I always loved this photo, because in many ways the roles should have been reversed. The little devil in this picture was more steady and eager to please, the angelic one more mischief-filled. When they were young, time-outs were the consequence of choice. As a toddler, my older son would cry during his minute or two of isolation, and then when asked if he knew why he was in time out for hitting me, he would say tearfully, "Rule no hitting." In contrast, my younger son would sit in the time out singing gleefully, "I feel! I feel! I feel like a morning star!" I would have to duck around the corner so he wouldn't see me laughing.
I found a journal I'd started a little more than a year after this picture, when the kids were 6 and 3. It was only a few pages long, but included this bit about an upcoming school dance:
[My older son] has been practicing his moves for the dance. He told me in alarm this afternoon, "You have to dance with someone!" I acknowledged that this was the case and he said darkly, "I hope it's not wedding dancing."
And later, this:
He spotted a New Yorker cartoon with an abstract Picaso-esque room filled with women's torsos and said in surprise, "There are nipples! and breasts! and front private parts! Women's private bumpy parts!"
This same kid is now living with his girlfriend and planning a life with her after they graduate in May. I called him Friday to wish him a happy birthday, and talked about how 21 years ago, we lay awake that first night staring at each other. I distinctly remember that powerful feeling of recognition that I had looking at his serious face. I'd have known him anywhere.
And the cherub? The journal has this:
Then he took a tumble down a steep hill, after refusing my hand. Sort of slid on his back, bonking his head lightly. This traumatized him to the point, apparently, of renouncing books forever ("I never want any more books!"), stating that Sawyer Bear, who was with us during the walk, would now have the same name as his own, demanded to be carried and insisted that we go home where I would install him on the couch with his pillow and blanket, bring him chocolate caramel milk and let him watch "the video with Joshua on he potty." I complied.
He didn't stick to his anti-book proclamation, however, and went on to become the first 1st grader at his school to rack up 100 Accelerated Reader points. This was partially due to reading, on his own, the first three Harry Potter books that year. When I saw him this weekend, he came in after his chemistry lab final and then said he'd like to stop in on his way to visit his brother Wednesday and asked, "Might there be cake?" Well, of course - how often do you turn 18?
My Thanksgiving birthday boys are now birthday men, and I couldn't be happier with them. The last bit of that aborted journal is a recounting of this argument, which I did my best not to get dragged into, between my older and younger sons when they were supposed to be going to sleep:
YS: "Dreams come from your head and your mind."
OS: "Dreams come from your heart."
YS: "No actually, dreams come from your head."
OS: "Mom, tell him."
Me: "You're both right."
OS: "I know, the pictures come from your heart but the story comes
from your head. Oh, WHY did we have to tie?"
YS: "Mommy, tell me the truth."
Me: "I think they are both involved."
YS: "The pictures are in your heart [brother], and the words are
in your mind."
OS: "You are SO right! That's what I was saying."
My dreams do indeed come from my heart and my mind. And in this case, also from my womb.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Jessica Bern's blog (who doesn't seem to be blogging so much anymore) about the difficulty of what to call a man in your life once you hit middle age. "Boyfriend" seems childish, "lover" a little weirdly French, "significant other" quite clinical. I find it's even more difficult when it's more casual than that. In my case, "someone I keep in touch with, see on occasion, love and am loved by, but with whom I am not looking for a long-term committed relationship with" is a little cumbersome, you know? So I laughed out loud when I read the phrase she settled on: "This guy I'm fucking." Now when I hear someone say TGIF, I have to bite my lip to keep from giggling. So yeah, TGIF and I had dinner and a lovely time together on Saturday.
Friday, November 7, 2014
Monday, November 3, 2014
Saturday, November 1, 2014
Me: "Hi! Where can I find a masonry bit?"
Worker guy: "Masonary? Over here. (waves at the huge array of bits I'm standing in front of)
Me: "Okay, I see the bits, but I can't tell which are masonry ones."
Guy: "What size do you need?"
Me: "I don't know, I just need to drill a hole in a cement pot."
Guy: (with what appeared to be a patronizing smile): "Well, I can't help you if you don't know what size - what size masonary bit do you need?"
Me: (starting to get testy): "I heard you, but I have not magically divined the answer since you asked me 30 seconds ago. I am just needing to know which ones are masonry bits, and I'll choose."
Guy: "Oh. All these, here. But it's masonARY."
Me: "Okay, thank you. But it's not."