Saturday, December 19, 2015

Once More into the Breach


It's what my son shouts every time he's delighted, or surprised, or even mildly interested.   A squirrel daring across the path of his stroller: AGAIN SQUIRREL!  A first responder, careening past: FIRE TRUCK!  AGAIN!   A burst of rain: AGAIN RAINING!

Of course, I have no control ( yet) over the squirrels.  The fire trucks elude my whims and I have been unable to bring the weather to heel.  I explain this to my kid -that I'm a powerless mote in an unblinking, heartless world- but it doesn't seem to stick.  AGAIN MOMMY!  AGAIN!  My son wants a do-over the and the universe better listen up.

To be truthful, I'm daunted by his demands.  I am tired of singing "Row Row" for the fortieth time.  "Honk Honk," that paragon of children's literature, palled after the sixtieth reading.  And I feel, acutely, the heaviness of the responsibility he has laid on me-  to spark his delight, to bend the world into a gob-smacking, soul-kindling, repetition-worth place. 

And yet, in some sense, it's salutary.  Wielding his two-syllable whip of a word is my child's way of saying: pay attention.  Here's something worth noticing.  Twice or thrice or a hundred times: look, again.  

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