Saturday, May 31, 2008

may day, may day...

time flies, whether you're having fun or not.

how did it get to be the end of may?

how is half of 2008 already over?

how did my son get to be ten years old?

i mean this a couple ways:

one, it was only a couple years ago, i'd swear, that he was falling asleep in his crib, tenaciously holding onto the hand proffered through the rails by me or mrs. spaceneedl. he'd rub his fingertips over ours, as if he were memorizing every line, and if you tried to pull your hand away too soon, he'd wake up and have to start all over again.

it was annoying and achingly endearing at the same time.

eventually he'd fall asleep, and wake up smiling the next morning. the following evening, repeat, as needed.

i remember the routine very well, but i don't remember when it ended. i don't remember the last time i held his hand as he drifted off. more recently, he'd ask his mom or me to lay down with him and "sleep for two" (minutes), which is to say, fall asleep with him regardless of the actual minute count. but, there again, it's been awhile since that happened. he's getting too old for such things, it must be supposed.

how did my son get to be ten years old?

ah, yes, the other implicit meaning: how has the boy made it this far with the working IQ of a howler monkey? it defies explanation.

skinny as a rail, we get reports from school that he throws away most of his lunch, every day. this despite the efforts on our part to engage him in the lunch selection process, to preconfirm that, yes, he likes brand x protein bars and peanut butter sandwiches and chips and lemonade juice boxes, and a host of other items.

dumped, apparently, unceremoniously and untouched.

increasingly nearsighted, we get reports from his teacher that he won't wear his glasses in class. he'll squint painfully, briefly, in a half-hearted effort to read the board, then go back to drawing little battle vignettes on his notebook.

they're cool glasses, too, from the nike sports line, with the matching clip-on sunglass option.

unused, at the bottom of the backpack.

repeatedly reticent in his homework, we get e-mails saying he hasn't turned in assignments. the CDs containing Word files inexplicably go missing, allegedly stolen. we read the riot act, take away privileges, and threaten military school, without discernable effect.

beatings, i say. we must try beatings. mrs. spaceneedl is not amenable to the suggestion.

yesterday my son turned ten years old. how will he get to be 20? how old and decrepit will his parents be by then? it's too daunting to contemplate.

time flies. whether you're having fun or not...


Anonymous said...

I was once blessed with the opportunity to take the little man to bed one late New Year's Eve night. Poor kid was so tired, he slipped on the hard wood floor, smack his head and couldn't muster the energy to cry.

To tuck him in and for him to explore each wrinkle in each knuckle of each finger on both hands was surprisingly sweet.

That was a good night.

My thoughts to you and yours.


spaceneedl said...

i remember that night as well. i thought of it more than once as i was composing this post.

i miss those days, and that boy.

what i wouldn't give to go back, just one time, and do it all over again...