Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Of Jacks and kings and queens

"Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
-Lewis Carroll

Lately Jack has been alien to me. He has been talking to us more in somewhat coherent mini-sentences. He asks for food and straps his shoes by himself, brushing my hand away in what I hope is not an omen into his future teens. He gets mad and frustrated in a way that speaks more to me now than a mere bought of irrational broken banana hysteria. He knows when he's being fucked over, when I'm being unavailable. And he knows how to push the right buttons to flip it instantly upside down. He sings songs in the car so loudly and so exactly on cue with whoever is singing it, it has become a road hazard due to an almost overwhelming desire to turn around and watch him and cry. At my boy. My boy. MY boy with his mouth wide open singing out, releasing an imaginary world that I can not see. Cannot fathom.

I try to imagine him as an 8 year old, a 17 year old, a 25 year old. I wonder what he'll wish for when he lays in bed at night. What his first girlfriend will write to him in teenage love notes. What he'll want to be when he grows up.

"He'll be a musician" I say, all the time. And why not? He's my son. The same bean that grew in me while I rattled the shell that separated us for nine months with songs from my headphones.

"Hello Jack. Your mother is feeling melancholy today. Here's a song to brighten up your day. Also, enjoy the coconut curry shrimp I'm sending your way in 15 minutes." I'd tell him. Hoping that my voice would find its way to him in between 60's pop songs and music from the 80's passed down from his grandmother and then, with a slight embarrassment, from me.

"He'll be an actor or a comedian" I say, with the adoration for the minuscule only a mother possesses. The tiniest charismatic smirk, the most expressive utterances of nonsense.

"Purple cats! Airplanes are in the sky! Those leaves are indeed brown and have holes! You're a genius! Can I have your autograph tattooed into my heart please?!"

How can somebody love somebody they've known forever but don't know at all?

I still haven't wrapped my head around parenthood. Every time I think I have I end up laughing at myself, shaking my head in embarrassment for thinking I knew everything all along. Thinking I know how he'll be tomorrow or next month or 25 years from now.

I know nothing and in a way I'm glad. He keeps me on my toes that way. Keeps me changing to catch up with him. Keeps me pondering what I really want out of life. Keeps my mind open and my heart pounding with purpose.

"Whatever he'll be, he'll be him which is the best thing to be anyway" I say.

It seems he keeps on teaching me as well...

*Yes, he has a mustache tattooed (temporarily) on his face. He's a gentleman of course!


Chelsea said...

It's a good thing he's not boring! He's got a personality!


and he's totally cute with his little mustache. He'll be a lady killer when he's older!

flyrish said...

I adore this post. And I completely feel you -- the starting to feel like you've got it down, then realizing not at all, and then wanting to cry with pride, etc.

Jack is a little heartbreaker. Love the mustache! And I sing that song to my son all the time.

Molly said...

beautifully written.