Thursday, June 14, 2007
Big Yellow Taxi
My older boy finished grammar school yesterday. He starts junior high in the fall.
He's many months younger than many of his classmates, as his birthday only cleared the entrance requirement for first grade by a few days. But he towers over many of his classmates, and looks his mother right in the eye already. He arrives home each day like an army arriving to a field of battle. The house is too small for him now.
He has become partially opaque to me now; sometimes inscrutable. He has opinions. He no longer tells jokes. He says amusing and witty things. It's different.
His core is dead to me at this point. It is his own self-contained perpetual motion machine, neither requiring nor allowing me to spin it any more. If I was going to fix him or break him I should have done it by now. I imagine I've done both. No artist is ever pleased with his canvas, they just allow it to be hung on the wall eventually. You'd like to tinker with the thing but people are looking at it now.
They sent home a disc with a sweet slideshow of pictures of his classmates set to music. The case must have been dusty as a mote of some sort got in my eye.
The pure tonic of his smile looked out at me from his yearbook, his teeth still fighting for primacy in his pre-adolescent mouth. Favorite food: Ribs. Favorite music: Mozart. Favorite day: His birthday. There's a quote he likes from Napoleon Dynamite, and he says he likes to play video games.
Most admired person: His father.
I wasn't quite ready for that. The other children mostly wrote in an assortment of dimbulb athletes out on parole or celebrities with no discernible talent but one for self-promotion. He's got it backwards, my boy does. It is he that is admirable, to think to throw a bone to his old man when others threw theirs to the ether --or to the wolves.
I promised the boy that if he got all A's on his report card we'd buy him a pony. He got a couple B's; just missing A's by a whisker, but missing he did. I felt bad, as he had really applied himself. I felt as if he deserved a present, so we got him that pony anyway.
It was delicious.