Friends, New Orleans, LA.
[Ed note: this is the other shoe, the first of which pair dropped on Tuesday.]
Peter Pan’s direction to airborne children heading toward Neverland — “first star to the right, and straight on ’til morning” — always thrills, but for my daughter, the magic really started with Harry Potter. Or rather, it was Harry who cranked it up a notch. The magic itself started long before he came on the scene: it started when our girlie’s custom mix of cells started waking up and banging around, working diligently toward their destiny as the perfect receptacle for her, the one who would wait patiently through several near-miss conceptions then a miscarriage, before dropping effortlessly into my beloved’s womb, then our arms, right when we needed her most. She knew.
We all have special powers. My job as a parent is to pay close attention, and notice as many of my childrens’ as I can, that I may clear the path ahead–when it ought to be cleared. Oftentimes the path-making is their job, in which case my job is to remove myself to a proper distance off in the underbrush, sit on my hands, and bite my tongue. Guess which job is harder.
One of my daughter’s powers is her Olympic imagination, from which I’d bet she draws a majority of her day’s enjoyment. We’re fortunate enough not to have stepped on it too much, though its care and feeding can pose a challenge. Leaving her alone to her own devices a lot helps a great deal.
As seen in The Bone Room, a place I actually took the kids to, yes I did. Six and four years old, thank you for asking. We were in search of a witchcraft store that sold live owls (yeah, I know: I told her, too, but she wasn’t about to believe me that we would find it difficult to purchase an owl, alive or dead, anywhere within the city limits). This was the closest I could get us to.
Hey, it was worth a try. Several minutes in Â — I think it was when we passed a tidy row of some half-dozen small alligator heads, you think I am kidding, I am sorry to say I am not — they were both fairly convinced that while it was a witchcraft store, it was one that practiced the dark arts. Italics hers.
With any luck, I’ll have enough time on my commute to or fro work to tell a bit more about how we managed to get here, and where we went thereafter. Meanwhile, you can peruse the links and try hard to consider my kids lucky that I did not call to their attention the owl pellets, about which the store’s website enlightens us, thus:
owl pellets are the indigestible bits of fur and bone regurgitated by owls (and other birds of prey). These sterilized pellets can be taken apart to reveal the owl’s last meal, expect to see bones from mice, voles, and numerous other small creatures.
I run across things like this around the house all the time. Not sure whether to call a child psychiatrist or a literary agent.
Boy oracle, Los Angeles County Open Space, CA.
This is what happened: they found a dead field mouse whilst hiking, and buried it. (OK Mama buried it, managing to do so without touching it, no simple matter. Â Baba looked bravely on from a distance of 15-20 feet.) Â Then they gathered bouquets of lupine, mustard grass, and other wee wildflowers, Â laid them at the base of this tree, and held a ceremony for the spirit of the dead field mouse, wishing him safe travels on his journey to his next life. The lil’ peanut perched himself on a spot affording the best vantage point from which to watch the proceedings.
Some dog-walking passers-by looked upon the scene and exclaimed, “Oh, sage, please enlighten me!” or some such. Since oracles in days of yore used animal entrails (among other somewhat less grodie things) to aid in their divination, they mightn’t have been far off the mark. Â Except: as a tireless sidekick to his sister, and therefore the youngest in most any clump of kids, he is more often seeker than prophet.
Like the field mouse,Â I reckon that won’t last for ever.
One of the reasons I don’t blog very often is that I’m at work generating a lot of this stuff. I’m not complaining.
LesbianDad is a personal essay/photography blog. It began as a document of my parenthood but, like life, its ambit has stretched to include much more than I expected. My kids call me "Baba," and together we work toward a world in which amor really does vincit omnia.