A few mornings back I was doing what I often do for the boy, make breakfast. I'll slice up some banana, make scrambled eggs with cheese or maybe a waffle with apple butter.
While I work on that, he prepares the coffee and we talk about politics, we're really developing a productive give and take — kidding. He's 17 months old folks. He just sits there and eats whatever I put in front of him.
Mrs. Blackwell gets ready — and helps get the boy prepared for his day — while I make the breakfast. It's actually a calm way to ease into the day as the chatter of my son, or the sounds of his lips smacking, fills the air. For whatever reason on this particular morning I became a little wistful, thinking that these moments are few, far between and diminishing.
There are specifics that accompany this chain of thought but, suffice it to say, they amount to an overall sense of impending loss. My little guy will soon no longer be little and there is a great deal of dread attached to that reality. However, as we've discussed in this space before, there is no point dwelling on this.
Growth is life. It's going to happen and stunting it is not a legal option — yet. (I'm working on that little detail though.)
Until those plans reach fruition I intend to follow Mrs. Blackwell's lead by being "glad that it happened, not sad because it's over."
However on this particular day, reality conspired to thwart these efforts and instead fuel my anguish.
No sooner did I begin setting aside the sad thoughts than did the little guy start saying "Dah-dee. Dah-dee."
Sure, he might have been sitting in his high chair, idly thumbing his way through a pile of strawberries while staring at the floor but I know, deep down, he was talking to me.
|It could have been anyone, but it was you Harry.|
OK. So perhaps that's not a biggie. But, as I continued shuffling about and getting ready he continued to be vocal and cute, making it tougher and tougher to leave.
Finally, as I approached the door and with Mrs. Blackwell at his side, he looked at me and said "Bye-bye. Dah-dee," as he walked toward me. This is movie stuff people. Movie stuff.
And just like any good movie, it has to be accompanied by just the right song and, as I climbed in my car, it was there — in spades.
Harry. Frickin. Chapin.
"And the cats in the cradle and the silver spoon. Little boy blue and the man on the moon, when you comin' home Dad, I don't know when, but we'll get together then. You know we'll have a good time then."
It was so perfectly awful I had to laugh. It was sad. It was ironic and it was what mom and dads go through every time they walk out the door every day.
This, is life.