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It's nearing midnight, and I'm sitting here in my office at Rock Father HQ with tears in my eyes. No, I'm not crying, but the eyes are definitely misty with happy tears as I type these words and assess my current surroundings. A Hasbro STAR WARS Millenium Falcon sits a few feet away, flanked by a trio of Fisher-Price Little People riding horses. They look as if they're about to board the ship, while LEGO Spider-man is about to speed by on some sort of motorcycle - a deeper look revealing that he's being chased by LEGO Batman on a Jet Ski. Nearby, a variety of Disney Princesses hold court, while an overturned Step2 stool sits near the girls' art desk, on top of which lies remnants of a few in-progress masterpieces from earlier today. In front of me, three empty cans of Diet Mountain Dew, an almost-empty Coke Zero, project notes scribbled on white paper, and a pile of CDs and DVDs that will probably never be reviewed thanks to the increasingly mythical element known as "time" (or lack thereof). It's nights like this that I realize that each day brings our family closer to the end of these "happy messes," and I don't like it. Kids grow up, and even though ours are technically still little, the reminders are like jabs in the gut. Tonight, The Tooth Fairy will be paying our oldest a visit for the first time, and that's something that I've dreaded.

Published in James' Journal