happy me

happy me
"I'm not pissed yet"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

“Right From God!”...(out of the mouths of babes)

        My daughter, along with my two boys are much more than the word "interesting" could ever describe. The word "remarkable" would be more appropriate. Or "characters" comes to mind. As an example, one of so many, I will take you back to when I was a single parent before I met my second son, Joshua, and my second wife, Tiffany.
I was dirt poor, playing 6 nights a week in bars and my son Ian was 6 and my daughter Lauren was 3. We would walk Ian to 1st grade every morning, virtually around the corner from the shitty Apt. we inhabited on the second floor of a shitty building. It was shitty. The kids had a bunkbed set in the bedroom they shared and I had a mattress on the living room floor. 
Monday through Friday we would drop Ian off at school and Lauren and I would make our way back to the Apt. where we would both watch Sesame Street together, take a nap (I was always exhausted!) and then if time permitted, read her a story before we went to pick Ian up from school and have lunch.
The kids always loved for me to read to them as much I loved my Mom reading to me. My Mother actually helped me through my first grade reader and inspired me to read Shakespeare at the age of 11 (of course she helped me through that as well). Both Ian and Lauren had their favorites as little kids, but the two they loved the most were Sesame Street’s “The Monster At The End Of This Book” (I do a perfect Grover impression and we wore out 3 copies!) and “The Velveteen Rabbit”, a classic. I would always give Lauren and Ian a choice as to what book they wanted me to read them out of the many children's books we owned. Lauren, more often than not, picked “The Veleteen Rabbit”.
This particular day after a long night for me (I didn’t get back home from where I was playing in Hermosa Beach to relieve the babysitter until 4:15 am....all for a measly $75....oh, how I don’t miss those days!) I was reading Lauren “The Velveteen Rabbit” for the umpteenth time, when, at the end of the book she looked up at me and said “You know daddy, every one of us has love in our hearts!”. It’s enough to bring me to tears even now. I said “That’s so true Lauren! Everyone of us DOES have love in our hearts!” Then she asked me something truly remarkable (she was a a few months older than 3 at the tme) she said (and I quote) “And daddy, do you know where that love comes from?” I said “Tell me where that love comes from, Lauren”. She took her index finger, put it to the middle of my forehead where the “proverbial third eye” resides and said, “Right from God!!” and pushed on my forehead as she was saying it!!! I was stunned...I had no words. None. I do remember feeling all the blood drain out of my face! What does one say to such a thing coming out of a 3 year old’s head?? Out of the mouth’s of babes, indeed!!
Lauren is now a grown woman and continues to stun me with her empathy, her voice and her natural songwriting and acting ability. She is a remarkable human being and I feel honored to be her father.
And speaking of “The Velveteen Rabbit”.....One day while talking with the Skin Horse, the Rabbit learns that a toy becomes real if its owner really and truly loves it. The Skin Horse makes the Velveteen Rabbit aware that “...once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always." It’s so true, and you helped make it so, Laur-Laur. You are my “Magic Fairy”. We are all loved until real and I love you with all my furry heart!.....Dad
M. Lanning 10/9/11....Imagine.....thanks John.....


  1. So sweet. Love your posts about your children, love you, Michael!

  2. Love you too, "Laughing Queen"..... :o)