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父亲节感怀

Father’s Day Sentimentality!

Dear Lara,

As I write this letter, you are nearly one week old and sound asleep at your mother’s side. It’s going to be a few years before you can read this, and even longer before you understand exactly what I’m feeling―which is good, because then you’ll need even more time to forgive.

This letter is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write, since I’m only a journalist and not a real writer. No words I know―not even the ones I looked up in the neighbor’s dictionary―can describe the sublime joy and wonder I have felt since watching your mother do the equivalent of passing Andre the Giant’s bowling ball and realizing that I could never take her place.

And let me say right now, thank God for that as well.

When they told me you were a girl, I felt so excited my heart could have burst―for when you hit adolescence, you’re mostly your mother’s problem, not mine.

We took your name from Lara Croft, the main character of the video game “Tomb Raider” and a new movie that features Angelina Jolie playing far below her talent. Croft, you one day will discover, has gazongas large enough to sink battleships and has reduced many teenage boys to the level of drooling idiocy. So, while it’s anatomically impossible for you to share that gift, at least you’ll have the name going for you, which can’t hurt in job interviews.

The best way to describe what I’m feeling right now is “surreal,” which means I should lay off the after-dinner cocktails. I’ve long wanted to be a father but somehow never believed it would happen, in light of my lousy dating history and penchants for watching “Star Trek” and reading comic books.

But now you’re here, and a week after your birth, I still sit for minutes watching your chest rise and fall―if for no other reason than it’s more interesting than the other reality shows on TV. I still feel a sense of wonder as you kick and squirm upon waking―as you stretch your teeny-tiny limbs, wrinkle your little face, and cry. And then I feel guilty for practicing the accordion while you were trying to sleep.

Over the years to come, I’m sure I will let you down, and there’ll be times you’ll wish you had someone different for a father. Your cousins Mario and Luigi have been wishing that about their father since Day One.

But I want you to know that I’m always going to be there for you―no matter where you shop, how you park, or how much time you spend on our phone. It’s not obsessive, I’m your FATHER, and I even promise to be unobtrusive when I’m with you on dates. (However, if the guy lays as much as a finger on you, he’s a dead man.)

In life, there’s a few important things to know:

Maintain a good credit rating. Successful superheroes never let it slide. That’s how Batman, Iron Man, the Wasp, and the Golden Age Sandman all retain their millionaire status, even when they do the costume thing full-time. Spider-man and Green Lantern never made even the minimum monthly payment, and they’re always struggling just to pay the rent.

Also, if Dr. Dingle ever calls from George Wood University in Texas about my pledge to the Alumni Dance Fund, tell the old goat I refuse to donate a single penny.

That’s about it right now. Later on, we’ll get into the specifics of getting dressed―underwear first, then your shoes―avoiding trademark lawsuits, guarding against government conspiracies, and what to look for in rodents when you’re preparing that delicious dish of “potato au raton.”

Right now, I’m happy just to watch your mother change the diaper when it’s dirty, then listen to you breathe quietly as you slumber against my shoulder―which means that, soon, I too will get to hit the sack.

Right now, I just want to treasure that moment by shooting it with my digital camera, then forwarding it to everyone I know until they put me on their spam-blockers list. Thank God one more time, for modern technology.

Love, Dad

  父亲节感怀

  亲爱的罗拉,

  当我写这封信的时候,你还不到一周岁大,正在你母亲怀里香甜地睡着。看来得再过几年你才可以读懂我的这封信,而要完全理解我现在的感受可能还需要更长的时间――我认为这样很好,因为你将需要更长的时间去宽恕别人。

  写这封信对我来说一点也不轻松,因为你知道我只是个媒体工作者,却不是真正的作家。看着你母亲将你分娩下来,其间的艰险就如同给安德鲁大力士传递巨型保龄球一样,我却只能眼睁睁地看着,一点也不能帮她分担。心底涌出的喜悦和惊奇根本无法用言语表达,就算翻遍邻居家的字典也找不到合适的字眼。

  为此再次感谢上帝。

  在得知你是个女孩时,我高兴得心都快要蹦了出来。因为等你进入青春期的时候,你将会成为你妈妈的揪心问题,而不是我的问题。

  我们将你取名为劳拉?克罗福特,她是电子游戏《古墓丽影》的女主角,也是一部同名电影的主要角色,可我认为安吉丽娜?朱丽的演技还远远没有发挥出来。你有一天会发现,劳拉?克罗福特拥有傲人的胸脯,大到足以沉没巡洋舰,她的迷人魅力让无数少男神魂颠倒,几成白痴。当然了,从解剖学的角度来说,你并不拥有同样的天赋,可至少你有相同的名字,在你将来参加工作面试的时候应该是没有坏处的。

  我现在的感受只能用“超现实”来形容,那就是说,在吃完晚饭后我都用不着再喝鸡尾酒了。我一直渴望当父亲,可一直不敢相信自己真的会成为父亲,大概是因为我那劣迹斑斑的恋爱史,还有就是没事只爱看《星舰迷航》和漫画书的缘故吧!

  而现在你就活生生地在我面前。在你出生一个多星期后,我依然可以兴致勃勃地坐在一边观察你,看着你起伏的胸脯。总之我觉得很有趣,比电视上的真人秀节目有趣多了。看着你在悠悠醒转时踢腿、蠕动、伸伸小胳膊小腿,皱皱小脸,然后嚎啕大哭,我依然感到惊奇万分。而想着自己在你要睡觉的时候苦练手风琴更是让我觉得惭愧不安。

  在未来的日子里,我肯定会有令你伤心失望的时刻,你甚至会希望别人来做你的父亲。其实你的表哥马里奥和雷基在他们降生的第一天就这么想了。

  但我想让你知道,我愿意永远为你守候――无论你在哪里购物,怎样泊车,或者花多少时间和我们讲电话。这不是出于被迫的,这是因为我是你的父亲。我甚至可以保证在陪你出去约会的时候,我会少插嘴(但是,如果那家伙敢动你哪怕是一根指头,他就死定了。)

  在生活中,有一些重要的事情你是需要知道的:

  保持良好的信贷纪录。成功的大英雄从不因此失足,蝙蝠侠、铁人、黄蜂和金世纪沙人都保持了百万富翁的地位,尽管他们整天要易容出去行侠仗义。而蜘蛛人和绿灯侠却连每个月的最低工资都挣不到,还得为每个月的房租发愁。

  还有,如果德州佐治伍德大学的丁格教授打电话来,提起我承诺给校友舞蹈基金会捐款的事情,你就直接告诉那老头说我一分钱也不会出的。

  暂时先写这么多。不久以后,我们会谈到其他事情的细节,比如穿衣――先穿内衣,然后才是鞋子;你还有学会避免卷入侵权官司,提防政府的阴谋,以及在做美味的马铃薯菜肴的时候,怎样挑出那些被老鼠咬过的马铃薯。

  现在,看着你妈妈帮你换脏了的尿布,我感觉自己很幸福。只见你将头枕在我的肩膀上恬静地呼吸,我想过不了多久,我也会跟着睡下去。

  现在,我只想用数码相机记录珍贵的瞬间,不停地把照片转发给所有认识的人,直到他们全面封杀我的电子邮箱地址为止。为此,我得再次感谢上帝,为了今天的高科技。

  爱你的,父亲

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