Saturday, April 19, 2008

09-13-2020: Kitemaster

Today is Cravin Day. Zoey named it that of course [Sarah is concerned that Zo's vocabulary is comprised of more improvised words than Webster words. I furrow my brow and exhale loudly in congruence when she brings it up, but to be honest I couldn't be more thrilled about it]. Cravin Day is when Chris and I join forces to further the Male Agenda. We enter the Testosterzone. We manage the MANage. No matter what our original trajectory, we always end up tossing a ball back and forth at Shelby Park and picking at the carcass of a Happy Meal. From the day the doctor told us that we were having a boy, I swore to myself that growing up as my son would be a non-stop Disney ride. I had so many plans. Then came the floods: Sarah's surgery, Sarah's mom's surgery, an Astralvan, my back, Zoey...

Being a new parent is like getting carjacked by a wild-eyed man brandishing a gun and screaming about The Voices: you must be forever on your toes if you want to get out alive. You are looking for any pattern that you can rest in, any behavior that you can maintain to keep him from pointing the barrel at your face. Your rate of fatigue is accelerated dramatically by the sporadic volatility of everything. You just want to be left alone. You want sleep. You will trade every facet of your dignity for a few hours of sleep.

By the time Chris turned four my fantasy fatherhood was tucked away somewhere next to my old keyboard in the attic. Surprisingly, Sarah was the one who suggested that we take one day a week to do boy things. I was so pleasantly surprised at her selflessness, trust, and encouragement (truth be told she never really left me alone with Chris for the first four years of his life...) that it did not occur to me to ask what she'd be doing on Cravin Day. One evening a month later, while brandishing the Visa bill in my face and insisting that I justify a $341 night out with my sisters I caught sight of the real reason for her enthusiasm: every Thursday night while Chris and I were at a movie, a baseball game, or wherever, my lovely bride and tiny Zo were having their own private shopping spree. Six purses in two months - I'd never seen anything like it.
Today we drove an hour to Colt State Park to launch the kite I gave him for his sixth birthday. Of course he says that flying a kite is "straight" (it's frightening how early kids are picking up heterophobia these days) but I tell him if he wants something gayer he can just stay on the blanket with the snacks while I fly it myself. He couldn't understand why we had to drive an hour to fly a stupid kite, and the nostalgia for this park exists only in me, so I didn't bother explaining. He'd never met Lumas. He was not even a twinkly thought of a sperm's thought when Lumas, at full tilt, bowled through the wobbly legs of a 78 year-old woman being escorted to the seaside by her much younger children. Geez, that was thirteen years ago. Nor was Chris present when we gathered her distant shoes and beat a quick retreat while other park-goers tried to describe us to park officials. I guess this park holds a lot of weight for me because of those days. I'd flown so many kites here in my youth that in my head it was the only place with wind. Sure enough it is still the windiest place in New England, When I notice that we are the only ones not flying something wireless, the lack of synchronism between me and the world feels palpable.
After I get the thing a hundred feet up, Chris slowly makes his way to me, and within minutes he insists on flying it alone. This is fine by me - I get dizzy when looking at all that open space. My medication is doing strange things with my inner gyroscope. It's a fair trade though - I feel nothing. Absolutely nothing since mom died. When I think about her, think about that funny, music-heavy service we had, I see it all on a screen with red velvet currents and I'm way in the back of a heavily populated theater. I could nod off and it would continue on without me. It's practically subtitled I'm so apart from it.

2 comments:

Bryce said...

"Of course he says that flying a kite was "straight" (it's frightening how early kids are picking up heterophobia these days) but I tell him if he wants something gayer he can just stay on the blanket with the snacks while I fly it myself."

I literally laughed out loud at that. Good stuff.

Looking forward to Home!

Meagan said...

I miss Colt State Park. Love the "hetrophobia" reference...