“Emma, are you tired?”
“No, I’m not tired.”
“Emma, do you want your duck?”
“No. I don’t want my duck.”
She came in this evening while I was trying to study to give me goodnight hugs and kisses.
I had the radio tuned to our local public radio station – at this hour of the day, it’s usually a jazz show.
“Is that Charwie Parker?” she asked.
She knows from jazz! Sweet!
Now if I could just get her to know from John Prine. 😉
So we’re watching “Reading Rainbow,” starring Commander Jordi LaForge, who is talking about Jazz.
One of the books they talked about was “Charlie Parker Played Bo-Bop,” which Emma has.
So after the show is over, I ask Emma if it would be OK if we play some Charlie Parker and read her book.
And so we do. Charlie Parker with Strings: The Master Takes. She sits on my lap, and we read “Charlie Parker plays Be-Bop” while Charlie Parker plays be-bop. We read that book five times.
It doesn’t get much better.
Once a statue is finished,
It is too late to change the arms.
Only with a virgin block
Are there possibilities.
It’s not easy to to raise a child. You have to set an example all the time. Sometimes it is important for both child and guardian to understand that a child should not do certain things that the adult does. This is not hypocrisy. It is wisdom.
There was once a child who responded to his father’s admonitions by saying, “You do the same things.” The father took his son to a carver of temple figures. In the yard were great blocks of camphor and rosewood. Inside the studios were deities in various stages of completion, from gods still with fresh chisel marks to brightly painted and gilded masterpieces.
“I am older than you,” said the father. “So I am more like one of these finished statues. I have my accomplishments, and I have my faults. Once this figure has been carved, we cannot change the position of its arms.”
“But you, my son, are like the pieces of wood in the yard, still to take shape. I do not want you to have the same faults as I do, so I do not let you do certain things. Look at me. Yes, you say I still do certain things, but doesn’t that show how hard it is to undo a mistake once it is carved into you? Don’t copy me, and don’t make the same mistakes that I did. Only then will you become more beautiful than I.”
Ming-Dao, Deng. 365 Tao: Daily Meditations. New York: HarperSanFrancisco, 1992. 281.
Ahh, those good old days, when kids would play “Cowboys and Native Americans”
Instead of “GIs and Unlawful Combatants”?
Nice little “Barney Bomb” they leave for us unsuspecting parents. Bring the kid in from pre-school. Kid wants to watch “Clifford.” We’ve got it DVRed. Turn on the TV.
Awwwww kuh-RAP! It’s on PBS because we were watching Frontline last night (or Curious George this morning), and they are airing BARNEY.
Before my lovely bride and I got married, one of her neighbors had a child. We stopped by to give our regards, and a discussion on being a parent ensued. The father suggested that being a parent is like being in a club. Many things become clear once one has a child of one’s own. Parents are able to nod knowingly at one another, and are able to weather the whithering stares of the young and unchilded. The thought is usually a variant of “they’ll understand once they have a child of their own.”
I recently received an e-mail from an acquaintance, and he opined that he didn’t know what he’d been missing before he and his wife had their first. But upon having their second child, he felt a measure of sadness that there are others who choosing not to experience the additional joys that a second child brings. His aim was to do his bit to convince us to have another.
But we’re not planning on having a second, for a number of reasons. I guess I’m a little sad too, since we’re apparently still not members of “Club Parent.”
My son, my executioner
My son, my executioner
I take you in my arms
Quiet and small and just astir
and whom my body warms
Sweet death, small son,
our instrument of immortality,
your cries and hunger document
our bodily decay.
We twenty two and twenty five,
who seemed to live forever,
observe enduring life in you
and start to die together.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
Update: Ha! a friend of mine asks “Uh, everything OK?” When I think it’s because I haven’t had my IM client on in several days, he says “No I mean the about death poem on your daddyfu blog.”
So I sent him this snippet that I sent to a pal of mine earlier today, when we had a short discussion on mortality:
I’ll tell you, as bad as it is hearing about someone younger than you kicking it, having a kid sure puts a fine point on one’s mortality. Don’t bring up that to an e-mail list full of stay at home dads. They all think you’re dying or something. Like living isn’t terminal.
He chided me: “Living’s terminal, but when you have a blog about your kid and you post a death poem… dude… that’s not nice to other people that read it and have… empathy. 😛 Especially when you haven’t been on ICQ for like a week. 😛