3,472 in a series


I could have also entitled this “Baba’s mood is…” since the image captures that pretty nicely, too. Okay it’s a bit understated. It’s more like this other picture, by his sister.  But I don’t want to impose my interpretive vision on that of the artist.

He was having a perfectly fine time with the paper, but of course eventually he ran out of it (either the paper itself or the fine time with it, who can say) at a point in the day when I was all tangled up in the dreary, inexplicable travails of adulthood.  Well, they’re explicable to us, but to them? Nope. Our grown-up stresses remain as distant and confusing to them as the global economy will always remain to me.  And as relevant.  Meaning, plenty.

Either way, as per usual, as per the wall-to-wall stress that painted the insides of our home throughout the Prop 8 battle last year, all he sees is its impact on me, never its source.  For good reason, but still.  I’m Faust, muttering to a Mephistopheles that he’ll never see.

So what did he do?  He did what any self-respecting 2.75 year old would do.  After multiple times trying to get my attention (was I on the phone? hunched over the computer? pacing the room in a reverie of self-importance?), after the umpity-umpth unanswered “Babaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,” he made a nice facsimile of this image. On the arm of the couch. In permanent marker. For posterity.

Every time I peep that little image I hope I take in a deep breath, say “There, there” to myself and everyone around me, and thank the little guy.

4 thoughts on “3,472 in a series”

    • Thank you, Juliet! I’d heard of it, but not seen an interview with the young chap. Preview/spoiler: it’s of the ten year old in Arkansas who respectfully excersized his 1st amendment rights not to stand up during the pledge of allegiance in his class, because he had studied the text and felt the last lines, “and liberty and justice for all,” were as yet untrue in America, and he wanted to register his protest. Daggone.

      Here’s a bit of the exchange:

      CNN anchor: Why is this issue so important to you, that you would commit this act of “atypical juvenile delinquency” [quoting the Dad]?

      Young Will: I’ve grown up with a lot of people, and I’m good friends with a lot of people that are gay, and I really– I think they should have the rights all people should, and I’m not going to swear that they do.

      CNN anchor asks what’s the reaction been from your fellow students at school?

      Young Will: Not very good. They’ve taken from what I’ve said an assumption that I’m gay, and [in] the halls and in the cafeteria, I’ve been repeatedly called a “gaywad.”

      CNN anchor, stifling a chuckle: A gaywad? What’s a gaywad?

      Young Will, kicking some rhetorical ass, and staring solemnly into the camera: I really don’t know. It’s a discriminatory name for homosexuals.

      Dad said, in answer to CNN anchor’s Q, Were you prepared for the type of reaction your son’s action has precipitated, etc.: His words to me were that… he saw it as an opportunity to raise awareness and for education. And he was very very clear in that that just because he’d ten years old doesn’t mean he doesn’t have opinions, doesn’t mean he doesn’t have rights, doesn’t mean he can’t make a difference.

      CNN anchor reviews most recent election cycle, claims that the issue of same-sex marriage has been put to the test, the democratic process is at work and it seems to be failing. What would it take, [Young Will] for you to stand up for the pledge of allegiance?

      Young Will: For there to be truly liberty and justice for all.

      CNN Anchor: And what would that entail?

      Young Will (pausing to think for only like a millisecond): That entails everyone being able to marry.

      I think Clarence Darrow just sat up in his grave and applauded.

  1. I love it! The picture on the couch, I mean. (Young Will sounds very lovable, also, though.) Every so often, I’ll have occasion to revisit a little etching scratched into a bookshelf or the paint of my car, mostly done by my eldest at a particularly stroppy age, and it always makes me smile. It’s a pretty concrete way for them to make their presence known in the adult world, and a nice, permanent way, as well — they need a bit of that once in a while, for sure.


    • Kind of like the appearance of “Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” scratched into the wall by a previous handmaid/inmate, in Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

      I am especially grateful for the word “stroppy.”

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