It’s Saturday and remarkably boring. Greg is not feeling great today, so I have spent the majority of the day being entertained by my boys. We took them to the mall to visit Santa—or as all mall santas are known in our house: “Santa’s Helpers,” because Mikey’s too slick not to be able to tell that each one looks different. He had a perfect looking “Santa’s Helper” when he was two, who had rosy, chubby, cheeks and real white beard. Notice I said “looking”. His personality was…well…he could have been a cardboard cutout and would have interacted more with my child. Anyway, in the three years since we have seen yet another wonderful Santa who looks AND acts the part, but Mikey can’t quit reminding me how he liked the one with the chubby cheeks—face squeezing gestures and all to drive his point home.
Pierce, on-the-other-hand doesn’t think much of any Santa. Last year he cried like he was being lit on fire, and this year he squirmed and stared at us with pleading eyes, but somehow we managed to get a decent picture.
When we came home from our brief excursion, Pierce was asleep, dad and I were lazing about in the living room, and Michael was chattering and playing with dinosaurs and Legos on the coffee table.
I have a story to tell here, that deserves a very heart-felt apology on the front end. With the recent anniversary of 9/11, there was much publicity about that awful day for Americans as well as many other countries and how the people directly affected by it have worked to heal over the past 10 years. I told myself that I wasn’t going to “indulge” in television’s need to use yet another tragedy to grab viewership and ratings. Well, I got sucked into the memorial service. Yo Yo Ma playing Bach’s Sarabande while they read the names of each person that died that day at Ground Zero did it. I sat and wept. All day long the news stations ran stories and interviews with people who were there on that fateful day, and all day long I was moved. The videos of the towers being hit on a beautiful, sunny morning, and within an hour both were nothing but pulverized concrete, glass, and human life. Astonishing… Horrifying… And from this dark side of humanity births a selfless kindness and sacrifice never before witnessed. For we can’t know the infinite and loving beauty of humanity without having experienced it antithesis.
As a result of being so very moved by the memories of that day, I felt (like an idiot) that it needed some explaining for Michael. I’m embarrassed to even admit any of this in hindsight, but I showed him the video of the towers being struck by the planes and then their inevitable collapse. Along with this I explained what was happening and why. I tried to convey that there are people who despise what America stands for with such conviction, that they are willing to kill and be killed to make sure we know it. I talked about all the people that lost brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, and other loved ones because of somebody’s hatred for a different way of life. I thought I was really doing a noble thing teaching a bit of our history and hopefully a little humanity. I guess I should have waited a few years…
Mikey’s legos have become the medium to build tall sky scrapers and airplanes. And yep, you know where this is going. Knock the plane into the building and watch it fall. I can’t say how many times I have reiterated how people died because of that act and it was an awful tragedy. I won’t show him the footage of the towers anymore either because “It’s not entertainment!” The game continues, though, and I can hear him prefacing it with, “There are no people in there, it’s jus pretend.” Look, I know that the boggling and fascinating to witness, and that as a little boy, it’s only natural for them to want to play anything that involves crashes and explosions. I thinks it’s what manufactures testosterone, but I still feel as though I have inadvertently desecrated the memory of all those who died by having made the mistake of thinking my five-year-old (who is pretty sensitive) would understand the somber, reverence of the history lesson. Guess I’m the one who got schooled–in overestimation. None-the-less, I bore witness to multiple Lego planes and tall, Lego buildings crashing off the coffee table this afternoon. Thankfully, it was mortifying, but not tragic.
After that game finished, Mikey and I crawled into my bed to watch tv with all of his dinosaurs and take a snooze. That’s always a treat, to snuggle with my boy, even if he is a heartless ba$@#rd!
More boy busy-ness… Pierce is climbing up the left side of me while I am trying to type, talking to the tv and telling Steve, from Blue’s Clues, goodbye as the show ends. Now he’s singing the Bubble Guppies theme song. A couple of minutes ago he was standing and as I looked up at him he leaned over and gave me a kiss! He’s too much, this little squirt. Earlier, daddy had a show on that had some crazy lady that was keeping a small crocodile in her bathtub, so Pierce went and got a wiggly, rubber alligator from Michael’s room and proceeded to throw it the length of the living room. As it flipped and twirled to its new destination, he would giggle, run and get it and throw it again, from that spot. I got hit in the head a couple of times.
Then this evening, I put on my stretchy night-shirt over my athletic pants, and as I am doing something in the kitchen he decides to go under my thigh length shirt, in the back, and pretend he’s a ghost. It’s like I have an even bigger butt! And I can’t get away from him! Finally, I loosed myself from my ghostly appendage and bolted from the room before the cavorting nymph could catch me.
At one point during the boys’ dinner, Pierce climbed up behind his brother on the same chair, and as I am telling Michael to finish eating he says “I can’t eat with this big lump in my back!” Hard to argue with that!
Those two have amused, annoyed and embarrassed me all day, but without them and my occasionally questionable parenting, what would I write about?