok. I can miss school.
Me: If youre going to do something like that, youll have to convince all your teachers to excuse you from class.
Delanie (Noelle): I can do that!
Me: Riiiiiiight. And then youll need to get permission from your mom and your dad.
Delanie (Noelle): Mom, can I go to Utah with her?
Jessica: I guess.
My house. A few weeks later:
Me: Im definitely going to extend the Utah trip. I am almost positive I can make this happen.
Delanie (Noelle): Im going!
Me: Suuuuuuure, all you need is a letter from all of your teachers, and your dad, and permission from your mom. Piece of cake. Not.
One week after school starts:
Delanie (Noelle): So my teachers want to know the exact dates of the trip. When are we leaving?
Me: No way.
Two weeks after school starts:
Delanie (Noelle): All my teachers signed the form and heres my letter from dad.