Archive | February, 2011

Now you see ’em


Kids making merry in mama’s theater .

Either it’s childhood that disappears, or the child itself. We’ve had both in our family, and as bittersweet as it is to watch one’s children grow older, it is an unspeakable gift to do so.

I was looking through my digital photo archives to find a picture of my children’s oldest nephew, who would have turned 16 this coming Sunday. I only had film cameras when Erik was alive. I borrowed a digital one for the first six months of my daughter’s life, which were his last six, and they were not something I was in any way capable of or inclined to documenting photographically. Even though I wanted to (selfishly), to me it felt invasive and opportunistic to take pictures of him, knowing what we knew. The pictures would outlive him; we were trying to steal what we could, when we could.  An image.

My mother’s death a dozen years earlier taught me that that’s what you’re left with: photographs, various physical ephemera, video — if you’re lucky, and memories which, over time and in an excruciating process, become simply memories of your memories. You’re also left with the love you still have. And your grief.

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Truer words were never splashed across a Band-Aid


Whenever he comes even close to skinning a knee — the surface of the skin isn’t even broken; maybe there’s just a wee abrasion — he calls out with a dramatic intensity on a par with graduates of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, “IS IT BLEEDING?!”

Don’t know when it will be that I stop keeping Band-Aids (the never-fail placebo) in my wallet. When that day comes, a major chapter of this parenthood will have come to a close.  Of course there’ll be whole new ones to follow. Probably in which I turn around and apply the Band-Aid to myself.  (“Is he even in this ZIP CODE?! This AREA CODE?! The frigging TIME ZONE!” Or, “Would it kill her to just text me back A SMILEY FACE EMOTICON SO I KNOW SHE STILL POSSESSES THUMBS AND EYEBALLS?!”)

That day will come. And I’ll be damn lucky to see it.

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Who loves ya, baby


Never have I loved a boy like I love this boy. Apparently, never have I been loved by one like I’m loved by this one, either. We’re both in the same, very happy boat.

May you, too, enjoy a handsome return on your affections, today and every day.

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One small squirt for boy, one giant squirt for parentkind


Yes. That means what you think it means.

Those fortunate readers who have not slogged through upwards of 5,000 diaper changes — ha! ya think I’m exaggerating! no, I AM ACTUALLY UNDERESTIMATING, I COUNTED — might think the above is merely an unremarkable, if slightly overshare-y image of somebody’s toilet. But that’s where you’d be sadly mistaken, my friend. The above is an image of victory! Triumph over recalcitrance! The onward march of youth toward their destiny, eventually fishing Mama and Baba out of the bowl of despair!

For months, nay, years, I would whimper quietly as I pulled the package of organic, free-range, fairly unbiodegradable diapers from the grocery store cart and placed it up onto the checkout counter. The larger the size on the diaper — 3, then 4, then 5, and then, finally and most humiliatingly, the dread 6 (and for you diaper-ignorami, they just don’t get any bigger than 6: next stop, Depend® undergarments) — the more pitious my sotto voce whimpering. It got to the point where the clerks simply could not meet my eyes. I didn’t blame them.  The beloved and I swap grocery store runs weekly with our co-housing in-laws, and whenever I would write in the word “diapers” on the list for them, I would follow it with a little sad face. 🙁  We didn’t talk about it.

But today! Today, I strode into our neighborhood grocer’s, head held high, baseball cap cocked at a jaunty angle, just so, and I traipsed up and down those narrow aisles, and I hummed as I packed my cart full of all manner of items, NOT ONE OF WHICH WAS A PACKAGE OF DIAPERS! Ha! Ha ha!

You will forgive me the heady delerium.

I leave you now with a wee (!) musical selection, here. O hell, lemme just paste it:

[Note: youngsters ignorant of musical history and a bit impatient, give what’s on the other side of that link this quaint ditty at least 30 seconds. Rest of youse: turn yer monitors up to 10.]

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